Dry and Itchy Scalp:10 Common Causes with Treatment

An itchy and dry scalp is one of the most annoying problems people of all ages face. If you have ever experienced this condition, you know how unpleasant it can be. When your hair follicles are clogged, they can’t produce enough oil to hydrate the scalp. This will cause dryness and itching on the scalp.

Several different factors can cause an itchy and dry scalp. Stress, hormonal changes such as puberty or menopause, dry weather, and certain medications are some of the triggers that may lead to this condition. In addition, A dry and itchy scalp can also indicate lice, dandruff, or another type of fungus. These conditions require special treatment to prevent their recurrence.

If you have a dry and itchy scalp for a long time, seek medical help. Constant itching may lead to infections such as seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis. Luckily, there are many ways you can treat and prevent an itchy scalp. By adjusting your shampoo, following a healthy diet, and using natural remedies, you can be free of that annoying itch. This article will discuss 10 common causes of dry, itchy scalp with some natural remedies.

Dry and Itchy Scalp
Dry and Itchy Scalp:Symptoms,Causes and Treatment

10 Common Causes of Dry and Itchy Scalp

There are many causes of the dry, itchy scalp, including:

1. Dandruff

A common cause of dry and itchy scalp is dandruff. It’s a very common condition where the scalp is easily irritated. The flaking of dead skin cells causes itching, often accompanied by redness and irritation.

Dandruff can be treated using medicated shampoos. If the itching occurs mainly on the scalp’s sides, you may suffer from a fungal infection called tinea capitis. It can cause flaking that resembles dandruff. If this is the case, the hair will fall out quickly, and a rash may accompany the itching.

2. Allergy

An allergy may cause a sudden and persistent dry and itchy scalp. Allergies can be chemicals, such as SLS or SLES, in many soaps, shampoos, or proteins.

The most common allergens are gluten, lactose, soy, eggs, peanuts, and certain types of bacteria. If you notice a sudden and persistent change in the condition of your scalp, you should see a doctor.

Allergy testing is done by patch testing, where small amounts of the suspected allergens are placed on your skin. If the condition of your scalp suddenly worsens after eating a certain food, you may have food allergies. In this case, you should stop eating the food, and if the condition of your scalp improves, you’re likely allergic to that food.

If the itching results from an allergic reaction, antihistamines may be used to reduce the itching.

3. Head lice

An itchy scalp caused by head lice is very irritating. The itching is intense, and the scalp can be red due to an allergic reaction. Head lice are tiny, grey insects that live in human hair. They are spread easily when one person comes in contact with another person’s hair.

Avoid contact with other people’s hair is the best way to avoid head lice. Head lice can be treated with insecticides applied to the scalp. These products are safe to use even when pregnant.

4. Scabies

Scabies is a condition in which the skin itches intensely, followed by a pimple-like rash. The rash is accompanied by redness and itching. An infestation causes scabies with a type of mite that burrows under the skin, especially in the hands, feet, and scalp.

The itching is caused by the mites moving around in the skin, irritating. The rash caused by scabies is not the same as an allergic rash.

Getting proper treatment for scabies is essential, as it can spread to other people. Treatment involves the application of permethrin cream to the hands and feet and malathion ointment to the scalp.

5. Scalp psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis is commonly characterized by red, flaky, scaly patches on the scalp. The itching is usually mild and only occurs when the scalp is scratched.

An allergic reaction to psoriasis can also cause itching. Scalp psoriasis can be treated using anti-inflammatory medications. The scalp can be treated with shampoos that contain anti-inflammatory drugs.

6. Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is a skin condition that commonly affects the head and the inside of the arms and legs. The condition can lead to itching, redness, and scaling.

It’s more common in people with a family history of allergic conditions, such as asthma, hay fever, and eczema. Atopic dermatitis can be treated using medicated shampoos and moisturizing creams.

7. Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis can cause flaky, itchy skin on the scalp. A build-up of oil causes it on the scalp. The scaly patches may be red and crusty. They can be found behind the ears, on the back of the neck, in the armpits, or on the scalp.

Seborrheic dermatitis can be treated using creams that contain hydrocortisone. Sometimes, oral anti-fungal drugs are used to treat this condition.

8. Eczema

Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to be red, itchy, and inflamed. It’s characterized by dry patches that become cracked and bleed easily.

