There are a lot of reasons your scalp could be dry, and even the best dry scalp treatments will only help if you first identify the cause. That's why there are a number of factors to consider before you invest in a scalp treatment.
While dryness could mean your scalp isn't getting enough moisture, there are a lot of other things (like dandruff) that can appear to be dryness. A good indicator of a truly dry scalp is if the rest of your skin is lacking in moisture and if the dead skin that flakes off is also dry. Dandruff, on the other hand, will produce oily flakes, and the scalp will often be red or scaly where it's flaking. Chronic skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema can also cause a dry scalp, resulting in inflamed, red flaky patches of skin on and around your scalp. Any of these issues can lead to a dry scalp, but they warrant different treatments.
If you think your dry scalp is more than just dryness or mild dandruff, don't try to self-diagnose: Consult a dermatologist. Once the problem is identified, you'll have an easier time finding the right treatment for you. From there, I suggest starting with one these six tried and true treatments for dry scalp.
1An All-Natural ACV Rinse For Scalp Irritation
Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy for scalp irritation because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Aside from ACV, this scalp rinse also contains anti-fungal lemongrass and soothing chamomile. And — an added bonus for dry, itchy scalps — ACV does an incredible job of cutting through and removing product buildup, which can contribute to irritation.
2A Soothing Spray For Protective Styles
Having an itchy scalp is an unfortunate side effect of protective styles that don’t require daily maintenance, but this calming spray will end the suffering and put a stop to itchy, dry scalps. Made with peppermint, a wonderful antibacterial agent that can cleanse the scalp, and calming ingredients like oat, camellia oil, and fennel seed, this product protects you from patting your weave while adding shine. It comes in a spray bottle for you to spritz your scalp without having to dunk your hair in water daily, but of course, a trusty spray bottle of water can be used first to keep your scalp hydrated and make this product even more soothing.
3A Dandruff Treatment That Moisturizers Dry Hair & Scalp
This two-minute moisturizer treats dandruff, itchiness, and eczema with a trusted treatment ingredient: pyrithione zinc. Gently massage it into your hair and scalp for two whole minutes to treat and hydrate the scalp. It's recommended that you use this product at least twice a week to help manage and prevent dryness.
4A Tea Tree Rinse That Treats Itchiness Associated With Dandruff & Eczema
This refreshing scalp treatment is great for reducing dandruff and eczema sufferers will definitely benefit from its featured ingredient. Tea tree oil is antibacterial, anti-fungal, and commonly used to nurture inflamed skin conditions. This treatment is formulated to be the perfect balance between clarifying and moisturizing, containing soothing ingredients like lavender and shea butter to relieve sensitive scalps.
5A Healing Scalp Spray For Inflamed Scalp Conditions
Inflamed skin conditions often leave behind damaged skin, which this scalp care spray has thoughtfully considered in its formula. It's clinically proven to reduce conditions like eczema and psoriasis as well as encourage the growth of healthy skin cells. It’s formulated without steroids, parabens, dyes, or fragrances. Spray this calming restorative treatment onto any affected areas on the scalp during your normal daily skincare routines.
6A Moisturizing Balm For A Truly Dry Scalp & Hair
For an all-in-one product that’s going to rapidly hydrate your scalp and your hair, look no further than this moisturizing treatment. It’s formulated to provide intense moisture to extremely dry scalps while adding shine and restoring softness to the hair.
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.