Dry scalp, as the name suggests is the condition when your scalp is devoid of moisture and as a result it starts flaking. Do you see dandruff like substance on your scalp? Do not confuse dry scalp with dandruff.
Dandruff is in fact caused due to the completely opposite reason! You get dandruff when your skin on the scalp is too oily and this excess oil causes skin to build up on the scalp and shed.
If you want to treat dry scalp, you need to first get it diagnosed and understand what might be causing it. There are a number of reasons why you may get dry scalp.
The below section will tell you the five main causes of getting a dry scalp:
There are a number of reasons why you might get dry scalp. These are the most common ones:
1. Change in temperature
You might get a dry scalp when the temperature is too extreme. Either when it is too hot or too cold, your scalp might become dry and start flaking
2. Dietary deficiencies
When you do not get the right kind of vitamins and minerals, your body starts reacting in a certain way. Your scalp getting dry may be one of the results.
3. Shampooing too frequently
Shampooing too much can strip your scalp off its natural oils and hence make it very dry
4. Hair products with alcohol
A lot of times we do not really pay attention to the kind of products we use in our hair. Several shampoos and conditioners may sometimes contain alcohol that again is very drying for the scalp and often makes it flake and shed. Avoid products that have a lot of alcohol in them
Eczema is easily identifiable and if you have dry, flaky skin that is rash-like and red in appearance then you might have eczema on your scalp.
So the above causes may be why your skin is flaking and you have dandruff like white particles on your clothes. Before you begin any kind of medication, make sure you consult the doctor and find out whether it is eczema or not. Otherwise a dry scalp is quite easy to cure. And the 41 remedies given here will help you get rid of your dry scalp once and for all.
Home Remedies for Dry Scalp
The best type of cure for dry scalp is no doubt getting it treated with the help of commonly available and natural remedies. These will not only work well, but they are also very safe to be used every day.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
What all you need: Any type of apple cider vinegar
Directions: Just shampoo your hair with any mild shampoo and as a final rinse use apple cider vinegar
How it works: Apple cider vinegar helps to balance the pH level of the scalp and relieves itching and dryness
Tip: You can also dilute the vinegar with water and use it as a rinse
2. Coconut Oil
What all you need: A jar of virgin coconut oil
- Apply warm coconut oil on your scalp and let it soak in for an hour.
- Wash off with a mild shampoo
How it works: Coconut oil helps to restore the natural moisture that is there on the scalp and prevents the scalp from getting dry
Tip: Use a warm coconut oil massage at least once a week to prevent dryness and flakiness
What all you need: Some lemon juice that is sufficient for your hair
Directions: Just take the lemon juice and soak your scalp with it
How it works: Lemon juice has cleansing properties and prevents any build up on the scalp
Tip: You can also mix lemon juice with honey (that has antibacterial properties) and helps prevent any infection on the scalp
4. Tea tree Oil/Shampoo
What all you need: Natural tea tree oil that is available in many medical stores or pharmacies
Directions: Just rub some tea tree oil gently on your scalp and see the difference
How it works: Tea tree oil is antifungal and antibacterial and hence can help combat all the problems associated with dry skin
Tip: Use tea-tree oil on unbroken skin, otherwise it might burn your scalp
5. Olive Oil
What all you need: Any olive oil available in the market
- Rub olive oil on your scalp and let it sit for at least an hour.
- Wash off with a mild shampoo
How it works: Olive oil is very rich in Vitamin E and monosaturated fats that help to reduce the dryness of the scalp
Tip: Use warm olive oil because the scalp absorbs warm oil better
6. Aloe Vera
What all you need: Aloe vera gel and some tea tree oil
- Mix aloe vera gel and some tea tree oil.
- Cover your scalp with this mixture and wash off after an hour
How it works: Aloe vera has vitamin A, C, folic acids and amino acids that combat dry skin and prevent flakes
Tip: Aloe vera that is obtained naturally from plants is even better!
7. Baking Soda
What all you need: Two teaspoons of baking soda
- Mix baking soda with water and make a paste.
- Apply this paste on your scalp and let it rest for twenty minutes.
- Wash off with plain water.
How it works: Baking soda is good for exfoliation and removes any impurities from the scalp
Tip: Use this paste at least once or twice a week to completely remove dry skin
What all you need: ½ cup of mayo
- Use the mayo and concentrating on roots cover your hair with it.
- Now use a shower cap to cover your hair and leave it for 20 minutes.
- Wash off after that with a good shampoo
How it works: Mayo is actually made from eggs that are very good for nourishing a dry scalp
Tip: Use mayo on your hair twice a week to see a difference
What all you need: You can mix honey with a number of items including eggs, lemon and olive oil
- Mix honey with any of the above items and let it sit on your scalp for at least half an hour.
