Top 7 Shampoos for Itchy Scalp

best shampoo for itchy scalp

A dry and itchy scalp is an irritating and common skin issue that’s not always visible at first glance. It mainly causes redness and dryness, along with unbearable itching and dandruff.

This unpleasant problem occurs when the scalp’s pH is disturbed and hair follicles are clogged. Many factors cause this condition, so identifying the reason behind your problem is a good start to finding the best shampoo for your irritated scalp.

What Causes Itchy Scalp

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Your hair protects your head skin, but your scalp is still exposed to many harmful conditions. That’s why many problems can trigger irritation underneath your hair. The best way to determine the cause is by observing the symptoms that cause itchiness.

  • If you experience flaky skin and an itchy scalp, you likely have dandruff.
  • If you spot redness and swelling and feel pain on your scalp, you might have seborrheic dermatitis.
  • If you spot redness and painful spots with flaky skin, it could be an allergic reaction to various irritants, from artificial ingredients in your hair care products to air pollution.
  • If you feel an itch and hair loss in just one spot, it might be due to psoriasis.
  • If you notice itchy spots and redness on your scalp, you might have parasites like scabies or lice.
  • If you feel itchiness on your scalp but there are no visible problems, you might be suffering from nerve over-reacting to stress.

Our Top Picks

Here are our top choices for the best shampoos for scalp irritation:

  1. Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care – Best for dandruff removal
  2. Denorex Extra-Strength Dandruff Shampoo with Built-in Conditioner – Best for flaky scalp and dry skin
  3. Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo – Best for itchy scalps caused by fungus
  4. Majestic Pure Cosmeceuticals Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo – Best natural shampoo
  5. Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo – Best for product buildup removal
  6. Maple Holistics Tea Tree Special Formula Shampoo – Best for greasy hair
  7. Design Essentials Peppermint & Aloe Therapeutics Anti-Itch Shampoo – Best for dry scalp

These itchy scalp shampoos contain various ingredients that can help you find relief and get your healthy scalp back. Each has a unique composition, suitable for different causes of itchy scalps.

1. Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care

What’s in it:

  • Pyrithione zinc
  • Eucalyptus oil

Why we love it:

  • Suitable for every hair type and daily use
  • Budget-friendly

What we don’t like:

  • Sulfates
  • Can dry hair

Head & Shoulders’ products are well-known for their anti-dandruff features.

And when it comes to treating a dry, itchy scalp, you need a product with ingredients that’ll provide relief, moisturize, and heal your irritated head skin. And Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care shampoo does all that with its pH-balanced formula that’ll restore your scalp and hair health.

This shampoo has anti-fungal properties that prevent dandruff, fix microdamage on your scalp, and nourish the head skin. It could also give you significant relief if your itchy scalp results from skin inflammation or allergies.

Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care shampoo removes buildup and helps you eliminate itchiness. Its zinc pyrithione content is only 1%, making it strong enough to alleviate scalp itchiness, but mild enough for daily use.

A touch of eucalyptus in this shampoo provides a cooling effect that soothes irritated skin and eases scalp dryness. It also gives this product a unique scen.

This shampoo works well for all hair types. But as curly hair needs a bit more love, Head & Shoulders released the anti-dandruff shampoo with shea butter. This smooth ingredient provides extra care and hydration for coily hair.

2. Denorex Extra-Strength Dandruff Shampoo with Built-in Conditioner

What’s in it:

  • Salicylic acid

Why we love it:

  • Immediate soothing effect
  • Conditioning action

What we don’t like:

  • Too harsh for daily use
  • Smells odd

A dry, itchy scalp requires treatment, especially when it’s a symptom of conditions like psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. It also needs specific care that’ll preserve its pH balance. Denorex shampoo brings the best of both worlds.

With 3% salicylic acid, this medicated shampoo is a good way to deal with moderate scalp itch and dryness. The active ingredient is a real blessing for itchy scalps because it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Salicylic acid will remove dandruff, and a leave-in conditioner will soothe your dry scalp and lift your lifeless strands, thus helping you get your healthy hair back.

Many Denorex users confirmed this shampoo brings immediate relief to a dry scalp and does wonders for damaged hair. However, it can be a bit too harsh for daily use. So experts recommend using it alternately with another gentle shampoo to avoid further scalp irritation.

3. Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

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What’s in it:

  • Ketoconazole

Why we love it:

  • Relief to itchy scalps caused by fungus
  • Great for fighting dandruff
  • Easy on color-treated hair

What we don’t like:

  • Smells strange

This medicated shampoo can do amazing for some but might be too harsh for others. It contains ketoconazole, an anti-fungal compound that can stop yeast overproduction, which causes scalp dryness, itchiness, and redness.

Nizoral shampoo is a budget-friendly product, but that doesn’t diminish its quality and effectiveness. Some users even call it a miracle, as it blows away dandruff after several uses. It also works fast for people that had problems with dry and itchy scalps for years.

It has 1% ketoconazole, making it color-safe and one of the best shampoos for all hair types. We can only complain about its scent, which smells too “medical.”

4. Majestic Pure Cosmeceuticals Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

What’s in it:

  • Apple cider vinegar

Why we love it:

  • 100% Natural
  • Pleasant smell
  • Gentle formula

What we don’t like:

  • Too greasy and hard to wash out for some users

Frequent use of highly alkaline hair care products can strip the natural sebum from your scalp, making it an ideal breeding ground for bacteria that cause dryness and itchiness. So if your hair is treated and your scalp suffers because of that, give Majestic Pure Cosmeceuticals shampoo a try.

