Dry Scalp in Winter

Young woman with long hair wearing winter clothes
Photo: Dreamstime
Q: Since I had a partial thyriodectomy, I have noticed my scalp is very dry in the winter. What products are good for a flaky dry scalp? I have fine hair. What is good for more body also?
A: There are a number of things you can try that should help to alleviate your dry scalp symptoms. First of all, look for a "dry scalp" formula shampoo (usually found in or near the section with the dandruff formula shampoos). Many of these use ingredients such as essential oils (tea tree, eucalyptus, etc.) or proven itch and flake treatments (selenium,...) to moisturize the scalp and/or treat the itchy, dry scalp skin.
You should also consider having weekly, deep-conditioning/protein-rich treatments with heat application (under a dryer) to keep the scalp moisturized. This will also be great for your hair to help add body.
You will also want to brush the hair daily with a natural bristle brush. Start at the front hairline and brush the hair forward, making sure to make steady contact with the scalp. Work your way backward in small increments until the entire scalp has been brushed, then reverse direction and brush the hair backward starting at the nape area.
Do not over-brush the hair, simply brush a number of strokes to cover the scalp front-to-back, and back-to-front and to make sure the hair is tangle-free when complete. The brushing will help to stimulate scalp circulation which will help balance the moisture level and will dislodge dead skin cells and remove flakes. You should only brush the hair when it is completely dry.
Finally, the usual cause of winter-dry scalp conditions is the frequent shift from the cold air of outside, to the warm (and often over-dry) air of indoor environments. One way to minimize this effect is to make sure to keep the indoor air humidified. By using humidifiers and metal containers of water placed near heating sources like fireplaces and gas heaters (which really suck the moisture from the air) you can help to reduce the drying effect on your scalp and skin.
As to adding more body to your hair, you can use the conditioning/protein treatments above, and also us a sprayer bottle with Witch Hazel to spray towel-dried hair before drying. The Witch Hazel will help to give your hair more body and works as a very light hold styling product.
See also:
Problems with the scalp
Winter hair care advice
Winter hair product must-haves
The effects of the weather on our hair
Will freezing temperatures cause hair breakage and split ends?