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How to Combat Dry Scalp in Winter

Everyone experiences mild to moderate dry scalp at some point, but for some, it’s a chronic problem, especially this time of year, as the weather zaps moisture out of our hair and scalp.

Since winter can bring the dreaded dry scalp or worsen an existing scalp condition, we’ve compiled a list of treatment alternatives to clear your scalp and keep dryness at bay. These solutions should work for you if your condition is truly dry scalp and not a more serious problem like dandruff (which is usually caused by excess oil and sebum on the scalp) or eczema (which may call for a prescription medicated shampoo).

Follow these remedies for removing stubborn dryness and normalizing your scalp to regain bounce, smoothness, and a healthy head of confidence.



What Is Dry Scalp

Dry scalp is more prevalent in winter and is often marked by small white flakes caused by cold weather, excessive dry heat, or diet. One may also experience some itch and tightness with a dry scalp (but not excessive itching which is often caused by dandruff or eczema). Sometimes, you will find some flakes of dead skin, like dandruff. However, dry scalp is not dandruff. Your hair can also look lifeless, frizzy, dull, and easily break and fall out.

Here are a few easy remedies and products to help, based on your needs:


Source: Guille Faingold | Stocksy


Detox/Moisturizing Shampoo

You may have to experiment or alternate between shampoos, but professional detoxing and/or quality moisturizing shampoos can make all the difference. For a thorough clean without drying out your scalp, a micellar shampoo will remove build-up without stripping your hair. For excellent moisturization, try a hydrating shampoo that is free of sulfates and parabens.


Medicated Shampoo

Sometimes a medicated shampoo is necessary for stubborn dryness. Try Sebamed Everyday Shampoo: developed by dermatologists and botanically-based to protect the natural balance of your scalp. Gentle enough for daily use, this medicated shampoo will not strip natural oils or irritate the scalp like soap-based shampoos. If you’re struggling with lots of itching and flaking, opt for something with pyrithione zinc to add moisture back to your scalp.


Natural Shampoo

Tea Tree, a natural ingredient, has been proven to remove oil buildup. A shampoo with tea tree will eliminate excessively dry skin and gradually normalize the scalp. These natural options will make your scalp tingle in the best way, making you feel clean without feeling even drier. 


Source: Kristin Ess


Scalp Massage

The key to properly shampooing a dry scalp is in the prep. Massage your scalp with a soft pure boar bristle brush before washing to remove the buildup of oil, hair products, and skin cells. Pure boar bristles are designed to lift away dirt and dust and distribute the natural oil from your scalp.

To help remove buildup, Malibu C Therapy is an affordable salon-quality exfoliant. The best way to use this treatment is to wet your hair in the shower and then mix the Malibu C Therapy in a bowl. Apply directly to the scalp, working in sections. You may feel a tingle, but it should never be uncomfortable. Thoroughly rinse after a few minutes and apply conditioner.


Hair Masks

An oil treatment for your scalp will help to deeply moisturize your scalp and lock-in that natural moisture balance. We recommend using coconut oil as a highly effective intense natural conditioner for the hair and scalp. Rub directly onto dry scalp and hair, put a shower cap on and leave for a minimum of 45 minutes for a deep moisture mask. You may also refer back to our beloved Homemade Coconut Oil and Honey Hair Mask for an effective treat for your hair and scalp. Another home remedy involves mixing equal parts apple cider vinegar with water, spraying the solution onto the scalp, and waiting at least 15 minutes before rinsing.

If DIY is not your forte, there are tons of scalp products on the market. Start with a scalp scrub to remove flakes, product build-up, excess sebum, and hard water deposits from the scalp. Then, follow with a scalp shampoo and treatment. The Kristin Ess Weightless Hydration Daily Scalp + Hair Mask helps calm and rebalance the scalp without being too heavy for everyday use. It’s a great essential to keep in your shower all winter, plus the angled applicator makes it easy to squeeze directly onto your scalp.

Regardless of the mask you choose, try keeping with a mask once a week until you’ve noticed an improvement–and you will!


Source: Lumina | Stocksy


Daily Hair Lotion

Over-washing can leave your scalp dry, itchy, and flaky. By applying Dr. Hauschka’s Neem Hair Lotion you may need to wash your hair less or can quickly attend to any dryness or scaling around your hairline. This product is designed to aid both oily and dry scalp conditions due to Neem Leaf Extract, which discourages bacteria and prevents flaking, Calendula which soothes and calms irritation, and Nettle which works as an astringent.

For those with curly and coily hair, you need a scalp serum that won’t disrupt your texture or your wash day. This one from Pattern Beauty is made with peppermint, rosemary, and lavender oils to invigorate your scalp; niacinamide to reduce redness and irritation; and aloe to soothe.


Consider this our biggest secret beauty hack.  In a pinch, try Burt’s Bees Hand Salve. Designed for severely dry hands, the botanical oils and beeswax in this amazing skin salve can also alleviate any irritation or flare-ups along the hairline. 



