A dry scalp can be quite a bothersome experience. On top of being flaky and itchy, it can also lead to other concerns such as infections and dandruff.
Thankfully, fighting a dry scalp doesn’t have to be impossible.
Why you can invest in expensive treatments and serums, sometimes, the solution lies in simply switching out your regular shampoo and conditioner for my hydrating options. A lot of hair products use harmful parabens and silicones that dry out your hair and scalp, leading to flaky and itchiness.
So, how do you know what the best shampoos for dry scalp are?
Well, it can be a tedious process involving hours spent reading ingredients lists, scanning reviews, and checking labels.
That’s why we’ve created this list of the top 16 best shampoos for dry scalps to make shopping easier! Keep reading to see what we’ve picked.
Top 16 Best Shampoos for Dry Scalp:
1. Davines Purifying Shampoo
Before you read any further, it’s important to note that this shampoo is not color-safe. If you tend to spend most of your time with colored hair and want to extend your dye’s life, you may want to skip out on this one.
The Davines purifying shampoo works to heal your scalp. This means less itching, less flaking, and less dandruff.
However, it’s also designed to protect your skin.
An unbalance and dry scalp may have small wounds that aren’t visible to the human eye. These are prime entries for microbes that may cause you trouble.
By fighting off these microbes and purifying and restoring your scalp, this shampoo creates a healthy environment on your scalp that’s more comfortable for you.
2. Moroccanoil Hydrating Shampoo
This shampoo is designed with a gentle formula that can be used every day. It hydrates and nourishes your hair with a list of hair-healthy ingredients such as argan oil, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and red algae.
Related: Best Vitamins for Hair Growth
These ingredients also help improve manageability as well as the smoothness and shininess of your hair. Best of all, it’s suitable for all hair types.
As a result of keeping your hair moisturized, this will also help keep your scalp moisturized without making it extremely greasy. It includes Moroccanoil’s signature fragrances for an exotic blend of spicy amber and sweet floral that’ll make you enjoy every whiff of your hair.
To apply, massage a teaspoon amount of shampoo into your wet hair, paying extra, gentle attention to your scalp. Rinse thoroughly with warm – not hot, not cold – water.
3. Kerastase Nutritive Bain Satin Nutrition Shampoo
One of the main active ingredients in the Kerastase shampoo is salicylic acid. If you’re not familiar with that ingredient, it can be a miracle worker – in moderation.
Salicyclic acid is one of the most common ingredients in acne products. This is because it can reduce redness and irritation while unclogging pores.
As a result, it can be a great product for treating a dry, flaking scalp. However, when used excessively, it can actually dry your skin out.
Because of this, you won’t want to use this shampoo every wash. Instead, space it out with a gentler product and only use the Kerastase shampoo once or twice a week.
This shampoo is designed to help nourish your hair by providing everything you need for healthy, happy hair. As a result, it creates a healthier scalp environment that won’t be as prone to dryness.
4. WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner Set
The WOW shampoo and conditioner set uses virgin coconut and avocado oil to rejuvenate weak, thin, or damaged hair or dry scalp. The formulation of both oils replenishes lost nutrition that’s vital in keeping strong, smooth hair and a well-moisturized scalp.
It also utilizes apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar helps detoxify and remove build-up while balancing the pH of your scalp for less dryness and less flakiness.
For an extra burst of hydration, it also has essential keratin proteins, vitamins B5 & E, and saw palmetto extract. It’s safe for color-treated hair and suitable for all hair types.
This hair duo can even help prevent hair loss and balding while increasing the volume and thickness of your hair.
5. EVO the Therapist
If you’ve ever dyed your hair, or especially if you’ve bleached it, then you know how difficult it is to rebalance your scalp. Coloring your hair can dry out and damage your hair and scalp, leading to hair loss, itchiness, and flakiness.
This sulfate-free shampoo is recommended for those with dry, color-treated hair as it gently cleanses and improves the hair’s overall condition.
It’s gentle on your scalp and tough on dryness to help return your hair to a normal state of balance. Plus, it does so without weighing down your hair and leaving it greasiness.
If you’re wary of how your hair will respond, don’t be! Instead, you can order the trial size for a cheaper price and experiment before making the commitment of buying the full-sized product.
6. Maple Holistics Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
Sometimes, you may just want to take it back to nature, and what better way than working with essential oils. This anti-dandruff shampoo by Maple Holistics utilizes pure tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil has been praised by the beauty community for a long list of benefits.
First, it’s sulfate-free and hypoallergenic. This means that you won’t have to worry as much about the shampoo aggravating your dry scalp.
It’s also a natural anti-bacteria; and anti-fungal. This means that if pesky microbes are the cause of your dry and itchy scalp, this shampoo will knock them straight out.
It also works to treat and prevent lice infestations – an often unthought of the cause of an itchy head.
7. Kevin Murphey Young Again Shampoo
The Kevin Murphey shampoo is designed to fight off two common problems – dry, itchy scalp and lackluster, flat hair – while nourishing your hair and skin. It’s been tested by dermatologists and it’s paraben-free.
It’s also safe for color-treated hair!
Some of its super nourishing and moisturizing ingredients include fruit extracts, mango seed butter, and silk amino acids. It also uses caffeine for a refreshing, scalp-cleansing experience.
The application is easy and simple. Simply lather into wet hair – making sure to massage your scalp gently – and rinse out. You can follow with another rinse with the Young Again Rinse to follow the rejuvenation program.
8. Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
This dandruff relief shampoo is made with ketoconazole 1%, an effective ingredient that binds to your hair’s natural protein to prevent dandruff. All you have to do is switch out your regular shampoo and conditioner with this product twice a week for less dandruff.
Nizoral is unique because it doesn’t just address the symptoms, it gets right to the root of dandruff as it kills the fungus that causes it. Nizoral is the only over the counter dandruff shampoo with Ketoconazole 1%, a clinically proven, powerful dandruff fighting ingredient.
9. Maple Holistics Silk18 Natural Hair Shampoo
This color-safe shampoo cleanses hair follicles to remove hair product build-up and oil while it restores hair strands to health for soft, smooth hair. It’s eco-friendly, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and made in the United States.
Moroccan Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, Keratin, and 18 Silk Amino Acids work together to nourish your hair and scalp to reduce dryness and flakiness on your scalp. This also works to heal damaged, split-end riddled hair for allover softness.
If you have an extremely sensitive scalp, don’t worry. While it’s tough on dryness, this shampoo is hypoallergenic and gentle on your skin and hair, even if it’s color-treated.
For best results massage shampoo into your scalp and allow to soak in for two to three minutes. Then, follow it with a rinse of your choice.
10. Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo
The Redken scalp relief shampoo is a specialized dandruff shampoo to fight and control dandruff. This scalp care product cleanses hair, soothes the scalp, and leaves hair with a soft finish.
It’s a spa-like product that can be used every day. All you do is massage it into wet or dry hair, let sit for five minutes, and rinse out.
Redken is a professional salon brand that has been well praised for many years. It’s been dermatologist tested and is suitable for more hair types.
11. Puriya Sulfate-Free Dry Scalp Shampoo
Puriy’s Scalp Clarifying Shampoo gently and completely removes build-up from hair. After one wash, your hair will feel silky and easy to brush or comb without feeling oily.
Related: Top Rated Conditioners for Oily Hair
It utilizes an herbal blend of Tea Tree Oil, Arnica, Sage, and Rosemary that helps to hydrate your dry scalp for a noticeable improvement in just a few uses. Say goodbye to your dry, itchy, flaky scalp and say hello to comfortable confidence and soft, smooth hair!
It’s designed for all hair types, and it’s safe for color-treated hair. It’s recommended to use daily at first, but you can begin to space out treatments to only a few times a week after you begin to notice improvements.
12. BIOLAGE Scalpsync Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
The BIOLAGE Scalpsync Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with Pyrithione Zinc is designed to help target dandruff, control the appearance of visible flakes, and relieves scalp irritation. As a result, it’s one of the best shampoos for dry scalps.
Application is easy, making soothing your scalp a hassle-free activity. Simply massage into your scalp twice a week, let sit for one to two minutes, and rinse out.
Pyrithione zinc is a common ingredient in anti-dandruff shampoos. It helps ease scalp irritations while moisturizing and working as any anti-microbial.
13. Baebody Tea Tree Shampoo
As mentioned before, when it comes to fighting a dry scalp, tea tree oil is practically a miracle worker. It’s anti-microbial and designed to soothe irritations.
The Baebody shampoo utilizes tea tree oil to help fight common scalp ailments. It works against dryness and itchiness while also removing impurities for an overall healthier scalp.
As a result of creating a healthy growing environment, you’ll also notice improvements in your hair.
For an extra burst of hydration, this dry scalp shampoo also uses hair healthy ingredients such as argan oil, avocado oil, and jojoba oil.
Note that, during washing, the smell may be a little strong. This will fade after washing.
14. Tree to Tub Moisturizing Dry Scalp Shampoo
Designed especially for dry hair and itchy, flaky scalps, this shampoo utilizes the natural soothing powers of soapberry.
Soapberries are rich in saponin, which give it a cleaning, lathering effect, and they are great for balancing your scalp’s pH. Not only that, but they help make it so this shampoo doesn’t have to use drying detergents that worsen your scalp.
Related: Best Dryer for Fine Hair
This vegan shampoo is cruelty-free. Tree to Tub forages wild soapberries, so native eco-reserves in Taiwan are maintained, protecting local habitat and making this an eco-friendly product.
That’s right – it’s just as good for the environment as it is for your dry scalp.
15. Neutrogena Dry Scalp Shampoo
Made by the brand designed for soothing skin irritations and reducing dryness, this is one of the best shampoos for dry scalps.
In order to help remove buildup and reduce dryness and flakiness, all you have to do is use this shampoo once a week. Apply it to your hair and allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing it out.
It’s gentle enough to not dry your skin out worse while working to deep clean your hair follicles. As a result, it also makes your daily shampoo work better.
16. Oribe Serene Scalp Shampoo
This gentle treatment cleanser, formulated with salicylic acid, relieves and prevents dandruff while soothing dry, itchy, irritated scalp. It’s dermatologist tested and is free of many harmful ingredients that worsen dry scalp.
The beautiful, pink packaging is just a bonus.
One important thing to note, however, is that this dry scalp shampoo is not fragrance-free. If you’re sensitive to fragrances, you may want to choose a different shampoo to treat your dry scalp and dandruff.
Joan S. Wilson is a lifelong makeup and skincare enthusiast. She used to work as a makeup artist for 5 years. Joan is always curious and wants to learn more when it comes to makeup and skincare. She tries her best to make other people’s skin health better. This is why Joan is so passionate about writing articles on beauty topics. She always looks for products that are high-quality, dermatologist-tested, and does that it says on the label. In every article, she shares her knowledge to make your life healthier and happier!