best shampoos for dry itchy scalp

9 Best Shampoos For Dry Scalp In 2022 | For Itchy, Flaky, Dandruff-Prone Scalps

Scratching your hair every time can get embarrassing right? Good thing I’ve got the best shampoos for dry scalp and itchy scalp to keep your hair healthy and your hands away.

We are all guilty of not giving enough time and attention to our manes.

With a busy schedule, I was looking for a quick solution that can fix those itchy scalps, especially in these winter months, when our hair is more susceptible to dandruff.

Dry scalp occurs when the scalp does not produce enough moisture.

Related: Best Shampoo For Psoriasis

Related: Best Shampoo For Scalp Acne

Related: Best Anti Dandruff Shampoo

Dandruff is one of the most common issues caused by a dry and itchy scalp and it is so common in this weather.

The cold, dry air can take a toll on our beautiful manes and give us a lot of issues leading to hair fall and loss of texture.

Dry itchy scalp can show up as dandruff because it also has flakes.

If you have dry scalp, it is more scaly and itchy, which can be dry and irritating.

Shampoos For Dry ScalpBest ForChief Ingredients
OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk ShampooFrizzy HairCoconut Milk, Coconut Oil & Egg White Protein
Bodyshop Ginger Scalp Care ShampooSulfate FreeAloe Vera, Ginger, White Willow, Birch Bark

Shea Moisture Hydrate and Repair Shampoo
Natural HairManuka Honey, Yogurt, Mafura, Baobab Extract
Khadi Natural Amla and Bringaraj Hair Cleanser Color Treated HairAmla, Bhringraj, Shikakai, Reetha
Wow Skin Science Apple Cider Vinegar ShampooHair LossApple Cider Vinegar, Saw Palmetto, Argan Oil, Nettle Extract
Head & Shoulders Scalp Elixir TreatmentFlaky ScalpCastor Oil, Menthol, Peppermint Oil, Caffeine
Aveeno Skin Relief Soothing ShampooSensitive ScalpColloidal Oatmeal Extract, Hydrolyzed Milk Protein
Dove Dermacare Scalp Anti-dandruff ShampooDandruffPyrithione Zinc 1%
Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Oil Shampoo For Dry ScalpScalp AcneTea Tree Oil, Peppermint Extract, Lavender

You would need to condition your scalp more and take care of your scalp by using more conditioning shampoos and oils.

If your hair is excessively dry and frizzy it is advised to use a light conditioner on your hair ends and then go for the shampoo.

Doing so will hydrate your hair more and keep it away from dryness.

How I tested the best shampoos for dry scalps?

I used these products on my own hair for a few weeks and then rated them on a scale of 1-5 based on the following criteria.

Moisturizing Power: Of course, the first thing I checked is how well the shampoo moisturizes my dry scalp

Anti-inflammatory Properties: Dry scalps and itchiness go hand in hand, I wanted a shampoo that reduces itchiness and redness as well.

Gentleness: I also looked for SLES and SLES products that are safe on color-treated hair and damaged hair as well.


Top Shampoos For Dry Scalp 2022


It is important to make the right choices by selecting hair care products that guarantee protection from these issues.

But let’s be practical, who has the time for an elaborate hair care regime? The easiest way is to incorporate the products into our everyday routine.

I have created a list of top shampoos that are going to help you fix your dry and itchy scalp.

OGX nourishing coconut milk shampoo

Best Drugstore Shampoo For Dry Itchy Scalp

OGX shampoos for dry scalp

I got this shampoo as OGX is a cult favourite known for its high quality and sustainability.

I have always admired how they have been focusing on sustainable packaging as well with developments in recycling containers.

But the shampoos themselves have always been a hit or miss.

This one has a pleasant coconut smell since its ingredients include coconut oil, coconut milk and egg whites.

Coconut oil and egg whites, as we know, have been used as DIY hair masks since forever. So I liked the inclusion of natural ingredients as my scalp tends to be sensitive.

The shampoo also claims to protect your hair from protein loss and environmental hair damage. But frankly, it didn’t do much for my hair strands except make them smoother.

I also liked the inclusion of anti-microbial properties of coconut oil that is useful for fighting off dandruff. But its anti-inflammatory properties are nowhere near Aveeno Oat Milk shampoo or even a good old tea tree oil shampoo.

OGX has always been popular thanks to its super affordable prices, and I liked the quantity of product in the bottle. So it’s definitely budget-friendly.

Despite the price, it’s also sulfate-free. So I would definitely recommend it for colour-treated hair.

Fair warning, the shampoo contains added perfume. So if your scalp’s really sensitive to fragrances, you should keep away from this one.

