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Home Cures for Dry, Flaky Scalp

I enjoy giving tips and advice for natural remedies for dry scalps.

Dry scalp can lead to dandruff and sometimes more serious conditions.

Dry scalp can lead to dandruff and sometimes more serious conditions.

Causes of Dry and Flaky Scalp

What is dry scalp?

In simple words, it is a condition when the scalp skin becomes extremely dry and flaky, sometimes accompanied by itchiness. The problem can become more serious when it is not properly cared for. If left untreated, it may result in eczema, also known as seborrheic dermatitis. The presence of a yeast called Malassezia can aggravate the condition. Proper home care can offer relief and prevent a recurrence.

Common causes of dry scalp

The first part of treatment is to find out what factors contribute to it. There are a number of factors that cause a scalp to become dry, and the factors can be intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic causes are certain things you do that cause dry scalp and extrinsic causes are those environmental or other factors outside your control.

Harsh chemicals can make your scalp dry.

Harsh chemicals can make your scalp dry.

Extrinsic and Intrinsic Causes of Dry Scalp

Extrinsic causes

Dry scalp can be caused by hereditary or hormonal disorders, a result of stress, disease, or a reaction to environmental factors. Extrinsic causes may be a result of the environment in which one lives. These are climatic conditions. If you live in a very cold weather you have a greater chance of getting dry scalp.

Intrinsic causes

There are many things you may be doing that may make you an unwitting contributor to this condition:

  • Obesity,
  • lack of hydration,
  • lack of shampooing or over-shampooing,
  • poor diet or vitamin deficiencies,
  • lack of sleep,
  • usage of certain medications
  • the way you treat your hair while washing it,
  • over-blow-drying of hair,
  • over-exposure to sunlight or other sources of heat can also contribute
  • overuse of hairstyling products that contain harmful chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, synthetic colors, Triethanolamine (TEA), isopropyl alcohol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, and DMDM Hydantoin may damage your hair and scalp.
  • Some hair styling products can result in dry scalp skin, fungal infection, and even serious skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis.

Great care and precaution should be taken while choosing a hair product. Keep in mind that a dry scalp is prone to dandruff. Never let dry skin accumulate.

Sometimes it's not easy to say what causes a deficiency, intrinsic or extrinsic factors. For example, you may live in a harsh environment with unavoidable weather, or you may voluntarily choose to expose yourself to a harsh climate. For whatever reason, intrinsic or extrinsic, we may be deficient in certain nutrients which may affect our scalp skin, and gradually our hair. These nutrients may include vitamin E, zinc, vitamin B, and fatty acids. The easiest cause to treat is simple dehydration. You probably know how important is to keep our skin hydrated, but you may not know same care should also be given to our scalp.

Staying properly hydrated and moisturizing your hair and scalp regularly are key to preventing dry, itchy and flaky skin.

Staying properly hydrated and moisturizing your hair and scalp regularly are key to preventing dry, itchy and flaky skin.

Gentle, Moisturizing, and Olive Oil Massage

Dry scalp needs to be moisturized deeply to remove the dryness. The simplest thing you can do is an olive oil massage. Here is a complete oil massage for dry and scaly scalp.

  • A small tub of hot water
  • A bowl
  • A lemon
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Bath towel that is big enough to wrap around your head.
  1. The first step is to squeeze the lemon into the bowl.
  2. Next, mix it with the olive oil and warm it by placing the small bowl into the tub of hot water for few minutes till it gets warm.
  3. Now apply the mixture on your scalp and gently massage with your fingertips. Take care when you massage blistered areas on your scalp as it may hurt. Avoid the blistered areas and massage for five minutes.
  4. Next, take the bath towel, dip it in the hot water, and squeeze it out. Wrap the towel on your head and leave it for 10 minutes.
  5. Wash your hair with mild shampoo (go for an herbal shampoo, if possible).

Do this once a week. Your scalp will feel great and your hair will, too.

Aloe gel from the plant.

Aloe gel from the plant.

Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera, and Almond Oil for Dry Scalp


  • One teaspoon almond oil
  • One teaspoon virgin coconut oil
  • One teaspoon fresh aloe vera.

Mix them then rub them gently into your hair and scalp for 15 minutes before taking a bath and washing it off with a mild shampoo. You can do this two or three times a week.

Aloe vera works magic on your scalp. If you have an aloe vera plant, you can take one leaf, cut the tip, and apply the gel-like stuff from the stem to your scalp.

Mixing a few ingredients with hibiscus leaves are an effective treatment for dry scalp.

Mixing a few ingredients with hibiscus leaves are an effective treatment for dry scalp.

Hibiscus and Honey Cleanser for Scalp

You can make a paste of hibiscus leaves to apply on your scalp to wash away the dry flakes. Include a teaspoon each of honey and lemon juice and a little almond, olive, or coconut oil to alleviate the dryness of the scalp and reduce flakes of dandruff.

