Health & Wellbeing

How To Get Rid Of A Dry Scalp Once And For All

A dry scalp can be irritating, inconvenient, and even downright embarrassing – these are the best shampoo for dry scalp to fix the problem.
A woman scratching her head against a white backgroundGetty

A dry scalp is only a minor health issue – you’re probably not going to die from it any time soon – but it can be extremely embarrassing if left untreated. For persistent flakes and itchiness, check out our list of the best shampoos for dry scalp in Australia; we’ve included budget, natural, and vegan options of the best scalp shampoo to cater to every kind of shopper!

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What Causes Dry Scalp?

While there are several possible underlying causes of dry scalp, the ‘main’ cause is not getting or retaining enough moisture. Because your scalp is dry, it causes irritation and flaking. Other ‘risk factors’ that could trigger or exacerbate a dry scalp problem include cold and dry air, skin issues like dermatitis or psoriasis, and old age.

It’s important not to confuse dry scalp with dandruff, although the ‘symptoms’ are similar. In both cases, you’ll have large patches of skin flaking off the scalp. But dandruff is actually caused by an overly oily scalp, so medicated shampoos that help with dandruff (or oil control) can actually make dry scalp worse.

(If you think you might have dandruff instead, search for the best anti-dandruff shampoos on offer – some of the best dandruff shampoo can actually give you smoother hair and protect your scalp.)

Symptoms Of A Flaky And Sensitive Scalp

Here’s how you can tell you have a dry and flaky scalp that needs treatment:

  • There are small and dry flakes that ‘shed’ off the top of your head.
  • Your head feels itchy regularly.
  • Due to repeated scratching, you may have crusty sores on your scalp or red/irritated skin.

Again, these symptoms are very similar to dandruff. The major difference is that dandruff flakes tend to be larger and oilier. In addition, if your hair feels greasy and oily even after washing, there’s a higher chance you have dandruff and not dry scalp – and best to look for anti-dandruff shampoo instead.

When in doubt, consult a doctor or physician to get the correct diagnosis and treatment plan.

A woman scratching her head against a white background
(Credit: Getty)

How Does Dry Scalp Shampoo Help?

The products you use can alter your hair and scalp health, so it’s important to choose shampoos specifically designed for dry scalps. Dry scalp shampoos contain ingredients that introduce moisture back into your scalp and relieve its painful and embarrassing symptoms. 

In addition, these shampoos may have antifungal or antibacterial properties to heal cracked skin and prevent itchiness-causing microbes from making a home on your head.

How To Get Rid Of Dry Scalp: The Best Shampoo For Dry Scalp

Nioxin System 3

Price: $84 for cleanser, revitaliser, and treatment (300mL each)

Note: Nioxin has several other scalp care ‘systems. This one is best for those with thinning, coloured, or treated hair.

Buy Nioxin System 3 Trio Pack here.

Head & Shoulders Dry Scalp Care Shampoo for Flake-Free Hair

Price: $6.99 / 200mL

Note: One of the best shampoos for dry scalp, Head & Shoulders Dry Scalp Care shampoo is clinically proven to treat the cause and offers itch protection for 72 hours. Infused with coconut oil, this dry scalp shampoo nourishes your scalp, and it’s dermatologically tested, so it’s like a premium skin care product for your hair. 

Read more about Head & Shoulders Dry Scalp Care Shampoo here.

Head and Shoulders dry scalp shampoo

Body Shop Ginger Scalp Care Shampoo

Price: $19 / 400mL

Note: Body Shop’s best-selling anti-dandruff shampoo is 100% vegetarian, but it is made with fair-trade honey.

Buy Body Shop Ginger Scalp Care Shampoo here.

Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo

Price: $39 / 250mL

Note: Sachajuan also comes in a larger 1L bottle.

Buy Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo here.

Ego Sebitar Scalp Cleansing Treatment

Price: $17.99 / 500mL

Note: Sebitar can also be used to relieve scalp dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.

Buy Sebitar Scalp Cleansing Treatment here.

Ionil T Scalp Cleanser

Price: $16.49 / 200mL

Note: Ionil T’s main ingredient is coal tar, which can have many potential side effects and interactions. We recommend consulting a doctor before starting treatment.

Buy Ionil T Scalp Cleanser here.

Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo

Price: $10.49 / 200mL

Note: Neutrogena’s dry scalp shampoo was beloved for years, but according to reviews, they recently changed their formula.

Buy Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo here.

Kerastase Specifique Bain Anti-Pelliculaire

Price: $44 / 250mL

Note: Kerastase has other products in the Specifique line that targets other scalp issues such as irritation, oiliness, and hair loss.

Buy Kerastase Specifique Bain Anti-Pelliculaire here.

Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control

Price: $33.95 / 300mL

Note: Although it’s primarily a dandruff shampoo, it works great for dry scalp!

Buy Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control here.

Klorane Soothing & Anti-Irritating Shampoo With Peony

Price: $18.95 / 400mL

Note: All Klorane products are made with plant-based active ingredients. The Peony range is vegan-friendly.

Buy Klorane Soothing & Anti-Irritating Shampoo With Peony here.

De Lorenzo Tricho Scalp Balance

Price: $56.95 for cleanser, conditioner, and toner (125-200mL each)

Note: There are Tricho products that address more specific scalp issues, such as the Tricho Scalp Control range which relieves dandruff and itching on oily scalps.

Buy De Lorenzo Tricho Scalp Balance here.

Davroe Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Price: $28.95 / 350mL

Note: Davroe is 100% vegan, cruelty-free, and Australian-made and owned.

Buy Davroe Anti-Dandruff Shampoo here.

Dove Dermacare Scalp

Price: $13 / 12 oz

Note: Dove Dermacare is not readily available in Australian stores; the best place to find it is online.

Buy Dove Dermacare Scalp here.

Dry And Flaky No More!

There you have it: some of the best dry scalp shampoos that you can buy in Australia. These products are definitely the most effective (and accessible) dry scalp shampoos on the market, but we’d still recommend consulting with a doctor first before self-medicating. That way, you’ll get the right diagnosis, the right advice, and the best scalp shampoo – and you’ll be able to say goodbye to your dry scalp once and for all.

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