Best Shampoos For Dry Scalp

Do you ever find yourself scratching your scalp, and worrying about shedding flakes? Did you assume it was dandruff and reach for an antidandruff shampoo which didn’t improve things much?


There is a big difference between having a dry scalp and dandruff, and the way you treat them differ greatly. The good news is that a dry scalp can be greatly improved with the right kind of shampoo.


Figuring Out The Problem

If both symptoms cause dry flakes, how will I know which one I have? Worry not, as there are some simple differences between dry scalp and dandruff which I’ll take you through now. This will make it easier to find the right shampoo for you.


First, take a good look at your scalp in the mirror. If you have a dry scalp, you will probably see white flakes at the roots of your hair and some redness where your scalp is irritated. You will also be used to suffering bouts of itchiness. As your skin is dry, cells are shedding at a faster rate, and your pores might be blocked (medguidance.com).


Dandruff flakes, on the other hand, are usually larger and more greasy and can have a yellow or grey tinge. It can also be caused by a fungal or bacterial infection, so it’s always best to consult your doctor if you think you have dandruff (brightersides.com).


According to Medguidance, using anti dandruff shampoo to treat a dry scalp could actually worsen the problem, as many contain agents such as salicylic acid which help get rid of fungus and bacteria, but can dry out your skin even further.


How Can I Improve a Dry Scalp?

If you’ve established you do have a dry scalp, the next step is finding the right shampoo to start the healing process. The most important thing you need to do to improve dryness is add some moisture to your skin. This will help restore the natural balance needed to keep your skin healthy and flake free (medguidance.com).


Average shampoos often contain chemicals which can strip your scalp of natural oils that are needed to keep your skin moisturised, the exact opposite of what you need! Swapping to a shampoo that doesn’t contain harsh cleaning agents can help rebalance your skin’s natural pH.


Organic shampoos don’t contain any harsh chemicals, and often contain essential oils that help heal your skin and offer some relief from dryness and itchiness.


Is Your Current Shampoo Making Your Scalp Dry?

One of the most important things you need to do before buying shampoo is turn it over and look at the label. I wish I’d done this years ago instead of believing what was on the front of the bottle.

Many brands claim to offer moisturising benefits or to protect your skin’s natural pH balance. But a closer look at the ingredients will often show harsh chemicals at the top of the list.

If you have a particularly sensitive scalp, look out for those containing sodium lauryl sulfate, which is used as a foaming agent in many shampoos and body washes. A Live Strong article states that it can actually increase skin irritation.

By changing to a natural shampoo with gentle ingredients you should see and feel a difference in a short amount of time. Details of my top 5 products for dry scalps are below.


Getting The Best Results From Your Shampoo

Using a moisturising shampoo that protects your skin’s natural oils will help treat a dry scalp, but there are a few things you can do to help get the best results.


Before you hop in the shower, try brushing your hair with a soft brush to help loosen dead skin cells. These will shed and then be more easy to wash out when you shampoo.


Once you’ve applied shampoo to your hair, gently massage it into your scalp to get your circulation going. This helps the shampoo penetrate your skin and clear out pores and dead skin cells (dryscalpgone.com).


Try not to use shampoo every day, and use cooler water when you wash your hair. This can help protect the natural moisture barrier which keeps your scalp hydrated (brightersides.com).

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All products in the OGX range are sulfate and paraben free, so this is a great brand if you’re thinking of switching to a more natural product.


This hydrating formula works well on dry hair and scalps, and can help slow down hair loss. It contains egg white proteins that can repair and strengthen your hair, as well as coconut milk and coconut oils.


Although this product isn’t specifically formulated to target flakes, its moisturising properties should help south a dry scalp and promote healthier skin.

What I Like

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    Contains organic coconut milk and essential oils which foam nicely  
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    Has a gentle, hydrating formula that helps hair look shinier
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    Works well on color treated hair
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    Has a lovely exotic fragrance which lasts for a long time
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    Fragile hair feels stronger, thicker and softer

What I don't Like

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    Fine hair can feel greasy after a few washes
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    Makes some hair types feel heavy
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    Can be hard to rinse out
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    Hair can feel tangled after rinsing so you might need to apply conditioner
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This is a great option if you’re looking for a shampoo which is sulfate and paraben free. It contains organic ingredients packed with vitamins A, B1, B2, D and E, keratin, and essential oils such as Argan, Peach, Avocado, Jojoba, Camelia and Almond.


Essential oils resemble our natural sebum, and can help penetrate layers of dead skin cells and clean out pores. This is a great feature to heal the effects of a dry scalp, and should help provide some relief from itchiness (dryscalpgone.com).


Another good feature is its strengthening properties, which should also help reduce breakages and get you on your way to a healthier head of hair.

