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How to get rid of a flaky scalp: causes and treatment

A dry and flaky scalp is frustrating – we know! A sprinkling of white flakes on our favourite black sweater can send us in a tailspin, and the itchiness, well, that’s just a complete downer. The thing is, this is one of those ‘Mamma Mia!!’ situations that happens to just about everyone at some point or another. The good news is that it’s a problem that can easily be treated with tender love and care, and with the right hair products.

Before we can offer advice, it’s important that you make sure that your condition is, indeed, a flaky scalp and not dandruff – because there’s a difference, you see.

The difference between dandruff and a flaky scalp

The difference between dandruff and a flaky scalp is that the latter is when the skin gets irritated and flakes off, which can sometimes be considered to be a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis. The symptoms are loose dead skin cells on a red, scaly, and oily scalp. As a result, hair can look dry, dull, and simply lacklustre.

Dandruff is typically associated with excessive oil and build-up on the scalp, stress, and irritation from haircare products. Dandruff can also cause itchiness, which further exasperates the condition.

What causes dry flaky scalp?

A dry scalp occurs when the skin on your head lacks sufficient oil to keep the skin lubricated and hydrated.

Individuals who have dry skin on the rest of their bodies are more prone to dry scalp but there are also other causes including:

  • Dry air, particularly during the winter months
  • Washing hair too often
  • Haircare products with strong chemicals
  • Sulfate shampoos
  • Underlying skin conditions, such as eczema

Most dry scalps can be easily treated with gentle shampoos and conditioners – and for this, we highly recommended our Italian-inspired Rossano Ferretti luxury haircare range.

Our products are sulfate-free, naturally derived, and do not contain any harsh chemicals. We are also thrilled to admit that our professional luxury hair products have been specially formulated for use on specific hair types and textures. So, no matter your hair type or texture, you can rest assured that we have a hair collection (and relevant shampoo) made just for you!  Our shampoos diligently work to restore your hair and scalp’s natural Ph levels for a healthy, moisturised growing environment.

How to get rid of a flaky scalp

Many of our clients ask us what to use on a dry flaky scalp. We look to hair maestro, Rossano Ferretti himself, for the answer:

“Dry scalps are in dire need of moisture, so a shampoo that hydrates hair and the scalp without washing away natural scalp oil secretions is ideal. At Rossano Ferretti Parma, we offer a range of luxury products, including high-performing premium shampoos and conditioners that do just this.”

The next question is –

What is the best shampoo for flaky scalp?

While we have specialised shampoos, each dedicated to a specific hair type, our top recommendations include:

  • Prodigio Scalp Scrub – This is our absolutely fabulous new luxury haircare product that has been specially formulated to exfoliate, detox and deeply cleanse the hair. Made using invigorating ingredients such as grapefruit, mandarin, and peppermint, the Prodigio Scalp Scrub exfoliates and revitalises the scalp and hair without removing lubricant. It’s a saving grace, really.

Image of a model holding Rossano Ferretti Parma's Prodigio cleansing scalp scrub.


  • Dolce Shampoo – We recommend the Dolce range because a dry scalp tends to coincide with dry hair. This delightfully scented sulfate-free shampoo has been inspired by the contrasting mountain and ocean landscapes of the Abruzzo region in Italy and uses over 94% naturally derived ingredients to get moisture deep into the hair shaft and keep the scalp healthy.

Image of a model displaying Rossano Ferretti Parma's Dolce repair & nourish shampoo in her hands.


  • Vivace Shampoo – As a rule of thumb, washing your hair every other day (or longer) is the best practice. However, if you’re battling with flakes on your scalp and in your hair, then you may be forced to wash your hair daily until you have the problem under control. This is where our Vivace Shampoo can swoop in and rescue your locks. The product has been designed for everyday use and is suitable for all hair types. The formula is gentle yet nourishing and like our other shampoos, it thoroughly cleanses without stripping the scalp and hair of natural oils. The difference with an everyday luxury shampoo like this and other harsher and more chemicalised shampoos, is that its gentle formula cleanses without stripping out essential natural oils. Perfect for everyday use!

Image of a model displaying Rossano Ferretti Parma's Vivace every day shampoo in her hands.


What about conditioner?

Do you want to know how to treat flaky scalp? The answer is to infuse your hair and skin with moisture – also known as CONDITIONER!

Unlike other conditioners that can cause build-up (which can irritate the scalp further), our range of luxury moisturising haircare products includes a unique mix of botanicals that help to seal in moisture whilst, softening, and nourishing your hair and your scalp.

Image of Rossano Ferretti Parma's masks and conditioners.


There may be many reasons why you would rather stay home with your hair up, nestled under your bed covers, but dusty flakes in your hair and on your clothes shouldn’t be one of them!

flaky scalp