Vitamins For Dry Scalp

A list of all the essential supplements you need to keep handy for maintaining a healthy scalp.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Sonam Jeswani Ramrakhiani, MBBS, DDV
Written by Arshiya Syeda, BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Dip
Edited by Ramona Sinha, MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach
Fact-checked by Medha Deb, Integrated MA  • 

Dry hair may result from a poor hair care regimen, harsh hair care products, nutrient deficiency, and sudden seasonal changes. But do you know vitamins for dry scalp can help improve your hair health? It is because vitamin deficiencies may also cause dry hair. A dry scalp feels irritated and may lead to itching, flaking, redness, and even hair loss. If you are not getting the essential vitamins from your diet, you may go for supplements and topical products.

Read on to understand the role of vitamins in maintaining a dry scalp and which vitamins best suit the purpose.

What Is Dry Scalp?

A dry scalp refers to a common condition where the skin on the scalp lacks moisture, leading to discomfort and sometimes visible flakiness. It can result from various factors, such as cold weather, low humidity, frequent use of harsh hair products, or underlying skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. It often causes itching, irritation, and small white or gray flakes. To manage a dry scalp, it’s important to maintain good scalp hygiene, use a mild, moisturizing shampoo, and avoid hot water during hair washing, as it can strip the scalp of its natural oils.

Dry scalp flakiness can be embarrassing, so let’s understand if vitamins can help us with it.

Does Vitamin E Improve Dry Scalp?

Vitamin E hydrates dry scalp
Image: Shutterstock

We often first reach out for vitamin E supplements whenever our scalp feels dry. But do they help?

Topical vitamin E was found to improve skin hydration by enhancing the water-binding ability (1). Another study shows that vitamin E used in nano-emulsionsi  XNano-sized non-toxic and non-irritant stable emulsions used in drug delivery and the cosmetic field due to its high permeability. can improve skin properties and hydration levels (2).

Oxidative stressi  XAccumulation of excess free radicals due to the inability of the body to detoxify reactive molecules, thus causing damage to cells and tissues throughout the body. is one of the primary reasons for an unhealthy scalp and may cause dandruff (3). Vitamin E supplement is an antioxidant and helps reduce oxidative stress, minimize flaking and dandruff, aid healthy hair growth, and improve scalp health (4).

If you have a dry scalp, you may use topical vitamin E to minimize it. You may also consume vitamin E-rich foods like seeds and nuts, avocados, and spinach. However, if you have vitamin E deficiency, you may have to take vitamin supplements after consulting your doctor.

Other than vitamin E, the lack of other essential vitamins may cause a dry scalp. Scroll down to know more.

Other Best Vitamins For Improving Dry Scalp Conditions

1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D-rich foods for dry scalp
Image: Shutterstock

Topical and oral vitamin D is an effective way to manage psoriasis, an auto-immune condition that causes red patches and dandruff-like flakes (5), (6). Vitamin D helps minimize the redness, flaking, and discomfort associated with psoriasis. You may consume vitamin D-rich foods like salmon, eggs, and fortified foods, use topical solutions, or take supplements after consulting a doctor.


protip_icon Quick Tip
You can also stand under the sun for 20 minutes daily before 10 AM to receive your daily dose of vitamin D.

2. Vitamin B

Vitamin B12 supplements for dry scalp
Image: Shutterstock

Topical vitamin B12 was found to manage and minimize the symptoms of psoriasis, including flaking and dryness. Vitamin B12 has emollienti  XMoisturizing agents that can soothe and hydrate the skin and scalp by forming a protective coating and trapping in moisture. properties and may also help manage dry scalp issues. Systemic administration (oral) of vitamin B12 was shown to minimize cell proliferation and inflammation associated with psoriasis (7). Biotin or vitamin B7 is also said to improve scalp dryness. However, there is no scientific proof to back this claim.


You can also consume foods rich in vitamin B-12 like eggs, sardines, tuna, salmon, and dairy products as part of your daily diet.

3. Vitamins A And C

Vitamin C-rich foods for dry scalp
Image: Shutterstock

Topical vitamin A or retinoids are widely used in skin care formulations. Retinoids help minimize acne and dryness and manage psoriasis and other hair and nail disorders (8).

Vitamin C (oral and topical) supports your skin health and enhances the production of barrier lipids and natural moisturizing factors to prevent dryness (9). Foods like guava, broccoli, oranges, papaya, kiwi, sweet potato, strawberries, and blackberries are rich in vitamin C.

A dry scalp is uncomfortable and can be caused by a variety of factors. Low vitamin levels are one of these factors. Therefore, you can take vitamins for dry scalp to improve its condition. You can deal with the problem by taking nutritional supplements, eating vitamin-rich meals, and applying topical vitamin remedies. Consult your healthcare provider for proper dosage recommendations if you take oral nutritional supplements since overdosing on vitamins can have adverse effects. If you experience any side effects, stop consuming them immediately and seek medical advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does zinc help dry scalp?

Yes. Zinc pyrithione has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help in treating dry scalp issues like dandruff, psoriasis, acne, and yeast infections.

Is dandruff a vitamin deficiency?

Yes. Vitamin deficiency is one of the major causes of dandruff. Besides vitamin deficiency, dry skin, exposure to irritants, and yeast growth may cause dandruff.

Does omega-3 help with dry scalp?

Yes. Omega-3 fatty acids help nourish your dry, itchy scalp by regulating oil production, thus reducing inflammation and irritation on the scalp.

Does zinc dry out your hair?

Yes. Excess use of zinc can dry out your hair. To ensure good hair health, maintaining a balance in the amount of zinc you use is important.

Key Takeaways

  • You can treat a dry scalp using topical and oral vitamin E, which also helps prevent oxidative stress, flaking, and dandruff.
  • Vitamin D, both topical and oral, is an excellent way to manage psoriasis and reduce the scalp redness, flaking, and discomfort associated with it.
  • Topical vitamin B12 has emollient properties that may aid in the treatment of dry scalp and the symptoms of psoriasis.
  • Consult your doctor for a correct diagnosis and dosage prescription before you take oral supplements.


Discover the surprising link between vitamin deficiencies and your hair’s texture. Click on this video to understand how inadequate nutrient levels can lead to dry hair.

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Influence of vitamin E acetate on stratum corneum hydration.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9706379/
  2. Evaluation of the biocompatibility and skin hydration potential of vitamin E-loaded lipid nanosystems formulations: In vitro and human in vivo studies.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0927776519301857
  3. The role of oxidative damage in poor scalp health: ramifications to causality and associated hair growth.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26574300/
  4. Effects of Tocotrienol Supplementation on Hair Growth in Human Volunteers.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3819075/
  5. Systemic Role for Vitamin D in the Treatment of Psoriasis and Metabolic Syndrome.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3130965/
  6. Oral vitamin D, still a viable treatment option for psoriasis.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22103655/
  7. Superiority of a vitamin B12-containing emollient compared to a standard emollient in the maintenance treatment of mild-to-moderate plaque psoriasis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5806803/
  8. Retinoids: active molecules influencing skin structure formation in cosmetic and dermatological treatments. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6791161/
  9. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/
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