Natural Remedies for Dry Hair, Itchy Skin, and More

Beat these Common Problems with Natural Remedies

Margaret Boyles & Margaret Ross
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, 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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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

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

The Beer thing is funny

The Beer thing is funny though, but yeah I think they really use beer back then to stiffen hair. I heard that from my grandmother.

my 4month old daughter skin

my 4month old daughter skin is dull , very dry and getting slightly dark after using cream atogola on her face so tell me the best natural care

We are not doctors, but have

We are not doctors, but have you ever tried glycerine mixed with water (1:1)? Apply on semi-wet skin a couple times a day.

I have a 4-yr-old daughter

I have a 4-yr-old daughter who's biracial and has the most awful dry frizzy hair. I have tried all types of salon products and have even gotten suckered into buying crap off tv claiming its magical benefits however nothing has worked yet. I even tried washing her hair less from everyday down to every other to even every 2 days but with summer comes the heat and humidity and it's so unmanageable. Looking to find something to keep in moisture and help the frizz as well as keeping it looking shiny and healthy. Right now it's dull and dead looking... Please help :-/

Here are two remedies to

Here are two remedies to try:

Rub a small amount of coconut oil into her hair starting at the scalp and working all the way down to the tips. Do not use too much, or her hair will be weighed down.

Peel, pit, and scoop out an avocado. Puree the flesh and then work it into her hair, covering it all. Wrap her hair with a towel and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then rinse with warm, not hot, water.

When my bi-racial child was

When my bi-racial child was young i search high and low for a product. She screamed when I tried to brush her hair. The best product I ever used is very inexpensive and works wonderfully. It took her hair from dry and brittle to soft and silky. its called CARE FREE CURL Instant Moisturizer with glycerine. its made by SoftSheen Carson. After washing hair put a generous amount in your hand and massage it into the hair. Use your fingers like a comb to create wringlets. It will look wet for a few hours then dry like silk. I used it every morning; combed through her hair once a day b/c it is so thick; style and don't mess with it again. I could never comb through it dry. its about $8.00 for 32 oz. Look in black hair care section of some Walmart stores or Sally's Beauty Supply. It was a life saver for me. Good Luck!

You should wash her hair once

You should wash her hair once a week. You can use a drop of olive/coconut oil daily, and put it in two braids/ pigtails. Or you can blow dry her hair and use a flat iron then put the oil in her hair. If any water or moisture get to her hair it will frizz up again. If you comb and oil daily and keep braids in, it will tame her hair.





To help biracial hair only

To help biracial hair only style it wet and as soon as you are done washing apply 100% pure unrefined organic coconut oil. Never comb it while it's dry. Buy a spray bottle and fill it with water. Use it on days that you aren't washing to de tangle and keep it braided as much as possible. Hope that helps! Btw i have 2 biracial daughters. A 2 yr old and an 7 month old.

* YOGURT oops

* YOGURT oops

To mommyonthego2004,I

To mommyonthego2004,I recently discovered that yougurt with lemon juice is amazing for acne/blackheads. I have had stubborn blackheads my whole life and more acne now as an adult than ever. I use plain or vanilla yougurt and add lemon juice. It works amazingly! I am now, for the 1st time since age 13, blackhead free! I have found that it does dry my face so tell your daughter to experiment and try honey, oatmeal or just plain yogurt!My daughter thinks I'm crazy but i tell her to just wait til she's a teen and she'll be doing the same time!My face has honestly never looked better and younger!

My sister is losing her hair

My sister is losing her hair by the hands full and breaking off too. She was a natural blond but now that she's older not so there anything that can stop this maddness?

I have always had fine hair

I have always had fine hair with body and my color is brunette. Female hair loss runs in my family----grandmother and mother. I was losing my hair around age 38. I did some research on vitamins and found that I may have been mineral deficient. So I started taking a multi mineral, which is hard to find, but I found it with a company called GNLD, but I'm sure there are others. Very soon after I started taking the multi minerals, baby hair appeared and my hair returned to normal. Hope this helps.

