Tips for Treating Dry Scalp

The time of the year doesn’t matter – a dry and itchy scalp can be uncomfortable. The good news is that you have a lot of options for treatment, whether it’s replacing your shampoo, using creams, using home remedies, and more.

The time of the year doesn’t matter – a dry and itchy scalp can be uncomfortable. The good news is that you have a lot of options for treatment, whether it’s replacing your shampoo, using creams, using home remedies, and more.

What is Dry Scalp?

Dry scalp is a condition that happens when a scalp loses oil and moisture. The oils on the scalp help condition hair and skin, but when the scalp is dry, dry skin usually flakes off and cause dandruff and also cause uncontrollable itchiness. Dry skin is notorious for flaking, and a dry scalp is not different. Fortunately, there are different ways you can get rid of a dry scalp.

Where to Buy
Head and Shoulders Shampoo, Anti Dandruff Treatment and Scalp Care, Classic Clean, 32.1 fl oz, Twin Pack
Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Majestic Pure Himalayan Sulfate Free Dandruff and Itchy Dry Scalp Shampoo, 16 fl. oz. - Washes Away Dandruff - Dry Itchy Scalp Refreshing Formula, for Men and Women


Causes and Treatment for Dry Scalp

To know the best kind of treatment for your dry scalp, pinpoint the underlying cause. Is it dandruff? Do you have a skin condition? Are you using shampoo and hair products that are drying to the scalp? Here are ways to deal with dry skin caused by different causes:

Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff)

Seborrheic dermatitis is the medical term for dandruff. While it may give your scalp the appearance of a dry scalp, it’s actually due to too much oil. Dandruff is caused by the overproduction of oil and other secretions in the skin. The excess oil in the scalp blocks dead skin cells from shedding as it normally would, and in turn, the dead cells become more visible, hence causing the flakes that pop along your hairline.

There are several ways to keep your dandruff flakes at bay (and to avoid embarrassment as well). First is to choose a proper dandruff shampoo, preferably those that contain tar, selenium sulfide, ketoconazole, salicylic acid, or zinc pyrithione. For anti-dandruff products to work, apply the shampoo to the scalp, then hang around for a few minutes for the formula to do its thing. It’s best if you use it only for your scalp, not for lathering up your hair because it can be drying.

Where to Buy
Tresemme Fresh Start Volumizing Dry Shampoo, 1.15 Oz Travel Size Pack of 2 (Two)
Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, Ultra-Gentle, All Hair Types, No White Residue, Paraben & Sulfate-Free
Moroccanoil Hydrating Shampoo
Herbal Essences, Shampoo and Conditioner Kit with Natural Source Ingredients, Color Safe, Bio Renew Coconut Milk, 20.2 fl oz, Kit
John Frieda Frizz Ease Daily Nourishment Shampoo, 8.45 Ounce, for Frizz-Prone Hair, Best for Curly, Wavy, and Thick Hair, Formulated with Vitamins A, C, E and Green Tea Extract, Coconut


Shampoos, hair products, and styling habits

If you don’t have dandruff or a troubling skin condition, your hair styling products could be the ones to blame. Shampoos and hair products can irritate your scalp and cause dryness, itchiness, and sometimes, flakiness. Some gels, balms, creams, and sprays can build up on the scalp and form tiny flakes and itching. Some hair dyes also contain ingredients that can cause contact dermatitis rash from allergies or irritation.

To remedy your dry scalp problem, start by considering how often you wash your hair. Does the itchiness come whenever you’re stretching between washes with dry shampoo? If so, switch your formulas, or try to hit the shower more regularly. Choose a shampoo with moisturizing properties that won’t dehydrate your scalp.

