Black was my most trusted friend, wardrobe-wise, I found out early on. It saved me so much effort.  The formula was gold; little black dress, pants, shirt, tee, pullover, everything…  I always looked sharp, or presentable, at least. This however came with a whole new issue. I watched my life moment playing out in dandruff advertisements where the guy has to rethink his fashion choices because of the white flakes on his shoulders. That was my story, but just the “before” part. I’ve come a long way from that today and I should say am dandruff free and black continues to be my favorite color.

I am not alone in this and many of you readers have been through your own dandruff difficulty. Luckily for you, I’ve done enough of searching for all of us and I am going to share what I know. What’s more, all of the products on my list are available to you online!

Best Shampoo For Dry Flaky Scalp Reviews

So say goodbye to dry, itchy and flaky skin, and say hello to my list of best shampoos for dry scalp. Laid out are the details for you guide you to a new hair experience.
ProductNameTreatsActive IngredientPrice
Pure Tea Tree Oil ShampooPure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
Dry scalp,
seborrheic dermatitis, head lice, dandruff
Tee tree oil
Check Price
Head and Shoulders Dry ScalpHead and Shoulders Dry Scalp Care with Almond Oil Dandruff ShampooDry scalp, dandruff
Pyrithione zinc (1%)
Check Price
Regenepure - DR ShampooRegenepure - DR ShampooDry scalp,
seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff
Ketoconazole (1%),
salicylic acid
Check Price
puriya-scalp-therapy-shampooPuriya Shampoo, Natural Dandruff Shampoo Itchy, flaky, dry scalp, psoriasis, Seborrheic dermatitisTea tree, arnica, sage and rosemary Check Price
Nioxin Scalp-Recovery CleanserDNioxin Scalp-Recovery Cleanser for Dry and Itchy Scalp
Seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff
Pyrithione zinc
Check Price
Neutrogena T-Gel Therapeutic ShampooNeutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Original Formula
Dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis
Coal tar (20 mg/ml)

Check Price
ArtNaturals Dandruff ShampooArtNaturals Dandruff Shampoo, Coal Tar with Argan Oil
Itchy scalp, clear symptoms of psoriasis, eczema
Coal Tar (3%) Check Price
Amplixin Scalp Therapy ShampooAmplixin Scalp Therapy Shampoo with Caffeine and Tea Tree Oil
Dandruff and itchy, flaky scalpAloe vera, tea tree oil, caffeine and rosemary extract
Check Price
The Wonder Tree Hemp Oil ShampooThe Wonder Seed Hemp Shampoo
Dandruff, itchy and flaky scalp, eczema, psoriasis
Hemp seed oil, organic aloe vera, ginseng extract, coconut oil, nettle extract, jojoba oil, cocoa butter
Check Price
Maple Holistics Argan Oil ShampooMaple Holistics Argan Oil ShampooHair loss, dry hair and flaking scalp
With argan, jojoba, avocado, almond, peach kernel, camellia seed, keratin
Check Price

Why Your Scalp Is Dry And Flaky

Before we dive into this, let us take time to understand the issue that dandruff is. That flaky skin falling off our scalps and causing so much embarrassment could actually be one of two things or both. There is plain dry skin that is a lack of moisture that we suffer during cold weather or some sort of contact dermatitis. Then there is dandruff that is a result of oily hair follicles that cause a build-up of greasy dead skin cells that eventually shed.

The understanding of the underlying issue had changed my focus on the type of products I go for.  It was dry skin that showed up on my collar so I figured, in long eventuality, that it was because my scalp needed hydration. I also found out because the products that seemed to do the job were moisturising in nature, be it shampoo, conditioner or moisturizer.

Fighting The Pain Of Dry Scalp With The Best Dry Scalp Shampoos Reviews

Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo-The Best Natural Shampoo

Maple Holistics is quite the response to today’s conscious consumer looking for natural remedies.  Among their line of products is the tea tree oil shampoo which I discovered online as to be quite popular. It is the absence of two common shampoo ingredients – parabens and sulfates – that are considered as carcinogens which is the draw. For those who are dealing with dandruff but wish to keep things natural, you might want to try the Maple Holistics tea tree oil shampoo

The star ingredient, tea tree oil, known for its germicidal properties fights off bacteria, yeast and fungus that are mostly the cause of itchy scalp and dandruff. This, in combination with the other essential oils including rosemary, lavender, argan and jojoba oil present in the concoction, hydrate the scalp which you will remember is a major cause of flaky skin.


  • The product is natural and is also GMO and cruelty free besides being sulfate and paraben free.
  • It is also useful in treating seborrheic dermatitis, head lice, hair loss, dandruff, and inflammation, issues which may accompany dry scalp.
  • If it doesn’t do the job, there is a money back guarantee on offer.
  • Finally, for those who do not like heavily fragrant shampoo, this is a great option.


