Dry Scalp vs Dandruff or Cradle Cap: Natural Treatments

Dry Scalp vs Dandruff or Cradle Cap Natural treatments

Dry Scalp vs Dandruff or Cradle Cap

It is a common misconception that dry scalp and dandruff are the same thing. They are not. Dry scalp is… well dry. Dandruff is the result of an oily scalp, and is also called cradle cap when it affects babies. Both dry scalp and dandruff can cause flakes and an itchy scalp, but it is important to distinguish dry scalp vs dandruff or cradle cap in order to determine what treatment is needed. Dandruff or cradle cap is caused by overactive sebaceous glands and keeping the scalp oiled with this condition can make it worse. Dry scalp on the other hand can be effectively treated with moisturizing oils.

We’ve experienced all three in our household, my son has had cradle cap off and on since he was born, my daughters scalp occasionally gets dry and from time to time I get dandruff.

Dandruff and Cradle Cap Treatments

Generally no treatment is needed for cradle cap, babies typically outgrow the condition. You can, however, use a little bit a of olive or coconut oil (I know, I know, I said no oils, just be sure to wash it out) on the affected area for about 15 minutes to help loosen the scales, then use a comb or brush to gently removed them and wash the oil out with a mild shampoo. Do not scrape or pick the scales off because more than likely hair will come out as well, causing hair loss.

cradle cap scale hair loss natural treatment


Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse for Dandruff
You can also try doing an ACV rinse or Apple Cider Vinegar rinse.
-Mix 1/4 cup of vinegar add 2 cups of warm water in a spray bottle
-Spray directly on your scalp then gently massage in to loosen up any build up
-After 3 minutes rinse well with cold water.
This is a tip I saw on the Naturally Beautiful Fan Page.

Brown Sugar Treatment for Dandruff
I’ve also read about (but never tried) using brown sugar for dandruff. If you’ve tried all the dandruff shampoos that you can buy and still your dandruff persists, try out this homemade treatment instead:
-Mix two parts of brown sugar with one part conditioner
-Apply the mix to the scalp
-Leave on for about 3 minutes

Essential Oils for Dandruff
You can also create a mixture of an essential oil that is effective in treating dandruff and pretty much any carrier oil. Refer to our list of essential oils for hair care to see which essential oils are best for dandruff.

Dandruff Shampoo
If all else fails dandruff can be often also be treated with a sulfate / dandruff shampoo such as Head and Shoulders, using this dandruff shampoo once a week is usually enough. I typically don’t have to use Head and Shoulders a whole lot, maybe once a month or so, if it gets too bad.  (This one isn’t a natural treatment.)

Natural treatments for dry scalp flakes


Dry Scalp Treatments

Moisturizing the Scalp

A few weeks ago I noticed D’s scalp was getting a little dry and flakey, I knew it couldn’t be that she had dandruff so it must be dry scalp.  I promptly went to our favorite hair care products website, Bee Mine, to order some of their Bee Lovely website to treat her dry scalp. I massage this into her scalp after washed and several times a week. It works wonders. This product contains shea butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, grape seed oil and a blend or essential oils. You can get it (and any other Bee Mine product from their website and receive 10% off by using our reader discount code UTHMFALL.

hair scalp treatment

Essential Oils for Dry Scalp
You can also make your own mixture by using an essential oil that is effective in treating dry scalp and pretty much any carrier oil. Refer to our list of essential oils for hair care to see which essential oils are best for dry scalp.


Do you know of a treatment that is not listed above? Share it in the comments below.

Untrained Hair Mom