Dandruff and scalp dryness is a problem experienced by both adults and children alike. In fact, studies show that 70% of people experience scalp dryness at one point or another. While this is not usually a very serious problem, it can be very uncomfortable and at times embarrassing. Treating dry scalp in children would involve identifying the source of the problem, and using various means to cure this condition.
Use anti-dandruff shampoo. One reason behind dryness of the scalp can be fungal infections, which lead to dandruff. You can apply a shampoo with ketoconazole or zinc pyrithione. These will kill off bacteria and fungus that might be residing in your child’s hair.
Hydrate. Dry scalp can be a symptom of general dehydration throughout your child’s body. Make sure he hydrates properly by drinking the recommended amounts of water every day—eight to ten glasses.
Alternate washing. Daily shampooing might result in dry scalp, especially if the shampoo used is strong for children’s scalp. Try asking your child to wash his hair every other day instead of every day.
Check your shampoo’s ingredients. Not all shampoos are made equal. Check your shampoo for ingredients that can cause dryness and itchiness, especially in children. Check the ingredients for phtalates, betaine, and sodium lauryl sulfate, which can cause dryness. These can also cause irritation along the neck and eye area, along with peeling and scaling of the skin. If your shampoo has these, then switch to another brand.
Some research even indicates that sodium lauryl sulfate might be toxic if absorbed through the skin, and could cause heart, liver and brain damage. Some even report corneal damage from contact with this chemical. It’s best to watch out. Make sure your child’s shampoo is mild enough. There are brands that cater particularly to children, and you should take advantage of these.
Limit the use of hair products. Hair styling products like gels, mousses, creams, and sprays might have ingredients that cause dryness. The presence of sticky or greasy material on your child’s hair itself might even be the culprit. Minimize or avoid the use of these hair styling products, to see if they are the ones causing dryness.
Watch your child’s diet. Some food allergies can result in dryness of skin, especially the scalp. You will need to check with a physician to determine if your child has food allergies.
Use natural herbal shampoos. You can purchase or create your own herbal shampoo made from naturally-moisturizing material. These will include shea butter, urea and tea tree oil. These can help improve circulation in your child’s scalp, and can also help fight against fungi and bacteria.
Wear protective clothing. External factors can also affect your child’s scalp health. Extremely cold or windy weather will result in dry or cracked skin. Ask your child to wear a cap or a hat to protect his head and scalp against cold. This is also an effective way of insulating oneself, as majority of the body’s heat escapes through the head.