Although dandruff and dry scalp have similar symptoms, they are not identical problems. Flaky scalp does not necessarily mean that you suffer from dandruff. Therefore, dry scalp also requires different care. Learn how to treat itchy, flaky scalp effectively.


How do you recognize dry scalp?

How to distinguish a dry flaky scalp from a dandruff Scalp? Dry scalp is characterized by the unpleasant irritation and often also itching. This is sometimes so intense that it leads to scratching, which can then lead to sores on scalp and inflammation of the skin.

A Dry flaky scalp is also very often accompanied by dry hair and dry skin on other parts of the body. Scaly skin particles may appear on the scalp. Gentle white flakes in the hair are also a symptom of dry scalp. Dandruff flakes on the other hand are bigger and greasy.


What are the causes of dry, itchy and flaky scalp?

Both internal and external factors can be behind the appearance of flaking scalp. Internal factors include skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis or psoriasis, physical or emotional stress, hormonal changes, genetic factors, or age. In general, the older a person gets, the drier the skin tends to be.

External factors can also be the cause of dry skin. The most common are temperature changes, poor lifestyle, inappropriate choice of hair products, use of certain medications or environmental pollution.


Dry scalp can lead to the development of micro-inflammations

Even if dry scalp is not a serious problem as such, it is important to address it as soon as possible. The moment the skin loses its natural moisture, its protective layer is more prone to damage. Harmful substances and allergens can more easily enter the skin and subsequently cause micro-inflammation of the scalp, manifesting in redness, irritation, and intense itching. In addition, micro-inflammation of the scalp is a common cause of hair conditions such as dandruff and hair loss.


How to treat dry itchy, flaky scalp

Woman with itchy scalp

If dry, flaky scalp is bothering you too, you may be wondering how to get rid of this annoying problem. We've got some expert tips to relieve you from the unpleasant symptoms of dry skin.

Follow the right daily scalp care regime

The basis of hair and scalp care is using the right hair care products and following the right hair washing procedure, which is very often underestimated. When choosing a shampoo, avoid irritating products full of chemical ingredients and reach for shampoos that are specifically designed for the needs of flaky  and itchy scalp . Nizoral Expert Daily Care Shampoo for instance contains novel moisturizers that hydrate the scalp, while further ingredients relieve itching. After using shampoo, you can also apply a moisturizing conditioner or hair mask to your hair.

Wash your hair properly 

Always wash your hair with lukewarm water. Only wash your hair when you really need to. Washing your hair too often can dry out your scalp even more. On the other hand, if you wash your hair too little, sebum could build up. Too much sebum can inhibit the natural sloughing off of dead skin cells and lead to itchy scalps. 

Woman washing hair

Scalp moisturizers

Just as there are moisturizers for dry skin, you'll also come across moisturizers that are designed to meet the needs of dry scalps and help them soothe and regenerate.

Hair tonics for dry, flaky scalp treatment

Hair tonics are also very effective in treating dry, itchy and irritated scalp. When choosing a tonic, prefer those that are specifically designed to care for dry and flaky scalp  Like Nizoral Care Scalp Tonic, with natural cactus plant- and magnolia extract. Tonics can be applied to both dry and wet hair.

Adjusting your diet can also help

A balanced diet, healthy lifestyle and regular water intake also contribute to healthy hair and scalp. Vitamins and minerals are also important for hair, especially selenium, zinc, silicon, iron, and B vitamins, such as those found in fish, legumes, dairy products, and red meat.

When to consult a specialist?

If you are experiencing severe itching of the scalp, flaking and redness, seek the help of a dermatologist. In addition to a dry scalp, these symptoms can also be caused by skin conditions such as atopic eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis or fungal or bacterial infections.

Already tried everything for dandruff? Nizoral is a clinically proven solution for dandruff, treating the cause and symptoms. Find out more here