There are various conditions that may cause a dry flaky scalp. Eczema, psoriasis, dehydration, poor nutrition and even shampoo can all be harmful to your scalp. However, it is possible to restore your scalp's health - from dry and flaky to soft and smooth - using a number of different natural remedies, so once again you will have a head of beautiful hair.
Best Ways to Get Rid of a Dry Flaky Scalp
1. Haircare Regimen
- Cut down the number of times you wash your hair per week to 3 times at the most, and use cooler water. Hot water strips the scalp of its natural oils, resulting in a tight, dry feeling.
- Avoid using hot styling products, such as hairdryers, as these can also dry out the scalp.
- Try using a specific anti-dandruff shampoo. Salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione and tar-based shampoos are worth a try, although different types of anti-dandruff shampoo work best for different people. At first, use the anti-dandruff shampoo every day; later when the dandruff has improved, alternate it with your regular shampoo.
- Make sure, when you wash your hair with anti-dandruff shampoo, you lather twice, then let the lather settle into your hair for 5 minutes in order to get the best results.
- Use a conditioner on your hair after shampooing to protect hair from dryness.
- If you require something stronger, your doctor can prescribe an anti-fungal shampoo containing the active ingredient ketoconazole.
- It's very tempting to scratch your itchy scalp – try to avoid this, as it can worsen the condition, and cause bleeding and hair loss.
2. Olive Oil Massage
Olive oil can restore the scalp's moisture balance. For best results, try this home remedy:
- Mix the juice of 1 lemon with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl.
- Warm the bowl in a tub of hot water.
- Massage the lemon/oil mixture onto your scalp, being careful to avoid any blistered areas.
- Soak a towel in the hot water, then wrap your hair in this towel and leave for 10 minutes.
- Wash out the mixture using a mild shampoo.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar, particularly apple cider vinegar, is great at removing the dead skin cells that accumulate on the scalp and form dandruff. Vinegar can also kill off any fungal infection causing a dry flaky scalp.
Here's how to make an effective home dandruff treatment using vinegar:
- Mix half a cup of warm water with half a cup of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar.
- Pour the mixture onto your hair and gently massage it into your scalp.
- Rinse thoroughly using cold water.
- You'll need to wait 8-10 before washing your hair normally again.
This can be used once every week or 2 weeks.
Another option is to mix 3% hydrogen peroxide solutionwith vinegar, and clean, filtered water in the ratio of 1:1:10, then massage and leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing.
4. Neem Leaves
The leaves of the neem plant, a species native to the Indian subcontinent, are renowned for their anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, and can also help ease itching. To create an anti-dandruff remedy using neem leaves:
- Take 2 handfuls of neem leaves and add these to 4-5 cups of hot water.
- Leave this mixture overnight.
- In the morning, strain the mixture, then wash the liquid over your hair.
- The leaves can also be used to make a paste. Apply this to your scalp, leave it for an hour, then rinse off with clean water.
Eat a healthy diet and your whole body will thank you – including your scalp! In particular you need to ensure you eat plenty of the following foods:
- Fish Oilscontain omega-3 acids – essential for strong skin and hair. Regular intake of oily fish or fish oil supplements may help relieve the symptoms of a flaky scalp.
- Including lean proteins, such as fish, chicken, eggs, beans and nuts, in your diet supports the healthy growth of hair and skin, alleviating dandruff.
- Green leafy vegetablesalso promote healthy skin and hair development. Go for kale, broccoli and lettuce, but avoid iceberg lettuce.
6. Tee Tree Oil and Aloe Vera
Tee tree oil is a natural antiseptic and has been shown to be effective in easing a dry flaky scalp. It also has anti-inflammatory effects and moisturizes the scalp and hair. You can make your own tee tree oil remedy by mixing it in a 1:1 ratio with aloe vera oil and applying this to your scalp. Leave this for 2 hours, then rinse off with water.
7. Drink Lots of Water
Your scalp may have become flakey due to general dehydration. A lack of water in the body will cause skin cells to shrivel and flake off. This is especially true if you have a sluggish metabolism or eat a lot of salty foods. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day.
8. Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera and Almond Oil
This little recipe combines the soothing, anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera with the deep conditioning effects of coconut oil to soothe your irritated scalp.
- Mix together 1 teaspoon of fresh aloe vera, 1 teaspoon of almond oil and 1 teaspoon of virgin coconut oil.
- Apply this blend to your scalp and leave for 15 minutes to sink in.
- Wash the mixture off with mild shampoo.
This remedy can be used 2-3 times a week.