How to Treat a Dry Scalp [DermTV.com Epi #482]

How to Treat a Dry Scalp [DermTV.com Epi #482]


When people think they have a dry scalp it’s usually because they see white flakes. But did you know there’s virtually no such
thing as a dry scalp? Let me tell you what it really is and how
to fix it. In the DermTV episode on dry facial skin, I explained that flaking on the face, which
can look like dry skin, is often dandruff. Sure, the skin on your face can be dry and
therefore flaky, especially on your cheeks, but in other places
it’s often actually dandruff. But what about flaking on your scalp? Is that a dry scalp, or is it dandruff again? This one’s easy, because 99% of the time
it’s not dry skin on your scalp… it’s almost always dandruff. You see, if you’re not bald, if you have
hair on your scalp, it’s almost impossible to have dry skin
there. So if you see flaking on your scalp, it’s actually dandruff even if you see flaking that looks just like the flaking from dry
skin. Here, it’s the result of excess oil, not on the surface of the scalp, but underneath
it. That excess oil causes inflammation which results in a little bit of redness,
a little bit of swelling, and then causes the skin to be shed prematurely… while on the other hand, normal skin cells
fall off on time and invisibly. But when the skin cells fall off early, they don’t have a chance to separate from
each other completely so they fall off in tiny mini sheets which
are the flakes that you see. Well that’s really good news, because if
it were dry skin, how could you ever apply a moisturizer to
your scalp without really messing up your hair? Fortunately, the treatment of dandruff-induced
scalp flaking is easily accomplished with shampoos, so we usually don’t need to apply lotions
or creams to your scalp. Instead, buy an over-the-counter shampoo whose active ingredient is either tar, salicylic
acid, zinc, or selenium and use it daily for 5-7 days. To use it, lather it up for a minute, then
rinse out, and then lather up again for a half a minute
before rinsing a final time. That will usually control the dandruff so you can then use the shampoo less frequently. And since the flaking isn’t dry skin, you don’t have to worry about drying out
your scalp from shampooing every day!

89 Comments

  • Princess Leia says:

    Awsome, thank you!!

  • dorinioanaalexandra says:

    thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Amrita Sarkar says:

    dear dr.schultz, i am being treated for inflammation of my knee joints. my scalp has been flaky and itchy for a while, despite using a zinc based shampoo everyday. are these two conditions related? should i be taking medication for my scalp too, if there is such medication available?

  • 2024252373 says:

    can dry scalp causes boldness??

  • Busy Mama says:

    My son has yellowish, scale-like bumps on his scalp that easily flake off, is this the same as dandruff?

  • cisbelinda says:

    Thank you Dr. Schultz! I've been battling flaking scalp since I hit my 50s and have tried oils, conditioners, etc, because "I" couldn't possibly have dandruff ick. Apparently I am mistaken lol. I'll be trying a shampoo with one of the ingredients you suggest here.

  • natalusia371 says:

    this was so informative! what do you think of scalp scrubs/exfoliators? do you recommend them? I often have a lot of build up on my scalp and hair and wonder whether it would be a good idea to use such products

  • natalusia371 says:

    no you got it wrong! you can develp dry scalp due to being bald because there is no hair to protect your scalp from drying out

  • Caroline says:

    I always researched dandruff and they say it looks like honeycomb, or is yellow…mine are just white dry flakes…I don't have oily scalp/skin. Everywhere on my body is dry. So this means my case is still dandruff? I'm confused.

  • bookwrm4evr says:

    wow i didn't know ones face could have dandruff…so is it safe to use an exfoliating brush or will that irritate it more..if not would u recommend using the brush dry or wet..thank you for your information

  • ItsAshHun says:

    This was helpful. Thank you

  • Kerri Lovesmu says:

    White flakes are definitely dandruff.

  • BlushingBlue says:

    Excellent, thank you.

