By Terez Howard

Dry scalp and dandruff oftentimes go hand-in-hand.  Sometimes, the root of dandruff is a dry scalp.  However, this is not a hard and fast rule.  I learned this from personal experience.  I have dandruff that falls from my head like snow, but a Sisterlocks consultant told me that my scalp was very well moisturized.

The test to see if your scalp is moisturized: Rub your fingertips through your scalp.  If you feel a light oilness, then your natural sebum is working fine.  That’s what I felt.

So, although itchy, dry scalp and dandruff appear together in this article, one doesn’t necessarily cause the other.  Dry scalp and dandruff in locs can be caused by a number of factors.  These include sweating, climate, heredity, a medical condition, stress, hormones, diet and the wrong products.  Stay away from mineral oil and grease because they only coat the hair and scalp with a false sense of moisture.  These products clogs your pores and actually dry  out your scalp and locs, contributing to your problem.

When your scalp is dry, moisturize!

cure dry scalp

Source: Curly Nu Growth (One of my fave Sisterlock bloggers!)

We know that baby locs will disappear if they are over moisturized or, for some, if they receive any more moisture other than water.  Mature locked heads can stand the moisture.  That said, a sure cure for dry scalp is nourishing your head with essential oils and carrier oils.  Essential oils  are highly potent oils extracted from the leaves, stems, barks and roots of aromatic plants.  On the other hand, carrier oils are vegetable-based (and some animal-based oils) used to dilute essential oils.

I wrote an article about hair growth oils, but these same oils can be used to moisturize your scalp.  I highly recommend jojoba oil, which is structurally similar to sebum and can be easily absorbed into the scalp.

You can create a concoction with a few drops of essential oil and a carrier oil, such as olive oil, to use a scalp massage.  Do not drench your fingertips in oil lest you want build-up from dripping oils.  Just lightly coat them and begin to massage.  You can do this for 5 minutes or for 25 minutes.  The key is to thoroughly coat your scalp, focusing on your troublesome areas.  You could also prepare a concoction solely for those troublesome dry patches and only massage that area.

When you can’t stand the itch…

Use an astringent.  Witch hazel or Sea Breeze are astringents which work to cleanse your scalp and reduce itching between shampooings.  Astringents are great for new locked heads because they will not cause unraveling.

Simply apply a few drops of your astringent to a cotton ball or cloth, separate your locs and dab your scalp until you’ve covered it.  You can add a few drops of an essential oil if you’d like.  Rosemary oil particularly reduces flaking.

Try apple cider vinegar.  I love apple cider vinegar!  You will find this cheap, easy-to-find product in several of my hair care articles.  That’s because it really works.  It can balance your hair’s pH level and remove build-up, making it also wonderful if you’re suffering from dandruff.  Fill your spray bottle with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of water and spritz.  You can use do this before you shampoo or after.

You’re sick of dandruff, so…

Try the apple cider vinegar and get some oil ready for a scalp massage.  Those same two things that get rid of a dry scalp can also naturally get rid of dandruff.  Remember, extreme dandruff actually is caused by a yeast-like fungus, not a dry scalp.  Lifting the fungus would mean curing the dandruff.

Steer clear of all-in-one shampoo/conditioners.  The conditioning agents found in these products trap residue in your locs and emit dandruff.

Goodnaps promotes this tonic for dandruff.  Also, be sure to check out these two anti-dandruff hair mask recipes.

Products for a dry, itchy scalp

HealthyLocks “Ooh!” Therapeautic Scalp Serum
This serum is meant to not only cure a dry scalp, but also produces a sweet-smelling aroma on your locs.  The Video Locktician recommends this product for baby locs and mature alike.  Just be careful to only use a very small amount of “Ooh!” oil.  A little goes a long way.

Saniyyah Naturally Tea Tree/Neem Shampoo
The blend of herbs and oils in this shampoo relieve dandruff as well as other scalp conditions.  I particularly appreciate that its first ingredient is coconut oil, which naturally fights against dandruff and moisturizes the scalp.

Products for dandruff

Taliah Waajid Stimulating Herbal Cleanser 8oz.
This pre-shampoo cleanser removes residue and lifts build-up.  It will remove flakes that your find in your scalp.  You don’t have to use it every time you shampoo, only when you notice a problem in your locs.

Fabulocs Dry Scalp and Hot Oil Treatment
This blend of essential oils lifts dirt, rids the scalp of dandruff, as well as kills bacteria and fungi residing in your hair.  It boasts including on its ingredient list tea tree oil, which is a natural antibacterial agent.

Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, 4 oz.

A fellow member of Nappturality recommended this product, known to effectively rid the scalp of dandruff, itching, dryness and flaking in a gentle way.  According to the website, Nizoral is 10 times more potent in controlling the fungus that causes dandruff than over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoos.

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