How Do I Choose Haircare Products Suited to My Scalp?

Although protectively covered in hair, the skin on your scalp is desperate for the same attention you lavish elsewhere. Do good by your scalp by choosing a product that's suited to its condition and not your hair's.

Your scalp is like most other skin on your body. It has hair follicles, it creates sebum, and it has pores. These three features describe all human skin except that of your eyelids, palms, and soles.

The scalp is thought of as unique because it looks extremely different. For starters, you usually can't see it! Once you've acknowledged that the skin of your scalp as the same as skin elsewhere, product selection becomes clearer.


How do I choose haircare products suited to my scalp?


How do I choose haircare products that are suited to my scalp?

People often confuse scalp condition with hair type. Your hair type is usually a consequence of your scalp condition, but not always.

Every hair follicle, or pore, on your body is fitted with an individual sebum factory. The pore excretes sebum to condition the skin surrounding it and the hair growing from it. This is just as true for your face, arms, and neck as it is for your scalp.

Hair appears greasy when scalp pores excrete excess sebum. Sebum travels the length of your hair, and greasiness appears from the roots downwards. Conversely, dry hair grows from a scalp that secretes too little sebum to condition the hair.

Occasionally, a person may have an oily scalp but hair that's dried out by sun exposure, chlorine, heat styling, and chemical processing. It's also possible to have a dry scalp but hair that's coated with product build-up. This is why we recommend choosing all hair products based on your scalp type.


How do I choose haircare products suited to my scalp?


Which ingredients are suited to my scalp type?

All scalp products contain a handful of carefully chosen actives amongst a matrix of functional ingredients. Depending on your scalp type, we recommend choosing from the menu of personalised actives below:


Scalp typeActive ingredients we recommend


Sensitive and irritated         


  • Oat extracts (anti-irritants)
  • Milk-based ingredients (probiotic)
  • Honey (conditioning)
Additionally, look for SLS-free shampoos.
Dry and flaky
  • Salicylic acid (exfoliant)
  • Panthenol (humectant moisturiser)
  • Natural oils (emollient moisturisers)
  • Zinc-based ingredients (healing astringent)
  • Salicylic acid (exfoliant)

Which hair products can I find these active ingredients in?

At Adore Beauty, we carefully screen ingredients lists so you don't have to. That means we always have the perfect product suggestions at hand.


Scalp typeSuggested haircare products


Sensitive and irritated         


Dry and flaky


If your scalp persistently draws your attention, you may also consider adding a clarifying treatment to your routine. Whether you have an oily, itchy, or irritated scalp, product build-up could be to blame.


Ultimate Guide to Scalp Care