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What Are the Common Causes of a Dry Hairline?

By Madeleine A.
Updated May 21, 2024
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Common causes of a dry hairline include scalp psoriasis, dry skin, dermatitis, and the drying effects of hair products. Dry skin at the hairline can cause irritation and itching, along with unsightly flakiness. Sometimes, the entire scalp, not just the hairline, suffers from dry skin. In addition to dryness, other characteristics might include redness, oiliness, and scales.

The treatment for a dry skin at the hairline depends upon the cause, but this condition is sometimes treated with special anti-dandruff shampoos or prescription shampoos recommended by a dermatologist. In severe cases, topical or oral steroids can be effective in reducing itching, swelling, and scaliness, but these medications cause side effects and are generally a last resort. Other psoriasis treatments include light therapy, injectable medications, and anti-inflammatory ointments.

Moisturizing shampoos and conditioners may also help relieve symptoms of a dry hairline, as can moisturizing creams and lotions. Washing the area with oatmeal or a commercial cosmetic oatmeal preparation can help restore moisture and reduce symptoms. Applying an overnight moisturizer may also help eliminate dryness and flakiness. Washing the hair or showering with excessively hot water can also promote dry skin, as can using harsh soaps and hair products, so they should be avoided.

If a dry hairline is persistent and resistant to treatments, a health care provider should be consulted to rule out other medical conditions. Hypothyroidism can cause dry skin, but it can be well managed with thyroid hormone supplements. A simple blood test can determine thyroid function and is typically very accurate. This condition is generally accompanied by other symptoms, such as cold intolerance, inability to lose weight, constipation, and sometimes, frequent throat clearing.

Wearing bangs can help disguise the flakiness and scaling, but if hair is not kept clean, or irritating hair products are used, dry skin around the hairline can worsen. Hypoallergenic hair products are generally tolerated by those who experience dryness at the hairline and are good choices for those suffering from allergies. To avoid itchiness that can accompany a dry scalp, over-the-counter antihistamines might be effective, although they should not be taken for this purpose unless recommended by a health care professional. Acne creams should not be applied to the forehead area because they can cause excessive dryness and peeling of the skin, and they can further aggravate dry skin problems.

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