Pros:

  • The shampoo works well with most hair textures (curly, wavy, Afro)
  • It’s more affordable than other products I’ve reviewed here
  • Good for frizzy, dry hair as it smoothens the strands

Cons:

  • It might not suit very sensitive scalps as it has alcohol and perfume
  • I noticed it dried out my hair on prolonged use

My Ratings:

  • Moisturizing Power – 4/5
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties – 3/5
  • Gentleness – 4/5

Who It’s For – Normal to dry scalp

Related: Check out what other OGX shampoos are on offer for your hair type

Bodyshop Ginger Scalp Care Shampoo

Best Shampoo For Dry Itchy Scalp Sulfate Free

best shampoo for itchy scalp 2022

The body shop is synonymous with great quality products, so it was a no-brainer for me to try their Toulify Ginger shampoo.

I was on board with this shampoo even before using it as it is a 100% cruelty-free vegetarian product.

I would also like to give the shampoo brownie points “eco-conscious formula”, that reduces its environmental footprint.

Now coming to the formula itself. I noticed right of the bat that it’s not very nourishing.

This shampoo is meant for normal to dry hair. And it’s also a good product if you have a scalp inflammation issue rather than excessive dryness.

On looking at the ingredients list, I found exotic names like Pracaxi oil and manketty nut oil. But the real star of the show is the ginger.

Yes, it did clean all dandruff and flaking from my hair. It even reduced the itching considerably! But it smells.

Someone out there might like the sharp, ginger scent, I didn’t!

This product is sulphate, silicone, paraben, and colourant free, hence it is a pretty safe option for those of you suffering from hair damage or issues like psoriasis.

The shampoo left my hair shiny and squeaky clean, but it’s not very moisturizing. I missed how smooth my locks felt after using the OGX.

And that is funny because this ginger shampoo is a lot more expensive than OGX!

How to use: Massage into wet hair, rinse thoroughly as needed.

Pros:

  • It has a cruelty-free and is made using eco-friendly manufacturing processes
  • It suits scalps with heavy inflammation issues and psoriasis

Cons:

  • The ginger scent is not for everyone and is very overpowering
  • The formula isn’t moisturing enough for curly hair textures.

My Ratings:

  • Moisturizing Power – 3/5
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties – 5/5
  • Gentleness – 4/5

Who It’s For – Oily hair with scalp inflammation

Shea Moisture Hydrate and Repair Shampoo

Best Shampoo For Dry Itchy Scalp Natural Hair

best shampoo for a dry itchy scalp

When I tried the Body Shop Ginger shampoo, I noticed it wasn’t very curly hair-friendly. So I went to look for a shampoo for dry, itchy and inflamed scalps that can be used on African American hair.

And I bought this one as the SheaMoisturer brand is a hit with curly hair since they sell products that focus on maintaining the natural texture of your hair. They are also a natural, sustainable and cruelty-free brand. 

I tried this shampoo and found it very effective as moisturizing my dry scalp. It has Manuka honey that has anti-inflammatory properties, so my itching was considerably reduced as well.

I had tried their coconut and hibiscus shampoo before and this is a more “lighter” version of it. I have wavy 3a hair and I was worried it would weigh my hair down but it didn’t.

But if you have 1a or 1b (very poker-straight hair) this shampoo can be too heavy for your texture.

No there are sulfates in this shampoo, so you can go ahead and use it on color-treated hair. It won’t strip the hair dye.

I just had gripe with this shampoo… the perfume! Good lord is it overpowering! And not exactly the thing you need if you have scalp sensitivity issues.

How to use: Apply to wet hair, gently massage and work into a rich lather. Rinse thoroughly.

Pros:

  • The brand uses only organic, fair-trade ingredients
  • It repairs hair damage along with moisturizing hair
  • Good for curly, kinky hair textures as it has a very nourishing formula

Cons:

  • The perfume in the shampoo is too strong and can irritate very sensitive skin

My Ratings:

  • Moisturizing Power – 5/5
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties – 4/5
  • Gentleness – 4/5

Who It’s For – Curly hair with dry scalp

Khadi Natural Amla and Bringaraj hair cleanser 

Best Shampoo For Dry Itchy Scalp And Color Treated Hair

khadi shampoo for  dry scalp


I always like using natural, chemical-free products if I have scalp issues, and Khadi is a 100% ayurvedic brand from India.

I wanted to try this shampoo as their products are made from herbal active elements which are extracted from organically grown pure plant extracts. 

Maybe I was to hyped up for this shampoo, but on using it I found it to be a letdown.

Yes, it is a paraben-free and sulphate free shampoo. There aren’t even milder forms of surfactants!

But it’s still very drying. It soothed my scalp right after using, but it did nothing to add moisture!

In fact, my hair seemed even frizzy after use somehow!

I will give it points for the natural ingredients like amla, brahmi and shikakai but I wished it contained some emollients to soften scalp and hair.

