Come winter time, some of us are prone to dry skin, and that usually equates to a dry scalp. In light of that seasonal phenomenon, we take a look at the causes of a dry scalp, and then discuss some natural vitamins and minerals that can support the skin and, in tandem, help prevent a dry scalp.
The Causes and Effects of Dry Scalp
Come wintertime, some of us are liable to experience a dry scalp. This occurs when there is too little moisture in the skin, leading to the skin becoming dry and flaky. This irritates the skin, resulting in itchiness and, of course, gets you to scratching. It can also lead to the shedding of dead skin, which has an appearance very similar to dandruff.
A dry scalp is usually the result of a combination of factors. One factor is the condition of the skin. Those with skin conditions such as psoriasis are more likely to experience dry scalp. Contact dermatitis, which is dryness of the skin resulting from hair products that reduce skin oils, can also be a contributing factor. However, winter weather is the main catalyst for dry scalp that many people experience. The combination of low humidity and cold air can have a direct effect on the skin, causing it to lose moisture. This includes the scalp.
When two or more of these factors are combined in wintertime, it is the “perfect recipe” for a dry, flaky scalp. Fortunately, there are supplemental remedies which can prevent and/or treat dry scalp.
Supplements for Dry Scalp
Your nutrient intake plays into the health of your skin, including your scalp. Consider how taking the following supplements could help you avoid a dry scalp this winter:
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can both help to mitigate scalp dryness. These fatty acids contribute to the production of sebum, an important oil on the skin. In turn, this helps preserve skin moisture. A supplement containing both of these fatty acids is most ideal.
Zinc is a necessary trace mineral that contributes to multiple bodily processes. Like fatty acids, zinc helps the skin retain its moisture because it contributes to the production of sebum. Supplementing with zinc could increase skin moisture on the scalp. It can be especially helpful if you aren’t already consuming much in the way of zinc-containing foods (e.g., beans, nuts).
Vitamin D supplementation can be helpful because of its ability to mitigate skin psoriasis. This is a benefit supported by scientific study. It is believed that vitamin D helps prevent the accumulation of dead skin cells on the skin surface from happening too quickly. In turn, this reduces the flakiness and moisture-reducing consequences of psoriasis.
Vitamin B12 can help preserve the moisture in skin, including the scalp. This vitamin is beneficial for general skin dryness. It can be especially helpful for the scalp when taken alongside other vitamins such as vitamins A and C. Furthermore, vitamin B12 can support healthy, strong hair.
Preventing or alleviating a dry scalp is a real concern for some people in the cold months. If that means you, then consider how supplementing with the vitamins and minerals above could help you. It’s recommended that you talk to your healthcare provider before trying a supplement for the first time.