Subscribe to Onlymyhealth Newsletter
  • I have read the Privacy Policy and the Terms and Conditions. I provide my consent for my data to be processed for the purposes as described and receive communications for service related information.

Causes of dry, flaky scalp

Causes of dry, flaky scalp
Quick Bites
  • Seborrheic dermatitis causes the scalp to become red.
  • Psoriasis leads to thickening and flaking of the scalp.
  • Dryness is a common phenomenon during winters.
  • Hot showers too can cause your scalp to go dry.

Since a dry flaky scalp is often confused with dandruff, it is important to understand the difference before going into the causes.

If the flakiness you feel is limited to the top of your head, and it the flakes appear like dust but white in colour, it is just dry flaky scalp and not dandruff. These patches of flaky scalp are worse at certain times of the year, particularly during change of seasons. You might have experienced that the spot of your scalp that feels flaky is where you apply shampoo or the place where hot water from the shower falls.

The above mentioned is a good way to determine that your condition is one of dry flaky scalp rather than dandruff, which is associated more with an oily skin.

Causes of dry flaky scalp

Factors that cause your scalp to become dry and flaky


  • Seborrheic Dermatitis – It is a form of skin condition in which the scalp becomes red and causes the skin to flake.
  • Psoriasis – It is a type of skin disorder in which the skin cell growth is faster than normal which leads to thickening and flaking of the scalp.
  • Weather – Dryness after the onset of winter can lead to flaky scalp. You would be well advised to use hair care products particular to the weather rather than your hair type in this weather. You can also switch between products if the condition returns.
  • Hot showers – Your scalp can become really flaky if you are used to having a very hot shower. You will need to use a conditioner and get off this habit of using such a hot water for bathing.
  • Not rinsing well with shampoo – You need to rinse your shampoo thoroughly if you use a conditioner for your hair. Conditioner helps to comb your hair as it becomes smooth and silky, but it can retain the soap left over from the shampoo, that can begin to peel off as flakes.
  • Infrequent shampooing – If your hair is not washed and cleaned at regular intervals, the dust can accumulate and aggravate the dry flakes.
  • Hair care products – Certain hair care products, particularly those that are not manufactured keeping in mind the dryness of winter.
  • Heredity – It is a fact that the tendency to have dry flaky scalp runs in families and the external factors determine its severity.

Image Source: Getty


Read more articles on Hair Care.



Written by
Vatsal Anand
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial teamDec 27, 2011

All possible measures have been taken to ensure accuracy, reliability, timeliness and authenticity of the information; however does not take any liability for the same. Using any information provided by the website is solely at the viewers’ discretion. In case of any medical exigencies/ persistent health issues, we advise you to seek a qualified medical practitioner before putting to use any advice/tips given by our team or any third party in form of answers/comments on the above mentioned website.

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK