Natural Remedies for Dry Hair, Itchy Skin, and More

Beat these Common Problems with Natural Remedies

By Margaret Boyles & Margaret Ross
September 23, 2019
Dry Skin

If you suffer from frizzy hair, itchy skin, chapped lips, or one of many other common cosmetic issues, try these easy and time-tested natural remedies!

General Advice

  • First, though it is healthy for other reasons, forget the idea that drinking plenty of water will keep your skin (eyes, nasal passages, nails) moist and your hair well behaved. Dermatologists say that while drinking water is important for overall health, as far as moisturizing skin, hair, and nails are concerned, you need to add moisture from the outside and prevent it from escaping into the drier surrounding air.
  • Humidifying dry indoor air helps to provide that indoor moisture. It’s especially important if you suffer bloody noses and lots of respiratory infections. You could run an electric humidifier, but passive solutions may do the trick for you. We maintain a lot of well-watered houseplants that transpire water into the indoor air. We keep steamers going on each of our stoves that pump moisture into the air whenever the stove is running.
  • Hanging your laundry on bars indoors is another great strategy. It doesn’t take much longer to dry near the woodstove than it would in an electric dryer, and while it dries, your laundry humidifies the air around it.

Humidifier. Photo by Michael Ahanov/Shutterstock
Use a humidifier or an alternative method (see above) to keep air humid. Photo by Michael Ahanov/Shutterstock.

Natural Remedies

Dull, Frizzy, Dry Hair

  • Use lemon juice as a rinse over freshly washed hair to induce natural highlights, especially if you’re a blond. It’s instant sunshine for your hair, in a fruit.
  • Beer has long been used—even by professionals—as a setting lotion and conditioner. Pour straight from the can or bottle, comb through and rinse.
  • Mayonnaise, straight from the jar, will make hair soft and shiny. The egg nourishes brittle hair with protein, while the vinegar gives it body and bounce.
  • Try this mixture to regain supple hair: Mix one teaspoon powdered brewers’ yeast with four ounces of apple cider vinegar to create an after wash rinse. Pour it over wet hair and let stand at least a minute before rinsing.
  • To tame flyaway hair, try a weekly deep-conditioning. For a rich conditioning treatment that you’d pay $30 to $100 for at a salon, mix a couple of tablespoons of olive, coconut, or castor oil with ½ cup of full-fat mayonnaise (alternatively: a ripe, mashed avocado), and massage into your hair and scalp. Then wrap your hair in a large plastic grocery bag and top it off with a warm, dry towel for about 30 minutes. Wash and rinse as usual (but sometimes twice is needed, to remove the oil).
  • To make a light and moisturizing leave-in conditioner, mix two parts water, one part witch hazel, two parts vegetable glycerin (a natural moisturizer available online or in health/natural food stores), and a tablespoon of olive or other cooking oil per cup of liquid in a spray bottle. If you have aloe vera gel on hand, add one part of that to the mixture. A few drops of essential oil will give you a scented product. Spritz on wet or dry hair before styling.

Baby with frizzy hair. Photo by Martin Novak/Shutterstock
Control frizzy (or static-y!) hair with the above tips! Photo by Martin Novak/Shutterstock.

Oily Hair and Skin

  • Add one teaspoon baking soda to two ounces of your shampoo. This works as an alkali to absorb excess oil.
  • Baking soda works the same way with skin, it will absorb oil and also neutralize excess acid in your skin. Make a paste with baking soda and water.
  • Try lemon juice as an astringent facial cleanser.

Dry, Itchy Skin

  • You could use a commercial moisturizer or simply apply a thin coat of olive oil immediately after showering or bathing.
  • Dermatologists also suggest taking shorter baths or showers in warm (not hot) water. Use a mild, glycerin-based soap. And stay away from hair or skin-care products that contain any forms of alcohol, which are drying agents.
  • If you have itchy skin, try a soothing oatmeal bath. 
  • For a homemade scrub, mix ground oats and honey. Rub all over your face—especially your nose. The abrasive will remove dry, scaly skin while the honey seeps in as a moisturizer. Rinse completely off and pat dry, and your skin will be glowing and baby soft. Only use this remedy once a week.
  • For superdry skin, use olive oil. Rub it in prior to a bath or shower. You may substitute peanut, sesame or sunflower oil.
  • A quart of milk in a hot bath is a luxury as well as a skin toner. It’s a trick nearly as old as time.

Oatmeal soap. Photo by Natalia Malnychuk/Shutterstock
Oatmeal soap can help to keep skin smooth. Photo by Natalia Malnychuk/Shutterstock.

Puffy, Tired-Looking, Dry Eyes

  • Used teabags make excellent eye cosmetics. After being dunked (and allowed to cool slightly), drain the tea bag and place it over your closed eye (one for each) and hold it there for a few minutes. Redness, soreness, swelling and irritation will disappear like magic.
  • If you suffer from dry, scratchy, itchy, eyes, try laying a warm, moist washcloth over your closed lids for a few minutes each day.
    • This simple, effective treatment helps to liquefy the lubricating oil in glands located along the eyelids. It may take a few days, but if you use the compresses faithfully, you should experience relief.

Dry, Chapped Lips

  • To prevent cracked or chapped lips, use a lip balm and apply it often. It’s inexpensive and easy to make your own. If you make a big batch that’s a bit heavier on the olive oil, you can use your homemade balm for hands, fingernails, facial moisturizer, and (just a dab) hair conditioner, too.
  • Plain honey is an excellent remedy for chapped lips. Leave on overnight—it makes for sweet dreams!