Eczema most commonly affects the skin behind the knees, the backs of the hands, and the elbows. Eczema can be treated using moisturizing creams and anti-inflammatory medications. Steroid creams and ointments are also used for the treatment of eczema.

9. Skin cancer

Skin cancer usually starts with skin growth that develops over time. It is essential to keep a lookout for changes in the color and texture of the skin, and if you notice any changes, visit a doctor immediately.

A dry and itchy scalp can signify that skin cancer is growing on the scalp. You can notice a thickening of the skin, an abnormal change in color, or a scaly patch on the scalp. If you see any changes on the scalp, visit a doctor immediately.

10. Sunburn

We know that UV rays in the sun can penetrate your scalp and cause damage. So it is always best to protect your scalp with a hat, scarf, or sunglasses. The sun can also dry your scalp and make it more susceptible to itching.

Sunburn on the scalp can cause dryness, making the itching worse. It’s recommended that you use a scalp moisturizer to treat a sunburn on your head. Try moisturizing your scalp immediately after sun exposure to reduce irritation and itching.

How to Treat Dry and Itchy Scalp
How to Treat Dry and Itchy Scalp

How to Treat Dry and Itchy Scalp with Natural Remedies

1. Olive oil

Olive oil has many uses and benefits. You can use it to moisturize your skin and hair. When you use olive oil to combat a dry and itchy scalp, it acts as a shield for your scalp.

Olive oil can penetrate the hair follicles and helps to reduce irritation and itching. When applying olive oil, you should ensure it’s not too hot, as it could damage your hair.

You can use it as a pre-shampoo treatment or as a leave-in conditioner. Mix it with some essential oils to make a scalp massage oil.

2. Apply egg-based masks

If your dry and itchy scalp is caused by eczema or psoriasis, you should visit your dermatologist to learn more about the underlying causes. But you can also apply egg-based masks to soothe and treat your itchy scalp.

Egg white is a mild anti-inflammatory; it works by closing the pores and reducing the itchiness of your scalp. You can apply the egg-white mask on your scalp and wrap your head in a warm towel for about 20 minutes. This will help the egg white seep into your scalp and provide the calming effect you are looking for.

3. Eat healthily and drink enough water

The first thing you should do is stop using shampoo, which could be drying out your scalp. When your scalp is over-dried, it can become more susceptible to eczema and psoriasis, leading to an itchy scalp.

Then, you can go for a diet rich in vitamins and minerals like Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Selenium. These vitamins are essential for healthy hair and scalp. So, make sure that you are taking them in your diet. You can also drink enough water to keep your body hydrated and prevent dryness on the scalp.

4. Use a humidifier to Treat Dry and Itchy Scalp

The dry weather might cause your dry, itchy scalp. So, you can use a humidifier to increase the humidity in your room and provide some relief from the itching. You can also add some essential oils to the humidifier to make the air smell good and soothe the irritation on your scalp.

5. Henna and chamomile

If nothing works for you, try a henna and chamomile treatment for your itchy scalp. Henna is a natural, herbal treatment for your scalp.

You can get a henna-based shampoo or apply henna to your scalp to get rid of the itching. Chamomile is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and can treat the itching. You can brew chamomile tea and let the steam from the tea soothe your scalp.

6. Try a protein or cream-based shampoo

If your hair is dry and experiencing an itchy scalp, go for a shampoo high in protein and vitamins. If your scalp is dry and itchy, it’s best to go for a shampoo that is high in proteins.

Proteins act as a natural conditioner for your hair and help to hydrate your scalp. You can also go for a shampoo that has a cream base. Cream-based shampoos generally have a thicker consistency and provide more hydration to your scalp.


A dry and itchy scalp can be extremely uncomfortable and embarrassing. There are many possible causes for dry and itchy scalp, so it’s important to recognize the signs and get help as soon as possible.

If you have an itchy scalp, try to avoid scratching it as much as possible. This can only make the problem worse and lead to bacterial infections. Scratching also damages the scalp, which can lead to scarring.

Make sure you’re using the right hair products for your hair type, and use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to keep the scalp from getting too dry. If the itching and the dryness don’t stop don’t, visit your doctor and tell them that you’re you’reencing these symptoms.

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