Dandruff Vs Dry Scalp – All You Need to Know

Updated on February 7th, 2020
dry scalp vs dandruff

Are the white flakes on your hair causing embarrassment and you have started avoiding dark clothes, especially black? How stubborn those white flakes might seem to be, but the good news is that they can get treated. This article shares some excellent natural remedies for white flakes.

But before you start, it is essential to know the reason for the white scaly skin. While people mostly consider it as dandruff, you must know that white flakes are also a result of dry scalp. Hence, it is necessary to clear your facts about dandruff vs. dry scalp before opting for any of the treatment.

What is dandruff?

Dandruff is a scalp condition which causes the scalp to form flakes. These white flakes are quite visible in your hair and sometimes fall-off on your clothes resulting in a lot of embarrassment.

What causes dandruff?

The skin of your scalp sheds dead skin cells which is a normal process. The potential factors that cause an increase are

  • Excessive oil secretion by scalp
  • Fungal infections
  • Allergic reactions caused by various hair products

What is dry scalp?

Contrary to dandruff wherein excessive oil secretion is one of the significant reasons for the development of white fakes, dry scalp is a condition where your scalp does not secrete enough oil. Like any other area with dry skin, dry scalp also causes irritation, itchiness and white flaky skin.

What are dry scalp causes?

Following are the causes of the dry scalp:

Dandruff vs. Dry Scalp: Difference between dandruff and dry scalp

By now you would have understood that dandruff flakes and the dry, flaky scalp are entirely different. Learn how-

  • Dandruff occurs due to excessive oil secretion whereas dry scalp lacks enough oil
  • Extreme dandruff causes large, oily flakes while smaller, dry flakes relate to an extremely dry scalp
  • Dandruff results from the greasy, red and scaly skin

Natural Remedies For Treating Dandruff

A similarity between dandruff vs. dry scalp is constant itching, discomfort, and white flakes. However, the flakes caused by dandruff are large and quite visible. These, falling flakes can cause people to turn away from you. If you are suffering from severe dandruff and wish to get rid of it, then try the natural treatments mentioned below. These are effective in treating stubborn dandruff and give you visible results.

1. Foods can help cure Dandruff

Chickpeas: The best food for dandruff(1)

chickpeas for dandruff

Chickpeas are undoubtedly delicious and what if one tells you that these can help treat your dandruff? Yes, chickpeas loaded with nutrition can significantly help in curing your dandruff. Enjoy them as a dish, salad or whatever way you like, what you get are great results. You can try a chickpea salad

How to eat?

  • Boil a bowl of chickpeas
  • Strain out the water and add chopped tomatoes, cucumber, and pineapple.
  • Mix all the ingredients
  • Sprinkle on some spices and herbs and your delicious salad is ready to be savored.

If you are not fond of chickpeas, then do not worry as you can apply the paste of chickpeas (made using chickpea flour, water, and curd) on your scalp rather than eating them.

Benefits of Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a rich source of zinc and Vitamin B6 that can help treat dandruff.

Foods to eat

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Wheat germ
  • Ginger
  • Garlic

Foods to avoid

  • Sugary, processed, fried foods and that rich in gluten are bad for dandruff. These may further trigger the secretion of oil causing the condition to worsen which may result in facial dandruff. Hence, you must avoid them.
  • Yeast containing foods like bread and beer cause fungal growth increasing dandruff.

[ Read: Home Remedies to Get Rid of a Dry Scalp ]

2. Herbal Treatment For Dandruff and Dry Scalp

Pick Neem to get relief from dandruff

neem for dandruff

The Medicinal properties of neem make it a potent herb that can cure various ailments including dandruff(3).

How to use?

  • Take a bunch of neem leaves
  • Grind them to form a thick paste
  • Apply the paste on your scalp
  • Leave it for around ten minutes and then wash off

Benefits of Neem

Neem has strong antibacterial properties which make it quite potent in treating dandruff.


Be careful while applying the neem paste on your scalp. Don’t let it enter the eyes as it may cause instant irritation. Always take a patch test before using it owing to its intense nature.

Essential oils for Dry Scalp Vs Dandruff

3. Use Essential Oils to treat dandruff

Tea Tree oil is an effective Dandruff remedy

tea tree oil for dandruff

Tea tree oil is the magical potion for those looking for how to treat dandruff and hair loss caused by it. If you are suffering from excessive dandruff caused hair loss, then try using tea tree oil.

How to use?

