Tightness, flaking, itching, and skin irritation are all signs of dry skin- too little of the oil that keeps skin moisturized and supple. Your scalp can also dry out and have the same symptoms, which is often confused with dandruff. With dry scalp though, you will also notice that your hair is very dry, the flakes are big and dry as well, and your scalp feels tight and looks ashy.
There are many reasons why you would experience dry scalp besides having naturally dry skin. One of them is your environment, especially during winter when the air is dry and causes your scalp and hair to lose moisture or sitting under the fan. Summer is not the best time either, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors exposing your hair to direct sunlight.
Another reason for dry scalp is stress, which is also a significant cause of skin issues on your face. Interestingly, your diet also plays a massive role in how moisturized your skin is. Drinking a lot of water, eating healthy oils and animal proteins provides your skin structure enough oil to keep it moisturized.
According to Hadley King, MD, a dermatologist in NYC, certain medical conditions such as rosacea, acne, and psoriasis can also trigger seborrheic dermatitis, a common inflammatory scalp condition.
Last but not least, dry scalp is caused by washing your hair too often and using harsh hair products containing parabens and other harmful products. Stay away from any shampoo that says ‘oily’, ‘clarifying’ or ‘cleansing’ in it because those ones are made for excessively oily scalp. Ideally, you should wash your hair only once or twice a week to avoid stripping all the oils from it.
The next best thing you can do for dry scalp is to use a shampoo that works for it and not against it. Besides being paraben-free, the shampoo should have ingredients that soothe and moisturize the skin structure such as sunflower seed oil, sage, olive oil, argan oil, marula oil, and vitamin E.
In a hurry?
This is our Winner!
Best Inflatable Hot Tub
Buy on Amazon
Best Inflatable Hot Tub - Reviews
This Leonor Greyl Paris Créme Aux Fleurs shampoo is hands down the best product for dry and itchy scalp. It is a two-in-one deep conditioning scalp treatment that will leave your dry, unmanageable stands glossy and soft after use.
The creamy shampoo contains a blend of nourishing and hydrating botanicals that include chamomile, sage, and seaweed that help revitalize and restore healthy moisture levels to the scalp. These ingredients also soothe and calm the skin irritation, and you can let it stay on your head for a bit longer( 10 to 15 minutes will suffice) at the start so it can fully work its magic.
Leonor Greyl Paris Créme Aux Fleurs shampoo is free of parabens, silicone, and SLS/SLES, and it's safe for relaxed and color-treated hair. For such a packed shampoo, it's surprising how light it is, and it lathers easily.
If you are ever in doubt when picking shampoos, always go with Head & Shoulders. The reputable brand has formulated the safest shampoos for different scalp conditions, and they always leave your hair feeling soft and full. This Head & Shoulders Dry Scalp Shampoo contains almond oil which on top of moisturizing your scalp, leaves your hair feeling thick and full.
The shampoo also contains pyrithione zinc, an antimicrobial and antifungal ingredient that helps with inflammation and itching. For best results, you can use the gentle shampoo twice a week until the problem gets better then go to once a week. Give it time to treat your scalp's skin structure because it didn't get that bad in a day.
If you want something that smells nice from Head & Shoulder, you can try their Royal Oils moisture boost shampoo infused with coconut oil for extra moisture and fragrance. The shampoo is expertly designed for scalp relief and balancing your PH so the scalp can work the way it should.
Many dandruff shampoos leave the hair feeling thin and stripped but not this one. The shampoo has a rich, creamy lather to it and makes your hair feel hydrated and soft. Like all Head & Shoulders shampoos, it is also paraben-free and dye-free. This one gives you long-lasting relief from itching on top of the pleasant smell, and it's much cheaper.
Mizani is another beautiful brand that believes good hair starts with a healthy scalp. Their scalp care shampoo is infused with soothing and moisturizing ingredients such as peppermint oil and cucumber extracts to relieve any discomfort that comes with dry scalp and keep your hair healthy.
Like every good anti-dandruff shampoo, Mizani Scalp Care is sulfate-free and contains pyrithione zinc to kill bacteria and sort out any scalp infection. People who have used the shampoo say it leaves your scalp feeling refreshed and cool, but it also has that tingling sensation as it works its magic in there.
If you want a shampoo that thoroughly cleans your hair without stripping it of moisture, this Mizani Scalp Care Shampoo is perfect.
We said you should avoid the words clarifying, cleansing, and oily when choosing a shampoo for dry scalp. The words you should be looking for are hydrating and moisturizing, which brings us to this beautiful Innersense Organic Beauty Hydrating Hair Bath. Right off the bat, you know it smells nice, unlike the other two we have mentioned because it's infused with vanilla and coconut.
The second thing we love about this hydrating shampoo is that it's organic, and all the ingredients come straight from nature to ensure no chemical touches your hair. This means it's paraben-free, sulfate-free, and gluten-free.
