Ask an Expert: What’s the Difference Between Dandruff and a Dry Scalp?

Augusta Falletta
wavy hair texture


Since we are lucky enough to work with a bevy of experts who drop excellent tips on us without blinking an eye we figured it was due time to share them with the rest of you. With Ask an Expert, we’ll be reaching out to some of our favorite pros in the industry with the beauty questions that you send in via social media (with the hashtag #BeautyHelp). So please, send in your critical beauty questions and we’ll get them answered for you!

Once you’ve experienced dry skin, you know how long the rehydration process can be. Even worse, however, is dry hair, whether it be your scalp or your strands. When you’ve got a dry scalp, you want to fix it immediately, but all too often we wind up treating dry scalp the way we’d treat dandruff. Each issue is completely solvable as long as you know the difference, so we turned to celebrity stylist Michael Dueñas to set the record straight.

MORE: 5 DIY Hair Masks to Revive Dry Strands

Q: What’s the difference between dandruff and a dry scalp?

A: “Dry scalp happens a lot in the winter, and surprisingly in the summer too! We have heaters on all winter, drying the air, which in turn, dries your scalp out. Same goes for the summer, with air conditioners on in every room, drying the air our, drying your skin. It all takes a beating, Dry scalp is loss of moisture in the skin, and the dead skin cells flaking off. Dandruff is product buildup, and excess sebum buildup on your scalp. Dandruff is your scalp’s way of trying to clean itself!” —  Michael Dueñas, Celebrity Hairstylist and CEO of Hair Room Service, an in-room salon appointment service that delivers top celebrity stylists and services to your door. 

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