Every winter, women are advised to keep their scalp moisturized and consistently condition their strands to prevent dryness and breakage from winter’s harsh winds and keep dandruff at bay. But women who suffer from dry, itchy scalp aren’t necessarily out of the flaky woods come summer.
“The overuse of moisturizing products during the winter can lead to product buildup, leading to dull stands and an itchy, flaky scalp. Focusing on scalp health is key as the warmer season approaches,” said Michelle F. Henry, MD, of the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of New York.
There are a few different ways to keep your scalp healthy during the summer months, Dr. Henry said.
“I love using shampoos that contain pyrithione zinc to effectively treat dandruff and prevent an itchy scalp. Pyrithione zinc is also a great treatment for a condition called seborrheic dermatitis, which causes excessive dandruff scalp scaling. I often recommend shampoos containing this ingredient in my office. My favorite is Dove DermaCare Scalp Dryness Itch Relief Shampoo because it doesn’t exacerbate dryness. By using ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter in addition to pyrithione zinc, this shampoo nourishes the hair while treating the scalp.”
Of course, dandruff isn’t the only concern that rises along with the temperatures. And while many of us know we need to protect our skin from the sun’s harsh rays, the same goes for our strands.
“Harsh winter temperatures can wreak havoc on fragile locks causing dryness and split ends. I often recommend trimming the hair after the winter. Humidity will increase as the temperatures rise, so developing a plan to combat frizz is important.
“A great conditioner is crucial,” Dr. Henry added. “Flying can be terribly drying for the hair and skin. Vacations often involve lots of outdoor time, sun exposure and hair styling (for perfect photos). A great UV/heat protectant is a must-have to ensure healthy locks when you return home. Slathering on a rich conditioner and spritzing on a little UV protectant is a great regimen to protect your strands on lazy days at the beach or pool.”