Where to Buy
Neutrogena T/Gel Extra Strength Therapeutic Shampoo with 1% Coal Tar, Anti-Dandruff Treatment for Long-Lasting Relief of Itchy, Flaky Scalp due to Psoriasis & Seborrheic Dermatitis, 6 fl. oz
MG217 Psoriasis Medicated Conditioning 3% Coal Tar Shampoo - 8 oz Bottle
DHS SAL Shampoo 4 oz



Psoriasis is a common skin condition that causes redness, flaking, and scaling on the scalp. When it comes to psoriasis, the scaling is a lot thicker and more pronounced compared to dandruff. Your immune system also misfires and makes your skin cells multiply faster than usual. These extra cells build up on the surface of your skin to create itchy, scaly patches called plaques. It also doesn’t affect the scalp only, but it can also appear on your face, inside the ears, back, hands and feet, nails, and anywhere in the skin.

For mild psoriasis, try a medicated shampoo containing coal tar or salicylic acid and mineral oil. If the psoriasis is a bit severe, creams, and oral medication prescribed by a doctor might be needed.

Where to Buy
Pharmaceutical Specialties Free and Clear Shampoo 12 oz. (Pack of 2)
Exederm Shampoo
Wild Naturals Eczema Psoriasis Shampoo : 98% Natural, 80% Organic, Sulfate Free, Soothing, Healing, Anti Dandruff, Flaky, Itchy, Dry Scalp Treatment Soap for Seborrheic Dermatitis, Moisturizing, 8oz



Eczema is a common skin condition that causes flare-ups of itchy, red rash all over the skin and even on the scalp. Skin cells are usually held together to form a barrier that helps the skin maintain moisture, and people with eczema have a defective barrier. That means the skin loses moisture easily, making it easier for irritants and allergens to cause unwanted reactions.

Fragrances on products are usually the culprit behind eczema flare-ups, so you need to look for shampoos and conditioners that are unscented. Stress, soap, and changes in weather can also cause dry eczema patches to form on your scalp. Avoid harsh shampoos and other products that can trigger your eczema symptoms. If you suspect that eczema is the cause of your dry, flaky and itchy scalp, consult with a dermatologist so you can create a custom regimen that works best for you.

Where to Buy
Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 16 Ounce
NOW Solutions, Liquid Coconut Oil, Light and Nourishing, Promotes Healthy-Looking Skin and Hair, 16 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)
COCO & CO. Organic Pure Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for Hair & Skin, Beauty Grade, 8 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)



Your diet impacts your overall health, and the reality is it can also impact your hair health. Make sure you are taking in nutrients that your body needs to be healthy and withstand environmental factors that can affect your hair health. Cut back on carbs and sugar if you’re prone to dandruff, and maintain a diet that is rich in zinc, vitamin B, and certain fats. Also, don’t forget to drink more water.

Include eggs, nuts, chicken, seafood, tofu, dairy products, canola oil, soybeans, oranges, papaya, and green leafy vegetables. If your dryness of the scalp is a result of a deficiency of nutrients, adjusting your diet can help.

Home Remedies for Dry Scalp

If you prefer a treatment that’s more natural and economical, here are some home remedies you can try:

Coconut oil

Coconut oil has long been used for its health benefits for the skin, and dry scalp is no exception. Coconut oil can be used to moisturize the scalp, and it can even help treat skin infections – thanks to its antifungal and antibacterial properties. It can even help treat atopic dermatitis and eczema on the scalp.

Coconut oil is widely available at any grocery store or online shop. Simply apply a small amount of coconut oil directly to the scalp and massage it to your skin. Leave it to sit for at least 10 minutes before washing it out.

Where to Buy
Botanic Hearth Aloe Vera Tea Tree Shampoo with 100% Pure Tea Tree Oil, Clarify Scalp & Nourish Hair, Fights Itchy Scalp & Dandruff, Sulfate & Paraben Free, for Men & Women - 16 fl oz
JASON All Natural Organic Aloe Vera Shampoo and Conditioner Bundle with Dry Hair Treatment Product, Calendula, Chamomile and Grapefruit, No Sulfates, No Parabens, Vegan, 16 fl oz each
Mill Creek Botanicals - Aloe Vera Shampoo Mild, Everyday Formula - 16 oz.
Organic Aloe Vera Gel with 100% Pure Aloe From Freshly Cut Aloe Plant, Not Powder - No Xanthan, So It Absorbs Rapidly With No Sticky Residue - Big 12 oz
Aloe Soothing Gel (2 Pack)


Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a plant known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and moisturizing properties, making it a perfect home remedy to use for the scalp. Plus, it gives the benefit of encouraging hair growth so that it can be a suitable remedy for thinning hair.

