Dry dandruff – learn about its symptoms and treatments

3 December 2023
A doctor diagnosing dry dandruff in a patient. En Source: VistaCreate

Do you notice white specks on your hair and scalp that resemble snowflakes? This could be dry dandruff – one of the common skin ailments. Importantly, this affliction is not just an aesthetic problem – it can be a signal that the condition of your scalp is not the best. Find out what else you can recognize dry dandruff by and how to deal with it.

Dry dandruff, or what kind of dandruff?

Dry dandruff, otherwise known as ordinary dandruff, is the most common form of dandruff. You’ll recognize it by the characteristic white flakes that spill from the scalp – either on their own or when styling the hair. This ailment most often affects people with normal and dry scalps. Unlike oily dandruff, dry dandruff does not usually cause excessive greasiness of the hair.

Dry dandruff and its symptoms

Among the most characteristic symptoms of dry dandruff is flaking of the scalp – visually, dry dandruff brings to mind the flaky patches that can be seen in the hair, on the scalp, but also on clothes and combing utensils. Depending on the case, the epidermis peels off all over the scalp or only on certain areas of the scalp – most often on the top of the scalp, the temples and the parietal area.

Other symptoms of dry dandruff:

  • Light-colored flakes flaky flakes are most often white, silver or light gray.
  • Matted hair – strands with dry dandruff usually lack shine.
  • Dry scalp – such skin is insufficiently moisturized and may be prone to irritation.
  • Dandruff is easy to pull off – and often falls off on its own.
  • Itching – if you have dry dandruff, your scalp may gently itch.
  • Brittleness and fragility of hair – in this type of dandruff, the strands are weakened, but do not fall out excessively.

How to distinguish dandruff from dry scalp?

The symptoms of a dry scalp are sometimes confused with the presence of dry dandruff, but there are several differences between these ailments:

  • Dry scalp – is manifested by flaking, dryness, and may also be prone to irritation. In this case, the dryness is due to a lack of sufficient hydration of the skin. Symptoms of dry scalp can be easily alleviated – for example, by using moisturizing rubs, shampoos and conditioners, or by performing scalp needle mesotherapy.
  • Dry dandruff – is characterized by visible scales, sometimes accompanied by itching. It does not subside after applying cosmetics or treatments with moisturizing effect.

Causes of dry dandruff

The formation of dry dandruff is linked to abnormalities in the epidermal keratinization cycle. When this type of dermatosis occurs, the process of epidermal keratinization is much faster than in a healthy scalp. It is for this reason that dry fine scales appear on the epidermis, which over time fall on the shoulders and clothes.

Dry dandruff – factors that promote it

The occurrence of dry dandruff can be associated with the following factors:

  • Unhealthy diet – a menu poor in vitamin and mineral sources exacerbates dandruff symptoms.
  • Overexposure to the sun – too much sunbathing is not good for the condition of the skin; including the scalp – it promotes dryness and dry dandruff.
  • Genetic predisposition – the occurrence of this type of dermatosis may have a genetic basis.
  • Overheating of the scalp – frequent wearing of caps, blow-drying hair with hot air and regular use of straighteners have a negative impact on the condition of the scalp.
  • Frequent stay in heated rooms – this is another factor that causes the scalp to dry out excessively and dandruff may appear on it.
  • Use of certain medications – including isotretinoin and psychotropic agents.
  • Improper grooming – using cosmetics containing alcohol and sleeping with wet hair also contribute to the formation of dandruff.

What for dry dandruff? How to care for hair with this dermatosis?

Home remedies for dry dandruff or specialized cosmetics? What is worth using when you notice such a problem in yourself?

  • Start by choosing the right shampoo – it should not only have anti-dandruff properties, but also moisturizing properties.
  • Regularly perform scalp scrubs.
  • Use homemade cleansing rinses – for example, from apple cider vinegar or nettle.
  • Moisturize and nourish your hair by applying masks – either drugstore masks or those prepared by you; for example, based on egg yolk.
  • Limit hair coloring and the use of drying mousses, gels and hairsprays.

Dry dandruff – treatment

If you suspect you have dry dandruff, make an appointment with a dermatologist or trichologist. The specialist will examine your scalp and conduct a medical interview with you. On this basis, he will offer you the appropriate treatment. It can be based mainly on specialized trichological cosmetics, but often professional cosmetic treatments also turn out to be effective in combating dry dandruff.

Treatments for dry dandruff:

  • Micro-needle mesotherapy – an effective way to solidly hydrate and nourish the scalp. During the procedure of micro-needle mesotherapy a variety of preparations can be used, which are administered deep into the skin. Very often these are substances containing hyaluronic acid, peptides and other substances with moisturizing and regenerating effects.
  • Carboxytherapy – a popular method using medical carbon dioxide. Its application to the scalp improves microcirculation, and this contributes to better nourishment of the scalp and hair follicles, which also translates into less tendency to dandruff.
  • Oxygen infusion – is a procedure that facilitates the application and absorption of specialized moisturizers and anti-dandruff products.

Also remember that diet and a healthy lifestyle play an important role in the treatment of dry dandruff. Therefore, make sure your diet includes vegetable or marine fish fats, minerals and vitamins. Reach for gentle hair cosmetics and don’t overdo the styling.

Karol Popko

Karol Popko is an experienced author whose pen has been shining in the lifestyle world for many years. With his copywriting practice and insight into trends, he not only shares practical tips, but also opens up a deeper understanding of these topics to his readers. According to Karol, beauty can be found everywhere, and life is worth celebrating with passion and style.


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