Dry, Itchy Scalp? How to Choose the Best Shampoo for a Dry ScalpView all articles

Dry, Itchy Scalp? How to Choose the Best Shampoo for a Dry Scalp

Nobody likes having a dry, itchy scalp. That itchy sensation can keep us awake at night, and all that scratching can leave embarrassing skin flakes on our clothes. No thanks!

Did you know that your shampoo could be to blame for a dry, itchy scalp? It’s true! Keep reading to learn what causes a dry scalp and my favorite tips for choosing a shampoo for dry and itchy scalp. Plus, I’ll share my picks for the best shampoo for dry scalps!


What Causes a Dry, Itchy Scalp?

So, why is your scalp feeling so dry and itchy? A few factors could be to blame:

Too Much Washing

Most commercial shampoos are too harsh for daily use. Washing your hair every day with a shampoo full of synthetic ingredients could be the reason for a dry scalp. So make sure you switch to shampoo for a dry and itchy scalp (more on how to find those later!).

Additionally, washing your hair with too-hot water can also leave your scalp dry and itchy. Reducing the number of times per week that you wash your hair should help. If you prefer washing your hair daily (for example, if you exercise a lot), you should use a shampoo for dry, itchy scalp.

Your Choice of Shampoo

The products you put onto your hair may be causing a dry, itchy scalp. Many people with sensitive scalps experience allergic reactions from synthetic fragrances and other irritating ingredients like sulfates. That’s why it’s so important to use shampoo for a dry scalp (but we’ll get more into that later).

If you don’t fully rinse your shampoo or conditioner from your hair, that residue could also lead to a dry scalp.


The weather can also affect your scalp’s hydration levels. Low humidity and indoor heating during the winter can often leave your scalp feeling parched. On the other hand, blasting the air conditioning in the summer can have the same effect!

Now that you know what could be causing your dry, itchy scalp, let’s get into how to choose a shampoo for dry scalp.

How to Choose a Shampoo for Dry Scalp

Ingredient selection is key when it comes to choosing a shampoo for a dry, itchy scalp. I recommend opting for an organic brand packed with natural ingredients that nourish your hair and scalp. Avoid shampoo for dry scalp that contains parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, and formaldehyde. These ingredients are all associated with scalp irritation.

Opt for natural fragrances in low doses since synthetic fragrances can also cause a dry and itchy scalp. So how do you know how much fragrance is in a shampoo for dry, itchy scalp? The fragrance should always be the last ingredient on the label. Remember: the higher up an ingredient is on the ingredients list, the more potent that ingredient is in the formulation.

When shopping for a shampoo for dry and itchy scalp, keep your eye out for these moisturizing and soothing ingredients:

  • Aloe Vera – Anyone who has slathered aloe gel onto a sunburn knows how this cooling ingredient brings relief! Aloe vera has been shown to significantly reduce acute inflammation.
  • Oats – When I was a kid with an itchy case of chickenpox, my mom drew me a soothing oat bath. And for good reason! Oat extract is also known to reduce inflammation.
  • Aquaxyl™ – This sugar-derived compound provides deep (yet lightweight) moisture for hair, skin and scalp. By preventing water loss through evaporation AQUAXYL™ helps hair and scalp to maintain their moisture for 8+ hours.

The Best Shampoo for Dry Scalp

So, now that you know how to choose a shampoo for dry scalp, let’s talk about the best shampoo for a dry scalp! These are my picks:

The Best Shampoo for Dry Scalp and Hair: Split Fix™ Shampoo

Split Fix™ Shampoo is formulated with moisturizing natural ingredients like organic aloe vera and Aquaxyl™ (derived from sugar). Additionally, organic oat kernel extract and sea salt have anti-inflammatory and scalp soothing properties, which makes this an excellent shampoo for dry scalp. Plus, this shampoo contains jojoba esters that deeply nourish your hair, leaving it strong, soft, and shiny.

And don’t forget to use a conditioner! Where there’s dry scalp, there’s usually dry, fragile hair (especially if your hair is long). Pair this shampoo for dry scalp with Split Fix™ Conditioner.

The Best Shampoo for Dry Scalp and Hair Loss: Grow Perfect™ Shampoo

Grow Perfect™ Shampoo is developed especially for thinning hair and hair loss. Due to its scalp health boosting formula, it is a great choice for dry, itchy scalps too. Most notable of its ingredients is Anagain™, a plant extract that’s clinically proven to stimulate new hair growth for denser hair.

The Best Shampoo for Dry Scalp and Dandruff: Instant Relief™ Dandruff Shampoo

Instant Relief™ Dandruff Shampoo is a lightweight, sulfate-free dandruff shampoo that gently cleanses all hair types, while soothing a dry, flaky scalp to relieve symptoms associated with dandruff such as scaling, irritation, and itching. It is formulated with antimicrobial Dermosoft® decalact MB and organic tea tree oil to clear away itchy flakes, bacteria, and product buildup from your scalp.

Try our hair test

Products tailored for your hair

Take test

Other Ways to Treat an Itchy Scalp

Besides using shampoo for dry scalp, there are a few other ways you can soothe and moisturize your skin and hair follicles.

1. Invest in a Scalp Scrub

Sometimes buildup from dirt, dead skin, sebum, and styling products can also lead to an itchy scalp. In addition to using the best shampoo for dry scalp, I recommend using a scalp scrub like Scalp Delight™ Detox Scrub.

This sulfate-free exfoliating shampoo for dry, itchy scalp is formulated with rice powder that gently buffs away dirt and debris to deeply clean the scalp. Plus, it contains skin-soothing ingredients like organic aloe leaf juice, organic rosemary leaf oil, and oat extract. For best results, use once per week or whenever your scalp needs a little refresh!

