Dandruff vs. Dry Scalp: What’s the Difference?

If you struggle with a flaky scalp, you know how frustrating it can be to find the right solution to fight those flakes. After all, selecting the proper treatment for your flakes is dependent on the cause of them: are you dealing with a run-of-the-mill dry scalp, or are your flakes a sign of dandruff? How can you tell the difference, and how do the treatment options differ?


What’s the difference between dry scalp and dandruff?

While dandruff and dry scalp may appear similar at first glance, the type of flakes you’re experiencing can actually look quite different upon closer inspection—and it’s those differences that can help you determine which scalp issue you’re dealing with. The size, color, and texture of the flakes can point you to the root cause of them:

- Dry scalp tends to look and feel like dry skin on the rest of the body: tight, sometimes itchy, with small, white flakes. 

- Dandruff tends to produce larger, somewhat yellowish flakes, which can also be oily.


How to treat a dry scalp

Once you’ve got an idea of which scalp condition you’re dealing with, finding a solution is easier. After all, since your scalp is an extension of your skin, dry scalp can be treated the same way dry skin is: decreasing dehydrating factors and increasing hydration and moisture. 

If your scalp is flaking because it’s dry, try shampooing less frequently and switching to a sulfate-free, hydrating shampoo—our Don’t Despair, Repair! Super Moisture Shampoo is a great option to prevent dehydration.

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Super Moisture Shampoo

Incorporating a hydrating scalp mask into your routine will help increase scalp moisture, as well. Our Scalp Revival™ Charcoal + Tea Tree Cooling Hydration Scalp Mask is supercharged with peppermint, spearmint, and tea tree oils to hydrate, nourish, and soothe a dry, flaky scalp.


How to treat dandruff 

Dandruff, on the other hand, is a little trickier to solve than a dry scalp. Because dandruff is actually a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis, it’s linked to an overgrowth of yeast and overproduction of oil, which causes skin cells that would normally slough off naturally to build up, leading to flakes. 

While there are many treatments out there available to target and treat dandruff, many of them contain harsh ingredients and can cause some not-so-lovely side effects, like dry, brittle, or discolored hair. 

But not our Scalp Revival™ MegaStrenght+ Dandruff Relief Shampoo Charcoal + AHA/BHA, which is formulated with Salicylic Acid (BHA) and Lactic Acid (AHA) to provide a gentle chemical exfoliation that prevents the recurrence of irritation and flaking due to dandruff, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis. Plus, it’s safe enough for daily use, so you can say goodbye flakes, hello healthy hair!

Before & After Photo

A regular scalp care routine—one that includes detoxification, exfoliation, and hydration—can go a long way in treating and preventing flakes of all types. Learn more about how to care for your scalp and why scalp care = healthy hair™ by visiting our Scalp Hub!

Share This

Shop this post

Don’t Despair, Repair!™ Super Moisture Shampoo
Shop Now
Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Cooling Hydration Scalp Mask
Shop Now
Scalp Revival™ MegaStrength+ Dandruff Relief Shampoo Charcoal + AHA/BHA with Salicylic Acid 3%
Shop Now