Dry scalp - what to do?


The skin and scalp can be divided into different layers, from the inside out it is roughly divided into the dermis and epidermis. The outermost layer is a special horny layer of keratinized cells that forms a barrier to the outside. Every four weeks there is usually a complete renewal of the horny layer of the scalp. Therefore, every person loses small flakes of skin every day, but they are so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye. These are old, dead skin cells that have been replaced by new skin cells as part of the renewal process.

To protect the scalp, it is usually covered with a fine film of fat. This is formed by the sebum glands in the dermis of the scalp. The fat film binds the moisture on the scalp, prevents it from evaporating and thus protects the scalp from dryness. However, sebum production is different for every person and therefore determines the respective skin type. So you can choose between an oily skin type (Seborrhea) and dry skin type (Sebostasis) and a mixed type. Skin type is innate and does not usually change, but it can be influenced by external factors.

In our top layer of skin there are certain substances that are supposed to keep the skin hydrated. This includes, for example, urea (urea), which gets there through sweat and can also be found in many creams and shampoos. About three times as much urea is found in healthy skin than in skin that is too dry. As part of the aging process, it is normal that the sebum production and also the urea concentration decrease and therefore drier skin develops with increasing age. In babies and toddlers, the activity of the sebum glands is minimal, so they lack important protection against dryness of the skin. They are therefore more sensitive and also more prone to dry scalp.


Seborrheic scalp

If the scalp is irritated, it comes to a short-term increased production of skin cells until the scalp has recovered. The newly formed scalp cells displace the damaged cells and it comes to increased exfoliation of skin cells. This clump together and form large, white scalesthat can be seen with the naked eye, especially in the hairline, neck and shoulder area.

The formation of dandruff mainly occurs in old age between 20 and 49 years on. The flaking can different causes and look different depending on the illness. If the skin is too dry it happens white, dry dandruff that typically comes from the hair trickle down. Dandruff is not only possible with a dry scalp. Dandruff can also form if the skin is too oily, but then it does yellowish and look greasy and stick in the hair. For example with one Fungal attack the scalp with the mushroom Malassezia furfur, which feeds on the secreted, fatty sebum. The fungus occurs on everyone's scalp, but if it tends to produce too much sebum, the fungus can multiply quickly. The typical fatty dandruff forms. In addition, there is often a severe itching in front.


The scalp is dry lackluster, rough and sensitive. Often there is also one severe itching and the formation of Dandruff. Does it also come to Redness of the scalp and Blistering, it can be a seborrheic eczema act. This condition is very common and can be preferred in babies, too in the first 3 months, occur. However, there is one here Overproduction of sebum through the sebum glands: the scales are rather greasy and yellowish and not caused by dry skin.

Another skin condition that is associated with dry skin and scalp is that psoriasis (psoriasis). It often occurs in the area of Scalp and the Forehead hair border but can also manifest itself in the rest of the body. First form silvery, thickened scalesthat look like candle wax. Furthermore it comes to one skin rash and the majority of patients experience hair loss in the head area. The rash is not limited to the scalp, other areas on the body where psoriasis is more likely to occur Elbow and knee.

Therapeutically there is countless possibilities To treat psoriasis, it is important to see a dermatologist. Next Creams and Anoint, there are also therapeutic approaches with Vitamin D3, UVB phototherapy, Climatic therapy or Photochemotherapy. It is therefore important to have psoriasis examined by a doctor and to find an optimal treatment method.


The dry scalp (Sebostasis) comes through a decreased production of the fat film comes about through the sebum glands. With this hypofunction of the sebum glands it comes from decreased binding of the moisture on the Scalp surface, to a Lack of moisture. Excessive use of shampoos, soaps, or hair treatments can also lead to a dry scalp, as these often occur degreasing act on the scalp.

Also using wrong products can be causative. Because one allergic reaction on certain ingredients can also trigger the dry and flaky scalp. It can also be too hot or too long Blow dry contribute to the formation of dry skin. Other causes are a constant stay in rooms with conditioned air as well as in the airplane or else Temperature changes or a Change of seasons.

Also chlorinated water or Salt water can remove important moisture from the skin. Furthermore you can stress or hormonal changes lead to dry skin.

In addition to the myriad of factors, Skin disorders again Neurodermatitis and the psoriasis (psoriasisskin that is too dry occurs. Here, dry skin is not limited to the scalp, but can spread the whole body occur.

