Beat Itchy, Flaky, Dry Scalps With These 10 Shampoos

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I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have a dry scalp. It has been an insecurity of mine for years, and because of it I’ve tried countless shampoos to help slough away flakes. I’ve also gotten seriously invested in scalp care, which is exactly what it sounds like: skin care for your scalp. Yes, we’re talking toners and exfoliators. As David Adams, consultant trichologist (an expert in scalp and hair health) for Thicker Fuller Hair, told me: “A clean scalp is one of the most important things we can do to ensure we have healthy growing hair.” With that said, shop the best shampoos for dry scalps ahead.

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The Equalizer Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Apothecare Essentials apothecareessentials.com

$12.00

This new launch from Apothecare Essentials contains salicylic acid, which helps with exfoliating away visible flakes, prevents dryness, and leaves hair feeling silky-smooth. 

Shampoo with Peony

Klorane dermstore.com

$20.00

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are not only great for the skin on your face, but your scalp as well. This shampoo contains those and peony extract to soothe an irritated scalp while softening strands at the same time. Bonus: The formula smells like a fresh bouquet of flowers.

Creme aux Fleurs Treatment Cream Shampoo

Leonor Greyl dermstore.com

$45.00

This silicone-free shampoo comes in a moisturizing cream formula and contains sage and chamomile extract to fade any inflammation on your scalp. Meanwhile, wheat protein strengthens your hair and locks in shine.

Prevent Shampoo

Evolis Professional neimanmarcus.com

$28.00

Chock full of botanical ingredients like anti-inflammatory swertia and antioxidant-rich mangosteen, this shampoo promotes healing, and not only for the ends of your hair but the scalp, too. Over time, with improved scalp health, hair will grow even thicker.

Scalp Revival Charcoal

Briogeo dermstore.com

$24.00

Created especially with scalp health in mind, this shampoo is fortified with biotin (which promotes hair growth), witch hazel (which helps regulate oil production), and binchotan charcoal (which draws out build up on your scalp). Bye bye greasy hair! 

PHYTO Phytheol Dry Hair Moisturizing Scalp Exfoliating Shampoo

Phyto dermstore.com

$26.00

This anti-dandruff shampoo, great for anyone suffering from itchiness and dryness, is meant to be used weekly. It bathes your hair in a surge of moisture and uses essential oils, like tea tree, to fight away flakes. Apply it before you suds up in the shower for best results.

Flaky Scalp Shampoo

Philip Kingsley dermstore.com

$37.00

Along with scientifically-proven anti-dryness ingredients, like piroctone olamine (which targets itching and flaking), this gentle shampoo also contains aloe to help repair and relieve your damaged scalp.

Restore Dry Scalp Treatment

Living Proof nordstrom.com

$32.00

Though technically not a shampoo, this is definitely a leave-in worth adding to your haircare routine. Feel immediate soothing once you’ve massaged this into your dry scalp thanks to a hyaluronic acid-boosted formula.

Calming Shampoo

Aesop nordstrom.com

$27.00

This bottle will answer your prayers for an itch-free, flake-free scalp. It’s effective but gentle, so you can get that tingly clean feeling without leaving your scalp stripped raw.

Crown Scalp Scrub

R+Co dermstore.com

$38.00

If it isn’t clear, yes, you need to exfoliate your scalp. This tube offers the benefits of physical exfoliation (thanks to ivory palm seed powder) and chemical exfoliation (thanks to salicylic acid.) Use it on days you’ve used a ton of styling products and dry shampoo to give your scalp a reset. 

Senior Beauty Editor Kristina Rodulfo is the Senior Beauty Editor of ELLE.com—she oversees beauty across ELLE’s digital media platforms and is an expert in product testing, identifying trends, and exploring the intersections of beauty, culture, and identity.

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