Wellness

If You Have A Dry Scalp, These Are The Best Conditioners To Use

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Treating a dry scalp can be tricky, but investing in the right conditioner is a great place to start. The best conditioners for a dry scalp will help reduce dryness, flaking, and itching without weighing your hair down or making your scalp feel greasy. Some of them do double-duty to help with other scalp-related concerns, like hair-thinning or dandruff, too.

It's not always obvious why you're experiencing a dry scalp — everything from skin conditions such as dandruff, eczema, or psoriasis can make your scalp feel dry, as can product buildup, washing your hair too frequently (or not frequently enough), a reaction to an ingredient in a styling product you're using, or even a change in the weather. So try and figure out what might be causing your dry scalp — and in the meantime, use one of these conditioners to help. (Similarly, be sure to pick up one of the best shampoos for a dry scalp to use pre-conditioner.)

And if these conditioners don't help, speak with your dermatologist — you might require a stronger, prescription-strength hair treatment or shampoo.

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The Overall Best Conditioner For A Dry Scalp

The combination of tea tree oil and sage oil in this conditioner from Yes To Naturals helps treat dryness and itching, while ingredients like sweet potato extract and kukui seed oil work to add moisture back to both the hair and scalp. The brand says it's clinically proven to help treat dryness and itching in as little as eight days, and like all their products, this conditioner is made of mostly natural ingredients and is Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty-free. At $8, it's priced pretty fairly, too.

The Best Conditioner For A Dry, Sensitive Scalp

Apple cider vinegar is an ingredient commonly used for its clarifying properties, so this Balancing Hemp & Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioner is a great choice for anyone who thinks their dry scalp might be caused by product buildup or swimming in chlorine. To avoid further drying out the scalp, the conditioner is infused with moisturizing ingredients like argan oil, hemp seed oil, and cocoa butter.

This is also a particularly great choice for people with sensitive skin, because it's fragrance-free, which is pretty hard to find in hair care products in general. If you have an unknown allergy or sensitivity to artificial fragrance, using a scented conditioner could be exacerbating the scalp dryness you've been experiencing, so it might be worth switching to a fragrance-free shampoo and conditioner. This conditioner is also vegan and cruelty-free, like all Acure's products.

The Best Conditioner Dry A Dry Scalp & Dandruff

When I spoke with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Candace Spann to discuss dandruff, she suggested that people with dandruff and dry scalps should use an over-the-counter product containing the antibacterial ingredient pyrithione zinc. If your dry scalp is due to dandruff, the budget-friendly Dove Dryness & Itch Relief Conditioner treats dandruff and adds moisture back to dry scalps with coconut oil, shea butter, sunflower seed oil, and pyrithione zinc. Plus, it costs just $5 on Amazon.

The Best Conditioner For A Dry Scalp & Thinning Hair

If you're experiencing thinning hair, the entire line of hair care products from Nioxin, including their System 2 Scalp Therapy Conditioner, is meant to address that concern. This lightweight conditioner can help make hair look fuller using strengthening ingredients like biotin, while a blend of plant-derived oils and extracts (including peppermint, grapefruit, lemon, and nettle leaf) work to keep hair feeling moisturized, refreshed, and clean.

The Best Exfoliating Conditioner For A Dry Scalp

In this LivSo conditioner, glycolic acid works to unclog pores and remove product buildup — two things that might be behind your dry scalp. It also contains moisturizing abyssinian oil, silk extract, and hydrolyzed oat protein to make hair look shiny and feel strong. The brand, designed with help from a dermatologist, is intended for people with all hair types who have dry, itchy scalps.

Reminder, using any product with AHAs can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so be sure to cover up your scalp with a hat or a scalp sunscreen when you go outdoors.