Can that be a mushroom?

Fungi on the skin can cause itchy and flaky skin, including the scalp. In the case of a fungus, the main symptom is itching. The itching causes extreme flaking of the skin. The fungus can attack the skin anywhere on the body.A fungicidal agent (Antifungal agent) must be taken. This must be prescribed by the doctor. Due to the risk of the fungus spreading to other parts of the body, therapy should be started as soon as possible and scratching should be avoided if possible.

Dry scalp in babies / toddlers

Baby's skin is particularly sensitive, as the full functionality only develops within the first few years. So are the Sebum glandsthat the important Fat film form on the skin, nor not completely mature. So there is no essential protection against dry skin.

Will the child then Factors exposedthat can cause a dry scalp, it forms faster than in adults. The skin then needs special care, should not washed too hot and regularly with special moisturizing creams are supplied. If to the dry skin one Redness or even Blistering should be added at Pediatrician a skin disease can be excluded.

A skin condition that typically starts in childhood is the Neurodermatitis (Atopic eczema). It is a chronic inflammatory disease. She is characterized by dry, scaly and very itchy skin out. Besides, it comes to Rashes, by constant scratching appear oozing and crusty. The neurodermatitis runs in bursts and can go away spontaneously by puberty. But the rash is not on the scalp limited, but also occurs on the extremities and other parts of the body. There is no cure yet. The Neurodermatitis but can be treated: first of all, the right care of the skin and possibly a treatment with Glucocorticoid ointments as well as itching.

However, other skin diseases in children can also manifest themselves through dry skin and flaking: for example Ichtyosen („Fish scale disease“) Where there is a thickened horny layer, fish-like scales and dry skin comes all over the body. It's about a hereditary skin diseasewhich is treated by special ointments but cannot be cured.

In most cases of dry scalp in babies or children, it is not a skin condition and can be treated well with proper skin care. The use of applies to both children and adults mild shampoos, Avoid excessively hot or air-conditioned air.

Dry scalp and hair loss

Special care shampoos can provide relief

Of a pathological hair loss one speaks when spread over the day more than 100 hairs get lost. The most common forms of hair loss are with up to 95% genetic conditionally and therefore only in rare cases on a dry scalp decreased sebum production traced back. Nevertheless, it can also be used as part of a dry scalpthat is not treated will result in hair loss. Especially in the context of Skin disorders or systemic diseases, In addition to the dry, flaky and itchy scalp, hair loss can occur at the same time. This is for example in the context of skin diseases Neurodermatitis or psoriasis the case.

Another condition that can cause these symptoms at the same time is the Hypothyroidism. Here it can be a even hair loss come all over your head. The Hypothyroidism but can also deal with other symptoms like fatigue, brittle nails respectively brittle hair or Weight gain With decreased appetite express. If any of these symptoms occur together, the function of the thyroid gland should be clarified by a doctor.

Furthermore, the symptoms can also be caused by a Iron deficiency be conditional. This can also be a dry skin such as Hair loss trigger. The hair is very brittle and it can become one itch or Burn come to the scalp. Furthermore, the skin rather pale and it comes to fatigue and weakness. By taking Iron tablets the symptoms usually improve quickly. The iron deficiency and also the underactive thyroid can be over the blood values to be determined.


First of all, the root cause the dry skin can be found out in order to be able to treat it optimally. If one is suspected Skin disease It is essential to see a doctor in order to find the optimal therapy for the disease. But if there is no skin disease, the following tips can help against dandruff and dry scalp:

The hair should be on a dry scalp not washed daily, as the shampoos of the skin are also important Remove moisture. The washing approx twice to three times a week is sufficient. The Water temperature not too hot to get voted. In addition, the use of a special shampoos important for dry scalp and moisture. Regular shampoos often contain this Fragrances or preservativesthat additionally irritate the scalp. The shampoos for dry skin are usually particularly mild and contain special ingredients, how urea, the moisturizing and moisturizing act on the scalp.

Is there a severely flaky skin before, is a Anti dandruff shampoo to recommend. The wet hair should follow not blown drybut should be air dried. If this is not possible, you can also use cold air or mild heat be blow-dried. Also Styling products, how Hairspray, Hair gel or Hair foam can the skin irritate and should therefore only be used sparingly.