  • luckygrl569 says:

    What if you have an itchy scalp with no flaking? My scalp is really sensitive and a lot of shampoos make it itch but I never have flakes. I have asked my hairdresser and she acts like I'm nuts… Does anyone else have this problem?

  • daria johnsen says:

    How about jusing zink?

  • ADRIANA7503 says:

    thank you

  • Gucci Del Taco says:

    Is it possible to have psoriasis of the scalp?

  • emilyemily7921 says:

    I wish dandruff shampoos didn't smell so bad! I want to use a sal acid one but they all smell awful.

  • fluffy pillows says:

    I think nizoral smells pretty good

  • missrockandrolla says:

    Hello Dr Neal,
    How about in cases when you produce less oil than the normal? I feel that even if I didn't wash my hair for a week, my scalp would still be dry… I did a tricocamera test which proved this. I can use hair masks and oils on my roots without making them greasy.

  • SeryO Garcia says:

    I think this is going to help me good good

  • marisa kirei says:

    When I apply my favourite hair oil (a mixture of argan and almond oil – a few hours before washing my hair), I always apply a little on my scalp as well. Before I did that, I often saw dry flakes and I thought I had dandruff, but since I started using oil about twice a week, the problem has nearly disappeared…It made me think my scalp just needed extra moisture. Was it still dandruff or dry skin?

  • Amirul Hakim says:

    Miku <3

  • Annabells117 says:

    What if it's dry scalp due to Accutane? I never had it before, so my derm said Accutane may be the cause. But he said the same thing u did: there's not many ways to treat dry scalp. He told me to drink more water and put tea tree oil in my shampoo bc it helps many scalp issues

  • Laura Kirwan says:

    i just stopped using anything with sls – all gone after 24 years of dandruff!!

  • ericscinema says:

    What a lovely Dr. I will try his tips on shampoo care.

  • Liz Hegarty says:

    i wanted to no is olive oil good for dry scalp .

  • WhiteWulfComics says:

    I love the way he talks!!!

  • Sam Albertsen says:

    sodium Laurel? or Laureth?

  • Lilas Lee Lah Lemay says:

    I really do have dry scalp because I special shampoo and it doesn't work. but when I use jojoba that helps

  • Kayla J. says:

    Uh …christmas japannese commercial on US youtube…

  • Claudia T says:

    I don't have flakes but my scalp is dry and itch I was told I suffer from eczema what do I do ?

  • Billie Gyrl says:

    Thanks, being a hairdresser this is the most common question I get asked. This was very helpful.

  • sue she says:

    what a load of crap. I have dry skin, dry constitution, my dry scalp gets worse with dandruff shampoos, and zero zero oil in my hair. I can go a week without washing and it doesn't get greasy.ย  I also drink way more water than the average person but am always thirsty. I have dry scalp not dandruff.

  • minasaywhaa says:

    What shampoos do you suggest?

  • dennis aguila says:

    What about white scalp?

  • Ebenezer Rosiers says:

    Thank u ๐Ÿ™‚

  • CyprusHot says:

    Is Nizoral ok?

  • Manila Stud says:

    At the end of the video, there is a disclaimer saying this guy is not giving medical advice…probably because he knows fuck all.

  • ellen lankford says:

    dr talks-a-lot. ย you need some slides or powerpoint so people will watch.

  • Katie Tansill says:

    Can you give us example of which shampoos in the name brand

  • BlondeButton100 says:

    I find T-gel really helps, u can find it near all the other dandruff shampoos. It's not cheap, it's got tar in and stinks but it does its job, I use it when I need to. Hope this helps ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  • Ryan Thompson says:

    Don't tell me its always just dandruff and that there's no such thing as dry scalp..flakey white scabs on your scalp is..well id say dry..

  • Flo Si says:

    Forget everything guys!I used a medical shampoo,I bought it herein DEU in DM stores,Alpecin Dr.Wolff-Forschung;Hypo-Sensitiv Shampoo;Anzuwenden bei trockener und empfinlicher Kopfhaut The result was amazing,it removed my white flakes in just two days!!!I hope you find this! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Julio Cobra says:

    Use vinegar guys!!!

