If you suffer from an irritated, itchy and dry scalp that's regularly prone to dandruff, or an oily scalp that leaves you with greasy hair, you're not alone! A variety of factors can cause an imbalance of oils on the scalp, such as build up of products or dead skin cells, affecting many of us in the UK.
In this article, we've ranked the 10 best and expert recommended scalp treatments, with links to buy from Amazon, Boots and John Lewis. Read on to learn which ingredients to seek out for hair growth, sebum control and more, with tips and advice on how to choose the right treatment for you!
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Firstly, it is important to determine the type of scalp you have in order to find the right treatment to properly care for it. Though each person's scalp is unique, it can generally be categorised as dry or oily:
Avoid over washing and refresh your scalp with our best dry shampoos for oily hair.
Try this simple test to identify if your scalp is dry or oily:
On the second day after washing, dab a tissue gently on the scalp. If there is a small blot of oil, you have normal hair, if there is nothing on the tissue, your scalp is dry, and if your hair strands clump together, this signifies greasiness which means you may have an oily scalp.
Dry or oily, there are specific ingredients to look out for that can help to nurture the scalp back to a balanced, healthy state:
Browse our 10 best anti-dandruff shampoos here.
Different products have varying application schedules, which should be adhered to in order to achieve the promised results. To find a treatment that you can easily slot into your current routine, consider how often and when you should apply the product (pre, during, or post wash), and how long it needs to be left on the scalp.
For example, a pre-wash treatment or mask may need to be left on the scalp for 10 minutes or longer before rinsing in order to achieve the desired results. On the other hand, leave-in treatments are typically applied after washing, without any waiting time or rinsing.
If you're always short on time, or simply dislike waiting around, leave-in formulations offer a quick and convenient scalp treatment. That said, if you have the time to wait for the a treatment to do its job, then a mask can help you to achieve better results.
Looking for products to boost hair growth? Here are our favourites.
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Tea Tree Oil Treatment Mask｜150 ml
All Natural Tea Tree Oil Mask for Soothing and Restoring the Scalp
DermoCapillaire Calming Urea Scalp Treatment｜100 ml
Non-sticky Leave-in Formula for Dry and Itchy Scalps
Oily Scalp Treatment｜45 ml
Pre-wash Treatment to Purify and Balance Oily Scalps
The INKEY List
2% Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Treatment｜150 ml
Salicylic Acid Scalp Treatment That Combats Itching and Excessive Oil Buildup
Dry Scalp Treatment｜45 ml
Instant Long-Term Relief for Dry, Itchy and Flaky Scalps
Scalp Revival™｜177 ml
Blend of Charcoal and Tea Tree to Instantly Cool and Hydrate
Scalp Toner｜250 ml
Multipurpose Scalp Energiser and Hydrating Toner
Scalp and Body Scrub｜250 g
Gently Scrub Away Impurities With Coconut Oil to Nourish the Scalp
Bumble & Bumble
Scalp Detox｜150 ml
Pre-cleanse Treatment for All Hair Types
Tea Tree Hair & Scalp Treatment｜200 ml
Invigorates and Soothes the Scalp While Repairing the Strands
This tea tree oil scalp treatment from Australian Bodycare is great if you are looking for a natural product to remedy a dry scalp. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic that cleanses and kills bacteria on the scalp's surface, while soothing irritation.
The treatment should be applied to a dry scalp and massaged into the roots, letting it sit for at least 20 minutes. You can also use it as a leave-in serum, or as an overnight mask that you wash off in the morning.
Eucerin's DermoCapillaire Calming Urea Scalp Treatment is an intensive moisturising treatment for dry scalps. Urea and lactic acid are the two main ingredients, which work to improve the scalp's ability to retain moisture, relieving itchiness and irritation.
Since it's a soap-free formula, and doesn't contain potential irritants such as alcohol, silicones, parabens or fragrance, it's safe for use by those with atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. It's even undergone clinical and dermatological trials that prove efficacy and excellent tolerability on extremely sensitive, dry and itchy scalps!
