The 13 Best Shampoos To Treat a Dry Scalp

Karan Kapoor

There’s nothing a dry scalp can’t spoil. Perhaps, you have got flakes falling onto your shoulders that leave friends saying, “Is it snowing outside?” Or perhaps your scalp is so dry and irritated that the slightest little bit of sun exposure can leave your head burning and in need of protection. Regardless of the case, a hydrated scalp is a healthy scalp, and good thing there are some ultra-moisturizing shampoos in the marketplace that may come to your aid.

In the case of a dry scalp, various aspects may cause added irritation, so it’s vital to remain hydrated and ensure that you might be caring to your strands. Choosing a hydrating shampoo that helps get all the way down to the underside of the irritation is an amazing place to start out. For the final word moisture boost, scroll on and take a look at 13 of the perfect hydrating shampoos that you may add to your cart immediately.

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Best Shampoo Bar

Radiance for Sensitive Skin Set


Best For Shiny Strands

Gloss.Me Hydrating Shampoo


Best For Dandruff-Prone Hair

Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo


Best For Curls

Hair Wash Gentle Milky Hair Cleanser


Best For Thick Hair

African Black Soap Reviving Shampoo


Best For A Scalp Detox

Papaya Scalp Scrub


Best For Blondes

Balancing Shampoo


Best For Thick And Frizzy Hair

Nurture Hydrating Shampoo


Best For All Hair Types

The Ritual Shampoo


Best For Hair-Repair

De Luxe Reparative Shampoo


Best For Soothing The Scalp

Anti-Dandruff Shampoo


Best For Ultimate Hydration

Hydration Shampoo


Best For Moisture And Repair

Don’t Despair, Repair! Super Moisture Shampoo

What causes a dry scalp?

A dry scalp “is attributable to a lack of the natural oils that moisturize the scalp. This will occur for a myriad of reasons,” explains Dr. Rodney. She says aspects may include a change in your environment (perhaps the weather), stress, aging, over-washing, contact dermatitis (a response to a product), or a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis. Cohen notes the scalp is commonly dryer throughout the winter, so choosing hydrating, nourishing products throughout the colder months is all the time an excellent idea.

Dr. Frey explains a dry scalp is commonly attributed to seborrheic dermatitis, aka our worst enemy: dandruff. Dandruff is essentially attributable to a yeast called malassezia that happens on the scalp and eats up the healthy oils, leaving you with a dry scalp and a lot of flakes.

How are you going to prevent a dry scalp?

Dr. Rodney says there are some precautions we will take to make sure our scalps stay hydrated and healthy. She recommends drinking a lot of water, managing your stress levels, avoiding harsh hair products, using a humidifier so as to add some moisture back into your environment, and if irritation persists or something seems abnormal, see a dermatologist.

Are there ingredients we must always avoid?

Cohen recommends choosing something gentle and avoiding harsh sulfates which strip your hair of oils and shine. “Most shampoos on this country use a detergent-based surfactant system like sulfates or PEGs,” she says. “One of these cleansing system is what you see in 90s shampoo commercials—excessive lather and that squeaky clean feel. I do know it may make you’re feeling super clean, nevertheless it’s over-stripping your scalp of all the nice, healthy oils in the method. I like to recommend a naturally-derived surfactant system for cleansing.”

What should we search for in a dry scalp shampoo?

Dr. Frey recommends searching for a shampoo with zinc pyrithione, which helps to stop dandruff in its tracks and take away excess flaking. Dr. Rodney likes formulas with salicylic acid, which “promotes cell turnover, reducing flaking and redness.” Salicylic acid and other exfoliants like glycolic acid may help to remove buildup on the scalp so you possibly can start fresh. Rodney also recommends avocado oil, argan oil, aloe vera, pantothenic acid, and oatmeal to supply a lift of hydration.

Is there anything we must always add to our haircare routine?

“It’s vital to maintain the scalp hydrated and nourished—like a garden, you wish to deal with the soil to maintain the environment thriving,” says Cohen. She recommends choosing a hyaluronic acid scalp serum for added moisture and trying out peppermint or tea tree oil for a dry, itchy scalp. Simply apply the oil to your scalp like a spot treatment to assist with irritation.

Ava Darrin is the ELLE print beauty intern for the summer of 2022.

Assistant Beauty Editor
Emily Burns is the assistant beauty editor at ELLE Magazine.

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