What I Like

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    It is 100% organic, so doesn’t contain parabens or sulfates and is kind to sensitive skin
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    Moisturises and restores hair and scalp whilst strengthening hair
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    Promotes healthier hair growth and soothes dry, itchy scalps
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    Helps add volume to most hair types, and gets rid of product build up
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    It’s affordable

What I don't Like

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    Has a shorter shelf life due to all natural ingredients
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    Does not foam or lather much
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    Fragrance is slightly masculine
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    Curly hair can feel slightly dry
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This tea tree shampoo is 100% organic and sulfate free. If you have a particularly sensitive scalp or a dry skin condition such as eczema, the mild ingredients used in this shampoo should be gentle enough to prevent skin irritation.


It contains many ingredients with natural healing properties and essential oils to help moisten your scalp. Lavender can help soften your scalp and prevent infections, rosemary can promote cell renewal and help regulate sebum, and tea tree can clear out dead skin cells gently.


This revitalising shampoo can make your hair and scalp feel fresh after rinsing. It has a simple, clean fragrance, and your hair should feel thicker in a few weeks. You may need to give it longer to see a visible reduction in flaking though.

What I Like

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    Contains all natural compounds, which is great for sensitive dry skin
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    Keratin helps fight frizz and nourish hair
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    Hair feels softer and healthier
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    A small amount goes a long way
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    Safe for colour treated hair

What I don't Like

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    Can take a while to see results
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    Doesn’t lather much
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    Can make some hair types feel heavy
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    Slightly higher price

This gentle shampoo by Neutrogena deeply moisturises hair and helps dissolve impurities. It contains almond oil, meadowfoam oil and olive oil which can help nourish your hair and skin. Irritation from a dry scalp is often worse in winter months, and this hydrating formula can be good for restoring moisture.


This shampoo can be used on all hair types, but can be a particularly good product if you’re also looking for something to help fight frizz. I’ve been searching for one for years to use on my curly hair, and wish I’d tried this one sooner.


It’s also safe to use on colour treated hair. It lathers nicely and aims to strengthen hair by targeting the centre as well as the surface of of each follicle. It should also help really dry hair become more manageable, and if you like this shampoo, there are many other follow on products in the range too.

What I Like

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    Helps moisturise hair and scalp
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    Strengthens hair and leaves it feeling silky
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    Helps prevent split ends and breakage
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    Works well in small quantities
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    Good price for salon quality product

What I don't Like

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    Contains sulfates
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    Very fine hair can appear oily after a few washes
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    Can make some hair types appear limp
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    Can be difficult to rinse out completely

t’s 100% organic, and can be used for all hair and skin types. As it doesn’t contain any chemicals or preservatives, it has a 6 month shelf life which is shorter than the average two years. However, their concentrated formula means that one bottle should last quite a long time.


It contains essential oils that can clean out pores on your scalp, which should help your skin regulate its natural oil secretion maintain a healthy barrier. Protecting your skin’s moisture is so important when trying to find relief from dryness and itchiness.


Its hypoallergenic formula should also be gentle enough to use on skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis, which can be another factor which contributes having dry scalp.


Their bottles are made out of recycled plastic, and the label is biodegradable which is kinder to the environment.

What I Like

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    100% organic and free of sulfates, parabens and preservatives
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    Cleans your hair and scalp gently
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    Salon quality shampoo
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    Contains vitamins and minerals to help maintain healthy skin
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    Hair looks fuller, shinier, and has more volume

What I don't Like

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    Doesn’t lather much
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    Hard to get used to the unscented fragrance
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    Slightly more expensive


So Which One Would I Choose?

For me there is a clear winner amongst the products I’ve mentioned above, and that’s the Christina Moss Naturals Organic Shampoo. Its 100% natural ingredients can help soothe even the most sensitive of scalps, and you should see an improvement in itchiness in a very short time.


It’s full of essential oils such as coconut, olive and sunflower that can soften your scalp and help the healing process as well as offering some relief.


It has the added benefit of making your hair appear fuller and feel more silky, and I personally feel good knowing I’m being a little kinder to the environment.


Remember that just because you see flakes on your scalp doesn’t necessarily mean you have dandruff. So before reaching for an antidandruff shampoo, you could try a more natural product that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals and see if you see an improvement.


Although genetics can play a role in having a dry scalp, switching to a shampoo with moisturising properties and gentle ingredients should help to heal your skin and reduce bouts of itchiness.


REFERENCES


http://www.medguidance.com/thread/Dandruff-vs-Dry-Scalp.html


http://www.brightersides.com/brightersidesblog/2011/02/dandruff-vs-dry-scalp-whats-the-difference/


http://www.livestrong.com/article/174367-dangers-of-sodium-lauryl-sulfate/


http://www.dryscalpgone.com/organic-shampoo-for-dry-scalp/