Posted by Roland Beverly, MD on Jan 20, 2015 under

Whether your scalp is naturally dry or oily is just part of your DNA. We all have sebaceous glands attached to our hair follicles that produces natural skin oils (sebum) to moisturize our scalp, but how much oil these glands produce  varies by individual, with hair type (follicle shape will obviously have an effect) also playing a role as well. Just as some people have oilier, more acne-prone skin, others may have an oilier scalp. If your scalp is oily or dry, this should influence how you take care of your hair. 


Dry Scalp

Dry scalp is characterized by itchy skin and small white flakes or scales. In this way, it may resemble dandruff. Whereas dandruff is due to excess oil production, dry scalp is typically caused by dry skin, product build-up, strong soaps & detergents, hard water and cold weather. One way to tell the difference is that flakes due to dry scalp usually come off easily; dandruff flakes tend to clump & stick together & to the scalp.

Keep your scalp healthy by:

*Using hot oil treatments and/or scalp conditioners weekly

*Use a clarifying shampoo regularly (once per week or every other week) to remove product buildup.

Dandruff? We will discuss this & other scalp conditions in our next post! 


Oily Scalp

Excess oil production can make your scalp feel oily or greasy. Dandruff is also common to oily hair. Tips for oily hair:

*Wash hair regularly and shampoo twice (actually follow the “lather, rinse, repeat” instruction)

*Use a shampoo containing salicylic acid, tar, selenium or other exfoliator to clean out as the excess oil and flakes.

*Use conditioner! Just as acne patients still need to moisturize, people with an oily scalp still need to moisturize. As with other areas of skin, dryness causes the sebaceous gland to produce even more oil.

BLOG DISCLAIMER: Information on this blog is for educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or treat any skin ailment. Please make an appointment with your physician for personalized medical advice. 

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