What Causes A Dry Scalp? 4 Things You Should Know

Have you ever wondered what causes dry scalp? If your scalp is dry and flaky, you may have dandruff. However, it could also be a sign of a dry scalp. Dandruff and dry scalp share the same primary symptoms, namely flaking and itching, but they are distinct disorders.

1. Dandruff Vs Dry Scalp

Dandruff may appear to be caused by a dry scalp, but it can also be caused by a yeast-like fungus that feeds on the oils in your skin. 

Dandruff is a symptom of seborrheic dermatitis, an eczema subtype. One technique to distinguish between dry scalp and dandruff flakes is based on their appearance. The dandruff flakes are larger and appear greasy. Both dryness and dandruff can cause an itchy scalp.

2. Symptoms Of Dandruff Vs Dry Scalp

Here are the symptoms of dandruff:

  • Oily, large flakes that are yellow or white
  • Itchy scalp
  • Oily, red, scaly skin

Here are the symptoms of dry scalp:

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

3. Causes And Treatment Of Dry Scalp

Here are some of the causes and how to treat them:

Washing Your Hair Excessively

Daily hair washing can deprive your scalp of the natural oils required to remain nourished. Over time, your hair can get so dry that it becomes brittle and breaks.

Treatment: The frequency of using a dandruff shampoo varies on the hair type. People with coarser hair may only need to wash their hair once each week. Those  with fine hair may need to wash their hair with shampoo multiple  times per week. Ask your stylist or dermatologist how frequently you should wash your hair based on its kind.


In cold climates, the air's relative humidity decreases. The skin on your entire body, including your scalp, becomes dry  when exposed to cold temperatures. Furthermore, intense heat might cause drying of the scalp.

Treatment:Use warm water rather than hot water in your shower and bath to maintain the moisture of your skin and scalp. Do not submerge for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a period. Prolonged exposure to hot water can rob the skin of its natural oils.

Turn on a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home. And when you wash your hair, use a gentle hydrating shampoo. 

Add to your routine our Collagen Deep Moisturizing Mask. Our Collagen Mask can hydrate the scalp from the inside out, restoring the necessary moisture to a dry scalp, flaky scalp, or flaky skin.

Using Different Hair Products

After washing, if your scalp becomes red, itchy, and flaky, you may have contact dermatitis. This allergic reaction occurs using specific shampoos, soaps, or other hair treatments. If you colour your hair black, the chemical PPD in the hair dye may cause dermatitis.

Treatment:The first step in treating contact dermatitis is identifying the toxic substances. Eliminate one thing at a time to determine if your symptoms improve. After discontinuing the lotion for two to four weeks, your dry scalp should improve.

While determining the cause, refrain from scratching your scalp. Scratching might irritate the skin and worsen your symptoms. Apply a cool, moist washcloth to your scalp a few times daily for 15 to 30 minutes to alleviate the itch. Additionally, you can apply a cortisone anti-itch cream.

4. Dry Scalp Skin Conditions

Dandruff may appear to be caused by a dry scalp, but it can also be caused by a yeast-like fungus that feeds on the oils in your skin. In such cases, you may have seborrheic dermatitis. 

Seborrheic dermatitis causes redness, itching, and flaking in oil-producing gland-rich skin areas, such as the nose and scalp. Different conditions manifest dry scalp:

Scalp Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a long-lasting (chronic) skin condition that involves excessive skin cell growth. With these blemishes or scaly patches called plaques, your skin cells multiply and accumulate in thick patches on the surface of your skin.

Psoriasis has several genetic components, but other circumstances can also trigger it. Included among these risks are illnesses, injuries, and drugs. It also includes lifestyle factors such as alcohol use and tobacco use.

Actinic Keratosis (AK) 

Actinic keratosis, also known as solar keratosis, is a condition with precancerous cells caused by too much sun exposure. It is especially prominent in males at birth who have experienced hair loss, as they have less protection from the sun.

Actinic keratosis is also common in individuals over 50 who spend significant time outside without sun protection. Additionally, genetics and family history can play a role.

Tinea Capitis (Scalp Ringworm)

Tinea capitis, often known as scalp ringworm, is a fungal infection of the scalp. Tinea capitis is easily transmissible through direct touch. 

Sharing things like hats and brushes and touching fungus-infested surfaces can potentially transmit the fungus. On infected surfaces and objects, tinea capitis can survive for extended periods.

Conclusion On What Causes A Dry Scalp

Having a dry, itchy scalp or sensitive skin can be troubling. But don't be too frustrated because Two Herbs offers all-natural dandruff shampoos, moisturising conditioners, moisturising masks, and moisturising shampoo.

View all our hair products here, made with 100% tested ingredients. You may also contact us for more information. We'd be happy to help you understand more about our hair treatment products.


Frequently Asked Questions On What Causes A Dry Scalp

How Can You Prevent A Dry Scalp?

There are numerous methods for preventing a dry, itchy scalp. Consider incorporating some of the following suggestions into your routine:

  • Switch to a mild and hydrating 
  • Wash your hair fewer times per week
  • Manage your stress
  • Drink more water
  • Quit smoking

What Are The Characteristics Of A Dry Scalp?

Dryness, flakes, and itching are the most typical symptoms. Signs of a dry scalp include irritating itching, a feeling of tension after shampooing, and visible flakes. Fine, white dry skin flakes may form and fall from the hair if the scalp is very dry.

Can A Dry Scalp Promote Hair Thinning?

Yes. A dry scalp can become a chronic condition that results in an itchy scalp and flaky skin but can also cause hair thinning and loss.

How Can I Maintain A Healthy Scalp? 

You can maintain a healthy scalp by following one of these tips:

What Kind Of Vitamin Deficiency Leads To A Flaky Scalp?

A lack of essential nutrients can also lead to a dry scalp. A dry, flaky scalp may result from a lack of vitamin B, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. Increase your vitamin B intake by consuming more fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain cereals.

Can Dry Scalp Cause Pain?

Yes. Those with naturally oily or dry scalps are more likely to have scalp pain or discomfort.

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