Internal Remedies and Diet

  • Fatty Acids: A diet rich in essential fatty acids (like flaxseeds, walnuts, and salmon) and minimizing coffee and alcohol can help alleviate dry scalp.
  • Kelp: Kelp, a seaweed, is an excellent source of essential and trace minerals needed for proper functioning of many bodily systems. Kelp is especially high in iodine, which is known to support hair growth and scalp healing. To be safe, talk to a doctor or dietitian about using kelp for scalp health, and check the label of your kelp supplement for the exact iodine content.
  • Drink More Water: Keeping yourself hydrated with water is a complete skin savior especially when it comes to your scalp. Adding some serious hydration to your diet will balance out scalp issues and is the most effective, inexpensive, and easiest thing one can do!



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14 Best Dandruff Shampoos for Men


Do you suffer from dry scalp? Are you accumulating dandruff? If it’s abnormally excessive and your skin is stinging to a debilitating degree, you need to consult a doctor. But if it’s garden-variety, treatment starts by avoiding generic shampoos and conditioners. Yes, your go-to bottles could have volumizing formulas and smell divine, but they also could be contributing to the problem. All those flakes are a result of harmless yeast that lives atop your head, which, for some people, can irritate the skin and cause inflammation, itching, and peeling.

You’re going to need a speciality shampoo or hair scrub, one with ingredients that stop excess flakes from forming. These include pyrithione zinc, coal tar, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, and ketoconazole. Just note that these complexes could affect the luster of your hair, so make sure aloe vera, shea butter, or coconut oil are also in the mix to help restore hydration. And to help you on your journey to getting a better head, we rounded up some of the best dandruff shampoos on the market today.

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T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo

Neutrogena, a pharmacy favorite, has a great gel shampoo that contains one percent coal tar, an ingredient that prevents flakes by slowing down the growth of skin cells.  

Classic Clean Daily-Use Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Head and Shoulders is classic for a reason. It’s especially good if you know the flakes are coming from persistently dry skin. 

African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Deep Cleansing Shampoo 13 OZ./384 mL

From the antifungal tea tree oil to the purifying bamboo charcoal, this robust mix of ingredients in this high-porosity shampoo will help prevent dandruff from forming. 

Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

If you’re just starting to notice some dryness, opt for something simple that you can use every other wash. Nizoral is considered a standby for a good reason. 

Tea Tree Special Shampoo

Tea tree oil is an element known for its scalp-helping, dandruff-reducing properties. If you’re a daily shampoo kind of guy, this is a good one for everyday use.

Dandruff Shampoo

Malin+Goetz’s shampoo uses pyrithione zinc, which helps manage seborrheic dermatitis—one of the most common root causes of dandruff. 

Scalp Shampoo

This is a management and preventative treatment all in one. It uses piroctine olamine to help treat the cause and appearance of dandruff, and salicylic acid to help scalp stay clear. 

Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

The one percent pyrithione zinc in this shampoo is great for those with sensitive skin, but will still go a long way in treating seborrheic dermatitis, which causes dandruff.  

Anti-Flake Relief II Shampoo

For dry and itchy scalp sufferers, this shampoo is for you. Leave it on your scalp for a few minutes to let it absorb, and it will get you back to a balanced standard. 

Low Key Scalp Scrub

This is another cleansing scrub to help reduce any build-up. It’s especially good for hair that could use some softening. 

Flaky Scalp Cleansing Shampoo

Product and oil build-up is another huge reason for dandruff. This shampoo helps address the flakes by really clearing and cleansing the scalp. 

Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo

Exfoliating scalp can help it to refresh. Use this shampoo once a week, making sure to massage fully into your scalp. 

Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Oribe is in a world beyond standard shampoos. If you have any sort of scalp ailment—product build-up, dryness, flakiness, or itchiness—this very gentle formula helps clear and restore it. Plus, it’s one of the best-smelling shampoos you’ll ever try. 

Bain Traitant à La Propolis Gentle Dandruff Treatment Shampoo

With bee propolis, an antiseptic of sorts, as the signature ingredient, this shampoo will instantly relieve itchy scalps and prevents dandruff from forming.  

Barry Samaha
Barry Samaha is the style commerce editor at Esquire, where he covers all things fashion and grooming.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

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15 Best Dry Scalp Shampoos 2021

Head & Shoulders; Getty

Do you suffer from dandruff or a dry, itchy scalp? It can be overwhelming (and time consuming) to figure out the best course of action to combat these symptoms and get scalp relief fast. To cut through the clutter on the shampoo shelves, we tapped scalp health expert and master stylist Diane Stevens to get her take on the best shampoos for itchy scalps.

It’s a common misconception that you shouldn’t wash your hair when you are experiencing a dry, itchy or flakey scalp, but Stevens disagrees. “The best way to encourage a healthy scalp and avoid a dry and itchy scalp is to keep your scalp clean and refreshed,” said Stevens.

Ingredient selection is also key to getting rid of dry scalp. “Any product containing aloe, pyrithione zinc, or green tea will make the scalp feel much better,” she said. In terms of products to avoid, she recommends steering clear of scalp treatment shampoos with parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, and formaldehyde, as well as anything with citrus. These types of ingredients have been known to dry the scalp out more and may cause more irritation and itching.

But truly maintaining a healthy, itch-free scalp isn’t only about selecting the right dry scalp shampoo. It’s important to look at your lifestyle in a holistic way and make sure you’re eating right in addition to using the right hair and scalp products. Our scalp expert Stevens also recommends drinking plenty of water and maintaining a healthy diet, especially staying away from greasy and salty foods. Doing these things while using the right dry scalp shampoo for you will help you to avoid flakes, dandruff, itchiness, and other symptoms of unhealthy scalps.

Ready to find the right scalp shampoo for you? Read on to learn more about the expert-recommended shampoos to soothe your scalp.

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Expert-Recommended Dry Scalp Shampoo

NIOXIN Scalp Recovery System Kit with Pyrithione Zinc

“I highly recommend Nioxin Scalp Relief Kit for a great cleansing shampoo,” said Stevens. “It contains aloe vera, an anti-inflammatory ingredient to soothe the scalp, help increase softness or smoothness of hair. It also reduces tangles and hair surface roughness.”

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo

Charcoal and coconut oil are also two ingredients that help soothe and treat the scalp. Biogeo’s cult classic Scalp Revival shampoo exfoliates the scalp to remove any buildup that might be contributing to your discomfortant.

Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care Daily-Use Anti-Dandruff

Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care Shampoo is safe enough for daily use and it’s a paraben-free option that fits the bill of Stevens’ expert recommendation.

Yes To Naturals Tea Tree & Sage Oil Scalp Relief Shampoo for Dry & Itchy Scalp

Tea tree oil relieves a multitude of skin ailments including acne, thanks to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a great option for itchy scalps as it will help to clean and purify while providing a soothing feeling on the scalp.

DERMA-E Scalp Relief Shampoo with Psorzema Herbal Blend

DERMA-E’s answer to scalp relief comes complete with a specific herbal blend that works in four ways to gently cleanse, de-flake, soothe, and nourish the scalp and hair.

Mustela Stelatopia Foam Shampoo

Mustela’s Stelatopia Foam Shampoo is actually designed for use on newborn babies, so you know it’s formulated with gentle ingredients. This one is great for eczema-prone skin and will help ease your urge to itch.

Aveeno Scalp Soothing Shampoo, Apple Cider Vinegar Blend

If you need to truly clarify your scalp and remove buildup that causes dryness and itch, grab Aveeno’s Soothing Shampoo. This one is formulated with apple cider vinegar, known to clean the scalp while also adding shine to your hair.

Philip Kingsley Flaky Scalp Cleansing Shampoo

Philip Kingsley Flaky Scalp Cleansing Shampoo is a little pricier than some others on our list, but many swear by it to soothe dry, itchy scalps. It’s vegan, paraben-free, and packed with calming ingredients including anti-fungal Piroctone Olamine and Lauryl Betaine, which cleanses without redness or irritation.

Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Nizoral battles dandruff while controlling flaking, scaling, and itching thanks to its formulation with ketoconazole 1%. It’s also gentle enough to use on color and chemically-treated hair.

Matrix Biolage Cooling Mint Scalpsync Shampoo

If you crave the cooling sensation to relieve your scalp irritation, this Biolage shampoo is a great option. It cleanses excess oil from the scalp and hair and awakens with a cool, refreshing feeling.

Oribe Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Oribe is one of the most luxurious (and expensive) shampoos on our list, but it contains many of our expert-recommended ingredients like Niacinamide. “Niacinamide is a derivative of Vitamin B3 that increases body, suppleness, and shine by improving the texture of damaged hair,” Stevens said.

The Body Shop Ginger Scalp Care Shampoo

Another invigorating option, The Body Shop’s shampoo refreshes the scalp with ginger extract. It also contains birch bark extract and white willow bark extract to clarify and soothe.

Neutrogena T/Gel Daily Control 2-in-1 Anti-Dandruff Shampoo Plus Conditioner

In a hurry? If you want to both shampoo and condition in one swoop, Neutrogena’s Daily Control 2-in-1 Anti-Dandruff Shampoos is the one for you.

Dove Nourishing Secrets Shampoo

Dove’s Nourishing Secrets Shampoo uses hydrating ingredients to bring dry scalps back to optimal health. It also keeps your hair itself from getting dry and brittle for overall hydration and moisture.

Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo

Another great option is this salon-quality shampoo from Redkend. The brand’s Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo contains pyrithione zinc as its star ingredient, one of the key things Stevens recommends to keep scalps at their healthiest.

