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February 16, 2022 5 min read

Dry scalp sucks! If you’ve ever had dry scalp, you know what we mean.  It’s uncomfortable and can also come with visible flakiness. The itchiness can be unbearable, leading to constant scratching. It’s like your scalp has turned into a prickly cactus.  

If you have dry scalp, you are not alone.  Dry scalp is so common that one of ANTIDOTE’s best-selling bundles is the “Dry Scalp Bundle.”

Fortunately, most cases of dry scalp can be taken care of at home with some common sense remedies.

After all, dry scalp is most caused by a reaction to seasonal change in weather or a reaction to harsh ingredients in the hair and personal products you use.

Our #1 favorite “remedy” is a weekly scalp pampering session.  This is as simple as a nourishing oil based scalp massage followed by a gentle cleansing.  

Do it right with these simple steps:

  1. Brush your hair gently for 5 minutes – use a brush for your hair type – the goal with this brushing is to stimulate blood flow to the scalp and to gently remove dead skin - our favorite is a combination nylon and boar bristle-like brush
  2. Apply a nourishing oil to your scalp – you can make your own with coconut oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, and vitamin E – or you can try ANTIDOTE Nourishing Oil
  3. Massage into scalp for a few minutes.  
  4. Wash with a chamomile and aloe shampoo like ANTIDOTE Chamomile Shampoo.Be sure to wash from the roots out.
  5. Repeat one time per week until symptoms alleviate

Take a Holistic Approach

Dry scalp might not have anything to do with your scalp itself. Instead, it can be a reaction to the products you are using.  Harsh detergents found in traditional shampoos can over dry your scalp, and your hair glands might not be able to compensate. Typical conditioners use artificial fragrance. Fragrance is one of the most common skin irritants. 

Don’t forget to look at your whole routine. During months when you typically suffer from dryness, change to a “free and clear” laundry detergent, and avoid fabric softener. Softeners and detergents usually have high doses of artificial fragrance. 

If that doesn’t do the trick, look for other products that might be triggering your sensitive scalp – like dish soap and deodorant. 

What do the experts have to say about Dry Scalp?

StyleCraze writer Shaheen Naser explains, “dry scalp is the result of dormant and/or underactive oil glands in the scalp, which are not capable of producing the required amount of natural oil in your skin.” She goes on to say that the most common cause of dry scalp is the “prolonged use of harsh shampoos that contain a lot of chemicals.”

Healthline’s Ana Gotter recently wrote, ”The telltale sign of a dry scalp is persistent itchiness, but it may also be accompanied by dandruff, soreness, and hair loss. Dry scalp can have a number of different causes, though the most common is a reaction to the change in weather or a harsh ingredient in hair care products. Sometimes, something as simple as not drinking enough water or washing your hair daily can be the culprit, though medical conditions like eczema or psoriasis could also be the cause.”

Dry scalp or dandruff?

Medical News Today’s Zawn Villines explains that there is a difference between dandruff and a dry scalp, “A dry scalp can cause dandruff, but the two conditions are distinct. Dandruff causes the scalp to flake and may cause visible flakes on clothing or in the hair. In some cases, it is due to a fungal or other scalp infection. Dry scalp, by contrast, occurs when the scalp does not produce or hold enough moisture.”

Understanding the difference between dandruff and a dry scalp can help with choosing the right treatment.

If you are dealing with an underlying skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, definitely contact your health care provider.

What are the best ingredients for Dry Scalp?

It turns out that the best ingredients for dry scalp are the same ones that are good for normal scalp. After all, 64% of what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body. Healthful ingredients will go a long wayto helping your body take care of itself.

Good news - you’ll find these ingredients across the ANTIDOTE line.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is one of the main ingredients in every ANTIDOTE Shampoo and Conditioner, as well as in our Multi-styler and Styling Cream.

Aloe has been used for thousands of years in ancient medicine. Healthline explains the science behind Aloe, “Aloe vera has a number of properties that can help with dry scalp. It has anti-inflammatory propertiesTrusted Source that can help reduce skin irritation, and it’s also an effective moisturizing agent.” To use aloe vera alone, apply it to your scalp and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it out. Aloe is not only good for your scalp but also improves hair texture.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has several great health benefits that can reduce symptoms of dry scalp. It’s an antimicrobial, which means it can eliminate the bacteria or fungi that could be causing itchiness. It’s also anti-inflammatory and can help exfoliate your scalp, both of which can help treat dry scalp itselfTrusted Source,” according to Healthline. 

You’ll find apple cider vinegar in ANTIDOTE Rosemary Shampoo, or you can mix your own:

  • Mix one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water, and apply it directly to the scalp.
  • Let it sit for five minutes
  • Wash out with a gentle shampoo
  • Conditioning your hair like normal.

Jojoba and Avocado Oil

Jojoba oil can be an effective moisturizerTrusted Source, which can relieve dry scalp quickly. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that may treat skin conditions affecting the scalp.” - Healthline

Avocados contain monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids that can both moisturize and protect your skin. You can apply avocado oil topically to soothe dry scalp.” - Healthline

You'll find Avocado Oil in ANTIDOTE Styling Cream.

Want to read more about healthy oils for scalp health?  Check out our recent blog post here.

Vitamin E

“Vitamin E oil will keep your scalp hydrated and also protect it from free radical damage as it is an antioxidant. This may help resolve the issue of dryness of the scalp,” according to StyleCraze.

For a quick Vitamin E treatment, massage some vitamin E oil onto your scalp, leave in for 20 minutes, then wash hair with a gentle sulfate-free shampoo. 

You’ll find Vitamin E in ANTIDOTE Nourishing Oil and ANTIDOTE Avocado Styling Cream.

We are What We Eat

Finally, dry scalp can result from a poor diet. Don’t forget to stay hydrated with water and Shaheen reminds us to eat well, “Include nuts, eggs, seafood, chicken, tofu, dairy products, soybeans, canola oil, papaya, oranges, and green leafy vegetables in your diet. This will take care of your dose of zinc, iron, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids required for a healthy scalp. If dryness in your scalp is the result of a deficiency of nutrients, this tip will help you.”

Have any of these tips worked for you? Let us know what you do when you get dry scalp. 

We’d love to hear from you!


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