Ladies who love experimenting with fun colors in their hair already know what to expect when it comes to hair damage. It’s common knowledge that colored hair equals dry, parched hair. But dealing with the damage of color-treating is worse when you have an unusually dry scalp too.
Not only do you have to feel your straw-like strands when you bring your hand up to your head, but you have to manage itchiness and flakiness as well.
It’s challenging to care for your hair health when you’re dealing with both at the same time, but as long as you find the right shampoo, you’re on the right track.
But what the best shampoo for dry scalp and color-treated hair anyway?
What Causes Your Scalp To Get Dry?
First things first. Let’s look at the reasons why our scalps get so dry.
A dry scalp is pretty self-explanatory: It’s when your scalp is too dry and doesn’t have enough moisture to keep your skin healthy.
And when your scalp is dry, it gets irritated very quickly.
When you feel itchiness and irritation, your kneejerk reaction is to scratch at your scalp, which then causes flakiness, more commonly known as dandruff.
There are a plethora of reasons why your scalp can get so dry.
Think about the time of year you started to notice that distracting itchiness in your head.
Was it during the winter months?
One of the most common reasons why you could get a dry scalp is because of weather changes.
When the air becomes cold and dry, your skin all over the body becomes dehydrated.
This is why you stock up on thicker moisturizers for your face and lotions for your arms and legs in the fall and winter.
The same happens to your scalp – it gets extremely dry.
But because you don’t think to switch to more moisturizing shampoos, you could end up with parched skin begging to be hydrated.
Dry scalp can also be caused by medical conditions of an overly sensitive and delicate scalp.
Sometimes, the culprit of that dry flakiness is psoriasis, allergies, or eczema.
Harsh product ingredients
You could also suffer from episodes of contact dermatitis if your gels and shampoos are too harsh and stripping.
If your products are laden with drying alcohols or too many sulfates, it could be drying out your scalp.
What you need is a gentle and hydrating shampoo that can help fight flakiness as well.
And because of your hair color, the formula has to be color-safe, so avoid harsh cleaning agents that can wash off and fade your color prematurely.
Best Shampoo For Dry Scalp And Color-Treated Hair
The best shampoos for dry scalp and color-treated hair hit two birds with one stone.
They’ll soothe and hydrate your dry scalp, helping soften scales.
They also moisturize your damaged hair and protect your color.
Phythéol Dry Hair Botanical Exfoliating Shampoo For Dry Scalp
It’s one thing to curb dandruff production, and another to prevent those flakes from occurring again.
This exfoliating shampoo does both, thanks to its exotic and natural botanical ingredients that care for both your hair and scalp.
This concentrated shampoo is formulated with a unique anti-occurrence botanical complex, which consists of black pepper and Guyana wood.
This purifies the hair, reduces severe dandruff and flaking, and keeps it from coming back.
It also has hydrating extracts from sophora japonica, comfrey, and tamarind, which work together to give your locks hydration and shine – two things damaged, colored hair practically begs for.
- Reduces dandruff flakes from shedding uncontrollably
- Black pepper and Guyana wood keep dandruff from coming back
- Exotic botanical extracts restore moisture and balance in the scalp
- Leaves your hair shiny and hydrated
- Doesn’t contain sulfates, silicons, and parabens
- Can end up making your hair a bit oily because of the nourishing extracts
Moroccanoil Hydrating Shampoo
If luxurious hydration is what you’re looking for, you’ll love how velvety smooth, and silky your hair will feel after using this shampoo by Moroccanoil.
It’s infused with the brand’s signature, antioxidant-rich Moroccan argan oil, also known as “liquid gold” for its multiple benefits for the hair.
It nourishes the hair deeply without weighing it down.
It also adds shine and softness to your damaged, colored locks.
But that’s not all.
It also has red algae that seals and protects your hair cuticle, allowing it to retain more hydration.
There’s also some vitamins E and A, which strengthen the hair and serve as natural moisturizers for your tresses.
