Dandruff can occur due to dry scalp which can cause itchy and flaky scalp. Medicated shampoo is available for treating dry scalp. Flakes of dead cells of the skin can fall from your scalp due to intense dryness and dandruff. Change in weather condition and certain medical conditions can cause dry scalp. Dry scalp can become chronic problem if not treated.
In this article, you will get to know how dry scalp is caused, its symptoms, and treatment and home remedies. It is possible to completely cure dry scalp with simple home remedies instead of spending money on medical treatment.
Causes Of Dry Scalp :
1. Cold Weather – Lack of humidity can trigger dryness of skin causing dry scalp and dandruff. If there is not enough moisture present in the skin it can cause dryness leading to flaking of skin cells and itching.
2. Hot Shower – Hot bath is actually comfortable and good to boost your mood but taking hot shower many times can make conditions worse than good. Scalp can get damaged due to hot showers breaking down the lipid molecules of the skin leading to dry scalp.
3. UV Radiation – Harsh ultraviolet radiation of the sun can cause intense damage to your skin. Hence you need to cover your head and face while going out. Exposure to sunlight can trigger dryness of skin causing dry scalp. Similarly, if your body is exposed to centralized air conditioner or heating device it can reduce the moisture leading to dry scalp and itchy skin.
4. Harsh Soaps and Shampoos – Using coarse soaps and shampoos for your skin can largely affect the skin texture leading to dry scalp. Lipids tend to fall away from the scalp by using harsh soaps, thus dehydrating your skin. This condition can cause dry scalp and dandruff.
5. Dermatitis – Dandruff is the most common problem of the skin wherein inflammation of the skin occurs. Symptoms would be waxing and waning regularly causing scaling of skin and in severe cases it can cause oozy eruption. Often seborrheic dermatitis affects your scalp, eyebrows and ears and sometimes on the chest and back. What exactly causes dermatitis is not known, but people with oily skin are at increased risk of dermatitis. People affected with seborrheic dermatitis would have abnormal growth of yeast in their skin.
6. Psoriasis – Plaque is a common type of psoriasis causing white or red colored scales. This condition can cause intense itchy scalp and sometimes bleeding of skin.
7. Folliculitis – It is fungal infection wherein the fungus consumes the oil of the skin leaving it dry and itchy.
8. Lack Of Hygiene – People who are not following clean habits are prone to develop dry scalp and skin infections often. Aging can also cause this problem due to lack of moisture in the skin. Shedding of skin cells happen in faster pace than normal leading to dandruff and dry scalp. Not washing your hair properly leads to accumulation of dirt building flakes in the scalp.
9. Stress – If you are in a state of increased stress, it can trigger dryness of skin, irritation and dry scalp.
- Itchy scalp
- Small dry flakes on the hair
These are the main symptoms of dry scalp. In case of dandruff, it can cause white or yellow colored flakes of dead cells of skin.
Dry Scalp Treatment :
Often no diagnosis and treatment is required for dry scalp. You can see your skin doctor if the condition of your hair is not improved even after using dandruff shampoo for several weeks. Your doctor may diagnose if there is any other medical condition like psoriasis or eczema.
- Use a gentle shampoo on your scalp and after rinsing it make use of a conditioner. Flakes of the skin (dead cells) would disappear if you regularly use light moisturizer on your hair before bedtime.
- You can visit your hair stylist for taking the best scalp treatment available.
- Medicated shampoos that contain selenium sulfide, pyrithione zinc, and ketoconazole can be used for treating dandruff and dry scalp. These are effective in treating fungal infections that causes dry scalp.
- OTC shampoos and gels that contain salicylic acid and coal tar are recommended for dry scalp condition.
- Do not wash your hair often since it can make your problem worse. And remember to choose the right shampoo that matches your skin condition. The shampoo should include oils and emollients and no other harsh chemicals. Instead of hot water use lukewarm water for washing your hair.
- Moisturizing oils like olive oil or coconut oil can be used for dryness since it helps to open up the pores fighting dry scalp. Use conditioner whenever you are shampooing your hair to keep it dry-free. Avoid using chemical enriched hair gels and hair products and limit use of blow dryers.