While your baby hairs are

While your baby hairs are coming in, use .5:1 baking soda:(any)shampoo. Use far less conditioner and you're hair will be thick after every shower. They say only once or twice a week, but I am IN LOVE with this method and use it every day with no issues.

go to a doctor first!!! for

go to a doctor first!!! for blood tests, check for lice, thyroid, STRESS,hormone tests make sure there isn't a medical reason besides menopause..,have the water tested in your areas or ask for the test results.. Quit drinking alcohol and coffee, drink more plain water- not bottled it has carcinogens, take those hair vitamins and stress vitamins found at a good health food store with lots of water. take something with omegas, eat less garbage. Get a better shampoo and conditioner and wash hair LESS often.overprocessed? get a hairdresser to color the hair instead- may be time to give up platinumn blonde,,blonde hair is more delicate, and now being replaced by the silver ones and not as many.. . ...she could be balding just like men do, its genetic.. all things being equal you won't even notice regrowth for a year or two, and everyone loses 50 hairs a day at least. but most grow back eventually- even if it is silver :)

Firstly thanks for your idea

Firstly thanks for your idea . I agree with you , it is necessary go to a doctor first . If find any beauty tips ...........

yes, there is a great remedy.

yes, there is a great remedy. after all medical problems are ruled out, then do this;every day till you start getting your hair back, put lots of 100 percent olive oil on your hair, take a hair brush and massage your scalp in circular motions for about 15 or 20 minutes.wash with a good moisturizing shampoo and conditioner with protein in them. i have stopped using a comb or brush , i just run my fingers through my hair to comb because they will just keep breaking the hair.always use a leave in conditioner all year round.dont wash your hair often , just rinsing with your conditioner will clean it although while you are doing the scalp treatments you will need to wash it.dont put it through any stress like curlers, curling irons,hair clips, etc. i think i have covered every thing. i have a beautician that is all organic. i learned this from her. if you can find one that can give you oil scalp treatments also, that will help, mine does.i was almost bald when i met her and now have my hair back and it didnt take very long for results.i tried bunches of other stuff before i met her including vitamina and nothing worked. i wasted a lot of money. this least it did for me. worth a try..remember,do these treatments every day for a long time, i had to and then when you get to where you can start not having to do it every day, then dont always use shampoo to clean your hair, conditioner will clean good.but you may always have to keep doing this ever once in a while after you get your hair back, i do. i think with me it will be a contuining problem. i do this at least 2 timea a week.

HI I was having a problem

HI I was having a problem with my hair it was getting thin and I have always had a head full of hair. I first asked my pharmacist if any of meds might be causing it, there was one of them that might have been causing it so I quit taking it (with my Dr.'s permission) But he also told me to start taking BIOTEN you can get it really cheap at WalMart just take one a day it has helped me.
Good luck. Hope this works for your sister..BTW I am 63 yrs old and I have my hair back again.

Hi ladycherokee62' Be careful

Hi ladycherokee62'
Be careful with Biotin. I found that it can cause acne break-outs. I'm 44yrs old and was using Biotin daily for hair and nails. About two or three weeks into using it, I started having acne problems. I never had much acne as a teen/young adult, so I was quite shocked! I thought it was a "phase" of pre-menopause and I continued to take it. I finally realized after another month or so that it was the Biotin. I stopped taking it immediately and the acne subsided. Just wanted to give you or another reader a heads up. Thanks. :)

xhi, again. if you try the

xhi, again. if you try the oil scalp treatments i forgot to tell you to always rinse your hair with cool water, not hot, i think i covered every thing, if you have any questions , you can email me at Elaine

There is an amazing thing

There is an amazing thing called green soap it is an all natural vegtable oil based soup you can find it on the internet i know this sounds strange but tattooing sites have it http://shop.technicaltattoosup... this is the exact kind i have i
think i paid 8$ for a gallon of concentrate (great deal because you can dilute and dilute and dilute & it still works great) either way add ground or fresh sage to a diluted bottle use as shampoo it is amazing leaves you squeaky clean and sage is supposed to help not only re-grow hair but restore color for extra help get a sulfate free conditioner and add tea tree oil best of luck peace love and nature <3

Losing that much hair could

Losing that much hair could mean your thyroid level is low. Talk to your doctor, a simple blood test will be done and if positive may need to take daily medication.

Does anybody have any good

Does anybody have any good ideas about acne? My daughter is struggling with it. Also blackheads in her ears...

