Dandruff Vs Dry Scalp – What’s the Difference?

There are a lot of hair and skin problems that people go through every day. Some of the skin problems are obvious, like getting acne and various skin conditions, while others are not that evident, such as dandruff or dry scalp.

Some people only become aware that they have dandruff or dry scalp after feeling their scalp start to itch. Some people even scratch without being too aware of it, probably because they feel that this is already normal.

If you have a dry and itchy scalp, do you know what you should do to get rid of it? Some people do not pay much attention to it because they know that it is harmless but when it comes to being comfortable, are you homely with the thought of having dandruff or at least having a dry scalp? You know that you should get rid of it at the soonest possible time, but how will you do it if you are not even sure if what you have on your hair right now is dandruff or dry scalp.

Like most people, you probably thought that dandruff and dry scalp are the same. Or you may assume that the main reason why you have dandruff right now is that your scalp is dry. Now is the time for you to know that they are different.

You are probably not aware that the skin on your scalp also rejuvenates like the rest of your skin. The main reason why you probably do not notice it is because it is all covered with hair. Usually, they rejuvenate every 24 days, but if you cannot remove the dead skin properly, they may become itchy and flaky.

Dandruff Vs Dry Scalp
Dandruff Vs. Dry Scalp

Dandruff Vs. Dry Scalp – What’s the Difference?

Let us discuss dandruff and dry scalp in detail to understand the difference between the two.


Dandruff is flaked that is usually found in the scalp area and is somewhat similar to dry skin, but the difference is that the flakes are brought about by too much oil. There are times when yeast may grow on the scalp, which is why dandruff becomes formed.

Since the yeast feeds on the oil, they may grow and multiply. At the same time, the feeding of the yeast on the oil produced by the scalp can cause the scalp to dry up. The skin on the scalp can clamp and can flake off easily. This explains why people assume that having dry skin and dandruff are the same.

How Will You Know If You Have Dandruff?

You will know if you have dandruff if the type of flakes that you acquire from your scalp tends to be yellowish-white in color. With dry skin flakes, the flakes are usually small and more white.

Dandruff also tends to be really big, so they are harder to remove from your scalp. If you have done some scratching, try to smell your fingers. Do they have a certain smell? This may be the smell of dandruff.

Possible Causes of Dandruff

You have to know what are the causes of dandruff on your scalp so that you can prevent the onset of dandruff. Here are some of the possible causes:

  • Lack of nutrition – If the type of diet you are following right now does not give you the required amount of nutrients you need, you may lack nutrition, which can cause you to have dandruff.
  • Heredity – Yes, you have read it right. If someone in your family has dandruff, there is a huge chance that you will acquire this condition too.
  • Hormonal Imbalance – Have you ever wondered why some people see the need to take pills? This is because their hormones are going haywire, and they have to control their hormones to stop dandruff from forming on their scalp. Hormonal imbalance can also cause a wide variety of other conditions.
  • Lack of Rest – When was the last time that you have actually taken a rest? If you cannot answer that, then you might have found the reason why you have dandruff right now. You need to rest and sleep every single day. If you miss a day, this can reason enough for dandruff to form on your hair.
  • Stress – There are different reasons why people may encounter stress. Sometimes, people become stressed out because of their work while other people’s personal lives can already be too much for them.
  • Poor Health – If you have dandruff, do you realize that this may be caused by something else? If you are suffering from poor health, dandruff may be one of the symptoms you will get to experience.
  • Improper Use of Shampoo – If you do not use hair products properly or you do not remove the residue properly from your hair, there is a huge chance that you will get some problems because of it. Make sure that you will not leave any residue behind after shampooing and conditioning your hair.
  • Infrequent Washing of Hair – Do you realize that you get more dandruff when the weather is cold? This is because you do not wash your hair as frequently as before. While you are not required to wash your hair every day, you need to make sure that you will keep your hair and scalp clean.
  • Excessive Use of Hair Styling Products – Do you use dry shampoo every day? Perhaps you love making use of gels and other hair products. If this is the case, you may want to lessen the use of hair products right now and focus on trying to make your hair healthier. It will make a lot of difference.

Since you already know the possible causes of dandruff, you will have a better idea of what you can do to prevent dandruff. While some reports say that they cannot be cured, you can always do things to help you live with them well.

Read: 15 Remedies to Get Rid of Dandruff(Fast&Permanently)

Dry Scalp

Dry Scalp

How Will You Know if You Have Dry Scalp?

You will know if you have a dry scalp if your scalp does not necessarily become itchy every day. They may only become itchy when there is an obvious change in weather or traveling to places wherein the seasons are completely different. During the resWhen, everything is consistent duringhe the year when everythxperience any dryness on your scalp. Having a dry scalp is also characterized by having small white flakes that fall off when you scratch.

Possible Causes of Dry Scalp

Unlike dandruff, wherein there may be a wide variety of reasons you may have acquired them, having a dry scalp can be different. You may get a dry scalp if there is a sudden change in the weather.

You may experience dry scalp whenever the season changes. There are also times when your scalp may turn dry when you expose it to two different temperatures simultaneously. For example, if it is hot outside and your scalp has produced too much oil, then you would suddenly go inside an air-conditioned room and let your scalp dry out; this can make your scalp dry.

Treating Dry Scalp

Since you know that the causes of the dry scalp are not as complicated and varying as the causes of dandruff, the type of treatment you will do is not that complicated. You need to make sure that you will keep yourself and your scalp hydrated at all times. Here are other things that you can do:

  • Allow your scalp to breathe – You may want to veer away from using some hair products for a certain time being at least until such time when your scalp can already breathe again.
  • Use the right hair products – You need to use hair products that will allow your hair to adjust to the current temperature of the surroundings so that your hair will return to normal and you do not have to suffer from dry scalp anymore. Look at the label of your hair products; if you are not using the moisturizing variety, now may be the time for you to switch.
  • Avoid scratching your scalp – You may want to scratch your scalp because it is so itchy, but not only will you have issues when flakes start to become obvious through what you are wearing, you may also leave some wounds on your scalp that will be a bit hard to heal.

If you are already aware of your condition but would like a medical professional to look at it to confirm your suspicions,  you may do it. Sometimes, there may be special shampoos, and other hair products recommended to reduce the discomfort that you may feel because of the flakes brought about by dandruff or dry scalp.

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