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 • Hair Care Blogs • Dandruff vs Dry Scalp: What’s the Difference and How to Cure
Dandruff vs Dry Scalp

Dandruff vs Dry Scalp: What’s the Difference and How to Cure

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  • Dandruff problem arises because of medical conditions such as Seborrhoeic dermatitis, Malassezia.
  • Over-washing, atopic dermatitis, dry weather, and contact dermatitis cause dry scalp.
  • Dandruff flakes are oily and bigger in size and dry scalp flakes are small and dry. 
  • Aloe vera, coconut oil, and tea tree oil are among effective natural remedies for dandruff.
  •  Banana masks and egg masks can help in curing dry scalp problems.

We often find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation because of sinister dandruff. We try every dandruff removal process that crosses our path. But we often mix up with dandruff and dry scalp. Before we learn about how to treat dandruff and dry scalp, let’s know about the differences between dandruff and dry scalp.


These tiny white devils are our skin cells. Like our skin, the scalp cast-off the dead cells, and when this process happens at an excessive rate, the dandruff problem rises. 

The solution of dandruff needs to match the reason. Otherwise, the dandruff remedies won’t give the expected result. Researchers and doctors don’t fully understand what is the real cause of dandruff but there are some reasons they suspect.

Reasons Behind Dandruff

1. Seborrhoeic Dermatitis:

One of the main reasons behind the dandruff problem. This condition makes the scalp reddish, scaly, and oily. Our scalp has oil glands and dandruff caused by seborrhoeic dermatitis can occur wherever an oil gland is present.

2. Malassezia:

This is a type of fungus that generally lives on people’s skin. But when it becomes overabundant on our skin, for example- on our scalp, it causes dandruff. 

3. Sebum Oil:

Our scalp produces sebum oil and if sebum glands produce excess oil, it clogs up the hair roots and eventually leads to dandruff problem.


Dry Scalp

Our skin or scalp becomes dry when our scalp does not produce enough oil to be moisturized. It is different from the dandruff problem and caused by different reasons. 

Reasons behind Dry Scalp

1. Atopic Eczema:

It is a condition that makes skin dry, irritated, red, and itchy. It is a pretty common condition among people. 

2. Washing:

 If you wash your hair too much and too often, then your scalp would be stripped off of oils produced by the sebum glands. Which will leave your scalp and hair dry.

3. Weather:

When the humidity level in the air falls significantly, it can cause dry skin and dry flaky scalp. In winter, dry scalp is pretty common as it is considered to be a dry season.

4. Contact Dermatitis:

It is a condition where your scalp gives an allergic reaction to hair styling products. Certain substances present in products can make your scalp dry, itchy, and red. 


Dry Scalp Vs Dandruff

White flakes don’t always mean dandruff. It could also be the symptom of a dry scalp. Here are the differences between dry scalp and dandruff.


1. Flakes

If you have flakings that are oily, and large there’s a possibility that you have dandruff. If you have dry and small white flakes, then it’s because of a dry scalp. 

2. Itchiness

This part is a bit tricky as both dry scalp and dandruff cause itchy scalp. If you are to treat dry scalp, you need to look for other symptoms for certainty.

3. Skin

Dandruff causes scaly, reddish, and oily scalp. However, in the case of dry scalp, there would be other parts of the body that will appear drier. Dry scalp is part of the dry skin problem but with dandruff, that isn’t the case. 

4. Hair

If the hair appears to be greasy along with white and yellow flakes, it is because of dandruff. In the case of a dry scalp, the hair will appear as dry. 

5. Scalp

You can begin the dandruff removal process if you have an oily scalp and excessive flakes. Dry scalp occurs in the absence of oils and dandruff occurs in case of excessive oil secreted by sebum glands on our scalp. 


How to Treat Dandruff

Dandruff is always menacing but you don’t need to worry. There are more than a few effective ways to control dandruff.

1. Coconut Oil:

This oil offers numerous benefits and fights dandruff efficiently. This is a type of dandruff cure that gives dandruff-free healthy hair. 

2. Omega-3 Intake:

Try to include Omega-3 rich food like Mackerel, salmon, and trout in your diet. This fatty acid helps to fight dandruff in a great manner.  

3. Aloe Vera:

You can apply aloe vera gel to get rid of dandruff.

4. Baking Soda:

Apply baking soda into your wet hair and keep it there for a couple of minutes. Then rinse it off with your regular shampoo. 

5. Tea tree oil:

 Take a few drops of tea tree oil and mix it with coconut oil. Then apply it to the scalp. After some time wash your hair off with some mild shampoo. This oil has antifungal properties and is a great way to fight off the dandruff problem.


How to Treat Dry Scalp

If you are worried sick about your dry scalp, you can relax. We have some great and effective dry scalp remedies for you!

1. Apply Apple Cider Vinegar:

Take two portions of water and one portion of apple cider vinegar. Mix it well and apply the mixture to your scalp. After 5-6 minutes rinse your hair with a mild shampoo. It treats dry scalp by exfoliating the skin.

2. Banana:

Take some blended banana. Then add two tablespoons of olive oil or if you prefer coconut oil, then coconut oil it is. Apply it to your scalp. Wait for about 10-15 minutes before washing it off. 

Banana has antimicrobial properties and helps you to get rid of dry scalp.

3. Egg mask:

Take one egg and a few tablespoons of yogurt. The yogurt needs to be plain. Mix it well. Then apply the mixture gently on your scalp and hair. After 10-15 minutes, wash it off with cold water. 



Final Thoughts

Getting rid of dandruff or dry scalp may seem impossible but if you follow some simple tips it could be easily done. So, follow our tips and have amazing dandruff-free hair!

Also, check out these anti-dandruff products to prevent dandruff. For more hair care related blogs, head over to our hair care blog section.


Frequently Asked Questions On Dandruff vs Dry Scalp

How do you get rid of dry scalp?

Ans.  You can apply a banana mask, apple cider vinegar, or egg mask to get rid of dry scalp.

Why is my scalp so dry and flaky?

Ans. If you have dandruff or dry scalp, your scalp may appear dry and flaky.

Does putting lotion on your scalp help dandruff?

Ans. It is not recommended as there are other ways to help with the dandruff issue. 

How do you get rid of bad dandruff?

Ans. Being stress-free, eating omega-3 rich food, applying coconut oil, aloe vera, and tea tree oil can help in getting rid of bad dandruff.

How can I remove dandruff at home permanently?

Ans. You can apply baking soda, tea tree oil, and coconut oil to remove dandruff. However, in the case of medical reasons for dandruff, seek professional/medical help.

How do I know if I have dry scalp or dandruff?

Ans. If you have oily and big white flakes, then it’s likely to be dandruff. If the flake is dry and small, then it’s a dry scalp.











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