Dry Itchy Scalp: Causes & Simple Home Remedies

People assume that flaking and dry scalp are a sign of dandruff only. But these signs may also be of dry scalp. A dry, itchy scalp can be annoying since it causes irritations and visible effects on the scalp and hair. Also, scratching leads to hair loss, soreness, or wounds.

At times, people take it as a simple medical condition, which is not always the case since it can be a fungal infection that requires a doctor’s attention. The list of causes below will help you understand why your scalp is itchy and dry.

What Causes Dry Itchy Scalp?

If you are experiencing frequent scratching, you may have a dry scalp. This condition is common and comes with symptoms such as flaking skin and itchiness. In some cases, the condition can occur without any changes on the skin.

Dry Itchy skin may be a simple condition, but it may be a symptom of an unknown disease internally and externally. Therefore, it’s necessary to know the underlying condition manifested by experiencing a dry, itchy scalp in depth. Let’s check the major causes of dry and itchy skin.

1.  Eczema or Seborrheic Dermatitis

Image Credit | Healthline

The cause of Seborrheic Dermatitis is unknown. Some of the risk factors include some medications, weakened immune system, and psychiatric conditions such as depression. If you notice flaky and itchy dry scalp, then you might be suffering from scalp eczema or Seborrheic Dermatitis.

2.  Dandruff

Dandruff is a major cause of dry, itchy skin. It occurs in places with oil-secreting glands as seen in the scalp causing flaking, reddened skin, or white scales. You get dandruff as a result of yeast overgrowth, stress, or seasonal changes.

3.  Scalp Ringworm

Also known as Tinea Capitis, this condition is caused by fungal infection but not by worms, as many people perceive. If you get affected by these ringworms, you will have a red, huge, itchy rash on your scalp.

4.  Skin Cancer

Early signs of skin cancer can manifest on the scalp as dry skin or spots that comes and goes. These spots may bleed, itch, and feel painful. This condition is mainly prevalent to people who work mostly outdoors getting exposed to sun radiation.

5.  Atopic Dermatitis

The condition is most prevalent in childhood years, although it can come about at any age. It makes your scalp red, scaly, and itchy. In some cases, atopic dermatitis makes the scalp burn, and thus one should seek treatment from a certified dermatologist.

6.  Nerve Problem

If your scalp feels itchy without rashes or any skin condition, you probably have a nerve problem. When you get deep scars on your scalp, they can damage your nerves, causing it to feel dry and itchy. Other causes of nerve problems are Diabetes and shingles condition.

7.  Being Allergic To Hair Care Products

A scalp reaction towards a particular hair care product like shampoo, dye, conditioners, among others, can affect your scalp, making it dry and itchy. If you notice such a reaction, rinse your shampoo well or discontinue using the product. People who dye their hair can experience contact dermatitis (dry, itchy scalp with rashes) caused by the component called para-phenylenediamine in hair dyes.

Dandruff Vs. Dry Scalp – What’s the Difference?

Image Credits | Medical News Today

Dandruff and dry scalp exhibit the same primary symptom, but they aren’t the same conditions. Dry scalp results from skin irritation, while dandruff comes as a result of excess oil on the scalp.

Dry Scalp 

If your scalp has little moisture, it gets irritated and flakes off. You will find out that the legs, hands, and other parts of the body are dry in most cases.

The primary triggers of this condition are old age, contact dermatitis, and dry/cold air. Dry scalp flakes are smaller than those of dandruff.


Dandruff makes the skin oily and scaly and it’s the white scales that flake off. In most cases, Malassezia fungus triggers dandruff as it usually stays on the scalp.

Age, stress, and hormones are some of the factors that make Malassezia multiply. Dandruff flakes are oily, bigger, and are white/yellow.

Simple Home Remedies For Dry Itchy Scalp

Itchy scalp can distract you and even makes it difficult to focus on something else. You want nothing but to stop the itch which seems eternal.

However, it would help if you established the cause of irritation before settling for a relief remedy. Check the list below and decide on what works best for you.


Avocados contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids that are best for moisturizing skin. You can either use avocado oil or smear it directly on the scalp. Consuming it is also advisable since it has lots of nutrients. The good news is that avocados are not hard to get in the nearby grocery store, supermarket, or online.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has lots of useful properties best for healing a dry and itchy scalp. Its significant property is anti-inflammatory, which minimizes skin itchiness. Also, it is a moisturizing agent best for nourishing the scalp.

You can use pure aloe Vera or buy hair care products that have it as an ingredient. It’s easy to use: apply it on the scalp and leave it for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm or cold water.

Eggs and Yoghurt

Eggs and yogurt can make a lovely breakfast, but this time around, you’ll use them to relieve your dry, itchy scalp. Both of them have different properties good for a dry scalp.

Eggs contain fats and protein that nourish the skin and prevent the scalp from radical damage. On the other hand, yogurt contains exfoliating and soothing properties best for dry scalp.

Beat one egg and add a few spoons of unflavored yogurt and mix well. Apply it thoroughly on the scalp and leave it for ten minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider is an antimicrobial with properties that eliminate fungi or bacteria that cause scalp itchiness. It also assists in exfoliating the scalp thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Apple cider vinegar is available online or in stores. To use it effectively, mix apple cider vinegar and water in the proportion of 1:2 (one part of apple cider with two parts water).

Coconut Oil

This oil is among the best oils with skincare benefits. The scalp is also a part of the skin and thus can benefit too from it. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties best for minimizing infections.

It is also antifungal and, therefore, can cure atopic dermatitis. Melt coconut oil and apply it, and massage throughout the scalp. Leave it for some time and wash it as per your wish.

Jojoba Oil

This oil contains moisturizing properties best for dry scalp relief. Additionally, jojoba oil is anti-inflammatory, thus can treat the scalp of various conditions.

This oil is readily available in your nearby store. Since it comes in liquid form, mix it with your preferred shampoo and apply it gently to your scalp.


71537849 – closeup woman hand itchy scalp, hair care concept

A dry, itchy scalp comes with lots of discomforts. The good news is that this condition is treatable and manageable. If you realize a particular hair product is the cause of dry scalp, the situation is likely to change after exchanging the product. The above home remedies will assist in the healing process.

However, if home remedies don’t bear any fruits, consult a doctor. A checkup is necessary because you might be having an underlying condition such as skin cancer or diabetes, causing the dry scalp. If you have blisters and sores, avoid using over-the-counter medicine.

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