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Dandruff vs Dry Scalp – What is the Difference and How to Eradicate

A person’s hair is one of the most defining aspects of how they present themselves to the world and it can bring out many different emotions in the owner of the hair: it can be a great source of pride or it may be a source of shame, and one of the causes of this follicular mortification is flakes.

These embarrassing little white specks that appear in hair, in combs and brushes, and on the shoulders, may be caused by either dandruff, or a dry scalp.

Dandruff vs Dry Scalp. Today, we’ll be discussing these two hair issues, such as how to tell which one you have, and how to fix it.

Dandruff vs Dry Scalp: Identify than Eradicate

Dandruff vs Dry Scalp - What is the Difference and How to Eradicate

Dry Scalp

Dry scalp, which looks like small, white flakes, and causes itching and irritation of the scalp, can come about from many different things. First off, it may be genetic, and if that’s the case, there’s not much that can be done about the situation. It may also be caused by dehydration, or a change in the weather or seasons causing the skin to dry out, or even from being out in the sun for too long. Dry scalp may also be caused by how the hair is washed, either due to oils and moisture in the scalp being stripped away by low-quality shampoo or conditioner, over-washing, or the water being too hot.


There are plenty of things you can do if you have dry scalp, and because it may be difficult to tell exactly what’s causing it, a bit of trial and error may be in order.

  • Rehydrate: Start off by drinking more water if you don’t already. Not only is this good for a dry scalp, this is just a good philosophy for everyday life. Do this especially if the weather is getting colder, and if you spend a lot of time outdoors exposed to the sun and other elements.
  • Use Better Shampoo and Conditioner: Stop using the cheap stuff, and switch over to the professional-grade products, because this is one instance where “you get what you pay for” is true. Go into any salon or other reputable hair product carrier, and they’ll point you in the right direction.
  • Less Washing and Cooler Temps: If frequency and water temperature are your issues (too many washings and too hot water), then ease back on the shampooing to every other day at the most, and use cooler water.
  • Go Natural: Try some natural ingredients on your scalp, such as natural oils (coconut, jojoba, olive), apple cider vinegar, or essential oils (tea tree oil). They’re cheap, easy to find, and might be quite effective.


Dandruff occurs much more seldom than dry scalp, and looks a bit different: the flakes are large, and can be greasy or waxy, or may even be clusters of skin cells of a yellow or gray color. Unlike dry scalp, dandruff can be caused by a fungal or bacterial infection on the scalp, and includes severe itching, bleeding, or even oozing. Other causes include heredity, excessive alcohol consumption, hormonal changes, stress, changes in the weather, and a diet high in sugar and salt, among others. There are many different kinds of dandruff, but a doctor must evaluate and diagnose it to figure out which one it is.


Again, a doctor’s visit is required if it turns out you have dandruff, but there are some things that can be done if it looks like dandruff is starting to develop.

  • Tea Tree Oil: The magic cure for all things scalp related, using shampoos and conditioners with this essential oil, or just adding some to a good shampoo, may help out.
  • Use Less Styling Products: Using excessive amounts of hair products can cause buildup on the scalp, resulting in dandruff.
  • Don’t Scratch: Scratching makes everything worse: it worsens the dandruff, can cause infection, and may even lead to irreversible hair loss.

Hopefully now you’ll be able to identify any flakes that may appear in your hair or brush, and if it’s dandruff, make sure you take care of it ASAP. But like we said, it’s much more likely that it’s just dry scalp.

Via: MedGuidance | UrbanBushBabes

Image Source: HuffingtonPost

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