Anti-bacterial neem.

Anti-bacterial neem.

Tulsi, Neem, and Henna Leaves for Dry Scalp

Tulsi leaves are known as a cure for lots of diseases. If you have access to these plants, you are very close to a cure.

  • Take a handful of tulsi leaves, neem leaves, and henna leaves make it a fine paste, and squeeze a lemon into it.
  • Take 250 ml of virgin coconut oil and add this mixture.
  • Now boil this mixture in a pot until the liquid is gone and the oil is left with leaf particles. This will take more than half an hour. Put it aside to cool.

After it's cooled, filter it and store it in a clean bottle. You can use this medicinal oil for a daily dry scalp treatment and prevention. This oil can be mixed with olive oil in the same proportion to get anti-oxidant qualities.

Note: Neem leaves are known for their anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities. Boil 20-25 neem leaves in a bowl of water for 20 minutes and let cool. Remove the leaves and this water can be either added to the bathing water or can be poured over the head as a final rinse. This rinse can cure dry scalp and can prevent it from recurring.

Egg white for removing flakes from scalp.

Egg white for removing flakes from scalp.

Egg and a Pinch of Salt for Dandruff

Adding a pinch of salt to your daily shampoo can also reduce flakes and dryness of your scalp. (Don’t forget to use the conditioner after doing this.)

Egg white can be applied directly to your scalp. (Do not leave it on your hair for more than 10 minutes.)

Curd can be used to condition your hair and scalp.

Curd can be used to condition your hair and scalp.

Curd Conditioner

Curd is a great conditioner for your scalp and hair. Take a small bowl of curd as per the length and thickness of your hair, blend it nicely, and apply on your hair. Leave it for 20 minutes and wash off with a mild shampoo. Your scalp will conditioned and the dryness will go away after two three weeks. You can do this twice a week.

Beet root

Beet root

Tea and Beetroot Essence Scalp Lotion

Take one beet, cut it into small pieces, and boil it along with one spoon of dried green tea leaves in one cup of water for 15 minutes. Set it aside to cool and then crush it to extract the essence and filter it. This essence can be applied on the scalp to reduce the problem of dryness.

Amla and Fenugreek Pack for Dry Scalp

Amla is known for its anti-bacterial action. Here are the necessary ingredients.

  • Two amlas.
  • One spoon of fenugreek seed (soaked in water for two hours).
  • One spoon of honey.

Make a fine paste of the amlas and the soaked fenugreek seeds, then mix honey in and apply it on your scalp. Leave it on for 30 minutes, then wash thoroughly with a mild shampoo.

Green Gram and Tulsi for Dry Scalp Treatment

Green gram flour and curd mixed together with a paste of tulsi leaves is also a cure dry flaky scalp. Take three tablespoons of green gram, mix it with curd, add the paste of twenty tulsi leaves, and apply it on your scalp for about 20 minutes (no longer). Wash it off with a mild shampoo.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Ren on July 08, 2018:

I have a little dry skin on my head no blisters or clusters or anything, what is this?

Minnu on June 08, 2018:

I am tired of trying different things on my hair and nothing works. My hair is oily and have a lot of dandruff it's been 8 years with dandruff and still it didn't change even a little. I drink a lot of water so I believe it's not a problem of dehydration . And I could find a solution for my hair. I need your help.. what should I do?

raj on January 31, 2018:

what are the for oily hairs?

Jill on January 14, 2018:

I went to a dermatologist and they said there's nothing wrong with me my hair and my scalp dry and itchy what do I do

zakariya on January 06, 2016:

Trying to find remedies for the dry flaky scalp that work is not as easy as it seems. To the contrary, it can be a very daunting task with little to no success. If you have tried the so called "natural remedies" and found they didn't work, you have been had. The internet is a tremendous source for...

Lele on January 07, 2015:

I hate my life but at least this makes it beblaare.

Scalp Solutions on September 06, 2014:

I have only known of apple cider vinegar (Braggs brand is better) for this but just couldn't stand the smell every time I apply it on my scalp. Will try these out. Thanks for the info!

Christine Rogers from Ohio on August 15, 2014:

Apple Cider Vinegar rinses help with dry scalp as well. Good Hub.

Lotus on May 14, 2014:

I have my hair washed only once a week at my favorite salon and my thick, naturally wavy, silver-grey hair is very pretty, but I am having dry itchy and crusty flakey spots on my scalp. My mother had the same problem at my age - 79. My stylist makes my hair look great and I get many compliments. I hesitate to shampoo daily as I can never make it look as good as my fantastic hairdresser.

Anonymous on April 13, 2014:

I think the salt one seems to work but give it a go I might now

Reshma Anto (author) from Chennai on March 16, 2013:

waiting for your valuable comments...