Katie McBroom
Beauty Editor
Katie McBroom is an award-winning content creator and beauty/grooming expert.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

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How to know if you have a dry scalp and how to get rid of it

The lowdown on getting rid of those little white flakes.

Every year without fail, my scalp begins to dry up as soon as colder weather arrives. I’ve always considered this to be a pretty normal experience, and besides being slightly uncomfortable, it had little impact on my life. 

This year, however, the dryness is back with a vengeance, determined to exceed every previous year. I was perplexed as to why this was happening. I mean, I’m hardly exposed to cold weather because I stay inside nearly all hours of the day (thanks, lockdown). 

Looking for more haircare advice? Head over to our Beauty section.

Yes, I’ll admit, I’ve been neglecting my scalp. I’m prone to dryness everywhere, and religiously slather oils and creams on my face, lips and body. But I’ve been at a loss when it comes to addressing the dryness of my scalp.

I’m fed up with the morning cringe I experience when I spot those pesky white flakes, and I’m sick of avoiding black tops. In search of answers, I enlisted some help from Dr Bevin Bhoyrul from Sinclair Dermatology, who told me how to know when you have a dry scalp, what the causes are and how to get rid of it. 

Signs that you have a dry scalp

The classic telltale sign that you have a dry scalp is finding white flakes in your hair (or on your clothes, for the unlucky ones like me). Itching, irritation and soreness also occur when your scalp is dry. Clearly, it’s not a fun time.  

Factors causing your scalp to dry out

“Overwashing your hair can cause a dry scalp,” says Dr Bhoyrul. This is particularly common if you’re using a shampoo that contains chemicals, fragrances and preservatives. Check the backs of those bottles, people! 

It turns out you’re not entirely to blame for developing a dry scalp if, like me, hair care is embarrassingly low on your priority list. Factors beyond your control can contribute to a dry scalp, such as changes in the seasons. “At certain times of the year, there is more of a tendency to get a dry scalp,” explains Dr Bhoyrul.

When you are more at risk of developing a dry scalp

So, when exactly is this treacherous time of the year Dr Bhoyrul mentioned? You guessed it – it’s winter. “This is not so much to do with the actual weather,” says Dr Bhoyrul. This explains my previous confusion about barely braving the cold weather during lockdown, yet my scalp still being drier than ever. 

Being stuck inside due to COVID combined with colder weather likely means your indoor heating is on more than usual. I know mine is, if the horrifying sharehouse electricity bill is anything to go by. And while I’m aware it’s now spring, if you’re living in Victoria, you’ll know it’s not exactly warm just yet. 

“Heating dries the air and there is not a lot of humidity – this is what gives you not just a dry scalp, but dry skin generally,” Dr Bhoyrul says. 

Is having a dry scalp different to having dandruff?

I’m guilty of lumping together dry scalps and dandruff, I mean, they’re both just flakes in your hair, right? Wrong. They are actually two different conditions but can have many of the same symptoms.

“Both dandruff and a dry scalp are itchy and flaky, but the flakes that you get with dandruff are different to those you get with a dry scalp,” says Dr Bhoyrul. “The flakes with dandruff look a bit yellow, whereas the flakes with a dry scalp are white.” 

Their causes are, in fact, the complete opposite, so it’s important to determine which condition you have so that you tackle it correctly and prevent it reoccurring in the future. Dandruff is caused by excess oil, whereas a dry scalp is caused by dryness (it figures). 

Try these treatments for your dry scalp

To treat dryness of the scalp, firstly, “limit exposure to very chemical-rich shampoos,” advises Dr Bhoyrul. Try a sulphate-free shampoo, as they are less likely to cause dryness. To take it a step further, choose a hydrating hair wash, which, as Dr Bhoyrul has assured sceptics like me, actually helps dry hair more than standard shampoos. 

Other remedies to try are coconut oil, aloe vera, scalp scrubs and essential oils for maximum hydration. “Making sure you eat a healthy diet” is also key, says Dr Bhoyrul, so pack in those fruits and veggies. 

Sadly, there’s no magic number of weekly hair washes that can prevent your scalp from drying out and flaking. This varies for each person, depending on how much hair you have, how thick it is, and whether it’s curly, straight, or somewhere in between. Dr Bhoyrul recommends washing one to two times per week for curly hair and two to three times per week for straight or wavy hair. 

So, try these tips and treatments to hydrate your dry scalp and stop those pesky flakes popping up in your hair and on your clothes. It’s time to break out the black tops again. 

For more on how to tell the difference between a dry scalp and dandruff, head here. 

Best shampoos for dry scalp, according to these dermatologists

The weather outside this time of year can be seriously frightful for your scalp. Many people experience seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff — the medical names for a dry, flaky scalp — this time of year.

