Q: What can I use to stop build up on my scalp? I have patches of white flaky stuff that covers the crown of my hairline. I
get this every winter and have used dandruff shampoo but it does nothing. Also, my hair length is down to my shoulders and is always
snarled. I could brush my hair and have a bunch of knots/snarls within minutes. What can I do to prevent this? Do you think a shorter
haircut would help with the snarls? Thank you for your time answering a few of my questions.
A: What you are experiencing is most likely dry scalp, and is a common condition for people who live in colder climates or during
winter months. It is caused by the frequent shift from cold to heated environments, and by the fact that most heating sources used in
the winter leech moisture from the air leaving it dry. The shift from cold to warm, dry air wicks away the moisture in your skin and
scalp. This is also likely contributing to your hair snarling problem, because the hair can get dried out by the environment you live
in just the same as the skin.
My initial recommendation is to try a “dry scalp” formula shampoo, as opposed to a dandruff
shampoo (dandruff is caused by bacteria, and the ingredients in dandruff shampoo are designed to kill the bacteria, but not
necessarily treat dry scalp). Be sure to follow the shampoo with a moisture-rich conditioner to re-hydrate the hair.
To further deal with your dry scalp issues, use a natural bristle brush to stimulate the scalp
and loosen the dry skin flakes. Carefully, brush the scalp from back to front, then front to back. Don’t brush the hair too much,
because over-brushing can be harmful to the hair and cause split ends.
To treat the snarls, be sure to use a leave-in conditioner/detangler on your hair when it is
still damp after towel-drying and comb the hair with a wide-tooth comb. You also want to make certain to avoid roughing up the hair
when drying it after shampooing/conditioning. Use a towel to pat the scalp and blot up the excess moisture, then squeeze the lengths
of your hair in the towel to further blot the moisture away. You should never “rub” your hair using a towel. Doing so only roughs the
cuticle layer and promotes tangling and snarls.
Trimming your hair will probably help with the snarling issue, because it will remove any split-ends and dead ends you may have – both of which can contribute to snarling. Just remember to treat your hair gently. For all
its strength and elasticity, your hair is at its most vulnerable when it is wet.