There are ample causes that lead to a dry scalp. It varies from person to person. Washing your hair frequently could lead to a dry scalp, not drinking enough water or reaction to harsh hair product chemicals could lead to a dry scalp. If you are suffering from certain health conditions like psoriasis, there could be a possibility for you to suffer from a dry scalp. 

This does not meet the smallest of the issues you will have to visit the doctor. Though it is not that we are not recommending it. But you can easily opt for home remedies for dry scalp. The major concern for a dry scalp is itchiness and inflammation. This is the first thing that needs to be treated. 

In this article, we will understand the causes of dry scalp and provide you with the best home remedies for treating dry scalp. Let’s delve into the details.  

What causes dry scalp build up? 

A dry scalp is caused mainly due to dormant or unreactive oil glands present in your scalp. These are not capable anymore to produce the necessary amount of oil for your skin resulting in dry scalp. There are other causes leading to dry scalp as well, this includes – 

  • Fungal infection in the scalp caused by Malassezia fungi
  • Overexposure to sun or harsh weather conditions. 
  • Excessive use of heat or hair styling products and chemicals
  • Not maintaining a healthy hair care routine. 
  • Use of harsh shampoos that have a lot of chemicals in it. 

Before you commence on the treatment of the dry scalp, know about the root cause. If you know it better, you may opt for a proper hair care and proper diet too along with the use of home remedies to give you faster and better results. 

Can dry scalp cause hair loss? 

Dry scalp and dandruff pose a threat to healthy hair. At some point of time, hair loss is also interdependent between the two. Dry scalp could be a chronic issue. One of the major issues with dry scalp is itchiness and inflammation followed by flakes. This could result in hair thinning and even lead to hair loss. 

Dry itchy scalp can be really embarrassing. Scratching too much could injure your hair follicles that results in hair thinning and hair loss. Dry scalp and dandruff increases cases of androgenic alopecia, a type of male or female-pattern baldness. 

What are the symptoms of dry scalp? 

If you are wondering what are the symptoms of dry scalp, it is almost the same as dandruff but varies in some instances. Again, you will have to know the root cause before understanding the pattern. Here are some of the symptoms mentioned below – 

  • Smaller, dry flakes on the scalp 
  • Scalp tends to be very itchy and might cause inflammation
  • You will even have dry skin on the other parts of your body like hands, legs and more. 

What’s the difference between dry scalp and dandruff? 

Both dry scalp and dandruff causes flakes and itchy skin on your scalp. The symptoms might be the same but the condition varies. If you have dry scalp, your skin tends to be irritated and flakes off. On the other hand, dandruff leads to producing too much oil on your scalp due to fungi infection. That excess oil builds up on the skin cell and causes it to shed. 

Dry scalp vs dandruff picture

Dry scalp vs dandruff

Causes –

Dry Scalp Causes – 

It occurs not just on your scalp but all parts of your body. Here is where the trigger can occur – 

  • Cold, dry air
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Older age
  • Use of harsh chemical products on hair
  • Skin disease

Dandruff causes – 

  • Main cause is seborrheic dermatitis that makes your skin oily, red and scaly. 
  • A fungus called Malassezia also triggers dandruff.
  • Other lead to age and hormones

Symptoms – 

Dry Scalp – 

  • Smaller-dry flakes
  • Itchy scalp 
  • Dry skin on the other parts of your body

Dandruff – 

  • Oily large flakes that could be either yellow or white 
  • Itchy scalp
  • Oily, red and scaly skin

Does home remedy work for dry scalp? 

Many dermatologists have suggested the use of home remedies for dry scalp. Though there are treatments in the market, why go and purchase when you have the ingredients at home. The ingredients used for home remedies work  as a blessing in disguise as it provides you with the treatment as well as gives nourishment and moisture to the hair. 

Not all remedies suit everyone, it varies from person to person. But when it does, it fits in right. You will be able to notice results from a fortnight. They are not only effective but also have properties and components that are extremely helpful for both your skin and hair. 

Home remedies for dry scalp 

1. Tea Tree Oil Shampoo 

Tea tree has antibacterial, antifungal as well as anti-inflammatory properties that treat the fungal infection or any sort of skin issues. It further helps in unclogging the pores for regulating the normal oil production for your scalp, keeping it moisturised. 

What do you need? 

  • Tea tree oil 
  • Shampoo 

How to apply? 

  • Add 4-5 drops of tea tree oil to the shampoo that you use regularly. 
  • Use this to wash your hair and rinse with cool or lukewarm water. 
  • Try using this twice a week for effective results. 

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV has antimicrobial properties that balances the pH level of the scalp. It further helps in restoring the normal functioning of the oil glands in the scalp. It also helps in treating inflammation and treating your scalp from drying. 

What do you need? 

  • 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Water
  • Cotton ball

How to apply? 

  • Dilute the needed apple cider vinegar with water. 
  • Use a cotton ball to soak in the mixture
  • Apply it on your scalp and massage your scalp for 4-5 minutes. 
  • Leave the application on your scalp and hair for 10 minutes. 
  • Rinse it off with cool water. 
  • Try doing this twice a week. 

3. Coconut Oil 

Working as a natural emollient, coconut oil is beneficial for both your hair and your skin. It helps in treating different skin infections. It does have the components that boost the health of hair follicles and treat scalp inflammation. It further helps in reducing the dryness of your scalp resulting in good moisturization. 

What do you need? 

  • Coconut oil 
  • Few drop of tea tree oil (optional)

How to apply? 

  • Warm the coconut oil. You may even add tea tree oil to it. 
  • Apply the oil on your scalp. Massage it for 5-6 minutes. 
  • Let it sit for like an hour. You may even keep it overnight. 
  • Rinse your hair with cool or lukewarm water and shampoo. 
  • Repeat this twice a week. 