- Wash off with cool water
How it works: Honey is a natural antifungal and anti-viral and prevents any impurities on the scalp
Tip: Remember to use pure honey for best results
What all you need: An egg or two depending on the length of your hair
- Beat an egg in a bowl and apply this on our scalp.
- Wash off with cool water, but if you do not like the smell, you may have to wash off with shampoo
How it works: Eggs are extremely nutritious and provide a dry scalp with a much needed nourishment
Tip: If you cannot bear the smell of an egg, make sure you use only the egg whites, they do not smell as bad
What all you need: Fenugreek powder, honey
- Mix the fenugreek powder and honey into a smooth paste and massage this paste on to your scalp.
- Rinse off your hair after an hour
How it works: Fenugreek is very good for the health of your hair and regular use also helps reduce dryness
Tip: Use freshly grinded fenugreek powder for best results
What all you need: Mashed avocado, honey, olive oil
- Mix all the three ingredients together and apply this paste to your scalp.
- Take a shower cap and let the mixture sit for half an hour.
- Wash off with a mild shampoo
How it works: Avocado is very rich in minerals and vitamins and provides a nourishment boost to the scalp and helps prevent a dry scalp
Tip: Always use a ripe avocado because it is easier to apply and works better
What all you need: Some yogurt in a bowl
- Beat the yogurt till is acquires a smooth consistency and apply it on your scalp.
- Let it sit for about half an hour and wash off with cool water
How it works: Yogurt is very moisturizing and helps give a dose of moisture to a very dry scalp
Tip: You can also mix yogurt and egg to get a nourishing hair pack
14. Sesame Oil
What all you need: Some sesame oil
Directions: Take some warm sesame oil and massage your scalp with it
How it works: Just like olive oil, sesame oil is also very moisturizing and helps to remove the dry scalp
Tip: Massage your hair for at least 10 minutes and then wash off. This will also make your hair very smooth and shiny
15. Sugar Scalp Scrub
What all you need: Some sugar, preferably brown and olive oil
- Mix olive oil and brown sugar and use this scrub on your scalp.
- Massage in circular motions and then wash off
How it works: Sugar scrub and olive oil act as exfoliators and help to remove the impurities that cause a dry scalp
Tip: Use brown sugar if possible, however natural white sugar can also be used
16. Beer Treatment
What all you need: Beer and some apple cider vinegar
Directions: Mix the apple cider vinegar and the beer and use this as a rinse after shampooing
How it works: Beet helps to clean all the muck off the scalp and moisturizes it too
Tip: You can also use a mixture of dark beer and jojoba oil to achieve the same results.
What all you need: Listerine and some baby oil
- Mix one cap of Listerine with equal amounts of baby oil and rub this on your scalp.
- Wash off after 5-10 minutes and use this at least once a week to notice a difference
How it works: Listerine is very effective as an antibacterial and helps prevent any dryness and infections on your scalp
Tip: Use a cotton swab to apply the mixture to your scalp
What all you need: ½ a spoon of oatmeal powder and water
- Mix the two items together to get a smooth paste and apply it on your scalp.
- Wash off after 15 minutes
How it works: Oatmeal has a very moisturizing characteristic and removes any dryness from the scalp when applied
Tip: Use fresh oatmeal powder for best results
19. White Gourd
What all you need: White gourd seeds
- Blend the white gourd seeds into a smooth paste and apply the paste on your scalp.
- Leave it on your head for about half an hour and wash off with water.
- Repeat this process daily for best results.
How it works: White gourd, also known as winter melon is very helpful in treating dandruff and dry skin
Tip: Blend the seeds into a smooth paste and apply on your scalp. Make sure you use a fresh paste for it to be more effective
20. Green Tea and Beetroot
What all you need: Green tea liquor and beet root (chopped)
- Add beetroot to green tea liquor and let it simmer for at least half an hour.
- Now let the solution cool down, strain it and blend the beetroots with green tea leaves.
- Apply this paste on your scalp and rinse after 30 minutes
How it works: Green tea and beetroot are both very rich in antioxidants and help prevent any infections of the scalp
Tip: Apply this paste at least twice a week for best results
What all you need: Calendula flower and water
- Boil some water (sufficient to rinse your hair) and add the calendula flower to it.
- Let it simmer for some time.
- Leave the solution over night.
- Use the rinse to wash your hair after shampoo
How it works: Calendula has many healing properties that helps to prevent infections of the scalp
Tip: This mixture is very easy to prepare and hence should be used every day to boost the health of your hair
What all you need: Hibiscus flowers and some water
- Boil the water and add the hibiscus flowers and leaves into the water.
