​Natural Remedies for Dry Scalp, Dandruff & Hair Loss

Restoring the scalp back to balance with natural remedies

Credits: Sergey Zolkin at
Amy Branum

Caring for the scalp is about bringing it back into balance. Heavy us of hair products, overwashing, overdrying, compromised internal health, and environmental exposure to toxins can all lead to an unhealthy, unbalanced scalp, characterized by dryness and the presence of dandruff. Try the following natural remedies to restore the scalp back to health and relieve these unpleasant symptoms. 


4 Natural Remedies

1. Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar can be used as a hair rinse to soften your hair, but it can also be used to restore the pH levels of your scalp and has been applied traditionally to relieve scalp flaking.

To Use: Mix ½ cup of water with ½ cup of apple cider vinegar. Pour the mixture over dry hair, or after washing, and rub it into your scalp. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes, then rinse. 

2. Coconut oil: Coconut oil has many benefits for your skin, and can soothe a dry, flaky scalp. You can also apply it to your hair to moisturize and nourish dry or damaged hair. 

To Use: Melt a small amount of coconut oil in your hands and rub it into your scalp, covering the entire surface with oil. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes before washing it out with a gentle shampoo, like derma e Scalp Relief Shampoo or TheraNeem Shampoo. I like to give my coconut oil a boost by adding a few drops of essential oil (see suggestions below). 

3. Shea butter: Shea butter is another oil that is deeply moisturizing and soothing for dry, itchy scalps or irritated, red scalps. It is also an amazing treatment for dry or damaged hair.  

To Use: Soften the shea butter in your hands and rub it into your scalp. If you want a deep moisturizing hair treatment, rub it into your hair as well, especially focusing on the ends or any damaged areas. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes, then wash out with a gentle shampoo.

4. Castor oil: Castor oil stimulates circulation and movement in your skin and tissues. It’s used in Ayurveda as a remedy for dandruff and dry skin, and also to stimulate hair growth. Because it’s a very thick and sticky oil, I prefer to dilute the thickness of castor oil by mixing it with a thinner oil like coconut, olive, or almond oil. 

To Use: Massage the castor oil (or a blend) into your scalp, allow it to sit for 30 minutes, then wash with shampoo. If you’re using castor oil to stimulate hair growth, repeat this process at least 3-4 times a week. 


Adding Essential Oils

To enhance your scalp treatment, add 3-5 drops of essential oil to the base oils above before use.  

  • To promote hair growth and increase circulation on the scalp, try peppermint or rosemary essential oils
  • For dandruff, try clary sage, lavender, rosemary, myrrh, tea tree, ylang ylang, or neem essential oils
  • To soothe your scalp, try lavender, myrrh, patchouli, rose, or neem essential oils

Essential Oils Health Note: I highly recommend you use only high-quality essential oils, as cheaper oils may be adulterated with chemical fragrances, which can cause a reaction on your skin. I recommend Floracopeia and Mountain Rose Herbs for safe, high-quality essential oils. 

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