Is It Dandruff or Dry Scalp? Symptoms, Treatment, and More

Dry Scalp or Flaky Scalp? What’s the Difference?

What are the symptoms of dry scalp? How do you treat it? Why does my hair feel like sandpaper when I brush it with a stiff brush?

These are some of the questions that people have asked themselves while dealing with their own dry scalps. Many times they don’t know what causes the problem. They may think that it is just due to age or genetics, but there are other possible reasons such as stress, poor diet, environmental factors, etc.

The most common cause of dry scalp is lack of moisture in your scalp. If you have oily hair then you need to make sure that your diet contains enough oils and vitamins which will help keep your scalp hydrated. You may also want to use a moisturizing shampoo.

Another reason why people experience dry scalp is because of the way they wash their hair. Some people prefer using straighteners and combs instead of curling their hair, which results in frizziness. Others choose to leave their hair wet all the time, resulting in drying out their scalp.

Some even sleep with their hair wet, which cause the water to seep out of your hair and into your pillow.

Still, there are other causes such as constant use of hair dye, swimming a lot (chlorine dries out your hair and scalp), or even the climate where you live.

How to Treat Dry Scalp. Moisturize!

There are many different ways to deal with this condition. First of all, you can remove as much dead skin from your scalp as you can. This can be done by gently exfoliating with your hands or a brush with soft bristles.

A common household item that can help you exfoliate is an old toothbrush or even a nailbrush.

After you’ve exfoliated your scalp, it’s best to start applying a moisturizing agent immediately. You can use a specialized product or you can even apply mayonnaise, as long as it’s going to moisturize your scalp. Put the mayonnaise on your scalp, wrap your head with saran wrap to prevent the mess and leave it on overnight.

In the morning, wash your hair as usual (with a moisturizing shampoo). You can also use olive oil or another oil of your choice. Gently massage it into your scalp and then rinse in the morning.

If you don’t want to go through these steps, you can try a product such as WEN By Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner which is made specifically for dry or damaged hair. It contains many moisturizing agents, such as avocado and keratin. Also, it’s sulfate and paraben free, so it won’t harm your hair.

The WEN dry scalp therapy kit comes with a daily moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, as well as a weekly conditioning treatment to be used every seventh day. This will hydrate your dry scalp and restore your hair to its original shine.

Not only is your hair damaged by the sun, chlorine, or other product use, but also your scalp is damaged from constantly rubbing on your pillow at night. All of these combined can cause your dry scalp.

Sources & references used in this article:

Clinical diagnosis of common scalp disorders by BE Elewski – Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium …, 2005 – Elsevier

A comprehensive pathophysiology of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis–towards a more precise definition of scalp health by JR Schwartz, AG Messenger, A ToSTI… – Acta dermato …, 2013 –

A practical guide to scalp disorders by R Grimalt – Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium …, 2007 – Elsevier

The role of sebaceous gland activity and scalp microfloral metabolism in the etiology of seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff by BI Ro, TL Dawson – Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium …, 2005 – Elsevier

Efficacy of a piroctone olamine/climbazol shampoo in comparison with a zinc pyrithione shampoo in subjects with moderate to severe dandruff by T Schmidt‐Rose, S Braren, H Fölster… – … journal of cosmetic …, 2011 – Wiley Online Library

A clinical study to evaluate the efficacy of selected traditional hair pack for dandruff by MPN Pramodani, WJ Wickramarachchi – International Journal of …, 2017 –

Effect of residence time on the efficacy of antidandruff shampoos by C Piérard‐Franchimont, E Uhoda… – … journal of cosmetic …, 2003 – Wiley Online Library