4. Lemon Juice 

Rich source of citric acid, lemon juice is also rich in vitamin C. It further helps in balancing the pH level of your scalp. This might even help in reducing the scalp dryness. You might even add honey to it to give moisturization to your scalp. 

What do you need? 

  • Honey (optional)
  • Lemon

How to apply? 

  • Part the sections of your hair. 
  • Apply light pressure to release the lemon juice. or you can squeeze the juice, add some honey and a little water to make a light mixture. 
  • With the help of your fingers or cotton ball, you may apply it on your scalp. Let it sit for 5-6 minutes. 
  • Rinse and condition your hair properly. 
  • Do this once or twice a week. 

5. Onion Juice

Rich in phytochemicals, onion juice works in redness and scalp dryness. Topical application eliminates flaky skin further reducing dandruff. Not just that, it works as a booster for hair follicles to moisturise and enhance hair growth. 

What do you need? 

  • one-fourth cup onion juice
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • cotton ball

How to apply? 

  • Grate an onion and extract the juice. 
  • Add honey to it and mix thoroughly. 
  • Apply this mixture to your scalp with the help of the cotton ball. 
  • Let it sit in for half an hour. 
  • Rinse your hair with regular shampoo. 
  • Do this twice a week.

6. Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe-vera nourishes your scalp. It has the presence of amino acids, vitamins, sugars and fatty acids that help in moisturizing your scalp. Having anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, aloe-vera omits any infection and reduces scalp dryness. 

What do you need? 

  • Aloe-vera leave
  • Water

How to apply? 

  • Extract the gel from the aloe-vera leaf.
  • Add little water to the gel and make a juice-like consistency. 
  • Apply this on your scalp and massage for 5-6 minutes. 
  • Leave the mixture on your head for half an hour. 
  • Rinse with cool water. 
  • Do this twice a week. 

7. Yoghurt

It helps in soothing the scalp. Presence of lactobacillus paracase helps in restoring the skin barrier. It omits dryness and dandruff from the scalp. Adding eggs to it will give protein to the scalp and reduce dryness. 

What do you need? 

  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp. yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp. honey

How to apply? 

  • Add all the ingredients and make a smooth paste. 
  • Apply the mixture on your scalp and hair. 
  • Let it sit for half and hour. 
  • Rinse thoroughly with regular shampoo. 
  • Do it once a week. 

8. Baking Soda

It has antifungal properties. It eliminates any sort of scalp infection that might lead to dry scalp. 

What do you need? 

  • 4-5 tbsp. baking soda
  • Rose water

How to apply? 

  • You can make homemade rose water with rose petals and water or purchase it from the store. 
  • Make a good paste of the baking soda and rose water. Apply it on your scalp. 
  • Let it sit for 5 minutes. 
  • Rinse with cold water. 
  • Do this twice a week. 

9. Olive Oil 

Having high lipid penetration, olive oil soaks deep into the epidermis. It makes your scalp moisturized. Nourishing your dry scalp, olive oil also omits dandruff. 

What do you need? 

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil 
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice 

How to apply? 

  • Make a thick consistency by mixing the ingredients together. 
  • Apply it to your scalp. Leave it for 30 min. 
  • Rinse your hair with regular shampoo and lukewarm water. 
  • Again wash your hair with cool water. 
  • Do it once a week. 

10. Vitamin E

It keeps your scalp nourished and hydrated. Presence of antioxidant properties will protect from free radical damage and resolve scap dryness. 

What do you need? 

  • 5-10 vitamin E capsules

How to apply? 

  • Empty the oil in the capsules in a bowl. 
  • Apply it directly on your scalp. 
  • Let it for 5-10 mins. 
  • Leave it for an hour and wash your hair properly. 


Dry scalp is an irritating condition formulated by itchiness and dryness. Hair follicles might not have proper quantity of sebum due to different reasons. Opting for home remedies is not just enough. You have to maintain a proper hair care routine, omit using heat styling products, use deep conditioning mask and maintain a healthier diet for good skin and good hair. 

FAQs – 

How can I fix my dry scalp naturally? 

There are a lot of home remedies that you can opt for to treat your dry scalp naturally. Maintaining a healthy diet and opting for a good hair care products even in beneficial for your hair growth and health. 

How do you get rid of dry flaky scalp?

Before application of other products improve your daily routine. Switch to a mild, moisturizing shampoo, do not wash your hair too frequently, do not take too much of stress, stay hydrated and add more moisture to your home. You can make use of the home remedies mentioned above.  

How can I hydrate my scalp fast?

There are a lot of home remedies like coconut oil, tea tree oil, olive oil , aloe-vera, apple cider vinegar, hair masks with yoghurt and egg and honey that you can apply to hydrate your scalp. Also, drinking good amount of water daily is highly beneficial.

How do you get rid of dry scalp overnight? 

It might not happen overnight but after the first wash you may see some visible difference. Opt. for a moisturizing shampoo, apply exfoliating scalp masks, apply post shower hair tonic too. Make your that you also apply serum to maintain the shine. 

Does apple cider vinegar fix dry scalp? 

Yes, it does. It has the antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that hydrate your scalp and omit dryness. It treats your dry scalp and further prevents it from losing the moisture. 

How can I hydrate my dry scalp and hair? 

You may opt for the home remedies mentioned above along with opting for a proper hair care routine without using products with harsh chemicals. 

What does severe dry scalp look like? 

It might look red, dry and scaly. It flakes off easily followed by casuing dandruff. 

How do you get rid of a dry scalp? 

You will have to opt for a better hair care routine, restrict use of styling products and opt for natural or homemade hair masks. 

How often should I wash my hair if I have a dry scalp?

Washing your hair twice or thrice a week is beneficial for dry scalp.

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