“The external air in the wintertime tends to be drier or less humid than in warmer months, which tends to have a drying effect on our skin, including the scalp,” explains Shari Hicks-Graham, MD, a dermatologist in Columbus, Ohio.

What’s more, indoor heating systems pump out dry air, so they have a similar effect on your scalp, while hot showers can also exacerbate dryness during the colder weather season, says Hicks-Graham. “Scalp dryness can turn into flakiness when we brush our hair or rub or scratch our head,” she adds.

Some people are prone to seborrheic dermatitis year-round, notes Lindsey Bordone, MD, dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center who specializes in hair disorders. That’s because this condition has a lot of different causes.

“Seborrheic dermatitis is often referred to as dandruff and can be the result of genetics, the environment, and your diet,” says Mona Mofid, MD, dermatologist at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in San Diego. “In some cases, there is an overgrowth of a yeast — malassezia — that normally lives on the skin but may be in excess.”

Not shampooing your hair enough can also cause dandruff due to the build-up of oils and skin cells on the scalp. Bordone says stress can also contribute to seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff.

While seborrheic and dandruff are essentially the same, dandruff only affects the scalp, while seborrheic dermatitis can cause skin irritation and flaking on other areas, like your ears, eyebrows, beard region and upper chest.

Luckily, you have a variety of treatment options to soothe your scalp, starting with natural solutions.

“Coconut and olive oil are very good for the scalp,” says Debra Jaliman, MD, dermatologist in New York City and author of “Skin Rules”. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and extremely nourishing thanks to the vitamins and essential fatty acids it contains, while olive oil is full of antioxidants that help protect the skin when applied topically. “A good trick is to apply one of those oils to the scalp overnight once a week, or even once a month, to give your scalp a hydrating treatment,” says Mofid.


Another natural remedy you can try: apple cider vinegar, which is antibacterial and anti-fungal, says Jaliman. (Just make sure to dilute it with water before putting it near your scalp.)

Beyond natural remedies, there are plenty of shampoos targeted to treat seborrheic dermatitis. “Some ingredients to look for which can help soothe a flaky scalp include ketoconazole, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, and 2% pyrithione zinc,” says Paul Cellura, MD, dermatologist at Tribeca Skin Center in New York City. “These ingredients are contained in many of the available over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoos.” Glycolic acid, which is commonly used in facial chemical peels, can also be very effective on the scalp when used in modest amounts, says Hicks-Graham.

As for what not to do: “Avoid hair products that may be drying, such as hair sprays and shampoos with a high alcohol content,” advises Paradi Mirmirani, MD, dermatologist and director of hair disorders for Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. “The higher up on the ingredient list, the more of the product it contains.” It’s also best to steer clear of shampoos formulated for oily scalps (these are often labeled as “cleansing” or “clarifying”) because they can contain harsh ingredients that can dry out your scalp, says Mirmirani.

The best shampoos for a dry, flaky scalp

Take care of your dandruff with one of these dermatologist-approved shampoos. But keep this in mind: “If over-the-counter products fail to fully control the scalp irritation, it may be wise to pay a visit to a board-certified dermatologist for further evaluation,” says Cerulla.

1. LivSo Moisturizing Shampoo

Hicks-Graham is a fan of this shampoo because it has a gentle sulfate-free formula that still lathers and feels great on your hair. Xlyitol in the formula fights yeast, while salicylic acid, glycolic acid and willow bark extract exfoliate and soothe.

2. Neutrogena T/Gel Extra Strength Therapeutic Shampoo

Coal isn’t just for those who made the naughty list this holiday season. Ths shampoo, which Cerulla likes, relies on 1 percent coal tar to ease flaking and scalp irritation associated with seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff and scalp psoriasis.

3. Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Cerulla also likes this drugstore shampoo, which is formulated with 1 percent ketoconazole to help reduce the amount of pityrosporum yeast on the scalp and cut down on inflammation, redness and scaly patches.

4. DHS Zinc Shampoo

Powered by 2 percent pyrithione zinc to help control dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis symptoms, this shampoo is a favorite of Mohid’s because it’s both affordable and available OTC. “For people who experience seborrheic dermatitis on the face or chest it can also be used as a wash and comes in a body wash option as well,” she says.

5. Dermacare Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

With 1 percent pyrithione zinc and coconut oil, this shampoo offers a one-two punch against dandruff at an inexpensive price point. “This shampoo helps to nourish dry itchy scalp and also helps to relieve it from irritation,” says Jaliman. “It’s pH balanced to gently cleanse scalp and hair.”

6. Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Dandruff Shampoo

For mild cases of seborrheic dermatitis, Bordone says an OTC dandruff shampoo like this one can be very effective. This classic formula’s star ingredient is 1 percent pyrithione zinc, which helps improve flakiness and itchiness.


