Dry Scalp Versus Dandruff

If you use a dandruff shampoo but aren't seeing results, you may have a dry scalp. Just like the skin on the rest of your body, your scalp can become dry and start to flake. A dandruff shampoo will not treat dry skin, and it may make it worse by causing irritation.

Identify Flakes

Dandruff causes large white flakes, but small flakes are more likely due to dry skin. In either case, your scalp may itch and be uncomfortable. Neither condition is serious, and both can be treated at home. If home remedies don't work, you should talk to your doctor to ask about other treatments.

Washing my hair
What Causes Dry Skin

Dry skin can be caused by any of the following:

Skin tends to get drier in the cold winter months.
Low humidity during the summer in the desert can also cause dry skin.
Using hot water to wash your hair can cause dry skin.
Using a harsh shampoo can strip too many natural oils from your scalp.
Sun exposure can dry out your skin.


Treat a dry scalp in much the same way as you would treat dry skin anywhere on your body. Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. Avoid long, hot showers or baths and use cool or lukewarm water to wash your hair. Washing your hair less often can also help reduce flakes.

Use a shampoo made for dry skin like Yes to Carrots Scalp Relief. If your hair is oily, you may need to use this shampoo on the roots and use a different shampoo on the ends while your dry skin heals.

Use a hot oil treatment once a week to moisturize your scalp. You can make your own by warming two tablespoons of olive oil in the microwave for 30 seconds. Make sure it is warm but not hot before you gently massage it on your scalp. Let it sit for 20 minutes before washing your hair.