- Extreme weather conditions (both hot and cold) can damage your hair and skin. Remember to wear a hat while going out in drastic weather.
- Gently massage your scalp using warm oil at least once a week. This can prevent dryness in due course.
- Avoid eating too much of sweets and spicy foods. Drink plenty of water and fresh fruits.
- Dryness can increase if the vitamin levels are insufficient in your body. So include lot of fresh veggies and whole grain foods in your daily diet. It is very much necessary to retain moisture in your skin and hair.
Top 21 Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Dry Scalp :
Plenty of home treatment is available for treating dry scalp. To get positive result, you need to follow any one of the following home remedies patiently for 3-4 months.
1. Tea Tree Oil – Owing to its antifungal property, tea tree oil is highly effective for treating dry scalp. You can add few drops of this oil to your regular shampoo. After applying this mixture, leave the scalp for few minutes before rinsing. Other essential oils like eucalyptus oil or peppermint oil can also be used in the place of tea tree oil.
Alternatively you can combine few drops of tea tree oil with neem oil or lavender oil and massage it on your scalp before going to bed. Rinse it in the morning and repeat this process regularly.
2. Coconut Oil – This is indeed an ideal product for retaining the moisture of skin and hair. Coconut oil triggers blood flow to the hair follicles thus improving moisture content and is recommended for treating dry scalp. You can gently massage your hair with warm coconut oil and leave it overnight. Use your fingers for massaging this oil in circular motion for getting the best result. Rinse it in the morning with mild shampoo. Again a combination of coconut oil with other essential oils like castor oil or almond oil can be used.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar – Vinegar is essentially antibacterial agent and helps in retaining moisture thus reducing dryness of scalp. Prepare a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water in equal amounts. Apply it on the scalp and massage it. Leave it for 10 minutes before rinsing with mild shampoo. Itchy feeling of the scalp and flakiness would reduce drastically after each usage of apple cider vinegar. If you think you can tolerate the strength of AC vinegar you need not even dilute it. Repeat this process twice a week for 3-4 months.
4. Witch Hazel – Itchiness caused by using strong hair coloring dye can be treated with witch hazel. Dry scalp can be effectively cured with witch hazel. Apply diluted solution of hazel oil on the scalp and let it sit for 10 minutes. Now rinse your hair with plain water or mild shampoo/conditioner.
5. Lemon – You can either use lemon juice on your scalp separately or combine with honey or coconut oil. Add few drops of honey with lemon juice and gently massage it on the scalp. Use mild shampoo before rinsing the hair thoroughly. Alternatively, you can try using fuller’s earth along with lemon juice extract on the scalp to retain moisture.
6. Mayonnaise – Add half a cup of mayonnaise to a bowl and using your fingers massage it over the scalp thoroughly. Leave it for at least 30 minutes before washing your hair. Mayonnaise gives excellent nourishment owing to the presence of eggs. You need to repeat this home remedy two times a week for getting quick result.
7. Honey – Honey is a natural anti-inflammatory product and helps in fighting dry scalp and controlling itchiness. Add few drops of honey in your palm and apply it gently on the scalp. Leave it for a while before washing. You can mix some olive oil with honey or use combination of coconut oil and honey. After rinsing off the scalp, use warm towel for covering your hair so that moisture can be retained fully.
8. Egg – Owing to its protein content, eggs are largely used as hair wash shampoo. Prepare a mixture of egg yolk and olive oil and apply it liberally on the wet scalp. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Now rinse the hair with warm water. Eggs can also be combined with olive oil or coconut oil and repeat this remedy twice a week.
9. Aloe Vera – Aloe vera is a good cleansing agent and can be used generously on your hair. Aloe Vera gel can be directly applied on the scalp and let it remain on your head for few minutes. Now rinse off the hair with lukewarm water. Alternatively, you can add few drops of coconut oil or lavender oil with this gel and follow the same method for treating dry scalp.
10. Avocado – Prepare a mixture of ripe avocado with olive oil and few drops of honey. Massage this mixture on your scalp and rinse it off after half-an-hour. This mixture contains essential vitamins and minerals required for hair growth and is effective in treating dry scalp.
