1 / 8

The Best Dry Flaky Scalp Treatments

Bear with me, but let's forget everything you know about dry scalp for a sec, k? Because even though dry scalp and dandruff are usually thrown into the same category (and, yes, they do share some of the same symptoms), they're actually quite different. Whereas dandruff—aka seborrheic dermatitis—is caused by your scalp's yeast production, leaving you with yellowish, sticky flakes and (sometimes) a red or oily scalp, dry scalp comes from, well, dryness. “Dry-scalp flakes are usually quite small and noticeably dry,” trichologist Dominic Burg, chief scientist at Evolis Professional has told Cosmo, meaning that they slide off your hair or scalp with ease (basically, they don't really stick, whereas dandruff flakes do).

And since dandruff and dry scalp aren't one in the same, they def shouldn't be treated with identical products. When it comes to dry scalp treatments, your main goal should be hydration. Other than a gentle, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, all you really need is an oil, cream, or spray that hydrates your scalp on contact (that means no active ingredients, like salicylic acid, unless you're treating dandruff). Got it? Good. Don't know where to start? DW. I already have my own dry-scalp issues figured out—it took a while, don't get me wrong—and swear by these seven treatments that destroy flakes and soothe itch and irritation ASAP, ahead.