For all its benefits, it is no surprise it comes with a steep price tag.

Head and Shoulders Dry Scalp Care-Best Budget-friendly Dry Scalp Shampoo

Head and Shoulders has always been prominent among the brands of shampoos claiming to do away with our flaky issue. The shampoo will always find a place on my bathroom shelf. It gets the job done.  The almond oil in the shampoo does well to hydrate the scalp as it is easily absorbed while pyrithione zinc and simultaneously deals with the dandruff. There are, of course, other products in this line to deal with other requirements like extra conditioning, or cooling for that extra itchy scalp. The product claims being dermatologically tested and works its magic in two weeks of use; it has for me at least. Its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and germicidal properties are just added benefits that I’ll take any day.


  • The fact that it’s a well known brand waive off certain concerns of trust.
  • The cost is reasonable considering natural products usually hit the pocket hard.
  • The family twin pack it comes in is good for bigger families.


  • It contains sulfates and might put off those looking for more natural remedies.
  • Another matter of preference is the fragrance which is quite masculine.

Regenepure – DR Shampoo-The Best Scalp Treatment Shampoo

This one is a mix of hydrating goodness that I highly recommend. Packed with a range of extracts, oils and vitamin the formula nurture the follicles. And then they went on to add caffeine to the mix, yet another ingredient I will not shy away from. The active ingredients – ketoconazole and salicylic acid work on preserving hair follicles.  Its anti fungal property also helps target seborrheic dermatitis while the salicylic acid exfoliates the dandruff away solving your main issue. Those looking to avoid parabens and sulfates will be happy to know that the shampoo doesn’t contain the compounds.

Jojoba oil, which is known to promote hair growth, has been added for extra hydration. To improve upon it, emu oil has been added to improve the health of the scalp; the oil derived from the flightless bird has always been believed by the aborigine of Australia to be useful for the treatment of skin ailment. Finally, for it cooling effect, aloe vera was incorporated, along with vitamins n zinc oxide. Dare we ask for more?


The benefits listed are numerous.

  • They include hair thickening and scalp treatment.
  • The product is Sulfate-free and paraben-free and hence attractive to many, not to mention that it is not tested on animals.


It’s slightly steep on the pocket but absolutely worth it.

Puriya Scalp Therapy-For Dry Scalp and Hair Loss

Along with the embarrassment of a flaky scalp comes the irritation of an itchy head. It’s just unbecoming on both counts. Puriya Scalp therapy is one of the better treatments for these issues. The anti fungal ingredients including tea tree oil, sage, arnica, and rosemary work together to hydrate dry scalp and itchiness. Made with natural ingredients, the product is safe to use on a daily basis and not limited to any age group or hair type. I saw a difference within a few days of use.

It has also worked wonders on hair fall for people I have suggested this to. This is probably because of the scalp care the product provides. 


  • Again, the naturally derived ingredients will attract those looking to find an alternate way to treat dandruff and dry scalp.
  • The shampoo is free of sulfates, paraben, sodium chloride as well as synthetic fragrances.
  • It is gentle on scalp and hair as it has been ph balanced and suited to all ages and hair types.
  • And, if it doesn’t work, there is a 180 day money back guarantee.


  • The fragrance might not be up to everyone’s liking and may not be suitable for users of all ages.
  • It is slightly expensive.

Nioxin Scalp Recovery Cleanser-The Best Shampoo for Flaking and Itching

The active ingredient of Nioxin Scalp Recovery Cleanser is pyrithione zinc, a known anti-fungal component that fights flaking and relieves itching. And the shampoo really does deliver in this regard. Unlike the other products on this list, however, it doesn’t get big marks for containing natural ingredients. It’s not sulfate-free either. If this is an issue with you, I recommend trying the other natural shampoos I’ve listed. However, it does the job pretty well and if you’re looking for something that work quickly, this is it.


  • Pyrithione zinc reduces flaking and itching.
  • The shampoo lathers quite well and if you love a good mass of bubbles, you’ll certainly like this!


  • The shampoo contains a lot of synthetic chemicals, which may be irritating to some users.
  • It contains sulfates and sodium chloride too, the latter of which is linked to dry scalp.

Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo-The Best Fast-acting Shampoo

Neutrogena’s T-Gel Therapeutic Shampoo is specially formulated to treat dry scalp and itchiness. The company claims its effects can be seen in just one use but it took several washes to work for me. Still, the fact that it reduced dryness and itchiness is what has me listing the product. If any of you have psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis, it will quite possible do the job as it’s designed for these two conditions as well. You don’t need to use the shampoo frequently. Once a week makes a difference too, which leads me to believe that the formula is pretty potent.


  • It’s highly effective against dry scalp and you’ll get relief in just a few washes.
  • The active ingredient is coal tar, which is known to alleviate dryness and itchiness.