11. Lemon With Grapes – Blend few grapes and extract the juice. Squeeze one full lemon to this mixture and add few drops of coconut oil. Massage it on your hair and wrap your scalp with hot towel so that the mixture gets fully absorbed. Repeat this simple remedy for 2-3 times a week.
12. Listerine – Listerine is well known formula for fighting off bacteria from your teeth. But it can be used for dry scalp and dandruff as well. Mix half a cup of Listerine with coconut oil or baby oil and gently massage it on the scalp. Wash it off after 15 minutes.
13. Dry Scalp Herbal Remedy
- Sage leaves or thyme can be used for treating dry scalp and dandruff. Add dried leaves to a cup of boiling water and allow it to boil for another 5 minutes. After it cools down to room temperature, you can apply this mixture on the scalp. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes and rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- Alternatively, you can mix basil or henna leaves (dried) in equal portions and make a decoction and apply this mixture on the scalp. Before applying it on the scalp add few drops of coconut oil and massage it on the hair. Rinse it off after 30 minutes. You can make own shampoo by adding few pieces of comfrey leaves, calendula flowers and thyme leaves. Cover it with a lid after it comes to boil. Let it steep for a while and massage this solution on your hair liberally. Rinse it off with mild shampoo after few minutes.
- You can use stinging nettle, witch hazel, rosemary and thyme mixed in vinegar solution. Cover this solution in a jar and store in a dark place for at least 5 weeks. Strain the liquid and add few drops of coconut/olive oil and apply this paste liberally on the scalp. Rinse it off with lukewarm water after 20 minutes.
14. Oatmeal – Vitamin E content present in oats is very good for controlling itching and flaking hair. Make a paste of oatmeal powder and water and stir it well. Now apply this mixture on the scalp and allow it to sit for half an hour. Once it gets completely dried, rinse your hair with warm water.
15. Baking Soda – Baking soda is highly recommended for removing any impurities and dead cells from your scalp. It is effective in controlling dandruff and dry scalp and any other fungal infection on the scalp. Add few drops of water with baking soda to make a paste. Apply it on the scalp and leave it for 30 minutes before washing it off.
16. Sea Salt – Sea salt is effective in the treatment of dryness and skin conditions like psoriasis. Add a handful of sea salt in a blender to make a soft powder. Add few drops of coconut oil to this and apply this paste on the scalp. Leave it for 20 minutes before rinsing it off.
17. Fenugreek – You can get shining and silky texture of hair by using fenugreek regularly. Add 1 tsp of honey to a cup of fenugreek powder and apply this paste liberally on the scalp. Leave it for a while before washing. You can also try a mixture of fenugreek seeds and gooseberries and repeat the same procedure given above.
18. Ginger – Add grated ginger pieces with sesame oil and blend this in a mixer. Apply this paste on the scalp and leave it for 20 minutes or overnight before rinsing off.
19. Parsley – Skin tone can be improved with parsley which is useful for treating dry scalp. Boil one cup of parsley in two cups of water for 10-15 minutes. Allow it to cool to room temperature and strain the leaves. Now blend this in a mixer and add few drops of fresh lemon juice. Apply this paste on the scalp and allow it to get absorbed. Then rinse it off with warm water and mild shampoo.
20. Hibiscus – Boil few hibiscus leaves and flowers in a cup of water. Allow this mixture to rest overnight. Next day, strain the liquid and apply it on the scalp generously. Leave it for an hour before washing. Hibiscus gives your hair shining texture and controls dandruff and dryness.
21. Coconut Milk – Blend 2-3 cups of coconut in a mixer to extract milk. Keep this milk in the refrigerator for 6 hours and apply cooled coconut milk on the scalp. Let it sit for half an hour. Now cover your scalp with hot towel so that the mixture gets easily absorbed. Wash it off with water or mild shampoo. Repeat this process 2-3 times a week.
Additional Tips To Get Rid Of Dry Scalp :
- To prevent dandruff and dry scalp you need to restrict your diet from oily and spicy foods.
- Drink plenty of water and include fresh vegetables and fruits daily.
- Use edible oil that contains Omega 3 content.
- Add foods rich in iron and zinc.
- Limit usage of coffee and sugar and avoid having alcohol.