Best Shampoo For Dry Scalp [Reviews + Buying Guide]

Don’t confuse dandruff for a dry scalp. They are two different conditions with different causes though with some similar symptoms. In both you’ll experience flakes falling off your hair. But while dandruff is caused by too much oil on your scalp, dry scalp is caused by too little moisture.

Knowing the difference is important in choosing the right shampoo that will help you. In the case of dry scalp, you need a shampoo that re-moisturises your hair and is gentle enough that it doesn’t cause more flaking and itching.

Obviously, the best shampoos for dry scalps have moisturising ingredients such as honey or natural oils. A good shampoo will hydrate both your scalp and hair, which reduces the amount of flaking and itching. It also softens your hair and makes it appear more glossy and vibrant.

Another thing to check when looking for a shampoo for dry scalp is harsh ingredients. This is especially important if you have sensitive skin. Certain ingredients like sulphates can worsen the itching in some people. Other ingredients to be careful about include parabens and synthetic dyes.

If you have colour treated hair, make sure you buy a shampoo that is labelled as colour-safe.

Some of the shampoos used to treat dry scalp are also used to treat dandruff. This is because they are formulated to deal with the same symptoms that manifest in both conditions – itchiness, scalp irritation and dry flakes.

We scoured online for the best shampoos for dry scalp. We checked the ingredients and also what users have to say. Here are our top 5 selections.

Remember to use the shampoo with a good moisturising conditioner to get the best results.


1. Kerastase Dermo-Calm Hypoallergenic Shampoo

If you itching is really bad, try this shampoo. It has an immediate calming effect. You can go about your day without having to scratch your head every few seconds.

For those with dry and sensitive scalp, the shampoo is hypoallergenic and formulated for extra-gentleness. But as with any other hair product, do a patch test to be completely sure it will not affect you.

The shampoo also contains castor oil, sunflower seed oil and Tamanu oil all which provide deep hydration for your scalp. The oils penetrate deep into your scalp ensuring it remains soft and moisturised through the day.

What we like about it:

  • Immediate calming effect for itchy scalp.
  • Provides deep moisturization for both scalp and hair.
  • Contains hair-nourishing ingredients such as rosemary extract.

2. Aveeno Skin Relief Soothing Shampoo 300 ml

Colloidal oatmeal (finely milled oatmeal suspended in a liquid) is one of those simple solutions that work magic on an itchy and dry scalp. When the oats combine with moisture gel-like polysaccharides are activated. The gel creates a protective barrier on your scalp, sealing in moisture.

This shampoo contains colloidal oatmeal to help restore your scalp’s natural moisture and seal it in. This eliminates any itching or flaking.

The shampoo is very gentle on your hair so you can use it as often as you want. You can even use it on your kids if they are experiencing a dry scalp.

What we like about it:

  • Gentle and fragrance-free. It is suitable for all ages and hair types.
  • Immediate relief from itching.
  • Leaves hair feeling soft and smooth.

3. Garnier Ultimate Blends Oat Milk Sensitive Scalp Shampoo 600ml

This soothing shampoo is formulated for sensitive scalps and delicate hair. It contains rice cream and oat milk which seal in moisture in your scalp and nourish your hair with vitamin B1, vitamin E iron and calcium.

So it’s not only good for your dry and itchy scalp, it’s also great for your hair. The creamy texture softens your hair without making it too heavy or greasy. It’s ideal for all hair types.

This shampoo provides instant relief from itching. Just lather it in your hair and leave it for a couple of minutes. It has a nice mild fragrance that remains even after rinsing.

You’ll be using it for quite a while thanks to the larger-capacity bottle. It’s a good buy if you’ll be sharing it with someone else in the house.

What we like about it:

  • Gentle formulation that is safe for sensitive scalps, delicate hair and those with allergies.
  • Plenty of hair-nourishing ingredients.
  • Large bottle.

4. Neutrogena T/Gel Shampoo for Dry Hair 250ml

This shampoo fights both dry scalp and dandruff. If you have an itchy dry scalp, the rich non-drying ingredients in the shampoo provide quick soothing relief.

The shampoo spreads easily on your scalp, conditioning and rehydrating it. This prevents itchiness and flaking.

In addition to moisturising your scalp, the shampoo spreads the hydrating and nourishing benefits to your hair. It leaves your hair with a healthy vibrant shine and makes it stronger.

It has a very mild fragrance and is gentle on your hair. You can use it every day without worrying about further drying out your hair and scalp.

What we like about it:

  • Gentle formulation that is safe for all hair types.
  • Ideal for everyday use.
  • Also good for treating dandruff.

5. Eucerin Shampoo 250ml

This shampoo treats a wide range of hair and scalp problems that cause itching, dandruff and redness.

One of the main ingredients is polidocanol. It’s an antipruritic – it relieves itching. Another ingredient is urea. Urea is known for its itch-relief and moisturising benefits on the skin. While it can cause irritation, this shampoo contains safely low levels that won’t cause any issues even on a sensitive scalp.

Once you wash your hair with the Eucerin shampoo, it provides instant relief from itching through polidocanol and gradual rehydration of your scalp using urea.

Users suffering from scalp sensitivity and constant itchiness say this shampoo works really well. It even helps with symptoms of other conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

What we like about it:

  •  Quick calming effect that instantly eliminates itching and general dry scalp discomfort.
  • Non-fragrant and gentle formulation that makes it safe for sensitive scalps.
  • Good for dry scalp and various other hair and scalp conditions.