  • While the fast-action formula is a big plus, it contains certain ingredients that are considered harmful and irritating such as sulfate.
  • You may want to try other sulfate-free shampoos from the list if this is a concern.
  • The fragrance is pretty chemical too, which can put people off.

ArtNaturals Dandruff Shampoo-The Best Nourishing Shampoo

Coal tar. It may not sound like the most appealing or the safest ingredient to put on your scalp but it’s been used for ages to treat dandruff, scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. ArtNaturals knows this too because its dandruff shampoo containing coal tar has really helped with my dry scalp, especially reducing the itching. It could be due to the inclusion of argan oil and jojoba too. The formula is very gentle, which is a big plus if you have sensitive skin. According to the company, the essential oils repair split ends and nourish the hair. While I can’t vouch for the split-end part (trimming them is the only cure), the product does make hair silkier and a lot softer. I wouldn’t be surprised if it prevented split ends rather than cure it.


  • It contains argan oil and jojoba oil and coal tar.
  • It’s free of sulfates and parabens and isn’t tested on animals.


Although not yet proven, some believe that coal tar may be linked to cancer. If you aren’t comfortable with this, I suggest you pick another shampoo from the list.

Amplixin Scalp Therapy Shampoo

I’ve read that caffeine can cause dry scalp and even dandruff but I’m happy to say it only wakes me up! This brings me to Amplixin Scalp Therapy Shampoo, a doctor-reviewed product that contains caffeine and tea tree oil. According to the company – who quoted the International Journal of Dermatology – caffeine can be a stimulator for hair growth when applied topically. That’s good news for all us coffee lovers who can’t do without our daily dose of java!

Aside from caffeine, the shampoo contains tea tree oil, known for its anti-fungal and moisturizing properties, and aloe vera, which alleviates irritation. The trio of ingredients really do deliver and the product significantly reduces dry scalp and itchiness. I’ve also noticed a drop in dandruff.


  • It’s free of sulfates and parabens and isn’t tested on animals.
  • It’s suitable for all hair types as well as for men and women.


  • Like a lot of products that don’t contain sulfate, the shampoo doesn’t lather much and you may feel the need to use more. You don’t have to, of course, as the ingredients will do what they’re supposed to.
  • Some users also say that it doesn’t really reduce itching and a few have said that they had a negative reaction.

The Wonder Tree Hemp Oil Shampoo

Hemp oil is an undervalued ingredient but thanks to a growing number of companies including it in their products, more people are beginning to know about its benefits. The Wonder Seed is one such company and its hemp shampoo is testament to how good the stuff is.

The formula is 100 percent natural – which is a big plus – and contains several other ingredients known to reduce flaking and itching. It has aloe vera, ginseng, jojoba and cocoa butter to moisturize the scalp and hair.

The shampoo is color-safe too so all you readers who have recently colored your hair can rest assured. But what I really love about The Wonder Seed’s hemp oil shampoo is that it doesn’t contain any toxins. This means no sulfates, no parabens and even no fragrance. If you have sensitive skin, you know this matters. It’s cruelty-free too!


  • The formula is very gentle on the scalp since it doesn’t contain irritants and toxins.
  • It’s complete natural and cruelty-free.


A few people have said that they developed itchiness and flakiness.

Maple Holistics Argan Oil Shampoo-The Best Gentle Treatment Shampoo

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of argan oil. If you haven’t, it’s time to be informed! This miracle worker is known to nourish hair, giving it life and bounce, and nourish skin by alleviating dryness. It’s this latter that makes it such a great ingredient for combating dry scalp. Maple Holistics knows this, which is why its argan oil shampoo is such a blessing. It moisturizes the scalp to prevent dry skin so you don’t have to worry about itchiness and flaking.

Yet, the benefits don’t stop there. The shampoo also contains ingredients we know and love such as jojoba, which balances oil production; keratin, which reduces frizz; and almond oil, which restores moisture. Combined, they make a powerful team that work to eliminate dry scalp once and for all. I need to mention that the product is cruelty-free, which as many of us know by now, is an aspect that we should all consider!]


  • Maple Holistics’ argan oil shampoo is a great choice for men, women and teens and works on all hair types.
  • It’s loaded with vitamins A, D, E, B1 and B2 as well.


Though I didn’t face any problems with the product, some users have reported that it dries out the hair. It shouldn’t be case but if yours dries out easily too, I’d suggest using a conditioner along with it.

Buyer’s Guide to the Best Shampoos for Dry Scalp

As you can see, there’s a really huge variety of shampoos for dry scalp available today. Natural ingredients that are gentle on skin are what you want to look for along with active ingredients that are known to relieve dry scalp symptoms. While not many lean towards shampoos with too many chemicals, there are some products that do a great job. I suppose it boils down to the concerns you have regarding these – such as sulfates and parabens – and if you’re willing to try them.

