Finding The Best Shampoo for Dry Scalp

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A woman holding a shampoo tied with her hair with the title "Finding The Best Shampoo for Dry Scalp"

The skin is the largest organ in the human body, and therefore one of the most important. It periodically renews itself by shedding lifeless cells, but sometimes things don’t quite work as they should, leading to a dry scalp. A dry scalp isn’t just itchy; it can cause odour, stress and even be a sign of other, deeper problems.

What Causes Dry Scalp

A woman with dry hair scratching her head.

The causes for a dry, itchy scalp include:

  • High amount of stress
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Allergy
  • Not enough sleep
  • Excessive ingestion of fat, sugar, and starch

These are the main causes, but it can be as simple as using the inappropriate soap or shampoo, or even an excess of cold weather. To rid yourself of this problem, you’ll need to find a good dry & itchy scalp shampoo.

Natural Ways to Get Rid of Dry Scalp

You might want to consider various natural remedies such as olive oilapple cider vinegarjojoba oil etc. to help your problem. Feel free to try these alternatives, but only after you have successfully fixed the problem with normal shampoos. If you don’t trust natural remedies, use the same shampoo to continue the treatment, but to a lesser degree.

To prevent a dry scalp occurring in the first place, you can follow a few simple steps. Have a balanced, healthy diet, get a good night’s sleep and drink a sufficient amount of water (about 2 liters per day). Use food supplements such as multivitamins and try to keep your stress down in whatever way you can. You may also want to keep an eye on whatever hair products you use, as an excess can cause scalp problems.

Be careful to rinse very well after you apply the shampoo, and consider having scalp massages with herbal oils too. If in doubt about any sort of problems, ingredients, shampoos or anything else, check with your doctor.

A woman looking for shampoo at a store.

How to Choose the Best Shampoo for Dry Scalp

Dry scalp shampoo can be found in pretty much any supermarket – it’s a more common problem than you think. You have to pick the right variety to suit your specific needs, depending on the severity of the condition.

The best shampoo for dry scalp must be able to wash away the product buildup from your head. There’s a shampoo for every type of hair, so choose the one that’s made for yours. For example, a shampoo especially made for dry hair will moisturize, while a variation made for greasy hair will clear out all the oils.

Every shampoo contains chemicals, but these are mostly the helpful kind. However, don’t leave the foam in your hair for too long – two to five minutes is more than enough to get the job done. You should probably also alternate the days, as barring major accidents, using shampoo every day simply isn’t necessary (and won’t really help in the long run).

If non-medicated shampoos aren’t doing the job for your dry scalp, you can always ask your GP or dermatologist to prescribe something stronger for you.

Specific ingredients to look for in the best shampoo for dry scalp include:

Salicylic Acid

When used in a shampoo, this acid helps you get rid of the dead skin cells. It’s still acid, however, so don’t overuse or it may cause even more dryness.

Green Tea

Not just a healthy hot beverage, recent studies show that shampoos with green tea extract are capable of helping even more serious diseases besides dry scalp, including psoriasis. (source)

Tea Tree Oil

This multifaceted oil has long been a favourite ingredient for shampoo. It has been used as an antibiotic, antifungal, and antiseptic. Be careful when using any shampoo with tea tree oil for the first time, as it’s been known to aggravate allergies.

To find the best shampoo for dry scalp, you have to be willing to switch things up. Use more than one type of shampoo and alternate in order to find your perfect fit. It’s normal for a shampoo to become less effective after a while as the skin adapts to the changes made by the active ingredients. If this is the case, switch to another product with different ingredients.

If you’re not sure about the quality of a brand, forget it. It’s not worth using something that will make your problem worse, especially since it’s your hair that is getting damaged in the process. Search the internet for reviews, and ask your hair stylist or dermatologist to give you a good recommendation.

As a side note, don’t expect instant results every time. Six to eight weeks is pretty standard, even if the label is promising otherwise.

Our Choice

Head and Shoulders is one of my favorite shampoo brands of all time. After having children, my hair changed drastically and one thing I suffer from regularly is a painful, itchy scalp and dandruff, so I know how important it can be to find something that works. As a trusted brand, Head and Shoulders would be my go to choice every time.

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