There are several potential causes of a dry scalp. These include washing the hair too frequently, not drinking enough water, and having a reaction to harsh hair care products. Health conditions such as psoriasis could also result in a dry scalp.
If a person has a dry scalp, they may experience:
- hair loss
However, a person may be able to treat their dry scalp at home. Although they may not work for everyone, the following are some potential home remedies that may have some merit when it comes to treating a dry scalp.
1. Coconut oil
Coconut oil has some recognition in the medical community as being an effective moisturizer. A review of research found that coconut oil is safe and effective in treating dry skin, which may indicate that it could also be useful in treating scalp dryness.
However, another study showed that although coconut oil did not have any ill effects, there was no noticeable difference between the scalps of people who used the oil and those who did not. In this study, the researchers compared the hair care practices of 240 medical students.
2. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a popular essential oil that lots of people use for its many potential health benefits. According to a research review in the journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews</em>, tea tree oil may have antifungal, antiseptic, and antibiotic properties that could help with scalp dryness.
3. Aloe vera
Some people use aloe vera for relief from sunburn and dry skin. Research suggests that people may experience relief with aloe vera due to its anti-inflammatory effects. When a person applies it to the scalp, aloe vera may help alleviate the itching associated with a dry scalp. It may also help with moisturizing the scalp. An old study comparing the use of aloe vera gel with a placebo in 44 participants with seborrheic dermatitis — which is a condition that causes scaly, flaky skin — found that the aloe vera gel was more effective in reducing scaliness and itching.
4. Olive oil
In the diet, olive oil has displayed anti-inflammatory properties. Some research suggests that these properties could also be present when a person applies it to the skin. A review of research notes that olive oil has helped boost wound healing and skin regrowth in animal studies, largely through its anti-inflammatory effects. Skin inflammation can lead to dry skin.
5. Witch hazel
Witch hazel may have some protective anti-inflammatory properties that could be effective in treating minor skin conditions such as sunburn. Researchers have explored these properties in both animal and human studies, according to one 2013 research review.
6. Mashed bananas
Witch hazel may also help with the symptoms of a dry scalp, such as itchiness. According to some research, the nutrients in bananas may provide effective scalp treatment. One research paper, for example, suggests that the potassium, oils, and vitamins in bananas can help moisturize the scalp, treat dandruff, and improve hair health. The authors state that people can try this natural remedy by making their own banana hair conditioner at home.
7. Avocado oil
Avocado oil could provide several potential benefits, including moisturizing the skin and scalp. Research in animals suggests that the topical use of the oil could boost wound healing and reduce inflammation, which could help treat a dry scalp. Like bananas, a person can also try mashing up an avocado and applying it to the scalp to provide extra moisture.
8. Jojoba oil
Jojoba oil could also provide some relief from a dry scalp. One research review reports that some studies have shown that jojoba liquid wax, which is a compound derived from jojoba, can help hydrate the skin. It is worth noting, however, that the authors of this review state that more research into jojoba is necessary.
9. Yogurt and egg
An article in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine mentions that some people in Palestine have used yogurt and eggs as a traditional home remedy for a dry scalp and dry hair. A person can mix yogurt and eggs together and apply it topically. However, they may wish to avoid this remedy if they think they have a sensitivity or allergy to egg or milk. At present, there is little research to support the use of yogurt and egg to treat dry a scalp.
Best options for babies
A person should talk to their baby’s doctor before trying any home remedy on their baby’s skin or scalp. A doctor can recommend safe and effective moisturizers for babies.
Risks and side effects
Most natural remedies are safe and have minimal side effects. However, tea tree oil can be dangerous if a person ingests it or uses it directly on their skin. To prevent issues, it is important to use a carrier oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil. Before starting any new natural remedy, a person should try it on a small part of their scalp first, to determine whether or not they will have an adverse reaction to the treatment.
If a person thinks that they might be allergic to a particular topical solution, they should not use it. They should also stop using a natural remedy immediately if they notice any adverse side effects.
When to see a doctor
A person should see their doctor about a dry scalp if it does not go away after using home remedies such as moisturizing shampoos or ointments. The person may have an underlying condition that needs treatment to alleviate the dryness. A person should also speak to their doctor if they tried an at-home solution and their symptoms got worse or they had an adverse reaction.
Although there are many natural remedies for a dry scalp, they may not be helpful for everyone. A person should talk to their doctor if their scalp dryness does not go away on its own, or if they experience any reactions to home remedies. A healthcare professional can provide additional insights into effective treatments for a dry scalp. They can also help with treating any underlying conditions that may be causing the symptoms