Moroccanoil's oily scalp treatment is formulated with a potent mixture of essentials oils, including argan, lavender and ginger. Fast-absorbing, it works to correct the imbalances that lead to oiliness and excess sebum production.
The formula soothes inflammation at the hair follicles, encouraging them to heal. For those experiencing oily roots, using this once a week can help to restore the normal regulation of sebum production.
Created by The INKEY List, this scalp treatment contains three key ingredients that fight flakiness, itching and balance oils on the scalp. Similar to its role in skincare products, salicylic acid gently exfoliates, removing build-up while regulating sebum production.
Additionally, Fluidpure 8G and panthenol calm and hydrate. If you have an oily scalp, you'll want to give this product a go as 100% of respondents in their study reported that their scalp and hair became less oily after use.
Morocconaoil's dry scalp treatment incorporates salicylic acid to gently slough away flakes and dead skin. It also contains a blend of essential oils, including argan oil, geranium oil and vitamin E to soothe, nourish and repair.
If you've been searching for a long term solution to dandruff that can help you stop scratching your scalp, we think you should give this treatment a try! In a consumer study conducted by the brand, 94% said that scalp itchiness had lessened within just 2 weeks of usage.
For those experiencing extreme dryness and itchiness, this mask can instantly provide relief. Comprised of 98% naturally derived ingredients, this mask contains a combination of charcoal, tea tree, peppermint and spearmint oils to draw out impurities, leaving your scalp with a clean and pleasantly cool sensation.
A blend of aloe and hyaluronic acid is also added to boost hydration, giving your hair follicles a chance to repair and regenerate. With regular use, it may even help to improve overall scalp health.
For a multipurpose treatment to help you achieve healthy scalp and hair, look no further than this leave-in toner! Whether you have oily or dry hair, this toner is designed to stimulate the scalp to balance oils and protect against bacterial inflammation that can lead to dandruff.
With all the ingredients working in harmony, over time, this treatment contributes to the formation of an ideal environment for healthy follicles to regenerate in order to produce strong and shiny hair.
This deep-cleansing, foaming scrub is unique as it uses sugar crystals to exfoliate the skin. It also contains coconut oil to moisturise the hair and scalp.
Used once a week to eliminate buildup, the mild physical exfoliation works to stimulate the scalp, increasing microcirculation which helps to promote keratin production for healthy, lustrous strands. Once you're done treating your scalp, you can use it to exfoliate your body for softer and smoother skin all over!
This scalp detox from Bumble & Bumble is designed as a pre-wash treatment that should be sprayed onto the scalp before shampooing. Micellar particles bind to impurities and lift them away, gently cleansing the scalp of dead skin cells, oils and debris.
Salicylic acid reaches deep down into the pores, purifying and dislodging any pore-clogging grime. To prevent the skin from drying out, panthenol is added to help retain moisture while strengthening your scalp and strands. But, we particularly love the convenient spray bottle and short leave in time of only 3 minutes!
This tea tree oil treatment from Paul Mitchell is packed full of top ingredients that work wonders for both the hair and scalp. Mild salicylic acid derived from willow bark cleans and refines, so that nourishing ingredients like soy, panthenol, shea butter and vitamin E can be fully absorbed.
The addition of oils such as tea tree, peppermint and lavender all contribute to the product's invigorating scent that will leave your hair smelling great! However, unlike some of the other products on our list, this one doesn't come with a convenient nozzle or applicator - so it could get messy!
Written and Researched by Audrey Tan
No. 1: Australian Bodycare｜Tea Tree Oil Treatment Mask｜150 ml
No. 2: Eucerin｜DermoCapillaire Calming Urea Scalp Treatment｜100 ml
No. 3: Moroccanoil｜Oily Scalp Treatment｜45 ml
No. 4: The INKEY List｜2% Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Treatment｜150 ml
No. 5: Moroccanoil｜Dry Scalp Treatment｜45 ml
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