As for me, I prefer formulations that make as least use of them as possible.

How to choose dry scalp shampoo

Dry scalp can be a pain to take care of, not to mention an embarrassment. The itchiness that goes along with it leaves you worrying if anyone will catch you trying to squeeze in a scratch. The worse part? It happens at the darndest times! Meeting, dates, in public – you name it. Yet that’s not even what gets you down.


Choosing the right shampoo is more of a hassle because it so happens that the scalp and the hair are often very different. For instance, you could buy shampoo for itchy scalp but your hair could end up unusually oily or sometimes too dry. Or maybe you don’t like some of the ingredients in which case you’ll be forced to choose another brand. With no many nitty gritties to consider, we’ve put together this handy buying guide to help you in your quest!

Look for dry scalp specific products

There are tons of products in the markets too, so much so that you have a dizzyingly long list to choose from. Shampoos formulated specifically for dry scalp are what you should look for as they aim to rid dryness in the scalp without making hair oily. Of course, it doesn’t work for everyone and some people report that their hair does ultimately get oily.


The solution, in this case, is to switch between shampoos. Use dry scalp shampoo until the issue is resolved and switch to a gentle formula. Alternating is also important when the seasons change since the weather plays a big role in deciding the state of your scalp and hair. You’ll want to use more moisturizing shampoos in winter to counter the cold and dryness and move to lighter shampoos in summer.

Avoid ingredients like sulfate

Sulfate is a great lathering agent which is why it’s included in so many beauty and household products. You’ll find it in soaps, detergents, cleaners and shampoos among a few. Despite its extensive use, it’s not good for the health of the scalp and hair. It’s drying and only exacerbates the problem. People with eczema are advised to avoid it all costs too. Those with sensitive skin also do well to stay away from it.

Although unproven, sulfate is believed by some to be linked to cancer. There’s still a lot of research that needs to be done in this context but by and large, you want to avoid it too if you have dry scalp.

Read Next: 10 Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo For Healthy Hair

pH-balanced shampoo are important

Optimal pH levels will leave scalp and hair healthy but unfortunately, people aren’t blessed with this. A too-alkaline scalp causes dryness, which means you need to look for shampoos with a lower pH such as 6 or 7. Check the labels of the products before purchasing them to see if they have the pH you need. This way, your scalp won’t be stripped of all its natural oils and you won’t have to suffer the headache of a dry scalp.

pH-balanced shampoos

Essential oils can help

The best shampoos for dry scalp will include essential oils that balance oil production. There are several you want to look out for.

  • Lavender: This universal favorite isn’t just beautifully fragrant but it’s moisturizing too. It cleanses the scalp without drying it out. Search for shampoos that include it or if you can’t quite find what you’re looking for, add a few drops of the oil to your shampoo.
  • Lemongrass: Another balancing oil, lemongrass is ideal for dry scalp. The refreshing scent is  plus especially in the warmer months.
  • Sandalwood: Sandalwood is just as good as lavender and lemongrass in balancing oil production. It’s also a very effective cleansing agent.

Opt for more natural products

Not all natural shampoos are gentle or good for dry scalp but they usually contain fewer synthetic ingredients that may be irritating such as sulfates and parabens. They also tend to contain natural oils like those we’ve mentioned. Do read the ingredients carefully to see what the formula is made of and try to choose more natural products.

Helpful tips for dry scalp

The key to managing dry scalp is to restore the natural oils and moisture. There are several ways to do this aside from using the right dry scalp shampoo. Take a look –

  • Cut down on hair products: Hair mousse, gel et al may be necessary to keep hair looking fabulous but they can be irritating and cause scalp to dry out. Try to cut down on the number of items you use and tap into your creative side to come up with hair styles that don’t need so many products to hold them in place.
  • Shampoo less often: Many people shampoo their hair too frequently in a bid to keep it looking clean and shiny. Yet, that’s probably the worst thing you could do if you have dry scalp. If you’re guilty of shampooing every other day, reduce it to 2 or 3 times a week at the most. Use only a small amount of shampoo with each wash.
  • Take extra care in winter: The cold is not dry scalp’s best pal so you need to take even more care in winter. You may want to consider conditioning your scalp at this time if the dryness is extreme. Don’t be alarmed – scalp is skin and needs to be moisturized as well. Just make sure you use only a little product or dilute the conditioner. Remember to rinse your scalp and hair thoroughly after.


Dry scalp is an annoyance and as anyone suffering from it knows, it can seem notoriously tough to get rid of. Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom, as we’ve learnt, and there are great shampoos out there that can do the bulk of the work. Once you’ve found the product you need, follow it up with the tips we’ve outlined. You’ll soon be able to say goodbye to dryness and itchiness!

Read more:

Best Shampoo And Conditioner For Dry Scalp On Amazon:

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