  • Frank Martinez says:

    Is there something more natural over the counter shampoo….seems like all the other shit like head and shoulders, selsun blue making my hair fall out

  • Little Miss Reborn says:

    Since I'm a girl and have long hair. My head gets really itchy then it flakes. My mom says it's just dry flakey skin.

  • missapissa2000 says:

    I have a question, what if you have scabs, that sometimes bleeds because you pick it, because it's itchy? Do we still use the same type of shampoo?

  • FUreplygirl says:

    Thanks for the info. I love your shoe inserts!

  • adsvers cop says:

    hey ,if anyone else needs to find out about how do you cure psoriasis try Corbandy Amazing Psoriasis Crusher (should be on google have a look ) ? Ive heard some decent things about it and my work buddy got great success with it.

  • Toph says:

    What if your dandruff is bad to the point that there's some scabs (in small, specific areas) that can come off and reveal like red, shiny skin or even bleed? Is that a different type?

  • BLAZETANGO says:

    Since he said most of the time is dandruff, I have dry scalp as a matter of fact. For those looking to have a better nourished scalp, use a conditioner with oils or aloe. Shampooing alone will leave the scalp even drier than before but with the conditioner, it will lock in the moisture needed for the scalp to prolong the skin cells

  • Los Dawg says:

    Wow, you're supposed to be a doctor?! You're just teaching people how to cover up their problems by purchasing toxic shampoo products. That's not a solution, that's a bandaid approach. Why not teach people that the condition of their skin is a reflection of the condition of the inner lining of their gut? Why not teach people the importance of cleaning up their diet by avoiding foods that cause inflammation to the gut lining and focusing on foods that support gut health, while supplementing with things that can help rebuild their gut?

    This is the sad state of the medial system today, where doctors are completely ignorant of the importance of proper diet, don't understand the connection between diet and health, and simply push medical procedures, medications, and a never-ending assortment of bandaids to "treat" their problems, temporarily.

    Learn how to eat correctly. Heal your gut. Heal your life. Research the GAPS Diet. It will change your life.

  • AyeitsChanell ยท says:

    I have dandruff Please Help me

  • Janoy Cresva says:

    I have a bunch of hair and if i barely scratch my scalp i get tons of white shit under my fingernails. Tried all the dandruff shampoos and it just makes it worse.

  • VanillaDin0saur says:

    Dandruff shampoos only amplify the problem, that's because 99% of dry scalp is miss diagnosed as dandruff.

  • Dea pond says:

    literally the only thing missing in this video is him dropping a mic at the end

  • R N says:

    This is fucking bullshit someone delete this video, I've been on a routine from my derm for the past 2 weeks and my scalp has only gotten worse. I have a beautiful set of hair but it is going to shit because of my dry scalp from accutane

  • zynbw says:

    is this guy even really a doctor? how do we know he's not just a guy in a costume? lol

  • onlybrian says:

    Uh this was not really that helpful lol. Basically he's saying if you have dandruff, use dandruff shampoo. Well… no duh!

  • Will Smith Will Smith says:

    I got these itchy small pimples on my scalp it hurts

  • endah larasati says:

    hey ,if anyone else wants to discover natural cure for psoriasis try Vaxicorn Simple Psoriasis Guide (just google it ) ? Ive heard some extraordinary things about it and my buddy got cool success with it.

  • Joette Darling says:

    No such thing as dry scalp? I dont have any flakes but by scalp feels tight dry and very itchy!!!

  • Kolitha Ekanayaka says:

    Not certain about the points made but ,if anyone else wants to uncover curing psoriasis naturally try Grathaw Psoriasis Expert ( search on google ) ? Ive heard some awesome things about it and my work buddy got amazing results with it.

  • Yani Mendoza says:

    my question is what do you use for dry scalp?

  • Adnan S says:

    If u have dandruff then must try CLEAR shampoo blue colour bottle. I also uses that and got very good result.

