How to moisturize your scalp and not make hair greasy

As for how much moisture the scalp needs, it depends on the individual. Hill says each scalp has its own unique perfect balance of sebum – the scalp’s natural moisture. In fact, the sebaceous gland attached to the hair follicle is regulated by hormones. “We cannot address scalp moisture without relating our internal health and wellness,” she says. “When this becomes imbalanced, it creates a breeding ground for unwanted bacterial overproduction, inflammation, flaking, and a tight scalp, which puts the health of hair follicles at risk.”

You might think that your scalp’s moisture levels are determined by your hair type – I did – but it is based on a number of factors: lifestyle, genetics, diet, stressors, medications, etc. “Hair type plays a role in the level of moisture but instead the type of products and our styling habits based on hair type and texture,” explains Hill. “For example, if you have curly hair and you dry your hair regularly, blow-drying affects moisture levels and not frizz. And vice versa if your hair is soft, smooth and shampooed several times a day, the effect of shampooing more frequently, not smooth hair. Soft is what causes unwanted dryness.”

Board-certified dermatologist and founder of Ziering Medical, Craig Ziering, DO, says you need to be mindful of how you care for your specific hair type and its effect on the scalp. “Hair length and texture play a role in managing sebum production,” he says. “Those with curly hair need more time between washes than those with straight hair, as the oil needs to travel along spiral-shaped strands to moisturize all the way to the ends.”

So, what are some signs that your scalp is not hydrated enough? Well, you will probably notice some chips. “A dry scalp can appear in many ways, but it is often a little pink, flaky, and itchy,” says Ellis. “Scales that come from a dry scalp tend to be white and powder-like, while those of an oily scalp tend to be larger, thicker, and sometimes yellow in color.” You may also notice dry hair fibers and brittleness, tightness in the scalp, and dry looking hair.

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