Causes and Dealing with A Dry Flaky Scalp

Dry flaky scalp

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Having a dry and flaky scalp isn’t anything anyone would want, especially to those who have ever had this condition. What causes it? How can it be treated or what are some of the best remedies to cure this condition? Let us explore all that in detail.

A dry flaky scalp is a condition where your scalp becomes dry, flaky and at times itchy. In some instances, it can develop some sores, scabs, suffer from hair loss or have white flakes. The white flakes are often dandruff.

Dry flaky scalp

Dry flaky scalp

No one would wish to have this condition since besides being embarrassing, it may also be uncomfortable especially if it is itchy. This is perhaps the reasons why many people are always looking for dry flaky scalp treatment options that can work for them.

Are you one of such people who is struggling with an itchy flaky scalp? You don’t have to worry as this article deeply examines the essentials that can help you in managing this kind of a skin condition.

You need to understand that there are numerous options in managing even a very flaky scalp. Some of them are clinically based while others are simple home remedies.

Why are you having a dry flaky scalp?

According to, there are many risk factors to this problem. While some risk factors are medically-related, others are because of our lifestyle.

Some of the reasons why you suffer flakiness include:


From the word go, you should clearly understand that your scalp is very sensitive. This means that it can adversely react to some of the hair products that you use. In such a case, this condition is lifestyle-related.

Today, creams, gels, shampoos, sprays, balms, and soaps form a significant part of our daily hair care products. To make it worse, some people use some of these products at the same time. Imagine if your skin was like the stomach. What would happen if you take so many stuff at the same time? You would automatically bloat.

According to, our scalp works in almost the same way. When we overuse the beauty products, it develops an allergy to them. Therefore, the white flakes you are noting tell you that all is not well up there. It will be wise to consider not using beauty products at all or shift to other types in case you end up with this flakiness and dryness every time you use them.

You will all agree with me that use of shampoos has become a norm in almost all homes. While a shampoo has numerous benefits to your hair, it also has a significant number of shortcomings. A dry flaky scalp is, a huge extent, attributed to the continuous use of shampoos.

If you suspect that your shampoo is responsible for this condition, you can choose to do away with it completely go for safer brands and use them once in a while.

Seborrheic dermatitis

This sounds quite unfamiliar to many. If your flakiness is not because of the hair products that you use, it might be suffering from seborrheic dermatitis.  Of course, there are many skin conditions that can infect your scalp, including seborrheic dermatitis.

Most people consider seborrheic dermatitis to be dandruff. To some extent, this is true. According to, this condition is characterized with a severely dry scalp and out of dryness, it becomes flaky and produces white powdery stuff or flakes. Scratching it looks makes the flakes more visible.

The white powder-like substances are the ones that are known as flakes. In other instances, they look like scales that are peeling off. Many people cannot stand seborrheic dermatitis as it comes along with excessive itching. Those who have been victims can attest to this.

If you have dandruff, just know that they can easily be cured by an anti-dandruff shampoo. This is a special kind of shampoo that completely cures seborrheic dermatitis. However, know that this conditions may recur. If you are looking for the best shampoo for dry flaky scalp due to dandruff, then Aloe Vera-based ones are the best.

Trouble comes when your scalp develops an allergy to the available shampoos. In such cases, consider applying coconut oil on your scalp. This is one of the best home-based treatments for this flaking. The good thing about coconut oil is the fact that it doesn’t react adversely with many skins.

Scalp psoriasis

Just like Seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis is one skin condition you should think of, especially if you are having a flaky scalp. As notes, it makes your scalp appear scaly. In most cases, this condition affects the entire scalp. In severe cases, psoriasis attacks the ears, neck, and forehead.

Apart from having a flakiness, you may also identify some of the following symptoms:

  • Hair loss
  • Extremely dry scalp
  • Itching
  • White scales
  • Red bumpy patches
  • Sores that have a burning feeling

Hair loss is the last result of psoriasis. In most cases, the itching and scratching is severe. As the scales and flakes fall off, hair also falls. This results in hair loss.

Weather conditions

According to, the health of your scalp depends on the weather conditions it is exposed to. For some people, cold winters facilitate flaking. In others, hot summers adversely affect it too.

When the air is dry, your hair loses a lot of moisture. If you don’t apply some oil on it, then your scalp might become dry. Keeping it hydrated and regularly applying some oil on it is highly advisable during extreme weather conditions.

If have a problem with extreme weather conditions, then consider having hair lotions by your side always. Conditioners and shampoos can also be of some help. In extreme cases, think of hydrating hair masks.


Did you know that water plays a significant role in keeping your scalp healthy? People who take a lot of water have healthy skins, even the scalp. If you are having this problem, therefore, it means that you might be dehydrated.  How do you tell if the flakiness is because of dehydration?

Here are some of the symptoms that indicate that you are dehydrated:

  • You feel dizzy
  • Your skin feels dry
  • You may faint
  • You feel confused and sleepy
  • Shortness of breath
  • One lacks energy and is highly irritable
  • Your eyes appear sunken

If you note these symptoms, alongside a dry flaky scalp, then you might be dehydrated.


Research has shown that people who are stressed up or anxious are at a higher risk of developing a flakiness on their skin. You can experiment with this at home. In times when you are anxious or stressed up, check if the amount of dandruff on your head increases.

Why is this so? This is because of stress hormones. These are hormones that are produced when one is anxious or stressed. Because of these hormones, the pH of your scalp is altered. As a result, it dries out. This, therefore, makes it flaky.

How do you manage a flaky scalp?

According to, it is possible to get rid of a dry, flaky scalp. Below are some of the practices that are effective in treating a flakiness on this area:

  1. Check your lifestyle– As earlier indicated, reduce the number of hair products used. Specifically, avoid the frequency in which you use shampoo.
  2. Exfoliation- The flakes you are noting on your scalp are because of dead skin cells. Exfoliation can help you in eliminating them. You can do this at home by use of sugar and shampoo mixed together.
  3. Wash your head with warm or cold water– This is because very hot water irritates the scalp. Hot blow dryers can also do the same. In short, avoid applying hot temperatures on it.
  4. Scalp massage- This is one of the most effective methods of managing a flaking. With this massage, all the pores on your head open. This facilitates sebum production and air circulation. As a result, the dryness is prevented.
  5. See a dermatologist– In case your dryness is due to an infection such as psoriasis, you may need to see a physician. The doctor may prescribe various medications depending on the cause.


  1. How to Get Rid of a Dry, Flaky Scalp
  2. How to Cure a Flaky, Dry Scalp
  3. 10 Most Common Dry Scalp Causes
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