A flaky and itchy scalp is definitely something I (and maybe you) want to avoid at all costs. It’s important to treat it, though, because scalp health is so important. If it’s dry, itchy, oily, or has excess buildup, it’s going to mess with your hair growth and health. Not to mention that when your scalp is happy, healthy, and hydrated, you’ll see a lot less annoying dandruff or dead skin flakes.
There are a couple of things to do to keep your scalp in good shape: If it’s dry, you’ll want to shampoo less because overdoing it can strip your scalp of its natural oils. You can try different treatments like oils and scrubs and massage it in to take care of the skin up there. Sometimes you might even need to see a dermatologist if it’s excessively dry and doesn’t improve after trying out different treatments and methods.
But if you want to start somewhere, you can look at your current shampoo and conditioner. Is it gentle enough? Is it hydrating and moisturizing? You might want to make a swap if it’s neither of the above. Look for moisturizing and soothing ingredients, like natural oils, shea butter, and aloe. And you can even benefit from some exfoliating agents, too, like salicylic acid.
Browse some options below if you want to ditch your old shampoo and conditioner.
The charcoal in this formula draws out impurities from the scalp while the coconut oil moisturizes. It also contains micro-exfoliators to remove dead skin cells and product buildup and a cooling blend of peppermint and spearmint oils.
The scalp-saving ingredient in Oribe’s shampoo is salicylic acid, which gently exfoliates and gets ride of flakiness.
This conditioner contains acacia tree extract to nourish and soothe the scalp, shea butter and panthenol to hydrate damaged and brittle hair, and Oribe’s Signature Complex to defend against environmental stress and other damage.
Sachajuan’s shampoo features salicylic acid to loosen dry skin and wheat protein to strengthen the hair follicle. It’s safe to use for color-treated hair.
This creamy formula contains dandruff-fighting ingredients to soothe irritation and redness on the scalp.
If you’re also dealing with greasy hair in addition to a dry and itchy scalp, try this clarifying shampoo. It cleanses the scalp and removes buildup.
And pair the tea tree shampoo with this conditioner—it features hydrating hair oils.
This is my go-to shampoo to treat dandruff. It really works. After using it for a week or two, I notice less flakiness and after about a month, I’m in the clear—you only need to use it twice a week. It doesn’t dry out my hair and scalp at all.
Made specially for sensitive and irritated scalps, this shampoo contains peony extract to cleanse, soften, and volumize the hair.
When you put this gel conditioner on, you’ll immediately feel a soothing sensation. It protects against irritation for up to seven days, too. It also has an applicator tip so it’s easy to apply the product directly onto the scalp.
Acure’s shampoo is so good at removing buildup, but it won’t leave your scalp even drier. The formula contains a ton of organic oils, like argan, CoQ10, rosemary, and lemongrass.
After using the above shampoo, use its conditioner counterpart, which can be used every day. It also has a refreshing scent of lemongrass.
This pH-balanced shampoo is formulated with tea tree oil, sage oil, and salicylic acid to cleanse, remove dead skin and buildup, and soothe the scalp.
The conditioner is designed to reduce flaking and stimulate scalp growth, while also softening and hydrating the hair. It leaves a nice minty, tingly feeling on the scalp.
Featuring a calming combination of oat amino acids, propolis, chamomile, and sage extracts, Leonor Greyl’s shampoo targets inflammation and itchiness. It’s also infused with garlic bulb extract to increase circulation and moisture levels.
Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost skincare line is beloved for its effective and super-quick hydrating powers, so its shampoo and conditioner should be promising. Like the skincare products, both contain hyaluronic acid to attract and lock in moisture and improve the scalp’s natural barrier.
Dove’s shampoo and conditioner contains Pyrithione Zinc to target dandruff. The pH-balanced formula also has a blend of oils to soften, nourish, and condition the hair.
This mild shampoo clears flakiness and buildup while reducing oiliness. It won’t dry out the hair and you can use it even if you color-treat your strands.