How much moisture a scalp needs depends on the person. Hill says that each of our scalps has a unique ideal balance of sebum – the natural moisture of the scalp. And indeed, the sebaceous glands attached to the hair follicles are regulated by hormones. “We can’t solve scalp moisture without connecting our internal health and wellness,” he says. “When it becomes unbalanced, it creates a breeding ground for unwanted bacteria, inflammation, flakiness, tight scalp, hair follicles to compromise health.”
You may think that the moisture content of your scalp is determined by your hair type. I did, but it is based on many factors: lifestyle, genetics, diet, stress, medication, etc. “Hairstyles play a role in moisture levels but rather our hair type and texture based on product type and our styling habits,” Hill explains. “For example, if you have curly hair and you blow-dry your hair regularly, blow-drying is affecting moisture levels, not curly hair. Conversely, if you have straight hair and you shampoo more than once a day, this is a frequent shampoo. The effect is to keep the hair straight, which will cause unwanted dryness. “
And Craig Jearing, DO, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Jearing Medical, says you need to remember how you care about your specific hair type and its effects on the scalp. “Hair length and hair structure play a role in managing sebum production,” he says. “People with curly hair take longer to wash than straight hair, because the oil has to go through a corkscrew-shaped strand to finally moisturize.”
So, what are some of the symptoms of your scalp not being moisturized enough? Well, you’ll probably notice some flex. “Dry scalp can appear in a variety of ways but is often slightly pink, flaky and itchy,” Ellis said. “Flakes from dry scalp are white and powdery, while flakes from oily scalp are large, dense, and sometimes slightly yellow.” You may also notice dry brittle hair fibers, tightness in the scalp, and dry looking hair.