  • Sarah Brigida says:

    Thank u

  • Will Smith says:

    OH NEAL

  • Jayla Blackwell says:

    He said the same thing over and over and over

  • Manohar Chawla says:

    nice

  • June Stevens says:

    Very good

  • Lunar Meii says:

    I have little red bump in my hair and I thought it was something serious ๐Ÿ˜‚

  • Krishna. Fofandi says:

    i am 20 year old.. I have too much of dry hair and ends are very rough please tell me what should i doo.. i also have lot to grey hair so someone told me you should not use this fenugreek mask.
    please tell me what should i doo to my hair

  • MIchael Harrington says:

    Any of you guys have dry penis skin? If so.. you need to check out a creme called Man1 Man Oil. It is a moisturizer made specifically for the penis skin… works very well. It is basically a combo of vitamins, nutrients, proteins and antioxidants that are excellent for the overall health of the skin down there. Use it once a day and you will be golden.

  • Shervin D says:

    I thought I had dandruff and used head and shoulders for 2 weeks, everyday, and it didn't work. Went to the doctor and was prescribed Mometasone Furoate 0.1%w/w. It got rid of the flakes it in 4 days.

  • Nalu WDW says:

    I usually get Pringle pieces in my hair does that mean I have a dry scalp?

  • Sasi Kala says:

    I have dry ski, please tell me what to do

  • Musical Vinni says:

    Sir can I get your what's app no please sir. I need your help. Please. Sir!

  • Fozia Younis says:

    You talk so much bull s***

  • Gamer X says:

    Every "Dr" on youtube will tell us it's 99% of the time dandruff, even though it's tiny white dry flakes and hair and head dry as fuck, because we shampoo them daily. And the answer is those over the counter shampoos? Useless products.

  • nongmaithem shitaljit says:

    Sir does blood comes out when we scratch dry part for me it comes out blood and after removing it does grow again

  • Montery12 says:

    Dry scalp? Yes, I got it. Severe itching is the number one symptom. If there is not such a thing as "dry scalp," then why is it that when my scalp is moisturized with scalp oil, i have no dryness or any itching, but soothing just lasting for a couple hours, then the severity of this illness starts all over again. It's a never ending, frustrating experience.

  • Montery12 says:

    Can scalp itching and scratching make you lose hair?

  • Valeria Fuerte says:

    I don't have flakes i have oily clumps in my hair and it gets itchy and i take showers everyday. What should i do?? ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐ŸŒš๐ŸŒš

  • Jazzy Baby says:

    What if you are balding? And you just have a small amount of hair?

  • Alucard Peach says:

    Bullshit. I have DRY SCALP. Dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis. The flakes that come off will be waxy if you rub it between your fingers. DRY SCALP flakes are 100% white and either won't break down when rubbed between the fingers, or break like old paper. Dandruff shampoo
    will exacerbate the condition, making an already painful dry scalp far more painful. This man needs disbarred.

  • ุนุจุฏุงู„ู„ู‡ ู‡ุฏุงู‡ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ู„ู…ุง ูŠุญุจ ูˆ ูŠุฑุถู‰ says:

    AFTER BLEECHING MY HAIR FOR MANY YEARS MY SCALP DRIED BUT WITHOUT FLAKES ..BUT I KNOW IT BY PINCHING MY SCALP.*.MY HAIR BECAME THINNER ..IM FRIGHTENED I MIGHT LOOSE MY HAIR

  • yellowness _ says:

    I have eczema, and the dead skin on my scalp is identical to the dead skin on the rest of my body. I have very dry skin, and my skin is flaking on my legs, arms, stomach…. basically everywhere. If I use black trousers or shirt, I can see the flakes very well. My scalp looks exactly the same. Very thin and tiny, almost invisble skin flakes. I can see the dead skin only on something dark. So yes, I believe I have dry scalp.

  • Trixiefam says:

    This raspy old man is saying everything wrong

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