- Infused with luxurious Moroccan argan oil for moisture and shine
- Red algae and Vitamins E and A strengthen and protect your strands
- Gentle enough for damaged, color-treated hair
- Free of sulfates, phosphates, and parabens
- The smell can be too strong if you have a sensitive nose
Leonor Greyl Bain Traitant à la Propolis Gentle Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
There’s nothing like a combination of potent yet gentle botanicals to combat dry scalp and give your colored hair the hydration and strength it needs to be oh-so-soft.
This shampoo from Leonor Greyl boasts of the finest natural ingredients.
Its hero ingredient is bee propolis, which moisturizes the hair deeply.
It also has antiseptic, antibacterial properties that fight against dandruff and keep it from coming back.
The formula also contains oat amino acids to strengthen and soften the hair.
Meanwhile, extracts from chamomile, sage, and garlic improve circulation in the scalp while soothing inflammation and itchy flakiness.
- Made with the finest natural ingredients
- Bee propolis moisturizes the hair while preventing dandruff
- Contains oat amino acids to soften and strengthen hair
- Chamomile, sage, and garlic extracts reduce inflammation and flakiness
- Has a gentle formula that isn’t irritating to your hair and scalp
- Doesn’t lather up that well because it doesn’t have SLS
Matrix Biolage Scalp Sync Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
This anti-dandruff shampoo by Biolage is jampacked with powerful ingredients to zap away those annoying flakes.
It uses the antibacterial, antifungal properties of pyrithione zinc to fight and prevent seborrheic dermatitis, the condition that causes dandruff in the first place.
It’s coupled with salicylic acid, which is amazing at exfoliating dead skin cells or scales that are piling up on your scalp.
This acid is a great way to ensure your flakes are sloughed off gently before they become pesky dandruff.
Lastly, mint leaf helps calm inflammation and redness on your scalp.
It also provides a cooling sensation to soothe your skin and senses as you wash your hair.
- Soothes itchy scalps by eliminating flakiness
- Contains pyrithione zinc fights the root cause of dandruff
- Salicylic acid exfoliates the scalp to get rid of scales
- Mint leaf calms inflammation and gives a cooling sensation while washing
- Tends to be drying, so it’s crucial that you follow up with conditioner
Philip B Anti-Flake Relief Shampoo, Coal Tar-Free
This shampoo by Philip B was designed with sensitive scalps in mind.
It’s a lite version of a stronger anti-dandruff shampoo, so it doesn’t have any of the harsh, stripping ingredients that can irritate your dry scalp further.
It provides immediate relief from distracting itchiness and inflammation, thanks to therapeutic botanicals like tea tree, sage, aloe, and juniper berry.
These also purify the scalp to reduce excess sebum and restore balance.
It also has safflower oleosomes that hydrate your locks, adding softness and shine to your dull, damaged hair.
Meanwhile, amino acids repair and strengthen your colored hair to bring it back to life.
- Gives immediate relief from itchiness and inflammation
- Therapeutic botanicals purify and soothe the scalp
- Safflower oleosomes hydrate the hair for softness and shine
- A potent amino acid complex repairs and strengthens your damaged hair
- The scent is strong for some users
Tea Tree Special Shampoo
If you’re looking for something that will soothe your scalp but also give you an invigorating shower experience to perk you up in the morning, this tea tree shampoo will do the trick.
It’s made with pure tea tree oil that purifies and detoxifies your hair, cleaning it thoroughly to get all the oil out.
It also has peppermint and lavender oils to amp up the aromatherapy, making your shower super refreshing and relaxing.
These essential oils have antiseptic and antibacterial properties that can kill the fungi that cause dandruff, to begin with.
They also give a cooling, tingling sensation to your scalp for additional soothing.
- Tea tree oil purifies and cleanses the hair thoroughly
- Peppermint and lavender help stimulate the scalp and leave hair smelling fresh
- Key essential oils have antibacterial properties to kill dandruff-causing fungi
- Gives a cooling, tingly sensation to your scalp to soothe it more
- Doesn’t have that many deeply moisturizing ingredients
Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo
This Redken shampoo does everything an excellent anti-dandruff product should.
It kills that itchy flakiness, hydrates your hair to keep it healthy and soft, and calms any irritation on your scalp.
