Step 1. Don’t get it mixed up with dandruff
Before you start addressing how to get rid of dry scalp, you first need to figure out whether your scalp is actually dry or if you have dandruff. It’s easy to confuse a dry scalp with dandruff as they share some of the same symptoms (like itchiness and flaking). However, they are two different and distinct conditions that require their own treatment.
Dry scalp occurs when the scalp loses too much moisture and becomes tight, due to factors we mentioned above, like cold weather, dehydration and excess hair product. Dandruff, however, is largely associated with Malassezia, a yeast-like fungus that breeds on oily scalps. When your scalp’s natural protection is weakened, irritants made by Malassezia feed on the excess oil. This leads to irritation and skin cells shedding faster than usual, causing dandruff.
Step 2. Stay hydrated
The first step to get your scalp in shape is to go back to basics. Drinking eight glasses of water daily seems simple enough, but we're all guilty of under-hydrating ourselves on a busy day. Start setting phone reminders throughout the day to get your hourly dose of water and remember to stock up on hydration in particularly hot or cold climates that can be harsher on your scalp. You might be surprised how quickly you notice the difference.