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To help relieve inflammation and itchiness, there are several remedies for dry scalp you can try at home.
The telltale sign of a dry scalp is persistent itchiness, but it may also be accompanied by dandruff, soreness, and hair loss.
Dry scalp can have a number of different causes, though the most common is a reaction to the change in weather or a harsh ingredient in hair care products.
Sometimes, something as simple as washing your hair every day or not drinking enough water can be the cause, though medical conditions like eczema or psoriasis could also be the reason.
No matter the cause, we’ve put together some solutions for at-home treatment you can try to treat your dry scalp.
Coconut oil has long been used for its skin health benefits, and dry scalp is no exception. It can moisturize the scalp, and its antifungal and antibacterial properties can help reduce the risk of infections. Research shows it may even significantly help treat atopic dermatitis.
Where to buy: Coconut oil is available at grocery stores and online.
How to use: Apply a small amount of melted coconut oil directly to your scalp, massaging it into the skin. Leave it to sit for at least 10 minutes before washing your hair as you usually would. Not only will this help with dry scalp, but it will also leave your hair silky smooth.
Tea tree oil has strong antiseptic, antifungal, and antibiotic properties that can relieve dry scalp and its symptoms. It’s why many dandruff shampoos have tea tree oil in them.
Where to buy: You can purchase tea tree oil as an essential oil from many drugstores, as well as online at retailers like Amazon. It’s also possible to find shampoos that contain tea tree oil as an active ingredient that may be marketed for people with dry scalp.
How to use: You can use one of these products or mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil, like coconut or olive oil, and massage it into your scalp. Leave it on for 10 minutes before washing it out.
Aloe vera has a number of properties that can help with dry scalp. It has
Where to buy: You can buy hair care products containing aloe vera or buy pure aloe vera gel online and in many stores.
How to use: Apply it topically to your scalp, and let it sit for 10 minutes before washing it out. You can also take oral aloe vera supplements or drink aloe vera juice, but keep in mind that they can act as a laxative.
Apple cider vinegar has several great health benefits that can reduce symptoms of dry scalp.
It’s antimicrobial, which means it can eliminate the bacteria or fungi that could cause itchiness. It’s also anti-inflammatory, and it can help exfoliate your scalp, both of which
Where to buy: You can find apple cider vinegar in most stores and online.
How to use: Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 2 parts water and apply it directly to your scalp. Let it sit for 5 minutes before washing it out with a gentle shampoo and conditioning your hair like usual.
Witch hazel is often marketed in anti-itch products designed for dry and sensitive skin, and it’s historically been used in herbal medicine.
You can use it to decrease inflammation that could be causing dry scalp from certain conditions. It also has
Where to buy: Witch hazel can be purchased online on its own in a liquid form or be found in a number of soaps and lotions.
How to use: Mix 1 part liquid witch hazel with 2 parts water or carrier oil. Massage it thoroughly into your scalp and let it sit for 5 minutes before washing your hair as you usually would.
Olive oil is moisturizing, and baking soda has antifungal and antibacterial properties. The two together can exfoliate your scalp.
The baking soda and olive oil combination is a good choice if you have dandruff alongside dry scalp, as the moisture, exfoliation, and antifungal properties combined can treat those itchy white flakes.
Where to buy: You can purchase both baking soda and olive oil at a grocery store.
How to use: Mix equal parts baking soda and olive oil together and thoroughly massage it into your scalp. Let it sit for 5 minutes before washing your hair well with shampoo and conditioner to remove all the residue.
Bananas are nourishing and moisturizing, making them a great treatment for dry scalp and even dandruff.
In addition to being moisturizing, they’re a
Where to buy: You can buy bananas at a grocery store.
How to use: Mash or blend a banana with a few tablespoons of coconut or olive oil. Blending it will make it easier to rinse out of your hair. Massage it into your scalp and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
Though this may sound like breakfast, yogurt and eggs both have unique benefits that can relieve dry scalp.
Yogurt is soothing on the skin and can also be exfoliating, while the fat and protein content in eggs can nourish and protect the scalp by preventing free radical damage at the cellular level.
Where to buy: You can purchase both yogurt and eggs at a grocery store.
How to use: Use a few tablespoons of plain, unflavored yogurt with no added sugar and mix in one well-beaten egg. Massage it into your hair and scalp, and wait 10 minutes before washing it out. Rinse with lukewarm or cold water, or the egg may cook and can be difficult to remove from your hair.
Like coconut oil, jojoba oil can be an
Where to buy: You can find jojoba oil in stores and online, often in liquid form.
How to use: To use it for dry scalp, you can add a few drops of jojoba oil to your shampoo. This will allow for regular hydration and prevent your shampoo from drying out your scalp further.
Avocados contain monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids that can both moisturize and protect your skin. In addition to eating the avocado, you can apply it or avocado oil topically to soothe a dry scalp.
For an extra boost, you can blend avocados and bananas together to use as a treatment.
Where to buy: You can grab avocados at your local grocery store or find avocado oil in stores and online.
How to use: You can use either avocado oil or blended avocado topically to reduce dry scalp and its symptoms. If you’re using blended avocado, mix it with a few drops of carrier oil like olive oil before massaging it into your scalp. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before washing it out.
A baby’s dry scalp may be caused by skin conditions such as eczema or infantile seborrheic dermatitis, also known as “cradle cap.”
To treat a baby’s dry scalp, try the following home remedies:
- Gently rub either mineral oil, baby oil, or olive oil onto the baby’s scalp before shampooing.
- Use an anti-dandruff shampoo containing pyrithione zinc or selenium sulfide that is formulated for babies. Shampoos containing salicylic acid are not recommended for infants.
- With a doctor’s approval, apply over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to the baby’s scalp to relieve inflammation and itchiness.
Treating dry scalp with these home remedies is generally considered safe and risk-free. Before using any new product, especially essential oils, you should do a test patch on the inside of your wrist to avoid an allergic reaction.
It’s important to remember that essential oils are not monitored for purity or quality, so you should use caution when choosing a quality brand.
These oils are also potent and should always be diluted with a carrier oil. In this case, using coconut or olive oil as a carrier oil could have added benefits for treating your scalp.
Dry scalp can be bothersome, just alone for its visible effects on your hair and scalp. However, it can also lead to dandruff and visible hair loss. Hair loss may be due to persistent scratching.
Some people will scratch enough that it causes soreness or even open wounds. If not cared for, these sores could become inflamed. In extreme cases, the sores — whether caused by scratching or infections — could result in scarring.
If you believe you have any sores or wounds, you should contact a doctor before applying any oils or home remedies, as they may irritate the wound.
In cases where dry scalp is caused by or associated with an infection — particularly a fungal infection — treatment is necessary to prevent it from spreading. You should contact a doctor.
Dry scalp can be uncomfortable, but it’s highly treatable. Many cases of dry scalp respond well to a change in your hair care products or routine, and home remedies can certainly help speed up the process.
If home remedies have not started to work after 2 weeks, you can make an appointment with a doctor to make sure there is not an underlying health condition that requires prescription treatment.
If you notice that you’re experiencing hair loss along with dry scalp, particularly with sores or blisters, it’s also a good idea to check in with a healthcare professional.