Top 5 Natural Remedies for Dry Scalp

Dry, flaky skin on the scalp can be caused by a variety of conditions.  The most common, and most temporary, is known simply as dry scalp. This happens when your skin loses too much moisture, which is usually caused by cold weather, dry air or not drinking enough water. It usually appears as large white flakes.

Dandruff is more severe and is caused by a yeast-like fungus called malassezia. When this fungus grows out of control — due to hormone imbalance, poor hair care, or illness — it inflames your skin and causes an increase in dead skin cells. These mix with oil, forming white or yellowish flakes and clumps.

Dry skin on your scalp can also be due to eczema, a skin condition which results in itchy, scaly, lesions as well as flakes and clumps. Eczema is an allergic condition that can be affected by overgrowth of yeast, allergic reactions, hormonal imbalances, or changes in weather.

1. Honey

When it comes to dry scalp, especially eczema, honey is one of the best treatments. It is both antibacterial and antifungal, so it helps treat the root cause of the dryness and scaliness. Honey should be diluted with warm water, then massaged into the scalp. Let it sit for several minutes or several hours before rinsing with warm water. In a 2001 study, patients with eczema and dandruff who used a honey treatment all saw their conditions disappear within two weeks. [1]

2. Coconut Oil

For dry scalp or dandruff, coconut oil is an effective treatment. It will both reduce the effects of any fungus on the scalp and deeply moisturize the skin, creating a barrier that prevents further dryness. To use, heat the coconut oil until it is liquid, then gently massage it into your scalp. Leave it at least an hour and up to seven hours, then wash your hair as normal.

3. Peppermint Oil

Skin naturally is slightly acidic, with a pH just below 5. [2] When this level is thrown off — due to diet, stress, or hormonal imbalance — it affect your skin’s oil production and can cause dandruff. This can also make your skin prone to bacterial or fungal infections, which can cause further dryness. Peppermint oil not only helps rebalance the pH of your skin, it is also naturally anti-fungal and antibacterial. [3] To use, massage the oil gently into places on your scalp where you notice dryness or flaking.

4. Lemon

Lemon juice is not recommended for severe eczema or painful dry scalp, as it can further irritate the sensitive skin. However, its antiseptic properties can be very effective against recurring dandruff. To use, dilute one part of lemon juice with one part water and pour over hair, scrubbing it into your scalp with the pads of your fingers to loosen flakes. Follow by washing your hair as normal.

5. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera can soothe and moisturize your skin, eliminating itching and painful dryness on the scalp. In more severe cases, it can be used as a treatment for scalp eczema, where its antifungal properties help to fight the yeast that causes lesions and heal the damaged skin. [4] It can be used in either a gel or cream form and rubbed into affected areas after shampooing.

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