It has apple cider vinegar, which has enzymes and amino acids. These compounds can naturally restore the pH balance of your hair and skin without affecting natural moisture.

This shampoo will detoxify and nourish your dry scalp and ensure healthy hair growth. Even if you have oily hair, you can get a nice shine and volume when you use this clarifying shampoo. But be careful not to overuse it. It’s a bit greasy, so too much can make your hair too heavy.

Majestic Pure Cosmeceuticals shampoo is derived from natural ingredients and is suitable for all hair types. Even people with sensitive skin can use this sulfate-free shampoo to treat their dry scalps.

5. Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo

What’s in it:

  • Coconut oil
  • Charcoal

Why we love it:

  • Exfoliating action
  • Made of 95% natural and vegan ingredients

What we don’t like:

  • A bit expensive
  • Not for frequent use

Even when you wash your hair regularly, product buildup and dirt can remain on your head, especially if you have an oily scalp. Excess sebum keeps all these filthy particles that clog your follicles, resulting in scalp irritation and itching.

Brioges’s Scalp Revival shampoo will help you remove impurities from follicles. It contains coconut oil that moisturizes dry scalp and charcoal particles that act like a magnet for residues and dead skin cells.

As its name says, this cleansing shampoo revives your hair and head skin, giving them a good scrub and releasing all those nasty stuff that makes your scalp dry and itchy. Best of all, Briogeo’s shampoo is derived from almost all-natural ingredients.

On the flip side, applying it to curly, thick hair can be tricky, as this scrub shampoo is a bit hard to smear. And besides doing wonders for your scalp health without disturbing natural oils, charcoal particles can be hard to wash out, even if you use this shampoo once a week or every two weeks.

6. Maple Holistics Tea Tree Special Formula Shampoo

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What’s in it:

  • Tea tree oil
  • Other essential oils

Why we love it:

  • Maximum hydration
  • Heavenly smell
  • Suitable for oily hair

What we don’t like:

  • Not for people with sensitive skin

Maple Holistics shampoo with tea tree oil is a top pick for greasy hair, as it flushes all residues that excess oil deposits on the scalp. Tea tree essential oil has antimicrobial, soothing, and anti-inflammatory properties, which help with dandruff removal.

This shampoo contains other essential oils in diluted forms, making them your best ally against head skin dryness and itchiness. It has jojoba oil which has anti-fungal properties, and argan oil, which moisturizes and soothes dry scalps.

This anti-dandruff shampoo feels good on your hair and scalp due to its unique blend of tea tree, rosemary, argan, and jojoba oils. But don’t overuse it. Excessive use of tea tree oil can irritate the head skin and cause more itchiness and dandruff.

7. Design Essentials Peppermint & Aloe Therapeutics Anti-Itch Shampoo

What’s in it:

  • Zinc pyrithione
  • Peppermint
  • Aloe Vera

Why we love it:

  • Great for hair cleansing
  • Prolonged tingling and cooling effects

What we don’t like:

  • Might be too harsh for sensitive skin with eczema

If you like the smell of peppermint, then Design Essentials Peppermint & Aloe therapeutics shampoo is for you. With zinc pyrithione as an active ingredient, this product will give your itchy, dry scalp almost immediate relief.

Peppermint extract promotes blood flow and boosts skin regeneration on dry scalp. That’s a great help if your scalp also suffers from micro damage from hair dyeing, aggressive hair care products, pollutants, and so on.

You can use this shampoo before bedtime for overnight relief from itchiness. It provides a clean feel and soothing effect that’s perfect for people who have psoriasis, as peppermint calms irritated skin and reduces dandruff.

People with dry scalps due to eczema should use this shampoo with caution because the peppermint might be too harsh for them and even cause hair loss.

How to Choose the Best Shampoo for Itchy Scalp

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When it comes to the best shampoos for itchy scalp, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Many factors can cause skin irritation and dry scalp, and various problems need different treatments. Also, different hair types often require specific care.

For instance, a moisturizing shampoo is usually best if your skin is dry. Ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, and aloe vera are excellent for hydrating and soothing skin tightness and irritation.

If you have color-treated hair, you should opt for a specialized shampoo for itchy scalp that’s color-safe. And if your color-treated hair is prone to dandruff, look for peppermint and tea tree oils, as they have proven effects in healing flaky skin.

On the other hand, a medicated shampoo can help with skin conditions like psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. If you suffer from any skin condition, you’d benefit from a sulfate-free shampoo because it won’t irritate your scalp. It’ll also leave your colored hair color intact.

Wrapping Up

When looking for the best shampoo for an itchy scalp, you might find that not all products work for you. Don’t be discouraged. After all, there’s no universal solution because it depends on the cause of your irritated scalp. Hopefully, this review can guide you to find the one that suits your needs.

Paulina Romain

Paulina Romain is an entrepreneur and artist in the beauty industry. She is the founder and owner of The Art of Ink Studio, where she provides services such as permanent cosmetics, microblading, and artistic ink, focusing on personalized body art. Additionally, she owns Mill Pond Salon, through which she aims to deliver big-city salon services in the comfort of a small town. Apart from her hands-on work in her studios, Paulina Romain is also active on social media platforms like TikTok, where she showcases her fine line and cosmetic tattoo work. Furthermore, she's been in the salon and beauty industry for over 14 years and operates Team True Beauty with Sam Romain. This platform includes a blog on various beauty-related topics and marks the opening of two beauty brands by the couple.

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