You can probably try it on straight, oily hair. And as it’s sulfate free, it’s great for colored hair. But it didn’t suit my dry, wavy locks at all!

I was very disappointed as the Khadi shampoo is very expensive too.

If I could name the one saving grace of this product, it was the smell.

How to use: Apply on wet hair. Massage over scalp and hair lengths and rinse off.

Pros:

  • Good for sensitive scalp are the formula is 100 percent natural
  • There is no perfume as the scent is essential oil-based fragrance
  • Good for cleansing build-up and flakes from scalp.

Cons:

  • It’s very expensive compared to the others on this list
  • It doesn’t moisturize hair well and can increase frizziness
  • Certain ingredients are allergens so there is a chance of reaction

My Ratings:

  • Moisturizing Power – 3/5
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties – 4.5/5
  • Gentleness – 3.5/5

Who It’s For – Oily hair with sensitive scalp

Wow Skin Science Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

Best Shampoo For Dry Itchy Scalp And Hair Loss

Wow Skin Science Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo


A lot of dry scalp issues and itchiness comes from product build-up on scalp. So the next shampoo I tested was this WOW apple cider vinegar formula.

It promises to clear up dandruff and cleanse scaly build-ups. And it delivered what it promised!

I found on using that it is a mild shampoo (you won’t be able to lather it well) with smooth texture and consistency.

I had colored my hair when I was using this, so I was happy to note that it is sulphate, paraben and silicone-free.

The shampoo is supposed to moisturize your scalp thanks to the argan oil in it. But it wasn’t very nourishing on my scalp.

But it was excellent as an anti-inflammatory product. I was also surprised to see that it contains Nettle leaf extracts and Saw Palmetto extracts.

Now these are DHT blockers that are supposed to help prevent hair loss. And I could see good results about 4 weeks in after using this shampoo.

The chief anti-inflammatory ingredient here is apple cider vinegar. So unlike most dandruff fighting formulas I’ve used, this one was milder and didn’t strip moisture or colour from my hair.

I also found it interesting that although it is a pump bottle, it is lockable so it won’t leak if you carry it around.

You can go for this shampoo if you have excess build-up, mild dandruff or itchiness. But if you want something more moisturizing I’d say try OGX Coconut Milk or Aveeno Oat Milk shampoos instead.

How to use: Wet hair with lukewarm water. Take a small amount and massage until it lathers. Wash it off with plain water.

Pros:

  • Helps with hair loss as it has DHT blockers
  • The apple cider vinegar formula is good for removing product build-up
  • Good for sensitive scalp as it maintains pH balance

Cons:

  • It leaves hair frizzier than before

My Ratings:

  • Moisturizing Power – 4/5
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties – 4.5/5
  • Gentleness – 4/5

Who It’s For – Dry scalp with product build-up

Head & Shoulders Scalp Elixir Treatment

Best Shampoo For Dry Itchy Scalp And Dandruff

best moisturizing shampoo for dry scalp


The mild formula of the shampoo cleanses the scalp while maintaining it’s natural balance.

It contains powerful hydrating agents which act on the itchiness of the scalp caused by dryness and flaking.

The H&S mineralising water contains 15 minerals that improve the skins moisture barrier while strengthening the hair. The ingredients include mineralizing water and glycerin.

Glycerine is an intensely moisturising ingredient that can attract and draw moisture to your scalp and hold it.

It hydrates the scalp thereby preventing dandruff, frizzy hair and breakage.

These moisturising properties are especially helpful during winter when your hair becomes static and dry.

It has a paraben-free formula that leaves the scalp soothed for up to 48 hours. The shampoo also gives a healthy and radiant appearance to your hair.

How to use: Apply to wet hair and scalp. Massage gently and leave for 2 minutes, rinse thoroughly.

Pros:

  • Controls dandruff and flaking
  • Sulfate-free and alcohol-free
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Can dry strands in the long run

My Ratings:

  • Moisturizing Power – 4/5
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties – 4.5/5
  • Gentleness – 3.5/5

Who It’s For – Dry scalp with dandruff problem

Aveeno Skin Relief Soothing Shampoo

Best Natural Shampoo For Dry Itchy Scalp

best shampoo for sensitive scalp

This Aveeno soothing oat blend shampoo is one of the best out there for dry scalps. Hey, soothing is in the name itself.

What makes this shampoo special is the oat milk and almond milk formulation that leaves your tresses soft and nourished.

It gently exfoliates and removes flakes from scalp and moisturizes it.

The shampoo is also free of objectionable chemicals like parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, etc.

