When it comes to choosing one of the best drugstore shampoos for a dry scalp, it's best to avoid certain, potentially irritating ingredients, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Houshmand tells Elite Daily. Those include parabens, formaldehyde, triclosan, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances, which run the risk of making dryness worse.
It's also important to differentiate between shampoos for a dry scalp and shampoos that treat dandruff, because though both conditions can have similar symptoms (including flaking and itchiness), they're not related. With a dry scalp, "the skin is sensitive and inflamed and the flakes will come off. With dandruff, there is excessive oil on the scalp. The oil causes buildup and then skin shedding is seen as flakes," Dr. Houshmand explains. That's why dandruff-fighting shampoos aren't typically the best line of defense for a dry scalp. Instead, choose a gentle shampoo that contains soothing and hydrating ingredients. Beyond that, if your hair is chemically treated, Dr. Houshmand prefers creamy shampoos, while she tells her patients with oily hair to pick a deep-cleansing shampoo, such as one that contains tea tree oil.
Below are the five of the best dry scalp shampoos, all available for under $15 on Amazon. Scroll on to discover which one best suits your hair's unique needs.
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