9 Best Tips For Treating Dry Scalp

how to relieve dry scalp

Dry scalps affect 15% of the population, according to studies. Have you ever tried treating dry scalp? Itchy, unpleasant, and sometimes embarrassing, a dry scalp is a nuisance. Dry scalp can be caused by a variety of factors, the most prevalent of which are seasonal changes and harsh hair care components. Simple things like not drinking enough water or not washing your hair every day can be the culprit, as can symptoms like eczema and psoriasis. Whatever the cause of your dry scalp, we’ve put together a list of home remedies that you can try.Learn more about it with PowerPACPlus!

dry scalp treatments

What cause the scalp to be dry and flaky?

When your skin is dehydrated, you have an itchy, flaky scalp. Because your scalp’s skin is damaged, it can’t keep moisture and becomes irritated, causing it to flake off. 


Seborrheic dermatitis, also known as dandruff, is the leading cause of dry scalp, according to dermatologists. Many individuals mistakenly believe that dandruff and dry scalp are the same thing since they have similar appearances. They aren’t, in fact. Fungus, scalp inflammation, and skin diseases like eczema or psoriasis can all contribute to dandruff. While the actual cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown, one thing is certain: it does not imply that you are dirty or untidy.

Cold weather

In the same way that the skin on our face or body becomes dry in cold weather, the skin on our scalp loses moisture as well.

Allergic reactions

Some hair products, such as shampoos, leave-in conditioners, and hairsprays, might trigger allergic responses in some people. This includes dyes, perfumes, sulfates, and parabens, and the problem can last year after year, independent of the seasons.

Skin conditions 

Certain skin diseases, such as ringworm (a fungal infection) or eczema or psoriasis, can steal moisture from your scalp. Scalp psoriasis, on the other hand, is a disorder in which skin cells proliferate at a quicker rate than normal, causing silvery plaques to form and flake off.

In many cases, diagnosing and treating the underlying reason is the most effective strategy to improve the health of your scalp and restore comfort. Keep an eye out for symptoms that appear to be unrelated, such as joint pain. Fatigue, swelling fingers and toes, morning stiffness, and nail abnormalities are among the other symptoms. Itchy scalp can also be triggered by factors like these:

  • Air that is both cold and dehydrating
  • A reaction to goods you apply to your scalp, such as shampoo, styling gel, and hairspray, causes contact dermatitis.
  • Getting older

Dirty hair doesn’t cause dandruff, but if you don’t wash your hair often enough, the oily buildup can contribute to flakes.

Dry scalp vs dandruff: What’s the difference?

The appearance of dry scalp and flakes from dandruff is one method to determine the difference. Dandruff flakes are larger and have an oily appearance. The scalp of a baby with cradle cap appears scaly or crusty. Your scalp can itch due to both dryness and dandruff.

DandruffDry scalp
oily, large flakes that are yellow or white
smaller, dry flakes
itchy scalp
oily, red, scaly skin
dry skin on other parts of your body

9 tips on how to relieve itchy scalp properly

1. Use an OTC dandruff shampoo.

Antifungal shampoos will be your best bet for dealing with scalp dryness if dandruff is the primary reason. There are a few active substances that target the yeast that might cause dandruff, such as:

  • Zinc pyrithione
  • Sulfide of selenium
  • Ketoconazole

All of them are also readily available in drugstore shampoos, including the following:

2. Then, take your time with cleansing.

Apply this shampoo to your scalp only and keep it on for at least five minutes before rinsing (this is a great time to shave your legs or exfoliate your body!).
It’s also vital to remember that medicated shampoos might cause your hair strands to dry out, so just use it on your scalp. Simply use your favorite shampoo from mid-length to ends if the rest of your hair feels like it needs a good scrubbing. Apply your usual conditioner after that.

3. Touch up when needed

When using an anti-dandruff shampoo for the first time, use it every day for one week to get the yeast under control and the dryness to lessen.

After that, you can resume your regular shampooing routine. If you have dandruff, you’ll need a touch-up every now and then. If you feel the flakes returning, wash your hair with anti-dandruff shampoo. Switch to a product with a new active ingredient if your scalp seems to have grown acclimated to your dandruff-fighting shampoo.

4. Or, you may actually need to wash less

washing hair

If you don’t have dandruff but are experiencing scalp dryness, it’s time to reconsider your shower practice.

Dry scalp is caused by a lack of moisture in the scalp, so anything from daily hot showers, long baths, or hair detergents containing harsh substances (such as sulfates) can strip away the moisture and disturb the barrier that keeps your scalp hydrated. Hair that is washed too frequently may have the same effect.

Unless your hair is greasy, you can try shampooing less frequently. At first, try every other day (some people may be able to extend it to every three to four days). Everyone’s optimum interval is different, and it takes some trial and error to figure out what works best for you.

5. Re-think your hair products

Consider switching to more delicate hair products if your scalp is sensitive or easily irritated. Certain lines, such as scent and colors, are free of common irritants. 

6. Try a salicylic acid shampoo

Salicylic acid is useful for more than just treating acne. Salicylic acid is found in a number of the finest shampoos for dry scalp. It gives your scalp a moderate exfoliation that gets rid of dead skin cells sitting on the surface, which helps dissolve the small flakes and reduce irritation.

7. Smooth on a coconut oil mask

coconut hair mask for dry scalp

You may buy a number of scalp-specific beauty products that claim to hydrate the area with topical moisturizers like hyaluronic acid. However, they can be costly—and they are unlikely to make a significant effect. If your hair is long enough, add coconut oil to your scalp before bundling it or wrapping it in a towel or shower cap to encourage penetration and keep your pillow clean while you sleep.

The trick is to get it out first thing in the morning. Before entering the shower, massage a light shampoo into your scalp to aid in the removal of the oil.

8. Skip natural remedies

Home cures such as apple cider vinegar, CBD products, and witch hazel are all frequently advised. There isn’t enough proof that these products work or are safe. Because they haven’t been thoroughly researched, it’s best to start with the things that have been demonstrated to work.
While most topicals aren’t harmful, some, like apple cider vinegar, can be abrasive and cause irritation, which isn’t what you want right now.

9. See your dermatologist

If you’ve tried a few treatments and are still experiencing symptoms after a week or so, see your doctor or dermatologist. Depending on the underlying problem, they have prescription-strength therapies such as prescription dandruff shampoo, topical steroids, or topical vitamin D (in the case of psoriasis).

How to prevent dry scalp?

Here are some dandruff and dry scalp prevention tips:
If you have dandruff, use an antidandruff shampoo on a regular basis. Make certain that all of the shampoo has been rinsed away. Hair products containing harsh chemicals, such as bleach and alcohol, should be avoided. These compounds can cause your scalp to become dry. Also, stay away from oily hair style products that can cause clogging on your scalp.

Every day, spend a few minutes in the sun. There’s some evidence that exposing yourself to ultraviolet light can help you get rid of dandruff. You don’t want to get too much sun, though, as this can raise your risk of skin cancer. Meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and other relaxation practices can help you manage your stress.

Bottom lines

Dry scalp might be bothersome, but it’s fortunately very treatable. Many cases of dry scalp respond nicely to a change in hair care products or routine, and home treatments can surely help speed things up.

If home remedies haven’t started to work after two weeks, you can make an appointment to see your doctor to make sure there isn’t an underlying health condition that requires prescription treatment.

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