  • Add a few drops of tea tree oil in your regular shampoo
  • Around ten drops in eight ounces of shampoo
  • Wash your hair
  • Apply the shampoo and oil blend on your hair
  • Leave it for five minutes
  • And then rinse off


  • Make a mix by adding few drops of tea tree oil in coconut or jojoba oil
  • Massage the mixture on your hair and then cover your hair
  • Leave it overnight and wash off the next day

Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil, owing to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, fights the fungus that causes dandruff. It also nourishes the hair.


Tea tree oil is an essential oil and is quite potent. Hence you must use it in little amount only. Do a skin patch test to know your sensitivity to the oil.

[ Read: 2 Easiest Ways of Tea Tree Oil for Lice Treatment ]

Natural Remedies for Dry Scalp

The extreme dry scalp can cause much irritation and itchiness. It may lead to dry, thin hair and also result in hair loss. Infants commonly suffer from dry scalp, known as cradle cap which goes away with time. Dry scalp in a baby goes with time and care.

Adults also suffer from dry scalp, and the condition can cause much trouble if left untreated. Hence, you must get rid of it as soon as possible. Try the natural treatments mentioned below:

1. Foods that can cure dry scalp

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables: The best food for dry scalp

dark green leafy vegetables for dry scalp

After learning about differences between dandruff vs. dry scalp, you will by now know that extreme dry scalp also causes white flakes. If you are looking for how to fix them, then immediately include green leafy vegetables in your diet to get shiny and healthy hair with a healthy scalp.

How to eat?

Make delicious recipes using broccoli, spinach, and other vegetables and bid goodbye to dry scalp.

Benefits of Dark Green leafy vegetables

The vegetables are rich in Vitamin A and C that boost the production of sebum which moisturizes your scalp and prevents dryness.

Other foods to eat

  • Foods are rich in Omega-3 Fatty acids like soybeans, flaxseeds, pumpkin, etc.
  • Foods are rich in iron like beans, poultry, etc.
  • Foods are rich in vitamin A like fruits, dairy products, vegetables, etc.

Foods to avoid

Improper diet and junk food may cause deficiency o essential nutrients in your body that may cause dry scalp. Hence, avoid eating junk and processed foods.

2. Herbal Treatment for Dry Scalp

Try Aloe vera remedy for dry scalp

aloe vera for dry scalp

Aloe vera(2) is the magical plant with numerous benefits. Those with dry scalp and lifeless hair can use this aloe vera juice natural treatment to get healthy hair that they can flaunt around.

How to use?

  • Take an aloe vera leaf
  • Cut the leaf and extract the gel from it
  • To the gel, add water to get a thin consistency
  • Apply this mixture on your scalp and hair
  • Massage for some time and then leave for around twenty minutes
  • After that wash your hair
  • Repeat the process two times a day to get healthy hair

Benefits of Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has soothing properties that aid in reducing the itchiness of the scalp. It is a rich source of vitamins, sugars, fatty acids, and amino acids that nourish the skin.


Always look for pure and fresh aloe vera gel, preferably extracted from the plant. Make sure the water and aloe vera mixture get appropriately mixed without big chunks or lumps of the gel to prevent it from getting stuck in the hair.

3. Home remedy for dry scalp

Cure dry scalp with yogurt and egg

yogurt and egg for dry scalp

Yogurt and eggs are great for your hair, and when you combine them, you get an extraordinary remedy for dry scalp. Try this excellent home remedy and get rid of dry scalp troubles.

How to use?

  • Add an egg to two to three tablespoons of yogurt (unflavored)
  • Beat the mixture to form a smooth paste
  • Add some honey and mix
  • Apply the mixture on the scalp and hair
  • Let it stay for half an hour and then wash off with a regular shampoo
  • Follow this treatment once a week

Benefits of using Yogurt and egg mask

Yogurt cleanses the scalp and removes the dry skin.

Further, it also opens up the pores, thus aiding in enhanced secretion of oil. On the other hand, the egg is rich in proteins and fats. It nourishes your hair and cures all its troubles including dry scalp hair loss.

[ Read: Home Remedy For Dry Scalp ]


Always look for fresh ingredients while making a mask. Along with this, a proper application is also necessary. Avoid it from entering your eyes and wash it thoroughly if it enters in your eyes.

White flakes on your hair and clothes ruin even your most beautiful look. These are undoubtedly uninvited. Treat them effectively by using the remedies mentioned above. But first, it is essential to know the signs of dandruff vs. dry scalp so that you can follow the correct treatment. Both the conditions are different, but you can effectively treat them at home by following some simple remedies.

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