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Dry Flaky Scalp – Cause, Flakey, Treatment and Remedies

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Anyone who has ever experienced a dry, flaky scalp will agree with me that it is not a nice experience. It is associated with unsightly flakes and itchiness that can make you embarrassed and steal from your self-confidence. This article will discuss various causes of dry flaky scalp and highlight the treatment options for dry flaky scalp. And if you are a fun of natural remedies, we have as well got you covered with numerous natural remedies for dry flaky scalp.

Cause of Dry Flaky Scalp

Poor nutrition, low humidity (as is common in winter months), ailments (such as eczema and scalp psoriasis) and excessive shampooing are some of the common causes of dry flaky scalp. Others are hormonal fluctuations (at menopause or adolescence for example), ageing, use of certain medications, and use of hard water.

Extremely Dry Flaky Scalp and Severe Dry Flaky Scalp

Psoriasis scalp
Psoriasis may cause dry scalp

Extremely dry flaky scalp is usually an indication of prolonged or progressive exposure to factors such as harsh shampoos, dry indoor and outdoor conditions, hard water, and air conditioning.

It can also be attributed to ageing which is often characterized by general skin dryness and medical ailments such as eczema. Pregnancy can also cause to extremely dry flaky scalp as a result of hormonal fluctuations that typically accompany it.

Eliminating the underlying cause can help to get rid of an extremely dry flaky scalp. For example, using a hot oil treatment can help to restore the scalp health during the dry winter months (see below) and treating any underlying condition such as eczema can as well help to combat the problem.

How Do You Prevent Dry “Flakey” Scalp?

How do you prevent dry flakey scalp? That is a common question asked by many people online. Preventing dry flakey scalp is majorly about staying away from the predisposing factors that typically cause the

Balanced diet of leafy vegetables
Get a balanced diet of leafy vegetables


Your best starting point would be to avoid harsh cleansing agents (especially shampoos) and hair products that contain sulfates. Sulfates such as sodium lauryl sulfate are known to cause dryness on the scalp and hair.

While you cannot completely avoid emotional stress it is important to manage stress properly since it is a common culprit for dry flakey scalp.

Fixing a filter on the showerhead can also help if you use hard water to shower.

Proper nutrition can also help you to overcome and prevent dry flakey scalp. You should in particular consider getting a balanced diet of leafy vegetables, lean meat, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. Omega-3 fatty acid rich foods are also recommended.

What Those Dry Scalp Flakes Tell You

If you have dry scalp flakes coming off or falling from your scalp, this can be an indication of either dandruff or dry scalp. You can tell the difference between the two by observing the color and size of the flakes.

Dandruff flakes are typically larger, greasy, and yellowish white and are relatively harder to come off the scalp as opposed to dry scalp flakes which are typically white (sometimes almost colorless) and usually

Lemon juice and olive oil
Use a mixture lemon juice and olive oil

relatively dry.

A Hot oil treatment can be used for both conditions, but if dandruff is suspected, you should add several drops of pure tea tree oil into the mixture. Here is how to use a hot oil treatment remedy to get rid of those dry scalp flakes:

  1. Pour ½ cup of olive oil or coconut oil (or mixture of the two oils) into a small microwave-safe dish. If you have dandruff, add 3 drops of pure tea tree oil.
  2. Heat the oil it for 20 seconds in the microwave at regular temperature.
  3. Apply the warm oil onto your scalp.
  4. Cover your hair with a shower cap for 20 to 30 minutes and then rinse the oil off with warm water
  5. Shampoo and condition your hair.

Natural Dry Flaky Scalp Remedies

As we have already mentioned elsewhere, a dry flaky scalp is typically a result of moisture loss and dehydration of the scalp. The following all-natural dry flaky scalp remedies can help you get rid of the itching and those annoying flakes falling from your scalp:

  • To a small bowl, add 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of water. Apply the solution onto your scalp, allow it some 20 minutes or so to set in, and then rinse it off. Finally, shampoo and condition your hair as usual.
  • Mix 1 teaspoon of ginseng powder, 1 egg yolk, and ½ avocado and stir them thoroughly till well blended. Apply the mixture to your scalp with your fingertips and then cover your hair with a shower cap for 30 minutes before washing it off with cold water.
  • In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with 3-5 drops of almond oil and 1 tablespoon of honey. Stir thoroughly and then apply the mixture all over your scalp. Allow it 20 to 30 minutes to set in before rinsing it off with warm water. Finish by shampooing and conditioning your hair.

    Hydrocortisone cream
    Hydrocortisone cream

Dry Flaky Scalp Treatment

Your best bet for dry flaky scalp treatment option is a 1% hydrocortisone cream which is available in most drugstores as an over the counter medication.  Lanacort and Cortaid are the two most commonly available brands of hydrocortisone cream.

If the dry flaky scalp persists even after using a hydrocortisone cream, you should consider seeking the advice of a doctor or medical professional as this might be an indication of a more serious condition.

Dry Flaky Scalp Shampoo

A good dry flaky scalp shampoo should not only be able to restore the scalp’s moisture but also be free of harsh chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate (and other sulfates). Some ideal choices for dry flaky scalp shampoo are Eucerin DermoCapillaire Calming Urea Shampoo, Neutrogena T-gel Shampoo, Garnier Fructis Fortifying Daily Care and Crème of Nature Ultra Moisturizing Shampoo.

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