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Dandruff and Dry Scalp- Difference, Symptoms, Treatment and More

Are you having a dry flaky scalp? Then you might be guessing that it’s dandruff. But it’s not. It looks like a dry flaky scalp which is dry scalp caused due to lack of oil and moisture. And when there is the residue of oil on your scalp, it alleviates the dead skin cells which result in causing dandruff. You may come across little white flakes on your lower forehead, which is dandruff on eyebrows. Thus dandruff and dry scalp, both are very different from each other. However, their symptoms are nearly the same with very minor differences in their treatments. Moreover, dandruff and dry scalp treatment are possible without medication.

What causes Dandruff and dry scalp:

What causes Dandruff ?:

Dandruff is caused either because of a fungal infection or excess oil spattered by the scalp. The fungus called Malassezia found in oily skin can lead to dandruff. It can be also caused by the sensitivity of substances like chemical hair products. You may also get dandruff on your eyebrows which happens because of contact with some chemical product. Although the studies are not able to decipher the exact
reason for dandruff. When there is a fungal infection or residue oil, the sheds dead skin cells. When there is too much shedding of dead skin cells, it leads to dandruff. If you have a very oily scalp, you have more chances of getting the worst dandruff.

What causes Dry scalp?:

When your scalp lacks moisture or oil, this can result in the problem of dry scalp dandruff. This is often confused with dandruff due to which it fails to get proper treatment. In this condition, you may have a problem with itching, dryness, and dry flaky scalp. If you have dry skin, you might get the problem of dry scalp. Dry skin can be caused due to dry weather conditions. That may be the reason for mostly dry scalp during the winter season. Dry scalp dandruff can be also caused due to excessive hair washing.

Difference between dandruff and dry scalp:

It is very difficult to find whether you have dandruff or dry scalp dandruff. It may be possible that you are having both the problem of dandruff and dry scalp together. However, you can find the difference by the condition of your scalp. It is especially the case of dandruff if you have an itchy and oily scalp. In case you have a flaky head, it can be because of dandruff. If you have both the symptoms of dandruff and dry scalp, you might need recommended shampoo by a skin doctor to get off the problem.

Symptoms of dandruff and dry scalp dandruff:

The symptoms of dandruff and dry scalp look similar but certain differences can tell whether it is dandruff or dry scalp.

Symptoms of dandruff:

If you find your scalp oily, along with some yellow or white large flaky skin, it is very a common symptom of dandruff. Also if your scalp is itchy and you have read and scaly skin, it is because of dandruff. Dandruff is chronic and it may appear and leave.

Symptoms of dry scalp:

In the dry scalp, your scalp will also be itchy with dry flaky skin probably smaller in size. Also, there will be dry skin on the outer part of your body other than your scalp if you have the problem of dry scalp. Dandruff and dry scalp, both are conditions in which you may feel itching and
notice flakes. There are only some minor differences that can differentiate between both. Dandruff is because of a fungal infection and it may not get dealt with and has the tendency to appear and leave. Whereas dry dandruff can be treated over time with proper care and less washing.

Treatment of dandruff is a dry scalp treatment:

Dandruff and dry scalp can be easily treated at home by using some natural home remedies like Curd, Honey, lemon juice, egg white, etc. You can apply these natural ingredients to your scalp before shampooing. It can help you in dealing with dandruff and dry scalp dandruff problems. You can wash your hair regularly with a very gentle shampoo to remove oil if you have very mild dandruff. And also use an anti-dandruff shampoo that kills the fungus and removes dry flaky skin. In case of dandruff, after shampooing your hair you can use a conditioner that could keep your head moisturized. Always keep your scalp moisturized to avert the problem of dry scalp.

Here is a list of few anti-dandruff shampoos that can help you to deal with the the problem of dandruff:

Neutrogena T Gel:

Neutrogena T Gel shampoo can help in hindering the growth and shedding of skin cells on the scalp that can help you in getting rid of dandruff.

Selsun blue:

Selsun Blue is an anti-dandruff shampoo that contains selenium sulfide that can help reduce the fungus responsible for dandruff. This can help the skin cells of your scalp from drying and can provide you dandruff free hair. However, you must concern your doctor before using this shampoo as it contains selenium sulfide main change color of light hair.

Shampoos containing tea tree oil:

Shampoos that have tea tree oil can be the utmost remedy for dandruff treatment as tea tree oil is a natural ingredient that has antifungal properties. There is numerous anti-dandruff shampoo like Nizoral, Neutrogena T/Sal, etc. that can help you in treating dandruff and dry scalp treatment.


Dandruff and dry scalp are both different problems that are mostly confused to be similar. Dandruff can not be fully treated but its symptoms can be managed by either some home remedies or by using anti-dandruff shampoo. Dry scalp is a condition that can be managed and with proper care, it can be treated without medication.


Q1. What causes dry scalp?
When your skull lacks oil or moisture, this problem leads to a dry scalp. Frequently washing of hair can also cause a dry scalp as your scalp is not able to retain moisture because of excessive washing. Symptoms of the dry scalp can be itchy scalp with dry flaky skin.

Q2. Can dandruff cause hair loss?                                                                                                                                                                                            Dandruff is not likely to cause hair loss. However, your scalp becomes itchy when you have dandruff, and when you scratch your scalp, your hair roots are affected which can lead to hair fall causing hair loss.

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