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Dry Scalp: What Your Shampoo Can’t Do

Experiencing dry, itchy scalp? Your shampoo might not be able to help. From dandruff and dry hair to psoriasis and dermatitis, it’s time to get to the root of your hair problems – your water. If your water is hard, the harsh minerals can reverse the cleansing effects of your shampoo and conditioner. This can leave you with dirty, damaged hair and an irritated scalp. So, how can you treat dry scalp? Here’s everything you should know about how to fix a dry scalp caused by hard water.

What causes itchy scalp

Cold weather, hair dye, and excess heat treatments are some of the most common causes of dry, itchy scalp. These conditions can lead to dandruff, scalp psoriasis, and eczema. But, one of the leading causes of itchy scalp often goes overlooked – water. This includes both the hardness and pH of your water supply. The two go hand in hand, as the pH of your water can determine the amount of the hard minerals your hair will pick up.

How hard water causes dry scalp

Hard water is saturated with high levels of calcium and magnesium. These hard minerals can leave a layer of film on the surface of your skin  when mixed with soaps, shampoos, and conditioners. Unfortunately, this means that your hair-washing may be counteractive. Rather than removing dirt and bacteria, excess calcium and magnesium can leave a film of scum on your hairline. The hard water film can cause skin to become irritated and lead to dry, dull hair. In fact, researchers have found that hard water directly damages hair  when washed for ten minutes a day.

Those with colored hair may be at an even greater risk of hair damage. Most often, homeowners notice tints of yellow and green  on the strands of the hair as a result of the calcium and magnesium. Those with colored hair may notice a duller appearance as the color may become warped or stripped. Hair discoloration is one of the most obvious signs of hard water in your home. Other signs of hard water damage include thinning hair, breakage, hair loss, and split ends.

How to get rid of dry scalp

When it comes to treating dry scalp, shampoos may not always work. Treatment takes time but there are a handful of ways you can begin to remedy dryness in your day-to-day routine.

  • Apply oils: Look in your kitchen pantry. Anything from coconut oil to olive oil may be a simple remedy for dry scalp caused by hard water. In particular, oil treatments have helped to reduce the formation of split ends. Researchers found that Brazilian oil may be most effective, although the least common in households.

  • Rinse with apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is health powerhouse – especially for hair. Hard water can disrupt your hair’s natural pH, but the acidity in apple cider vinegar can help bring it back into balance. Be cautious not to use too much apple cider vinegar as it may irritate sensitive skin.

  • Make an avocado mask: Before you cut up an avocado for breakfast, consider using it as a mask for your hair instead. Avocados are rich in Vitamin E, a necessary component for strong, healthy hair. Not to mention, it has repairing properties that can help heal scalp and hair damage caused by hard water.

  • Install a water softener: Combatting water damage needs to start from the source. Water softeners like Culligan’s Water Softening System can help reduce hard minerals in your water supply. This means cleaner, softer water for your hair and skin and a better clean overall. By reducing the number of damaging minerals in your water, you can then focus on effectively repairing your hair and skin using the other home remedy solutions.

Not sure what to do for your dry scalp? Ditch the overpriced hair treatments. The cure for a dry, itchy scalp starts with your water. Softening your water can help combat the damaging effects of hard water. Not to mention, it can gently clean your hair and skin, leaving you with a fresher feeling after every wash.

Here’s How You Can Do Away With Dry Scalp Naturally!

Cold and icy winters may bring along a lot of dryness making your skin and hair look dull. We tend to turn to chemical treatments making it worse for them, especially hair. One of the best to avoid dryness on your skin and hair is to keep yourself hydrated; what’s better than water to make that happen? We do not realise that our bodies go through dehydration even in winters; therefore, it is necessary to drink at least six glasses of water to ensure your body is hydrated enough. Apart from water, there are foods that can naturally keep your scalp from drying. We enlist some foods that can help prevent the excessive dryness on scalp.

1. Coconut oil

Applying coconut oil on your scalp regularly helps you get rid of excessively dry scalp. Apply this oil for half an hour before hair wash, then shampoo with mild and sulfate free shampoo. Avoid over cleansing your scalp as it may only worsen the condition.

2. Omega-3 fatty acids

Dry scalp can be a sign of not getting enough essential fatty acids in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acid rich foods may include fatty fish, flaxseeds, canola oil, soybeans, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.

3. Vitamin A

Ensuring a plenty of vitamin A diet may help alleviate dry scalp. Vitamin A supports the maintenance and function of skin cells, as well as playing essential roles in the immune and circulatory systems. Some of the foods rich in vitamin A are eggs, dairy products, orange fruits and vegetables, sweets potatoes, etc.

4. Iron rich foods

Scalp and skin health require quite some oxygen and nutrients to be available to the cells, substances that are carried throughout the body by the blood. Iron is essential to do that process, as it is involved in the transport of oxygen from lungs to the rest of the body. Include more leafy greens, nuts, tofu, poultry, beans, etc in your diet.



