A dry, itchy, and sore scalp can drive you crazy. At home, you can scratch away without anyone seeing you. Unfortunately, when you go to work, or when you’re out socially, you’re desperately trying to avoid the temptation to scratch your head. It’s a real dilemma for millions of Americans.
People make false assumptions about what might be wrong, especially if the scalp is shedding small flakes of skin. But the good news is that there are ways to get rid of that itchiness, redness, and dryness with dry scalp remedies that work.
Because dry scalp is so common, there are dozens of treatments that will help to soothe it. Unfortunately, many dry scalp conditions like eczema and psoriasis are not fully treatable. However, finding the right remedy allows people to live more comfortably.
Skin conditions of the scalp can be caused by everything from spending too much time in the sun to stress and anxiety. For example, if you have seborrheic dermatitis, you may require a stronger treatment than someone who has flaky skin due to hair products.
This article will focus on types of dry scalp, and the best remedy for each condition. Not all scalp conditions are the same. Once you know what is causing your scalp to itch, flake, or become inflamed, you can find the best treatment option.
Even if you have a condition that can’t be fully cured, finding a remedy can diminish the frequency and severity of flare-ups.
Table of Contents:
- 1 Who Is Most at Risk of a Flaky Scalp?
- 2 How Should Women Treat Dry Scalp?
- 3 How Can Men Deal with Dandruff?
- 4 How Do I Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis?
- 5 What is Cradle Cap & Can It Be Cured?
- 6 Best Products for an Itchy & Flaky Scalp
- 7 Should Lotion Be Used on My Scalp?
- 8 Are There Any Effective Home Remedies?
- 9 Finding the Best Solution for Dry Scalp
Who Is Most at Risk of a Flaky Scalp?
Almost anyone can experience a dry scalp. If you’ve ever had embarrassing flakes on your shoulders from dandruff or dry skin, you know it’s not a pleasant sensation. Things like flaking can be treated fairly simply, especially if the cause is something like weather, hair products, or lifestyle choices like excessive alcohol or poor diet.
However, some people may be more prone to dry scalp than others. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more common itchy scalp conditions, and who is more prone to them. Then, we can look at some of the best remedies and treatments.
How Should Women Treat Dry Scalp?
Men may experience dry scalp more than women, but women certainly aren’t immune to it. Regardless of whether it’s genetics, the weather, or lifestyle choices, women experience scalp conditions for a variety of reasons. In fact, things like hair products with chemicals or the overuse of hair accessories are often linked to issues with the scalp.
Getting rid of flakes and dry scalp for women is the same as it is for men. You don’t have to use products specifically designed for women, but be aware of the ingredients of the remedies you’re choosing. The best thing you can do is try to figure out the source of your dry scalp.
Many women benefit from switching their traditional cosmetic hair care products to a natural shampoo and conditioner, such as Christina Moss Naturals Organic Shampoo.
Products with natural ingredients won’t strip your scalp and hair of the nutrients it needs, and it will help to hydrate and lock in moisture.
How Can Men Deal with Dandruff?
Almost anyone can get dry scalp conditions. No one is immune to them. In fact, many over-the-counter treatments for these conditions are marketed toward women. However, men are more prone to getting seborrheic dermatitis. There are several reasons for this.
First, men naturally produce more sebum than women. An overproduction of sebum can cause a build-up on the scalp. This build-up is what creates the scaly patches of this particular skin condition.
Men also lose moisture on their scalp faster than women. This puts them at a greater risk for dandruff, and a dry scalp.
An itchy scalp can start to cause a lot of problems for guys. Not only is dandruff embarrassing, but if you scratch your scalp too much, it may cause bleeding, putting you at risk for infection.
While most remedies for dry scalp are designed for both men and women, there are a few treatments formulated specifically for men. One of these is K + S Salon Quality Men’s Shampoo. It’s designed for scalp conditions that commonly affect men, like eczema or seborrheic dermatitis.
As a man, remedying a dry scalp starts with adding moisture, and using the right products to reduce the overproduction of sebum. Choosing treatments with antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties can help to soothe symptoms and offer relief.
How Do I Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Seborrheic dermatitis may sound like a fancy scientific name, but it’s nothing more than a non-curable skin condition that causes an itchy, scaly rash on the scalp. It can also appear elsewhere on the body. While the exact cause(s) of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown, researchers believe it could be one of (or a combination of) the following:
- Medical conditions/medications
It appears as thick, scaly patches on the scalp, caused by an overproduction of sebum, or oil. One of the most common symptoms is dandruff. Dandruff from seborrheic dermatitis will appear as thick, heavy flakes. Sometimes they may even have a yellowish color due to the buildup of oils.
On occasion, this skin condition can go away on its own. However, it’s more common that it comes and goes in waves throughout a person’s lifetime. Experiencing flare-ups isn’t uncommon. So, what are the best remedies for this condition?