Brittle Nails and Ragged Cuticles

  • To prevent brittle nails and ragged cuticles, use your homemade balm or a commercial conditioning agent after bathing or doing dishes. Some dermatologists suggest coating hands and nails with Vaseline or another moisturizing product and wearing cotton gloves overnight to treat dry nails and cuticles.
  • If you polish your nails, find an acetone-free polish remover, as acetone is a serious drying agent.
  • Also make sure to wear gloves or mittens when you go outside to prevent the dry winter air from drawing moisture from your hands and nails.

Learn More

See more natural home remedies and check out our Living Naturally blog!


Parts adapted from The 1977 Old Farmer's Almanac.

Reader Comments

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that was great thanks for

that was great thanks for that,you know i just recently stumbled upon your website.but i just binge read almost every article on your site,great stuff.

itchy feet

I've been having really itchy feet especially in between toes. could be athlete foot. What can I do to help?

Itchy feet

Yes, athlete’s foot is common between toes, especially the little toe and the toe next to it. You just need some antifungal powder and air out your feet. Wear socks that aren’t cotton; keep your feet dry.

This blog is really

This blog is really informative and nicely explained. Thanks for sharing. All the tips and remedies are so effective and easy-to-apply. Another and most important good thing about ayurvedis beauty products is that there is no side-effect. So, I always prefer home made remedies and ayurvedic cosmetic products from Kama Ayurveda. They offer 100% natural ayurvedic beauty products.

I’d recommend Pro Naturals !

I’d recommend Pro Naturals !

Looking for a remedy- Hello,

Looking for a remedy-
Hello, I'm looking for a natural remedy for adult cystic acne. I'm nearly 30 yo and have had acne for most of my life. As I became older it changed into more cystic, hormonal-type acne. Please advise, thank you!

I have heard that borax. Yes,

I have heard that borax. Yes, the laundry detergent 20 mule team clears all skin and scalp ailments. It has been used for over a century. Ladies used to wash their hair and it kills parasites, fungus and has antiviral properties. Do not confuse this with Boric Acid which is highly poisonous.

Try Manuka honey....I hear

Try Manuka honey....I hear its excellent for skin issues such as acne and or has many benifits. You want the right kind tho, there are many imposters so i would research and purchase from a whole food or health store.

Trying to get my hair to

Trying to get my hair to grow. What can I use??

Tips for Long Hair

Make a pack by mixing 1 cup of henna powder in half cup of curd or yoghurt. Apply this pack scalp as well as on the hair and leave it till it gets dried. After getting dried wash the hair with mild shampoo. This will help you in getting strong hair and growth will be fast.

I have read on this and i

I have read on this and i found that cold pressed castor oil or black african castor has the ash of the castor bean added to it...ive read many blogs stating that it can be put on eyelash line for growth as well.... goodluck

Grow hair

How can I get my hair to grow and stop falling out

Low thyroid causes hair loss

Any ideas appreciated. Have started having hair cut on suggested days to encourage growth.

Awesome treatments! These

Awesome treatments! These will definitely keep me looking good when starting my new job! These natural remedies pretty much solve all my problems :).

i had lovely hair once but in

i had lovely hair once but in the last two years or so it has fallen so much and thinned even. is there a remedy? am only 47.
thank you.

annie Emily

Does more than normal come

Does more than normal come out in your comb? That's one way of knowing for sure. If it's not sudden and has been over time as you say, it is usually hereditary. Is this something other family members have experienced? But if you are taking too much Vitamin A or losing lots of weight, that could contribute, too. You could talk to a dermatologist.

For those of you asking about

For those of you asking about hair growth I have found something that helps. It is caffeine. There are shampoos and hair care products that have caffeine added. Caffeine de-stimulates the hormones that cause hair to die and fall out and it boosts the hormones that create full, healthy hair. I am now in the process of trying to find a way to use coffee as a home treatment for hair & skin. Surely, there is a way to do it. You can rinse your hair with coffee, it's boosts color for brunettes and I'm experimenting to see if it helps with fullness and healthiness. My hair thinned out while using the depot shot as birth control and have been looking ever since for a booster.

Biotin vitamin supplements.

Biotin vitamin supplements. B6 50 or 100 mg every day.

Great article ! As the

Great article ! As the summers has already started and it is really important to take care of everything whether it is skin, hair or dark circles.

I have also heard that if you

I have also heard that if you apply ice to the inflamed area it increases blood flow and can really help with your Acne by reducing inflamation.

What is a really good natural

What is a really good natural remedy to get rid of flakey hair?

Oatmeal and baking soda might

Oatmeal and baking soda might help. Take a bath and soak your head in water with some uncooked oatmeal or baking soda sprinkled in. Otherwise, be sure to use fragrance-free products and thoroughly rinse all products from your hair. You may want to visit a health professional to ensure it's not a more serious skin problem.

ya, this is right. this site

ya, this is right. this site is really enjoyed. This is such a Great resource that you are providing and it’s really helpful for me. It gives in depth information. Thanks for this wonderful information. thanks

I will be taking some of the

I will be taking some of the treatment's into consideration first need to talk to Dr. But, I do thank everyone.

Is there anything good to use

Is there anything good to use to put elasticity back into skin?

There are countless theories

There are countless theories out there, from coconut oil to vitamins C & E to avocado, but we don't have any guaranteed methods to recommend.

Please, I hope one of the

Please, I hope one of the Almanac staff will answer my
question. I'm Jeana Lim and I
tried almost different treatments, products and some advice from my friends but my hair is still very dull, dry and no life at all and sometimes my classmates always bully me that I have a very ugly and no life hair and I don't know what to do
and sometimes I'm so jealous on my classmates that have a beautiful, bouncy and full of life hair please what can I do to have a beautiful and full of life hair easily in a natural way.. I hope you will answer me..THANK YOU

what is the best way that I

what is the best way that I can do avoid frizzy hair