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We all love to spend our precious time and care on our face and skin. From the tips of our toes to the top of our foreheads, our skincare routines are well rehearsed, so why is it that our scalps are so often overlooked? The skin on our head is, after all, the bedrock for our hair follicles and if it is compromised, then you are much more likely to experience problems with hair growth, dryness and itching.

That’s something that none of us want!

Beautiful hair means keeping your scalp in top shape and removing dryness. One of the best ways to help excessively dry, irritated or flaky scalp is to pamper it.

A woman with long wavy hair lying her head on stone half-wall - the hair hang freely along the wall

What’s the deal with dry, flaky scalp?

If you have a flaky scalp, it’s not just dry, it’s damaged. Your scalp’s skin is compromised and as a result cannot retain the moisture it needs. This can lead to excessive dryness, itchiness and flakiness. So the answer seems simple, moisturising, right? You’ll find loads of moisturising shampoos on the market. It might seem like you tried them all and nothing works, but in reality, hydration is only part of the answer. When a dry scalp is damaged, moisturising alone is not enough.

Read more about itchy scalp causes

The Root Cause of a Dry Scalp: Malassezia

If you want to get rid of any issue, you need to find the root cause to your problem and target it. It’s no different when it comes to treating dry scalp. Everyday moisturising shampoos and conditioners can’t provide relief, because they cannot target Malassezia, the naturally occurring fungus on everyone’s scalp that causes dandruff and dryness.

When your scalp is in good health, the cells are tightly packed like a brick wall. It acts as a barrier to stop essential moisture from escaping. Malassezia is this protection’s arch enemy, it damages skin’s natural moisture barrier, causing “leaks” that allow essential moisture to escape. In fact, when you suffer from dandruff, cell turnover speeds up and the scalp’s skin barrier is no longer able to effectively retain moisture.

Let’s summarise the dry scalp causes – how does it happen?

  1. Dry scalp begins with a trigger on the skin’s surface.

  2. Our skin speeds up cell renewal to remove the trigger. This causes skin cell build-up and results in flaking.

  3. Skin cells renew too quickly (up to 4x faster), their structure weakens and essential moisture escapes, leading to annoying itchiness, dryness and flakiness.

Other causes of a dry scalp

There can also be other external factors at play, like temperature changes or hairstyling practices. In winter, for example, changes in temperature, as heads are exposed to cold weather conditions, then warm, heated rooms, can cause scalps to dry. Improper hair care, washing too often, hairdryers, styling products, poorly chosen anti-dandruff shampoo, or aggressive hair routines, like dyeing, can also be damaging.

Discover more about heat damage and dandruff and check out how to properly wash your hair

How to get rid of dry scalp? Moisture is not enough!

That’s why our experts at Head & Shoulders developed DERMA XPRO, a new skincare-inspired, dermatologically tested, three step scalp ritual which is powered by a clinically proven anti-dandruff ingredient, to provide you with something more than just moisturisation.

Scalp Dryness Needs To Be Addressed By Treatments with Active Ingredients

A great way to get rid of dry, flaky and itchy scalp is using our DERMA XPRO regimen which includes shampoo, hair and scalp conditioner and a rinse off scalp balm. Unlike ordinary moisturising products our range adds an active ingredient to target the root cause of dryness and dandruff, for lasting moisture.

All products from the collection are powered by a clinically proven active ingredient: Piroctone Olamine and enriched with vitamin E and active aloe vera.

Each Scalp Is Different: Choose The Best Scalp Care Routine to Fit Your Needs

At Head & Shoulders we know there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to flaky scalp treatment. We’ve designed 4 collections to give your dry scalp just the right level of moisture it craves.


Quenching Hydration – for dry scalp. Re-hydrate your scalp with this wonderful regimen designed to protect against dryness.

The shampoo and conditioners in this range are infused with coconut milk, while the scalp balm is infused with hyaluronic acid – the number one ingredient for hydration in skincare.

The Quenching Hydration Collection products standing on crannied surfaces next to slice of cut aloe and a piecie of coconut
The Repairing Care Collection products standing on crannied surfaces next to slice of cut aloe and a half of avocado

Repairing Care – for dry to very dry scalp. Replenish even the driest and thirstiest scalps to prevent dryness and flakes.

This range, infused with argan oil and avocado oil, is dedicated to extremely dry scalps that need a lot of nourishment; the scalp balm includes vitamin E – a top skin care ingredient known for its skin’s barrier strengthening properties.



Soothing Comfort – for dry, itchy scalp. Soothes your scalp itch and fights dryness.

This range, infused with cactus extract, soothes and calms your scalp. The range’s scalp balm is infused with calming aloe, a well-known moisturising ingredient.

The Soothing Comfort Collection products standing on crannied surfaces next to slices of cut aloe
The Boosting Strength Collection products standing on crannied surfaces next to slices of cut aloe and a pieces of bamboo


Boosting Strength – for dry scalp and brittle hair. Re-hydrates your scalp and strengthens your hair.

Strengthen the strands of your hair with shampoo and conditioner that were made especially for brittle hair. This range is infused with bamboo extract, an ingredient famous for its reinforcing properties.

Give your scalp some extra love with DERMA XPRO scalp balms

Balm bottle

If you want to give your scalp a little extra oomph and reverse awkward dryness DERMA XPRO scalp balm is a true game-changer when it comes to caring for an itchy, dry, flaky scalp. The formula helps replenish the scalp’s skin so you can say goodbye to your tight, dry, itchy, flaky scalp!

Add these balms to your regimen to give your scalp hydration that lasts up to 72h.

Our key ingredients include:

  • Aloe Vera, for skin hydration

  • Hyaluronic Acid, with moisture binding properties

  • Vitamin E which, well-known for its skin barrier strengthening properties