Tips to Revive a Severely Dry Scalp
By Cynthia Bailey MD. This page was updated on Tue, Jun 05, 2018
Dermatologist's Tips to Heal Severely Dry Scalp
Dry scalp is actually not dry! Nope. The skin appears dry because it is flaky – but, the flakes are due to a rash not dryness!
Did you know that scalp skin is actually rich in oil glands and can’t suffer from dry skin?
Those same oil glands put the scalp skin at particular risk for seborrhea (dandruff), which is actually the most common cause of flaky and dry-appearing scalp. Treat the rash and get rid of the flakes!
Seborrhea is most conveniently controlled using a medicated dandruff shampoo and a good scalp scrubber. The best medicated shampoo is Foaming Zinc Cleanser. Made with the maximum FDA allowed amount of medicated pyrithione zinc (2%), it’s serious treatment for seborrhea.
Combine Foaming Zinc Cleanser with my favorite scalp scrubber to help lift and remove dry scalp flakes. Know that the medicated ingredient will stay behind to treat dandruff long after you have rinsed your scalp free of lather, oils and dry flakes.
Want even faster results to relieve "dry scalp" scale?
If the dynamic duo of Foaming Zinc and my scalp scrubber don't work fast enough, you can add more intensive treatments like deep oil treatments and leave-on medicated products:
Intensive Warm Oil Scalp Treatments to Remove Thick Scale and Control Stubborn Dandruff
Stubborn plaques of really thick scalp scale can be dislodged with warm oil treatment.
Use either mineral oil or coconut oil (my preference is coconut oil because it is more effective in my experience and it also gives your hair a lux sheen), and:
- Warm the oil gently in the microwave. (Of course, be careful not to heat it to the point that it burns your skin!);
- Apply the warmed oil to the scalp skin for about 30 minutes under a towel;
- Comb the scalp to help loosen the scale;
- Then, shampoo your scalp to remove the oil;
- Use your medicated shampoo as your last lather;
- Scrub it into the skin with the scalp scrubber; and
- Allow it to sit on your scalp for a few minutes. Then, rinse.
You can use conditioner or styling products as you normally would after using a medicated shampoo. Repeat the daily oil treatment until the dryness and flaking is controlled.
Use leave-on products after shampooing for maximal skin improvement.
These include conditioning beard oils or medicated scalp products for dandruff.
Did you know that conditioning beard oils can be used on your scalp?
Treat your scalp like your beard; they are very similar. This will help to keep skin free of “druff” whether it’s beard-druff or dandruff!
Yes! The scalp and the beard-area are both prone to scale build-up from seborrhea (aka dandruff). They look dry, but they really have a rash. If your scalp hair is short, you can use a beard oil to help condition your skin much like you do for your beard.
I formulated my Omega Enriched Face Booster Oil to meet this need. It is a proprietary blend of organic botanical oils known to soothe and repair skin.
Apply a scant amount to your scalp skin with your fingertips, and rub briskly to cover the entire scalp. As the oil warms to your skin-temperature, it will spread further to help boost skin healing.
Omega Enriched Booster Oil has three, multi-tasking uses.
- First, it is a deeply-hydrating facial booster oil.
- Second, it is the best beard oil and has a natural woodland scent from cypress oil.
- Third, it soothes and restores skin barrier when your skin is troubled for many reasons – including seborrhea.
I created my Omega Enriched Oil with organic oils that include rich sources of vitamins and antioxidants to nourish and support skin-vitality. Since ancient times, these oils have been used to heal and restore skin.
Non-prescription, medicated leave-on products that help heal scalp dandruff are available at your pharmacy, too.
These include hydrocortisone and salicylic acid liquids. Remember to follow the directions on the product labels. Product options include:
- Scalpicin Maximum Strength with 1% Hydrocortisone; and
- Scalpicin with 3% Salicylic Acid
Stronger medicines are available from your doctor for really stubborn scalp dandruff.
Please remember that if your scalp does not improve, you should see your doctor to be certain that you don’t have some other, more unusual reason for an itchy and scaly scalp.
There are a number of conditions that can cause scalp scale including psoriasis and ring worm (fungus) of the scalp. These two common conditions can mimic really stubborn scalp dandruff.
Want to start having healthier skin and heal your dry scalp?