Good morning. I heard on The

Good morning. I heard on The Dr.s to clean out acne use 1TBs. of low fat sour cream mixed with 3/4 cup of mustard. spread on the areas, let it sit for 20 mins.and then wash off this will clean out pores. My daughter(14) is afraid to try it. But it makes since. acne is clogged pores. I find that washing her face consistently(that is a problem too) with Bonners natural soap helps. She likes to change things around. Keep me posted

how old is your daughter?

how old is your daughter?

She is 12 years old. She has

She is 12 years old. She has been struggling with pimples and blackheads for over 2 years.

bless her heart..i did too at

bless her heart..i did too at that age

water and easy...twice or 3 times a so natural and brings out beauty

I am 32 years old and have

I am 32 years old and have had problems with acne my whole life I have found through trial and error a few tricks, used coffee grounds mixed with your favorite facial soap help to exfoliate skin and clear up black heads. witch hazel is great!! after you wash your face just apply with a cotton ball. tooth paste(not the gel kind) will shrink a pimple overnight, just put a dab on at bed time and wash it off in the morning. hemroid cream will help to reduce swelling of problem pimples, and clear eyes or any redness reducing eye drops applied with a cotton swab will reduce redness. honey is a great moisturizing facial. but a clay ( I like mint julip) mask will also help to clear and shrink pores. but be shure she is using an oil free moisturizer and facial wash. eucerin makes a great skin cleanser and moisturizer that is great for sensitive skin. over washing can make acne worse !! just wash at bed time and in the am and she should be good.

Witch Hazel on a cotton swab,

Witch Hazel on a cotton swab, for outer ear acne (gently apply). Dial soap on a facial sponge, facial brush or mild abrasive pad, rub in gentle circular motion 2x-3x daily, after night time facial care apply Johnson's baby power to face, brush on liberally prior to retiring. Note: Drink lots of H2o regularly, keep hands, fingers, and nails off of the face at all times! If there is an itch, use back of hand to rub. Reduce amount of oily food intake. Don't squeeze the Zits, find a great dermatologist for hard to care for Zits. Good Luck for great skin.

this may sound crazy..but

this may sound crazy..but it's really simple.
tell her to try for one wk..and see if it works.
here goes,
run warm water in sink....or just let run. don't use a wash cloth...only use your fingertips to scrub your face with just plane chemicals....WATER ONLY!
you can feel your dirt in your pours with your fingertips, they are like a brillo pad built in...Let me know...really. to many things out there that just feed your pours..just use water and works for me

what about bad feet with hard

what about bad feet with hard dead skin caked up on the heals?

Soak them for an hour a day

Soak them for an hour a day in vinegar (white or apple cider vinegar will do). Dry them and rub aloe vera gel into the hard skin and the healthy skin around it. Then rub in jojoba oil. Do this in the evening when you won't have to wear shoes again for a few hours, to let air get to your feet (fresh socks and open slippers are OK to keep feet warm).

In the morning, rub raw coconut oil into your feet and then put on your socks and shoes.

It will take time to undo what's taken years to develop, but only a few weeks. Consistency and persistence will bring fresh healthy soft feet.

This I promise will work!!

This I promise will work!! You will need listerine, apple cider vinegar, Sally's beauty supply Mr. Pumice Bar, two basins filled to your ankle level with hot water that you can stand. Measure out 1/2 cup into each basin the Listerine and apple cider vinegar. Soak your feet for about 10 to 15 minutes and then use the Mr. Pumice Bar to scrub the heels of your feet and work your way to the front of your feet. Scrub feet thoroughly then rinse and apply pure shea butter and cover your feet with socks. Try this twice a week on your feet and you will see the difference within two weeks. Hope this helps you.

Try creating your own sugar

Try creating your own sugar or salt scrub by combing 1 part oil (olive oil, coconut oil) with 2 parts sugar/salt. Also you'll need some shea butter.

Before bed, soak feet for 10 minutes then scrub, rinse, dry. Follow with pure unrefined shea butter.

You can also make a shea butter lotion bar to moisturizer throughout the day. Mix 1 part shea, 1 part oil, 1 part beeswax. Melt and pour into a mold to cool and harden. - Maia, Astrida Naturals