Its active ingredient is pyrithione zinc, which is known to annihilate dandruff from the very root.
The shampoo also prevents any more flaking from occurring.
It’s also formulated with glycerin for light hydration and shine, while lavender extracts calm and soother inflammation and redness in your scalp.
That said, the shampoo is still super lightweight, making your locks feel light and airy for gorgeous movement.
- Pyrithione zinc kills dandruff and prevents it from creating more flakes
- Makes your hair feel light and airy, never weighed down
- Glycerin adds light hydration to soften the hair
- Lavender extracts soothe your irritated scalp
- The relief isn’t long-lasting, so you need to use it regularly
Christophe Robin Purifying Shampoo with Jujube Bark Extract
Purifying shampoos sound scary when you have a dry scalp because it sounds like it can make your scalp even more flaky and dehydrated.
But this Christophe Robin shampoo works to detoxify your hair while getting rid of dandruff and moisturizing your damaged, colored hair.
It makes use of jujube extract, a natural active ingredient the brand claims can get rid of dandruff permanently.
And to add hydration and shine to your dyed hair, it’s infused with cherry flower extract.
The shampoo regulates sebum production to ensure your roots and scalp don’t get super greasy, leading to even more obstacles with flakiness.
- Jujube bark gets rid of dandruff permanently
- Has cherry flower extracts to moisturize the hair and soothe scalp irritation
- Regulates sebum production for less itchiness and flaking
- Purifies the hair, so you know you’re getting the most detoxifying cleanse
- Has a gorgeous sea salt smell
- Can be harsh and drying, so don’t forget to follow up with a conditioner
Ingredients To Look For In An Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
The reason why shampoos for dry scalp are often marketed for dandruff issues too is that their symptoms are pretty much the same – an itchy head and white, dry flakes that fall on your shoulders.
But it’s important to note that these two conditions are different, at least in their primary causes.
While dry scalp occurs when your skin is too dry, dandruff actually materializes in excessively oily scalps.
Too much sebum causes your dead skin cells to flake off and shed.
Sounds kinda gross, I know.
But dandruff is actually caused by a common medical condition called seborrheic dermatitis.
When you have this condition, your oil glands in your hair follicles are overactive and can make your skin red and inflamed, much like oily skin causing active acne on your face.
When your skin is already irritated and scaly, white flakes start shedding, and this is what we know to be dandruff.
Luckily, tons of active ingredients can help cure dandruff, and many of them can be found in dry scalp shampoos as well, since itchiness and flakiness are symptoms shared between the two.
Pyrithione zinc and ketoconazole
Keep your eyes peeled for pyrithione zinc and ketoconazole.
These are antibacterial, antifungal agents that attack the root cause of your dandruff – the fungus that causes seborrheic dermatitis.
These ingredients are usually found in medicated shampoos your doctor will prescribe you, but shampoos containing these are also widely available over-the-counter.
Keep your eyes peeled for salicylic acid as well.
This alpha hydroxy acid is a known exfoliator that can help slough off the scales and dead skin cells on your scalp before they can shed and turn into dandruff.
The only watch-out for this product is that it can be quite drying.
Coal tar is another unique ingredient that can combat dandruff.
It inhibits the growth of skin cells, so you won’t have any excess scales to shed.
If you want to go the more natural, organic route, you can always look for tea tree, sage, and chamomile oils.
These are great remedies for the scalp because they’re very soothing on irritated, inflamed skin.
They also have antibacterial properties that can fight dandruff-causing fungi.
When you’re dealing with dry scalp and damaged color-treated hair simultaneously, you can’t afford to use the wrong shampoo.
If you use one with various color-protect chemicals, you risk irritating your scalp.
And if you use too many exfoliating agents to cure your scalp, you could speed up color-fading.
It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Thus, if you’re looking for the best shampoo for dry scalp and color-treated hair, your best bet is a gentle shampoo that soothes your scalp and moisturizes your damaged hair too.
It takes conscious effort to look for the perfect products for your unique hair and scalp condition, but it’s so worth it when you see the magnificent results – vibrant, radiant color and a hydrated, flake-free scalp.