nice hair image by DXfoto.com from Fotolia.com

Dry hair roots, or dry scalp, often have internal causes that can go untreated. Sufferers tend to focus on external hair treatments such as conditioners and protective serums to seal in moisture, yet their roots remain dry and brittle. Unbeknown to many, the problem is not external, but internal. Learn how to combat dry roots and scalp from the inside-out.

External Causes

There are many causes for dry hair that can be easily solved by discontinuing use of a particular product, device and/or practice. Over-exposure to the sun and/or direct heat from flat irons, curling irons and blow dryers, as well as the constant use of harsh chemicals (dyes, perms, relaxers, shampoos), are all perpetual threats to healthy hair, causing not only dry hair, but dry roots and scalp as well. Alcohol and sulfate are typical ingredients found in hair care products, and both are extremely damaging to the scalp and hair (stripping the hair shaft of its natural oils), and should be replaced with milder products.

Internal Causes

Humans on average grow approximately 1/4 inch of new hair per month, or 3 inches per year. When one experiences "dry roots," the problem is exclusive to the hair closest to the scalp (the new growth), and not the hair shaft (strand) itself. In this regard, dermatological ailments as simple as dandruff, or as complex as seborrheic dermatitis, might be considered causes. Other ailments such as eczema, psoriasis, tinea capitis and even scabies also cause perpetual dry roots and scalp (with or without itching). If these ailments are suspected, consult a dermatologist.

Nutrition is another possible internal cause of dry roots and scalp. Malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies are prevalent causes of dry hair. Vitamins A, B-complex, and D are essential vitamins to the hair. A lack of "good" oils in the body and dehydration also contribute to dryness of the scalp.

Natural Oils

Externally, the application of natural oils such as rosemary, sage, jojoba, tee-tree, peppermint and eucalyptus have proven great for stimulating the scalp, thus nurturing the hair shaft at its root, according to OrganicFacts.net. Also noteworthy is the internal use of oils for the promotion of healthy hair and skin. Regular intake in moderate doses of good-fatty oils such as cod-liver and flax-seed and Vitamin E oils works wonders for the hair, skin and joints, says OrganicFacts.net. Olive and coconut oils (in their unrefined or virginal state) are also great staples to incorporate into your diet and hair care regimen for the war against dry roots. Mayonnaise is a good deep conditioner for the scalp and hair.

Over-The-Counter Treatments

There is a myriad of over-the-counter products for general hair and scalp dryness. Research both active and inactive ingredients before purchasing to avoid harsh chemicals (lauryl, laureth-sulfate, cetaphy, ethol), which will only perpetuate the problem of dryness.

Prescription Treatments

As suggested by a dermatologist, the following might be prescribed to treat dry scalp: salicylic and lactic acids and/or calcipotriene. Also, prior to application of prescription medication, gentle scraping of the scalp for the removal of plaque)might be performed for better absorption of the prescribed topical creams.