2. Give Yourself a Scalp Massage

Is there anything that feels better than a scalp massage? I love a good scalp massage, especially when my scalp is feeling dry and itchy! But massaging your scalp with your fingers can lead to microtears in your delicate skin from your fingernails, which can lead to further irritation. That’s why I love Hairlust’s Scalp Delight™ Scalp Massage Brush. This unique tool has soft bristles that gently massage the scalp without damaging your skin. Use it with your favorite shampoo for a dry, itchy scalp!

Hint: You can get all the products you need to treat dry scalp in Scalp Delight™ Bundle! It includes Scalp Delight™ Detox Scrub, Detox Conditioner, plus a Scalp Delight™ Scalp Massage Brush. When purchased together, you can save 20%! Check out all hair care gift sets here.

3. Avoid Silicones in Hair Products

Silicones are polymers that coat your hair, giving it a shiny, glossy finish. However, silicones can leave a residue on your scalp and hair, leaving your scalp feeling itchy and your hair lank and greasy-looking. To avoid a dry scalp, choose products that are not formulated with silicones.

4. Use a Calming Leave-In Scalp Mist

If you have a dry, itchy scalp and need relief right now, try a calming leave-in scalp mist like Instant Relief™ Scalp Spray. This natural formula delivers instant soothing hydration to dry, itchy, and flaky scalps.

Can I Prevent a Dry Scalp?

Besides using shampoo for dry scalp, how can you naturally prevent a dry scalp from occurring in the first place? Follow these tips:

1. Find a Healthy Hair Wash Routine

Find a Healthy Hair Wash Routine

For most people, washing your hair two to three times per week is adequate. If you exercise daily, you may need to wash your hair more often. Make sure to thoroughly rinse hair, and opt for lukewarm water rather than scolding hot. If you’re prone to a dry scalp, wash your hair with a shampoo for dry scalp.

2. Eat a Healthy Diet

Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet is another way that you can improve the effectiveness of your favorite shampoo for dry scalp. Why? Because certain nutrients contribute to healthy, hydrated skin. For example, vitamin D has been shown to help improve various skin conditions that cause itchy skin. And vitamin C may enhance the skin barrier and reduce dehydration.

To keep your skin healthy and your scalp, itch-free, try to eat a well-rounded diet of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

3. Take a Hair Growth Supplement

Take a Hair Growth Supplement

Of course, eating a healthy diet is easier said than done! I don’t know about you, but I don’t always have time to cook myself a balanced meal. That’s why I love Hairlust Hair Formula Gummies for Women! These delicious gummies are formulated with vitamins like vitamin C that contribute to the normal function of the skin.

4. Stay Hydrated

Stay Hydrated

Additionally, drinking enough water can help to prevent an itchy scalp. The NHS recommends drinking six to eight glasses of water per day. Drinking plenty of water along with using the best shampoo for a dry scalp can help keep your scalp healthy and hydrated.

5. Choose Your Styling Products Carefully

Choose Your Styling Products Carefully

As I mentioned before, certain ingredients that are commonly found in hair products can cause scalp dryness and itchiness. One of these ingredients is alcohol, which is drying for both the hair and skin. Unfortunately, alcohol is one of the main ingredients in many hair products, including texture spray!

If you’re looking for a texturizer that doesn’t dry out your hair or scalp, I recommend Ocean Water Sea Salt Spray. This product uses hydrolyzed corn starch rather than alcohol to create a slight hold on the hair. Plus, it contains moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera that keep both your hair and scalp hydrated.

Another thing to pay attention is your hair brushes and other styling tools. Dirty styling tools can harbor bacteria, fungi, and other harmful microbes that can cause skin infections and worsen scalp issues. That's why it's crucial to wash your hair brushes regularly.

What About Dandruff?

Dandruff is not the same thing as dry scalp and requires different treatment. Dandruff is a symptom of a skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis caused by a fungus. To treat dandruff, you’ll need a shampoo specifically formulated for dandruff. I recommend Instant Relief™ Dandruff Shampoo that has a gentle, soothing and sulfate-free formula making it suitable for sensitive, itchy scalps. Read more about how dandruff shampoos work here.

So how do you know if you have dandruff and not a dry scalp? Both dry scalp and dandruff can cause itchy, flaky skin. The difference is that dandruff is caused by too much oil on the scalp. So dandruff flakes are oily, as opposed to dry skin flakes which are not oily.

If you’re not sure, an easy way to tell is to use a shampoo for dry scalp as well as a conditioner before bed. If your scalp is hydrated and flake-free in the morning, that’s a good indication that your scalp was just dry. If the flakiness persists, on the other hand, you may have dandruff instead.

If you’re suffering from a dry scalp, try to incorporate a shampoo for dry and itchy scalp along with these lifestyle tips into your hair care routine. Your scalp will thank you!

Trusted by you


4 out of 59,400+ reviews

Related articles

View all articles
  • Sensitive, sore scalp

    Sensitive & Sore Scalp - What Causes Scalp Pain and How to Treat It

  • Fedtet hovedbund

    Struggling with oily hair and scalp? How to get rid of greasy hair for good!

  • Tør hovedbund? 10 tips til at slippe af med en tør og kløende hovedbund

    Dry Itchy Scalp? 9 Healthy Scalp Habits You Should Practice

  • kløende skæl

    Dandruff: What Your Dry, Flaky Scalp Is Trying to Tell You

  • The Ultimate Guide to Scalp Psoriasis: From Symptoms to Natural Remedies

    The Ultimate Guide to Scalp Psoriasis: From Symptoms to Natural Remedies

View all articles