Dry Skin and Dandruff

Woman shopping for hair products
Photo: Lakov Filimonov/Shutterstock
Q: I have naturally curly hair which I need to use curly-hair products for to keep the curls bouncy. I'll try anything for curly hair that comes on the market, and I have finally found a few different products that work: shampoo, mousse, gel spray, finishing cream, etc. My only problem now is that I have developed dry skin which is giving me terrible dandruff.
I want to use something which will combat my dandruff but also keep my curls light and tight because when ever I have used anti-dandruff shampoos in the past they have always weighed my hair down and the curls are left lank and limp. I would be so grateful if there was anything you could suggest to help?

A: Well, during the winter months, dry skin is a common complaint and is caused by the constant change from warm and dry environments (indoor heating) and cold damp environments (outdoors). Most heating systems dry out the air and leech moisture from the skin and hair.
This may or may not be the cause of your dry skin, but whatever is causing it is probably being made worse by the "curly hair" products. You see, these products are generally formulated with very light moisturizers (if any) and are designed to keep the hair as light as possible to enhance the curl. You will also want to check the ingredients list of the styling products for alcohol content, as the alcohol will dry out the hair and scalp.
In order to deal with the problem, I can recommend a few things that can help. One, you can get a good, moisture-rich conditioning cream and give yourself weekly deep-conditioning treatments. This will be good for your hair as well, but will help to restore the moisture levels in your scalp and help to combat the dry scalp problem.
Two, you can try hot oil treatments, but apply them to your scalp only. The hot oil could weigh your curls down too much, but would give a good deal of protection to the scalp to combat the dry skin. Hot oil treatments are always followed by shampooing, so there should be no problems as long as you restrict the oil application to the scalp area only.
See also:
Scalp problems
Causes and solutions for dry hair