An itchy, dry scalp may indicate dandruff or, in some cases, a more serious medical condition such as psoriasis or eczema. Most of the time, home remedies can relieve these symptoms without the need for professional treatment, but consult a physician if symptoms continue for several weeks after using over-the-counter products or home remedies. You may also require a doctor's visit if the scalp begins to weep, ooze or bleed. Simple dry scalp, however, often requires nothing more than moisturizing.
Sesame Seed Oil
Sesame oil may help combat scalp dryness and relieves itchiness. In his book “Alternative Cures,” Bill Gottlieb recommends massaging warmed sesame oil directly into the scalp before bed each night. For the best results, spend at least 10 minutes working the oil into the entire affected area. Wrap your head in a hot towel and leave on for about 10 minutes before retiring, or allow it to remain all night for optimum moisturizing. Shampoo and rinse your scalp and hair thoroughly in the morning. Continue this treatment as long as necessary.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar balances the pH levels of the scalp and may help relieve itching and dryness. In her book “The Complete Herbal Guide: A Natural Approach to Healing the Body,” Stacey Chillemi suggests applying an apple cider vinegar solution to your hair once or twice a week to remedy an itchy, dry scalp. Combine 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup water, and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spritz the hair and scalp with the solution, making sure to thoroughly saturate the scalp. Wrap your head in a towel, and allow the mixture to remain for 15 minutes to an hour. Wash and rinse as usual.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil, a powerful natural antifungal and antibacterial agent commonly used to treat dandruff, may help reduce itchiness, flakiness and dryness of the scalp. Cynthia B. Olsen, author of “Australian Tea Tree Oil First Aid Handbook,” recommends adding 10 to 20 drops tea tree essential oil to 1/2 cup baby shampoo and using it daily until the scalp's condition improves. Diluting two or three drops tea tree oil in one tablespoon vegetable oil and massaging directly into the scalp may also help unblock hair follicles and heal a dry, itchy scalp.
In the book “Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things,” the Reader's Digest Association suggests using fresh lemon juice to treat an itchy, dry scalp. Do not use if the skin is broken, however, as this may cause stinging. Otherwise, try massaging two tablespoons fresh lemon juice directly into the scalp, and then rinse with water. Rinse the hair again using a solution of one teaspoon lemon juice mixed in one cup water. Repeat at least once daily until itchiness and dryness disappears. Lemon juice may lighten the hair when used consistently over time. Use for only a short time if you have dark hair.
- “Alternative Cures: More Than 1,000 of the Most Effective Natural Home Remedies”; Bill Gottlieb; 2008
- “The Complete Herbal Guide: A Natural Approach to Healing the Body”; Stacey Chillemi, Michael Chillemi; 2007
- “Australian Tea Tree Oil First Aid Handbook: 101 Plus Ways to Use Tea Tree Oil”; By Cynthia B. Olsen; 1999
- “Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things”; Reader's Digest; 2004