Apply fresh aloe vera leaf extract to your scalp and massage your scalp for a few minutes. Leave the aloe vera on for 20 minutes, and rinse or wash your hair as usual.

You can also use aloe vera-infused hair care products or buy aloe vera gel to massage your scalp.

Where to Buy
Gya Labs Tea Tree Essential Oil for Skin Care and Hair Care - Topical for Healthy Skin, Dry Scalp and Healthy Nails - Diffuse to Purify Air - 100% Pure Natural Therapeutic Grade for Aromatherapy-10ml
Handcraft Eucalyptus Essential Oil - 100% Pure and Natural - Premium Therapeutic Grade with Premium Glass Dropper - Huge 4 fl. oz
Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo - Natural Essential Oil Shampoo - Sulfate Free Hydrating Cleanser
Organic Tea Tree Oil Shampoo Conditioner Set - Manuka Honey, Stem Cell & Coconut - Dandruff & Scalp Flake Treatment - Soothes Itchy Scalp With Deep Hydrating Conditioner
Tea Tree Special Shampoo, For All Hair Types


Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has strong antiseptic, antifungal, and antibiotic properties that can help relieve dry scalp and its symptoms. Tea tree oil can be purchased as an essential oil from drugstores or online stores. You can also find shampoos with tea tree oil as an active ingredient.

To use, mix a few drops of tea tree essential oil with a carrier oil and massage it onto your scalp. Leave it on for 10 minutes before washing. Take note that the smell of tea tree oil is a bit strong, so you can do this before going to sleep or during days when you’re just at home.

You may also want to add a few drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo bottle and mix well. Use your essential-oil infused shampoo twice a week.

Where to Buy
Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar USDA Organic - Glass Bottle (32 Ounce)
Heinz Distilled Apple Cider Vinegar, 64 oz
PURA D'OR Apple Cider Vinegar Thin2Thick Set Shampoo Conditioner for Regrowth, Hair Loss, Clarifying, Detox (2 x 16oz) Biotin, Keratin, Caffeine, Castor Oil, All Hair Type, Men/Women, Packaging varies


Apple cider vinegar

If you have dry scalp and dandruff, apple cider vinegar is one of the best home remedies because it has anti-inflammatory properties that kill yeast and viruses that cause itchiness on the skin. It can help soothe scalp irritations caused by dandruff, and its acidity makes it more difficult for bacteria and fungus to grow. ACV also acts as a mild conditioner that can soothe the scalp and add shine and bounce to your hair.

To use apple cider vinegar to remedy your dry scalp, mix half a cup of ACV with half a cup of water. Pour it gently onto your scalp and massage it well. You may want to use a sprayer or apply the solution to the scalp using a cotton ball. Leave it on for about 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse it off with cool water. Do this not more than twice a week.

Lemon juice

Have you gotten lemon juice on a fresh cut or wound on your skin? It stings, right? That’s because lemon contains natural antiseptic properties, making them a great home remedy for dry and itchy scalp. This can help banish unwanted dandruff that causes fungus and bacteria to lie on your scalp.

To use, get a half lemon. Divide your hair into sections, and massage the lemon slice onto your scalp while applying light pressure to release the lemon juice. Gently scrub the lemon slice onto your scalp. Leave it on for about five minutes. After that, rinse and condition your hair as usual.

Take note that lemon juice can cause a stinging sensation if you have wounds on your scalp due to scratching or if you’re allergic to it. Do a patch test before trying it out.