- Let the water steep overnight and then strain the mixture in the morning.
- Dip a cotton ball into his rinse and dab gently on your scalp.
- Let it remain for 30 minutes and rinse off with normal water.
How it works: Hibiscus has properties that help clean the scalp and prevent dryness
Tip: Use fresh flowers from the garden for best results
23. Coconut Milk
What all you need: Fresh coconut milk, gram flour (1/4 cup)
- Take coconut milk that has been in the fridge overnight and add the gram flour into it.
- Now make a smooth paste and apply this on your scalp.
- Let it remain for at least 20 minutes and then massage the scalp for another twenty minutes.
- Cover your head and keep the paste on your head for a minimum of six hours.
- Rinse off with a mild shampoo
How it works: Coconut milk is very rich in Vitamin E and helps to reduce dryness of the scalp
Tip: If possible, use coconut milk that has been freshly extracted, that will give you the best results.
What all you need: Neem leaves and water
- Take one cup of neem leaves and two cups of water.
- Boil this water and strain the leaves.
- Now blend the leaves into a smooth paste and use this on your scalp.
- Let it sit for at least an hour and wash off with a mild shampoo
How it works: Neem leaves are antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic and hence clear out the scalp. They will thus work to remove any kind of residue from the scalp
Tip: Use fresh neem leaves and apply this mixture at least twice a week for best results
25. Vitamin E
What all you need: Products that contain Vitamin E
Directions: Buy capsules of Vitamin E and break these capsules on to your scalp.
How it works: Vitamin E is a moisturizing agent that can help to cure the itchiness of your scalp
Tip: If you are not keen on using capsules, you can also increase the intake of foods rich in Vitamin E for best results.
What all you need: A mashed banana and honey
- Mash one banana and add one teaspoon of honey to it.
- Apply this paste on your scalp and wash off after a while.
How it works: Banana and honey clean up any residue on your scalp and also moisturize it
Tip: Use ripe banana to get a good mash
27. All Dried Herbs
What all you need: Dried herbs like thyme make a great rinse for your hair
- Add two teaspoons of dried thyme to a bowl of water.
- Boil this mixture and let it cool down.
- Use this liquor as a rinse for your hair
How it works: Dry herbs are very good at clearing out any infections you may have on your scalp
Tip: You can also have rosemary or sage instead of thyme for the herbs
28. Sage Leaves Massage
What all you need: Some sage leaves and water
- Take a bowl of water and boil it.
- Add the sage leaves and let the tea cool down.
- Apply this strained liquor as a rinse and massage this gently on your scalp
How it works: Sage leaves impart moisture to an extremely dry and scaly scalp
Tip: Use more sage leaves to get a stronger tea if your dry scalp is aggravated
29. Witch Hazel
What all you need: Witch hazel and apple cider vinegar
- Mix witch hazel and apple cider vinegar are a very good combination and can cleanse your scalp.
- Simply use it to get a clean and scalp that is devoid of debris
How it works: Apple cider vinegar and witch hazel have anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties that prevent the infections from recurring on your scalp
Tip: Use pure witch hazel extractgs for best results.
30. Sea Salt
What all you need: Take some sea salt and a bottle of warm water. Make sure this water has a spray nozzle
Directions: Use the sea salt spray bottle and gently spray on your scalp
How it works: Sea salt has cleanses the pores and removes any bacterial formations that may lead to a dry scalp
Tip: Make sure your skin is not broken when you are using a sea salt spray
31. Onion Juice
What all you need: Juice from at least two onions, some honey
- Mix onion juice and one teaspoon of honey and apply this to your hair.
- Keep for 15 minutes and wash off with a mild shampoo
How it works: Onion juice is very good for the hair follicles and moisturizes them, as a result your dry scalp is rehydrated.
Tip: If you can tolerate the smell, keep the onion juice on your scalp for a longer period. This will help your hair to grow too. Onion juice is well known to prevent bald patches too. So if you are having several patches on your scalp, regularly using onion juice will help to remove those.
What all you need: Some ginger paste and lemon juice
- Mix lemon juice and ginger paste and apply this on your hair for at least half an hour.
- Wash off with a mild shampoo and with cool water
How it works: Ginger again has amazing cleansing properties and can easily clean all the debris off your scalp. This prevents any kind of bacterial infections on your scalp and hence helps to prevent dry scalp
Tip: Make sure that the ginger paste you use is not processed and has been freshly grinded. Only use that paste
What all you need: Watercress and olive oil
- Mix some watercress and olive oil together and apply this mixture to your hair just like you would oil your hair.