Most of the time, it’s an over-the-counter solution. Medicated shampoos or dandruff shampoos are usually the standard option. Most of these shampoos will contain ingredients like coal tar, ketoconazole, or salicylic acid.
What is Cradle Cap & Can It Be Cured?
Skin conditions can appear far more serious when they show up on a baby or infant. Cradle cap is also known as infantile seborrheic dermatitis. You’ll recognize it if it looks like your baby has dandruff, or they form scaly patches on their scalp. It can be a scary sight for a parent, but there is good news about cradle cap: It typically goes away on its own.
Unlike most adult cases of seborrheic dermatitis, cradle cap usually goes away in about six to twelve months. Even more encouraging is the fact that it probably isn’t bothering the baby in the slightest.
Like adult seborrheic dermatitis, it is not fully known what causes this condition. Some researchers believe it is due to the sudden surge of hormones a baby receives from the mother just before being born. Whatever the cause, the only real way it can bother the baby is if it becomes extremely itchy.
Even though the condition does go away on its own, there are a few things you can do to help remedy the symptoms, and even help to speed up the healing process. Remedies include:
- Shampooing the scalp more frequently, but making sure it’s fully rinsed and dry afterward.
- Massaging your baby’s scalp with your fingers or a soft brush to loosen the scales.
- Using a baby shampoo specifically formulated for cradle cap.
Cradle cap can last longer than twelve months for some babies. If your child starts to show signs of irritation, or the condition doesn’t seem to be going away, contact a dermatologist or pediatrician for more treatment solutions.
Best Products for an Itchy & Flaky Scalp
If you have a more severe skin condition of the scalp, such as psoriasis, ring worm or eczema, talk to your dermatologist first about remedies. They may suggest a prescription medicated shampoo, or an antifungal solution.
However, more often than not, dry scalp symptoms can be soothed with over-the-counter products. These products usually come in the form of shampoo, oils, or lotions/creams.
Natural shampoos won’t strip your scalp or hair of its nutrients. They should also contain an antifungal agent if you have seborrheic dermatitis. This will help to combat against the yeast that some doctors believe contribute to the condition.
While most skin conditions of the scalp can’t be fully cured, treating the symptoms and reducing flare-ups is what most people look for. Natural ingredients like tea tree oil, aloe vera, and coconut oil can help to soothe itching, burning skin, and reduce inflammation. If you’re looking for a shampoo that wasn’t prescribed by your doctor, choosing one with those ingredients will help to provide relief.
Should Lotion Be Used on My Scalp?
We don’t often think about putting lotion on our scalp, but there are several brands that have created specialized creams and lotions specifically for scalp conditions. Think about how lotion affects the rest of your body. It hydrates your skin and locks in moisture.
Lotions that are formulated for dry scalp do both of those things, and help to soothe painful and irritating symptoms, like itching and redness. There are even creams designated to help with conditions like psoriasis and eczema. One such product is Era Organics Eczema and Psoriasis Cream.
Products like this cream are applied topically each day, and massaged directly into the scalp. There is no need to rinse them away like you would with a shampoo. This gives the treatment plenty of time to penetrate the skin, and provide soothing relief.
If you’re worried about getting the lotion into your hair, you don’t have to be! Most of the formulas are also designed to help restore hair health, and won’t leave your hair with a greasy or heavy feeling.
Much like many medicated or over-the-counter shampoos, many of these lotions contain ingredients like aloe vera, olive oil, and coconut oil. Choose a formula that’s all natural, like Era Organics, for healing results without any negative side effects to worry about.
Are There Any Effective Home Remedies?
While most home remedies for a flaky scalp have only anecdotal evidence of success, many people swear by them. Most can be put together with things you already have in your home, so they are inexpensive. If you’re suffering from an itchy, dry scalp, you can try one of the following popular home solutions:
- Tea tree oil – Not only does tea tree oil contain antifungal properties, but it will help to kill any bacteria causing a dry scalp.
- Coconut oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Olive oil
One of the best things about home remedies is that because they are usually made from natural ingredients, you don’t have to worry about any harmful side effects. This makes it easy to try multiple remedies, until you find one that works best for you.
Finding the Best Solution for Dry Scalp
As you can see, there are many reasons people suffer from a dry scalp. The good news is that there are unique solutions to the problem as well. The best thing you can do if you’re experiencing dry scalp symptoms is to talk with a doctor or dermatologist. They’ll be able to tell you if you have a more severe skin condition that may require prescription treatment.
In most cases, you’ll find that over-the-counter products can treat your symptoms, and provide relief. Scalp skin conditions are common. While they may never go away completely, it doesn’t mean you have to suffer through itching, flaking, and irritation.