Pros:

  • Leaves hair soft and smooth
  • Works well with most hair textures
  • Sulfate-free
  • Good for color treated hair

Cons:

  • Too strong perfume

My Ratings:

  • Moisturizing Power – 4.5/5
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties – 3.5/5
  • Gentleness – 4.5/5

Who It’s For – Inflamed and flaky scalps

Dove Dermacare Scalp Anti-dandruff Shampoo

Best Shampoo For Dry Itchy Scalp And Oily Hair

best shampoo and conditioner for dry scalp

The Dove Dermacare Scalp Anti-dandruff Shampoo is one of the best products if you have oily hair and suffer from greasiness despite the flakes on your scalp.

It contains Pyrithione zinc that helps remove dandruff and flaking, stopping the itching and inflammation on your scalp.

But there’s also mint that prevents your hair from getting oily and leaves behind a refreshing feeling.

The shampoo is also pH balanced and suitable for sensitive scalp types.

Pros:

  • Controls dandruff and flaking
  • pH balanced formula
  • Sulfate-free
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Smell not pleasant

My Ratings:

  • Moisturizing Power – 4/5
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties – 3/5
  • Gentleness – 4/5

Who It’s For – Dry scalp and hair with mild dandruff

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Oil Shampoo For Dry Scalp

Best Tea Tree Oil Shampoo For Dry Itchy Scalp

best shampoo for dry itchy scalp and oily hair

One of the best natural treatments of scalp itching, inflammation, and flakiness is tea tree oil. So it’s no wonder that the Paul Mitchell tea tree oil shampoo is on this list.

As you might have guessed the chief ingredient in this shampoo is tea tree oil which fights bacterial and fungal infections without hurting the scalp.

There’s also peppermint and lavender essential oils to soothe and nourish your hair.

Pros:

  • Helps control scalp acne
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Controls excess oil
  • Pleasant smell

Cons:

  • Dispenser doesn’t work properly
  • Contains sulfates

My Ratings:

  • Moisturizing Power – 3/5
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties – 5/5
  • Gentleness – 3/5

Who It’s For – Oily, unprocessed hair with scalp inflammation

Properties / Shampoos For Dry ScalpOGX Coconut Milk ShampooWow Apple Cider ShampooTea Tree Special ShampooSheaMoisture ShampooAveeno Oat Blend Shampoo
Images
Moisturizing4/53.5/53/55/54.5/5
Anti-Inflammatory 4/54.5/55/53.5/54.5/5
Fragrance3.5/54/54/53/54/5
Price5/54/54/53.5/54.5/5

What to avoid in while selecting the best shampoos for dry scalp

It is important to understand the ingredients that go into your shampoo so you can make the right choices. 

Sulphates (SLS) are common in shampoos and they help produce lather. But in the long run, it can cause dry itchy scalp and encourage hair loss.

Sulphates are also harmful to the environment, especially the aquatic species. Ammonium laureth sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate are most common offenders.

Parabens These are used in shapes to extend shelf life. It can also lead to several health concerns.

Recent studies have found parabens with similar concentrations in shampoos and breast cancer tumours in women.

Irritants Certain ingredients can cause allergic reactions as well as inflammation.

Synthetic colours and fragrances are made of harmful chemicals that are not exactly suitable for our hair.

It is advised to switch to fragrance-free, shampoos to prevent dryness. They can also worsen scalp dermatitis.

Alcohol There is good alcohol and bad alcohol in shampoos. It is important to read the ingredients list and identify them.

Good alcohols, namely Cetyl Alcohol and Benzyl alcohol are derived from vegetables, fruits and sea botanicals and these are generally harmless for the hair.

The bad alcohols which are Propyl Alcohol and SD Alcohol 40 reduce moisture from the scalp and leads to thinning and breakage.

Silicone This manmade substance gives a silky shine texture to your hair. But it can lead to a buildup in your scalp which can cause dryness and breakage.

Excessive styling Hot tools used in moderation might not cause much damage to the hair however excessive styling can take a toll on your hair’s health.

It breaks down your hair’s hydrogen bond, thereby stripping your hair off its natural oils and proteins.

Just make sure to use a well-formulated heat protectant before applying heat to your hair.

Although these shampoos for dry scalp have proved to be effective in fixing flaky and itchy scalp, it is important to learn how to incorporate these into your regimes.

You also need to use proper follow-up products as well. It is advised to use a non-toxic conditioner to maintain your hair after the wash.

Also, the quantity of each product is available on the packaging.

Make sure you read the instructions on the packaging to make sure that you are using the correct quantity as well as using the proper method to apply it.

It is also better to air dry your hair instead of heat drying your hair since exposure to heat can stress the cuticles. 

Also Read:

Head and Shoulders Scalp Elixir Treatment

The best shampoos for dry hair and itchy hair help control dandruff and flaking and leave hair hydrated. The Head and Shoulders Scalp Elixir Treatment is suitable for most hair types.

Product SKU: MLRH2OGI2B

Product Brand: Head & Shoulders

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: $6.99

Price Valid Until: 2022-09-16

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
5