- Let it sit on your hair for at least half an hour and then wash off with a mild shampoo
How it works: Watercress is extremely moisturizing and hydrates a very dry scalp and prevents it from drying further
Tip: Regular use of watercress also stimulates hair growth. So for those of you who might be suffering from hair loss, this is the best remedy.
What all you need: Some parsley leaves good enough to make a paste
Directions: Once you have shampooed and conditioned your hair, apply the parsley paste to your scalp with cotton balls so that the scalp soaks it better
How it works: Parsley is good to tone your scalp and prevents dry skin by moisturizing it. It also helps to keep the scalp clean
Tip: Whenever you are buying parsley leaves, you have to take care that it is not kept under direct sunlight. It dries up very easily under the direct sun
What all you need: a few aspirins that should be mixed with the shampoo you regularly use
Directions: Mix three – four uncoated aspirin tablets in the shampoo you generally use and use it just as you would normally do
How it works: The properties of aspirin make the inflammation in the skin less and also help exfoliate the skin, thus dispelling all the dry skin and flakes
Tip: Crush the tablets completely before mixing them with the shampoo. The better they are crushed, the better it will work on your scalp. Just make sure that you do not add more than five tablets to your shampoo
36. Castor Oil
What all you need: Castor oil can be easily purchased from the market
Directions: Mix some castor oil in a bowl and use a soaked cotton ball to apply the oil to your scalp
How it works: Castor oil is very rich in omega-6 essential fatty acids that work to nourish the roots and the scalp by increasing the blood circulation in the scalp
Tip: If you suffer from thinning hair, castor oil can also be used to stimulate hair growth
37. Mustard Oil
What all you need: Any mustard oil that you generally use at home
- Just massage mustard oil on your scalp just like you would do to your hair.
- Now wash off with shampoo
How it works: The best part about mustard oil is the fact that because of its properties and pungency, it prevents any kind of fungal problems in the scalp. It also keeps your scalp hydrated and thus prevents dry scalp
Tip: After applying mustard oil to your scalp, use a warm towel and wrap it around your hair for your scalp to better absorb the oil
38. Shea Butter
What all you need: Shea butter jar that is easily available in any store
- Use shea butter and gently massage this onto your scalp.
- Make sure you wash it off with a mild shampoo after 10 or more minutes
How it works: Most of you might think that shea butter is only for your skin, but in fact it works extremely well on people with a dry scalp. It is highly moisturizing and prevents any kid of dry skin on your scalp
Tip: Always buy shea butter that is very pure, only then will you be able to reap the most benefits.
What all you need: Aloe vera juice, glycerin, essential oils of your choice
- Mix aloe vera juice, oils and glycerin together and apply this mixture to your hair.
- Gently massage till you feel that the scalp is absorbing it.
- Let it stay for only three miutes or so and then wash it off.
- You can even store this mixture in a spray bottle and whenever you feel that your scalp is getting very dry, you can spritz the spray on your hair and see the difference
How it works: Glycerin is very good for dry skin and is easily absorbed by the skin when there are dry patches.
Tip: Use pure glycerin and try and obtain it from pharmacies for best result
40. Basil Leaves
What all you need: Some basil leaves and some tulsi leaves
- Mix the tulsi and basil leaves in boiling water for sometime.
- Take the leaves out and grind them into a smooth paste.
- Apply this paste on your scalp and wash it off after 30 minutes
How it works: Basil leaves are a great antifungal agent and when mixed with tulsi, it also acts as an antibacterial agent and prevents any infections that might cause dry skin
Tip: You can also mix the paste with henna leaves to make the paste a softener too.
What all you need: You can either go to the parlour and go under the steaming machine for some time or you can warm a towel and use it on your head for some time.
Directions: Just wrap the towel around your head and let your absorption process take place.
How it works: Steam works on the bacteria and infections and increases the blood circulation in your scalp that prevents dry skin and dry scalp
Tip: You can steam your hair for at least three times a week for best results.
Dos and Don’ts:
- First and foremost thing to prevent your dry scalp from recurring is to find out what is the exact cause of your dry scalp. As we mentioned in the beginning of the article, treating different causes is different and once your have determined the reason why your scalp is getting dry, only then will you be able to cure it.
- Next important thing is to review all your hair products and understand whether any of them might be the reason of your scalp’s problem. Ingredients in conditioners like ammonium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate are foaming agents and can cause dryness in the scalp.
- Always use products that are made specifically for dry scalp and dry hair so that your scalp is hydrated and does not dry soon.
In other words, dry scalp is not the end of the world and you can definitely cure it. You just need to know what would be the best way to do so.