4 Steps to Soothe Dry Scalp

Exfoliate the flakes, rehydrate the scalp, and stop the itch.

1. Scrub gently.

Wash your hair with a formula that includes ingredients such as glycerin and ceramides, says Paradi Mirmirani, MD, a dermatologist at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. "These will add moisture to the scalp and hold it there."

Don't forget to rinse well.

"Any residue from shampoo or conditioner can cause irritation and more dryness," says Antonella Tosti, MD, a professor of clinic dermatology at the University of Miami who specializes in hair disorders.

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We like: Phyto Phythéol Dry Hair Moisturizing Scalp Exfoliating Shampoo ($26, sephora.com) and Bosley Professional Strength BosRevive Nourishing Shampoo for Non Color-Treated Hair ($20, beautybrands.com)

2. Try a hair oil.

It can help rehydrate. Mirmirani suggests sticking to single-ingredient formulas or pure oil blends.

"Products with a lot of ingredients or added fragrance could potentially cause irritation," she says.

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Apply hair oil as a pre-shower treatment, daily if needed: Massage it directly onto the scalp area, and let it sit for several minutes before shampooing.

We like: Promise Organic Ultra Moisturizing Argan Oil Blend with Jojoba ($20, CVS.com) or Desert Essence Organic Coconut & Jojoba Oil Blend ($17, dessertessence.com).

3. Hydrate your environment.

If you live in a dry climate or like to crank up the A/C, plugging in a humidifier can help add some moisture back into the air (and your scalp), says Tosti. Skip the long, superhot shower; a just-warm temperature won't strip your skin's natural oil barrier and dry out your scalp even more.

4. Take care with chemicals.

A dry scalp is easily irritated, so proceed cautiously with hair dyes and avoid keratin straightening, says Tosti.

"The ingredients in these popular smoothing treatments, like formaldehyde or hydrogen peroxide, can cause inflammation, sensitivity, and itchiness on dry skin."

Not to mention that the heat from flatirons and blow-dryers can parch your hair and scalp. Babying both can be a real snow-stopper.

This story originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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