Can Dry Scalp Cause Hair Loss?

Amisha Jain
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Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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Can Dry Scalp Cause Hair Loss

The dryness of the scalp is a common problem.

It leads to an itchy, dry, and flaky scalp which can cause discomfort.

But can a dry scalp cause hair loss?

Losing up to a hundred strands of hair each day is normal, says the American Academy of Dermatology.

But losing a significantly larger amount of hair could potentially shatter one’s confidence.

Going ahead in this article, we will try to understand the relationship between dry scalp and hair loss.

We shall also learn the causes of dryness and how to prevent it.

While a dry scalp directly may not cause hair loss, it might contribute to the problem.

When your scalp is dry, it becomes itchy and irritated.

This might make you want to scratch your scalp.

And when scratched aggressively and repeatedly, it can cause damage to the hair follicles and cause hair shedding.

Also, a dry scalp can cause inflammation which can interfere with hair growth.

Moreover, since a dry scalp lacks moisture and natural oils, it can cause the hair to become weak and brittle.

Weak hair is more prone to damage and hair fall.

This condition can lead to dandruff and cause further hair loss if left unattended.

Causes of Dry Scalp

There might be several reasons responsible for your dry scalp, both medical and otherwise.

Many hair products you use could be stripping oil off your hair and drying your scalp out.

These products could also be causing contact dermatitis, a reaction to something which causes irritation and itchiness.

Another factor contributing to the dry scalp could be the weather. 

Cold climates or areas with low humidity can dry out the skin on your scalp.

Overwashing your way is another way you can strip the hair of moisture and natural oils.

Aging and stress are some other causes of dry scalp.

Apart from this, some scalp disorders can also result in dryness and flakiness of the scalp.

Some of them are discussed below.


PsoriasisSource: Lunarts_Studio

Scalp psoriasis is a long-term autoimmune skin condition that causes your skin cells to grow rapidly.

This causes the skin to pile up on the surface of the scalp in patches called plaques.

It can lead to a dry, itchy, and flaky scalp.

In case you have skin conditions that are causing the skin on your scalp to dry out, consult a doctor to get it treated.

Tinea capitis (scalp ringworm)

It is a fungal infection of the skin, which can spread very quickly through contact.

You can also contract it by sharing objects like brushes and hats or touching surfaces that harbor the fungus.

The fungus causing this infection can stay on infected surfaces and objects for an extended period of time.


It is a skin condition that causes the scalp to become dry, cracked, and itchy.

Atopic eczema is a type of eczema affecting people who have allergies.

It often affects people who have a family history of the condition.

Detergent, soap, changes in weather, and stress may cause dry patches of eczema on your scalp.

Dry Scalp vs Dandruff

Dry scalp and dandruff are often confused with each other.

While both exhibit visible flakiness, there are differences between them.

Dandruff is a common condition associated with seborrheic dermatitis.

It is a skin condition caused by a naturally occurring yeast living on most healthy scalps.

Dandruff develops when this yeast thrives. It disturbs the balance of the microbiome of the scalp.

Another way to differentiate is the flakes themselves.

The flakes on a dry scalp are white and dry-looking, while dandruff flakes appear oily and yellowish.

Dandruff might also make your scalp look oily, red, and scaly and not affect the body. 

But, conditions that cause dry scalp might also cause dryness in other parts of the body.

As per the PubMed study, 50% of the world’s population faces dandruff problems.

Preventing hair loss due to dry scalp

If your dry scalp is a result of a medical condition, consult your doctor and formulate a proper treatment plan.

But, if your dry hair is due to poor hair care or unfavorable weather conditions, the following tips might be helpful.

Massage your scalp

Scalp massaging is one of the best natural treatments for hair loss.Source: Valua_Vitaly
Scalp massage for hair shedding

Nothing is better than getting a nice scalp massage.

It not only improves blood circulation but also helps nourish the dry scalp.

You can use warm oil to massage your hair.

Avoid hot showers

Spending too much time in hot water can strip your skin of natural oils and moisture, including the scalp.

This might lead to dryness of the scalp and thus cause hair loss.

Use warm water in your bath or shower instead.

Use a humidifier

During the winter months, humidity in the air drops, and the climate becomes colder.

Blasting the heat to keep yourself warm might also cause drying.

Turning on a humidifier in your room adds moisture to the air.

Use gentle hair care products

Hydrating and moisturizing range of hair care products is ideal for incorporating into your routine if you have a dry scalp.

You can use nourishing shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, and serums for healthier hair.

You can buy Dhathri Dheedhi Protein Shampoo to nourish and moisturize your hair follicles from WowRxPharmacy at affordable prices.

This will prevent your scalp from getting itchy, dry, or flaky.

Also, excessive use of heating tools without proper protectants can cause damage to the hair shaft and aggravate breakage and hair loss.


Dryness of the scalp is a common condition that happens when the scalp is not producing enough natural oils (sebum). 

This could result from a variety of factors ranging from the products you use to the weather, scalp conditions, and more.

It might lead to hair loss, thinning, and breakage.

Damage to the lipid barrier of the scalp can also lead to hair loss.

But it should not be confused with dandruff as they have different origins.

However, it is possible to control the hair loss caused by a dry scalp if you moisturize and nourish your scalp enough to get rid of the dryness.

Massaging the scalp and using gentle hair products is one such way.

If your dry scalp results from a scalp condition, consult your doctor for the best treatment plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my scalp so dry and my hair falling out?

Dry scalp results from a lack of moisture. This might occur due to changes in weather, age, hair care products, or even a skin condition. You may get rid of the condition by using gentle hair products. But consult a doctor if you have an underlying scalp condition.

Can dryness cause hair fall?

The dryness of the scalp doesn’t directly lead to hair fall. It can make your scalp itchy and flaky. Vigorous and constant scratching might lead to damage to hair follicles. This can eventually result in hair loss.

Does hair loss from dry scalp grow back?

Yes, hair loss from a dry scalp is reversible. Once you treat your scalp, nourish and moisturize it, you might notice a difference in your hair fall. A healthy diet and appropriate products can help reduce the dryness of the scalp. But, if you have a skin condition, consider seeing a doctor.

How do you know if it’s dry scalp or dandruff?

One way to tell a dry scalp from dandruff apart from the underlying cause is to look at the flakes. The flakes on a dry scalp are white and dry-looking, while dandruff flakes appear oily and yellowish.

What are the main signs of a dry scalp?

You may notice patches of itchy or scaly skin if you have a dry scalp. You might also notice flakiness with a rough texture with peeling skin. Alongside, white and dry-looking flakes can be observed if you suffer from a dry scalp.

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