So what is it made of? The luxurious shampoo has a blend of essential oils such as sage and tamamu to help balance oil and soften the cuticle. There are at least 10 more natural oils infused in there including shea butter and avocado oil to give your scalp all the moisture it requires.
This is exactly what your thirsty course hair needs to start coming back to life.
From yet another known brand in skin and hair care products is this Dove DermaCare Scalp Anti Dandruff Shampoo for Dry and Itchy Scalp with sunflower seed oil, coconut, and shea butter to keep your scalp and hair well moisturized. As you can imagine, anything made with those two ingredients smells really nice on top of leaving your hair feeling silky and soft.
One of the ways this Dermacare shampoo treats your dry scalp is by balancing the PH of your scalp. It’s also formulated with pyrithione zinc and Nutrium Care to help curb dandruff and any scalp infections. The shampoo cleans your hair and scalp to clear away flakes but also hydrates your scalp with essential oils to keep it moisturized.
This Clear Shampoo ANTI-DANDRUFF Women Intense Hydration is the creamiest shampoo that leaves your hair feeling silky smooth and healthy.
As you can tell from the name, this is an intense formulation meant to not only hydrate your scalp but also help it to start producing its own oils as it should.
The creamy shampoo contains 10 healthy vitamins and botanical actives, known as the Nutrium 10, along with nourishing sweet almond oil and sunflower oil. One of those active ingredients is a cactus extract which treats scalp conditions like psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. When used regularly, it triggers the scalps natural protective layer against dandruff and keeps your scalp nice and supple. On top of that, it also has zinc pyrithone to treat any underlying issues that can cause dandruff and dryness.
In other words, using this intense formulation will ensure you have the healthiest scalp, which also means healthy hair.
Another powerful hydrating shampoo is this Kérastase Specifique Dermo-Calm Bain Riche, and it smells like oranges. If you have dry, brittle hair, the natural ingredients on this cleansing oil will moisturize and hydrate your hair from the roots, so it's soft and healthy.
The Kérastase Specifique Dermo-Calm Bain Riche Shampoo is enriched with neroli essential oil, which is a popular emollient and adds moisture to your scalp. It also contains a blend of nourishing oils like kernel oil, olive oil, rice bran oil, and a handful of healing botanicals.
The formulation deeply purifies the hair and treats scalp conditions thanks to salicylic acid. Like the Leonor Greyl Paris Créme Aux Fleurs shampoo, you should leave it in your hair for at least 15 minutes to allow the ingredients to cleanse and hydrate the scalp deeply.
Of course, we cannot close this list without mentioning the L'Oreal Source Essentielle Delicate Shampoo, which is 85% natural and free of silicones and parabens. The delicate shampoo is formulated for sensitive skin and infused with a beautiful blend of calendula and chamomile flowers to gently eliminate impurities from your scalp and hair while soothing the itchy scalp.
This shampoo is also fortified with citrus and jasmine fragrances, which makes it smell mighty glorious even after you rinse the hair.
Besides leaving your hair and scalp feeling hydrated and soft, it also helps treat scalp conditions like psoriasis and clear away dead skin cells.
Choosing the Best Shampoo for Dry Scalp
When choosing shampoos for dry scalp, you should focus on hydrating and moisturizing ingredients. Shampoos with a combination of different nourishing oils like avocado, olive, almond, and coconut oil are great for adding moisture. You should also look for medicinal essential oils like tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and argan oil because they will stimulate the scalp to start producing its own oils. If the shampoo has one or two emollients to attract moisture, even better.
That said, you should stay away from any product containing sulfates, alcohol, and silicones. These ingredients are part of the reason your scalp dries up and gets dandruff, so stay away from them. One more ingredient that varies from person to person is salicylic acid. While it is excellent for treating acne, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis, it does make your scalp and hair dry. Instead, you can opt for shampoos with pyrithione zinc which isn’t drying.
One thing to keep in mind when choosing shampoos for dry scalp is that they should also help to trigger the skin's natural oil production, so you don't have to rely on external solutions for long.
How do you hydrate your scalp?
Once you have found a great shampoo for scalp dryness, you must learn how to hydrate the scalp regularly. One of the best ways is to use a moisturizing oil or serum directly on the scalp and massage it thoroughly. If it feels like the oil is making your hair greasy and heavy, offset it with a dab of tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar.
Shampoos for dry scalp are a great solution to the irritation and itchiness that comes with dry scalp. However, you should consider them as a band-aid to a bigger problem that you should sort out.
Ideally, the scalp or the skin should produce enough oil to keep you moisturized if everything is working correctly.
Check your diet, how much you hydrate, stress levels, and exposure to sun and humidity. If there are other conditions like psoriasis affecting the skin, have a dermatologist give you a remedy so your skin can go back to working as it should.