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90,000 Dandruff symptoms, dry scalp, anti-dandruff remedies

Changing seasons and experimenting with styling products often lead to discomfort. The head itches, but how dangerous it is is not always clear. Together with specialists, we figure out how not to harm ourselves with home treatment, when to go to the doctor and how to prevent scalp problems.

How to distinguish dandruff from scalp irritation?

Minakova Irina Vyacheslavovna

Candidate of Medical Sciences, trichologist, dermatovenerologist, hirudotherapist of the clinic TsIDK

“As a rule, people turn to a trichologist with a pathology of dandruff formation, dry and irritated scalp or contact allergic inflammation from the use of shampoos or skin care products.The doctor must diagnose.

With dandruff, the formation of silvery-white scales, which are easily and painlessly detached, worries. Together with them, there may be microcracks on the vociferous part of the head.

Irritation of the scalp manifests itself through papules of bright pink or red color, traces of scratching. ”

Is it possible to cope with irritation on your own?

“If the irritation is caused by the water in which you wash your hair, or from hair cosmetics, then replacing the ruler and water, you can improve the condition of the scalp.Basically, patients come after they started treatment on their own, so only a carefully collected history will help you choose the right tactics for treating a patient, which will include, among other things, suitable means for home care. ”

Can you fight dandruff yourself?

Yana Chernigova

Trichologist, dermatovenerologist, cosmetologist of “Clinic of modern cosmetology of Yulia Shcherbatova”

“Before you start fighting dandruff, you need to understand which type of dandruff is bothering you: dry, oily or mixed.Each of them requires special treatment.

Dry dandruff can appear during the heating season due to low humidity in the room, frequent use of a hair dryer, after dyeing or the wrong shampoo. You can cope with this type of dandruff quickly enough using moisturizing shampoos and masks.

Oily and mixed seborrhea can have several causes – from hormonal imbalances to fungal infections, therefore, in this case, special therapeutic shampoos are required, for example, with salicylic acid and antifungal drugs.In addition, it is recommended to stick to a diet, because fatty, spicy foods and alcohol also increase the secretion of the sebaceous glands. You can wash such hair daily, if it is very oily, I advise you to rinse it with regular shampoo first, and then with medicinal one. Most importantly, do not forget to adhere to the recommendations in the annotation to pharmacy products. Remember, bigger is not better.

Unfortunately, sometimes it is difficult to determine the type of dandruff, so it is better to consult a trichologist. ”

Scalp flakes.Can I moisturize and exfoliate with facial cosmetics?

“Using facial cosmetics on the scalp is not a good idea, as the scalp structure and pH of these zones are different. Such experiments can lead to unpredictable results and will unnecessarily oily hair.

Serums and face creams with acids for the scalp are also best avoided, since usually higher concentrations are used for the face, which can damage the skin and lead to burns.The only non-specialized cosmetic product that can be safely used is thermal water. ”

What to do to prevent dandruff?

Ekaterina Turubara

Vichy Brand Medical Expert

“To avoid the appearance of dandruff (especially in persons predisposed to it), a set of measures must be observed:

  • Once a week, use a special medicated shampoo with an antifungal component (for example, piroctone olamine, selenium disulfide).
  • Add to the diet foods rich in zinc, B vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids – omega-3 and omega-6. They will improve the condition of the epidermal barrier of the scalp.
  • Reduce increased oiliness of the scalp. For this purpose, you can use shampoos containing kaolin. Such products are especially suitable for people who do not want to wash their hair often.

How to reduce sensitivity and irritation?

  • Wash hair with warm water (not hot) and dry with a hair dryer at a low temperature.
  • Minimize (or completely stop) the use of varnishes, sprays, gels. Change care products less often.
  • Avoid mechanical injury to hair (frequent combing, use of elastic bands or hairpins).
  • Loose your hair more often, do not wear tight hats.
  • Cover your hair in the sun. ”

What remedies can help?

Vichy Dercos Detox deep cleansing shampoo, 1006 rub.

1 of 6

Shampoo for sensitive scalp Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo, 890 rub.

2 of 6

Klorane Calming Shampoo, 690 rub.

3 out of 6

Kerastase Anti-Pelliculaire Shampoo Bath, 2290 rub.

4 out of 6

Leonor Greyl therapeutic shampoo-bath with propolis, 3990 rub.

5 out of 6

Anti-dandruff shampoo Malin + Goetz, 2500 rub.

6 out of 6

90,000 Psychosomatics: 16 signals from your body

Psychosomatics is an important mechanism that can both ruin life and improve it.Everything comes from the head – if we simply say what psychosomatics is. This means that all our diseases are somehow connected with our thinking, moods, emotions, mood.

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You are depressed, you do not want anything, you have lost the taste for life. You feel powerless, you don’t see anything good around you, and besides, you are always oppressed or worried about something.