There are also home remedies that can help with a dry scalp. For example olive oil: A few drops of the oil will be direct on the scalp given, it is best to use a pipette, which makes it easier to apply to the scalp. The olive oil can massaged in will and should over night act. The next morning, the olive oil is washed out of the hair with a mild shampoo. If necessary, this cure can once or twice a week can be applied. But also Hair treatments, especially for dry hair, help to regenerate the hair and scalp with regular use once or twice a week. Here it is important that Exposure time of the cures, so that the ingredients can develop their effect.

Which shampoos can help?

Shampoos against dry scalp donate a lot of moisture to the scalp and are very gentle. This relieves itching and burning of the scalp, as well as dandruff. There are many different dry scalp shampoos on the market. The Linola® shampoo is very well known. It is very gentle and known for its fatty cream of the same name for dry and rough skin. There are also shampoos from Sebamed®, also a medical product for the treatment of dry scalps. What all shampoos have in common is that they can be purchased in the drugstore without any problems. The best way to find out which shampoo is best is to test it yourself.

Which home remedies can help?

There are various home remedies available for dry scalp. The most common and well-known home remedies are coconut oil, tea tree oil or olive oil. You can also treat the scalp with egg yolk, honey or avocado.

You can simply massage the honey into damp hair. The honey should act on the scalp for 15 minutes and can then be washed out again. As honey is known to be very sticky, it should be washed out with plenty of warm water and shampoo so that no burrs appear in the hair. Honey is less suitable for particularly long hair. Like honey, the egg yolk is also massaged into wet hair. The egg yolk should sit for one night if possible, the rest of the egg yolk can then be washed out the next morning. Both procedures should be used at least twice a week.

olive oil

Olive oil is one of the most popular home remedies for dry scalp. The olive oil should be massaged into the scalp. Like most other home remedies, the olive oil should sit on the scalp overnight for an effect. In the morning, the oil should be removed with warm water and a shampoo for dry scalp. This can be repeated a few times a week. The olive oil naturally cares for the scalp. It has no harmful substances. In addition, a ripe avocado can be used when using oil. The avocado is very rich in healthy fatty acids and provides additional moisture to the scalp.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is used like olive oil. The coconut oil is also massaged into the scalp and should act on the scalp overnight. Coconut oil is said to be even gentler on the skin than olive oil. The disadvantage of coconut oil, however, is that it is a lot more expensive than olive oil. The cheapest coconut oil can be found in supermarkets for Asian specialties.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a widely used home remedy for all kinds of skin problems. It is available in drugstores. The tea tree oil is not applied directly to the skin. When using tea tree oil, you should also use a mild shampoo against dry scalp. You put a few drops of the tea tree oil into the shampoo and wash your hair with it. The disadvantage of this method is that the tea tree oil cannot act on the scalp for several hours.

Hair lotion

Hair tonic is a water made from herbal products for the treatment of dry scalps. The hair tonic can be put together by yourself. It helps against the dry scalp as well as against the resulting dandruff. The hair tonic can have different ingredients and can be put together with the help of recipes. The hair tonic contains only natural ingredients.

For psoriasis

The dry skin on the head is a typical symptom of psoriasis. Psoriasis is a systemic disease that affects the skin and joints. Systemic therapy must be used against psoriasis. In addition to this systemic therapy, the symptoms on the skin can be alleviated with nourishing creams or cortisone in the acute episode. Since cortisone is not recommended for long-term use, a nourishing shampoo should be used for long-term use. This can relieve symptoms. In any case, the attending physician should be consulted in the episode.

During pregnancy

During pregnancy there is a change in hormones. This can also result in skin changes. In addition to changing the complexion of the skin, it can also lead to a dry, flaky scalp. The same remedies for dry scalp can be used during pregnancy as usual. There is no risk to the growing child. Shampoos that are gentle on the scalp and home remedies such as oil, avocado or honey also help during pregnancy.

Dry scalp despite oily hair - what to do?

Against the dry scalp with oily hair, the same procedure should be used as just described. The oily hair can be an expression of an unbalanced scalp. So if you treat the dry scalp, the oily hair can also decline. However, since greasy hair can become even greasier with home remedies, shampoos that are gentle on the skin should be used for this problem. Linola® or Sebamed® are particularly recommended here. These shampoos not only treat the irritated scalp, but also help against oily hair. They also reduce the dandruff that accompanies a dry scalp.