How To Wash a Dry Scalp, According to a Stylist | Well+Good

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Over the past couple of years, I’ve been dealing with some pretty major dryness around my part and hairline. It had gotten so intense that I was worried that it was some sort of psoriasis or dandruff, so when I recently sat down to get my scalp analyzed by Act+Acre founder Helen Reavey (who, fun fact: used to be Harry Style’s hairstylist), I had no idea what to expect.

As she explored my scalp with a camera, she reassured me that things were actually in pretty good shapeโ€”and informed me that the culprit of my dryness was not at all what I had thought.

I’d always assumed that the flaking was coming from my part or hairline, so had focused the attention of my at-home treatments to those areas. But Reavey discovered a patch at the crown that was in desperate need of some TLC, and in that moment, taught me a trick that has pretty much changed my life (or at least, my hair).

Instead of lathering and rinsing my scalp the way I always have, she recommended a double shampoo routineโ€”with a twist. First, she told me I should spend two minutes lathering and scrubbing just the specific spot where the dryness was coming from. Then, I should rinse it all out before going in with a second shampooโ€”this time, on my full scalp and strandsโ€”and finishing things off with my usual conditioner.

The first time I tried this method out for myself, I lathered up at the crown and massaged the shampoo directly into my dry patchโ€”which was a big difference from the way I usually pile all of my hair on top of my head and try to shampoo it all at once.

When it came time to blow dry, I was shocked to discover that there wasn’t a single, solitary flake on my head. The dryness surrounding my part and around my forehead was gone, and my scalp looked (and felt) soft, smooth, and healthy.

Given this success, I’ve continued following Reavey’s wash-day recommendation for the past few months, and haven’t seen a single flake since I started. As someone who expected dryness to follow me throughout the rest of my days, I am beyond thrilled that this one tip from Reavey changed my lifeโ€”and my hairโ€”for the better.

Act+Acre, Cold Processed Scalp Detox โ€” $48.00

To give my scalp a little extra love, I opt for this pre-cleansing oilโ€”another one of Reaveyโ€™s recommendationsโ€”every three to four washes. It contains vitamin E, basil leaf complex, moringa extract, and baobab oil, which work together to remove sweat and buildup, hydrated the skin, and relieve irritation. It has a cooling, almost zesty feel upon application, and has further helped keep dryness at bay.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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