Reasons: anger, anger that cannot be expressed. Feeling hopeless.


What are we talking about? It is a chronic disease that is associated with a lack of the pancreatic hormone insulin. This hormone brings glucose to our cells, which enters the bloodstream from food and provides the tissues with energy. When there is a lack of insulin, the blood glucose level rises.

Reasons: strong unalloyed grief, the absence of at least some joy in life, the bitterness of what was not done.

Diseases of the stomach

There is a full spectrum, from constipation to gastritis and ulcers. That is, at best, you have a “bear disease” all on the same nerves, at worst – an ulcer (pah-pah). With all the ensuing consequences.

Reasons: fear of change, inability to fit into reality.


One of the options on the topic of problems with the gastrointestinal tract. Heartburn, if you are not aware (and if so, then you are a happy person), is when there are unpleasant sensations or a burning sensation behind the breastbone caused by gastric juice.

Reasons: sheer fear, anxiety for any reason.

Excess weight

There are many reasons for this problem, and psychosomatics is only one of them. But important. When stressed, you are either prone to compulsive overeating – when you eat up your worries, or you just have a hormonal imbalance due to the same stress. And extra pounds is not so much a matter of aesthetics as of health.

Reasons: lack of strength in order to achieve some goal, anger at yourself for it. Feeling of their own defenselessness, unwillingness to feel anything at all.

Lump in the throat

Do you know this feeling – like something is stuck there? Alas, “a lump in the throat” is not always a figure of speech. And this seemingly trifle can be very stressful and in itself cause fears and panic.

Reasons: Inability to surrender to the flow of life, constant floundering, vanity and discontent

Lung diseases

Bronchitis, persistent cough, heaviness in the lungs.Not the fact that you just have a cold.

Reasons: severe depression, fear of life, disappointment in real emotions.


Migraines and other “joys” are very unsettling, do not allow you to focus on business and can ruin your whole day.

Reasons: dislike for obeying, doing what you organically do not want. In addition, headaches can be a reaction to some kind of sexual phobia.

Genital problems

Something with an erection or libido in general? Perhaps you should relax, stop being afraid and reflecting.

Reason: fear that you will not be able to be on top, fear of failure.


Throat, high fever. The worst thing is when it is difficult to swallow. In such a situation, even drinking a glass of water is a serious challenge.

Reasons: desire to express yourself and the inability to do so.The need to monitor your speech all the time for its “decency”.

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Breathing problems that make life miserable.

Reasons: depression and the need to cry.


You are tired, you want to sleep, but toss and turn in bed at midnight.Or you fall asleep, but this is a shallow dream.

Reasons: Fear and constant feelings of guilt.

The habit of biting nails

Firstly, it is ugly, and secondly, it is unhygienic. Third, it’s impossible to be fun. How to stop?

Reasons: hopelessness, hatred of parents, tendency to self-criticism.

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Sagging facial features

Look at yourself in the mirror.What it is? Where did the strong-willed chin go? And it’s not just age or smoking.

Reason: You are offended at life, and also weaned yourself from an intense thought process.


This is very, very serious, and you should try not to push it by any means.

Reasons: old hatred or just resentment. The secret that you keep, you dream of getting rid of it, but you cannot.

Heart disease

Does your motor fail, has begun to fail, are there pains? Don’t be in a rush to tell yourself that it’s a sedentary lifestyle. He is also to blame, but not only him.

Reasons: emotional problems, lack of joy in life, callousness, constant stress.

Read also: What is psychosomatics and how to rein it in?

Bad body odor – symptoms, treatment, prevention, causes, first signs


Bad body odor is usually easy to prevent with simple hygiene practices.Unfortunately, people suffering from this problem often do not notice it themselves, perhaps because they are already used to this smell.


Bacteria begin to multiply on those areas of the body skin where sweating is very active. There are two types of sweat glands in the human body: exocrine glands, which are located throughout the body, and apocrine glands, which are active during puberty and are located only in those parts of the body that are covered with hair (armpits, pubic region).It is the apocrine glands that produce fatty substances, which in the first place cause an unpleasant odor.

Spicy food, garlic, onion, curry, etc. can also cause an unpleasant odor.

What you can do

You should take a bath or shower regularly, especially after exercise and other situations involving active sweating. Use antibacterial soap or shower gel. Use deodorant or antiperspirant on your underarms.

It is also recommended to use talcum powder, especially in those areas of the body that sweat most intensely (armpits, neck, chest) to keep the skin dry.

If you cannot cope with the problem, then you need to consult a dermatologist.

Preventive measures

Observe good hygiene practices. For example, take a bath or shower at least once a day.

Avoid heavy sweating, try to stay in cool, air-conditioned rooms or carry a fan.

Do not leave sweat on your body for a long time: take a bath or shower, if possible, or use a towel or napkins.

In hot and humid weather, wear light, loose-fitting clothing, preferably natural fabrics.