17 best shampoos for itchy scalps, including expert picks

This can have a more pronounced effect if your hair is already prone to dryness. Enter this ultra nourishing shampoo replete with meadowfoam oil to help soften hair, and formulated with glycerin, aloe, oat bran, and panthenol to gently clean and soothe an irritated scalp. Formulated with mild ingredients and lightweight consistency, the Mustela Stelatopia Foam Shampoo earns the top spot on our list, as it is proven effective in treating scalp eczema. For a more affordable option, consider the Dove DermaCare Scalp Anti Dandruff Shampoo, which is gentle and nourishing while still effective. For all those times when you want to scratch your freakin’ head off just to stop the itch (lol, just me?), trust me when I say you need this menthol-spiked eczema shampoo. Unlike seborrheic dermatitis shampoo menthol-based formulas that just leave your scalp burning, this one relies on soothing ingredients to help cool down the sting without further irritating your skin.
I tried this shampoo and my head didn’t itch, i had no dandruff and my hair was not a frizzy mess like with some other strong dandruff shampoos, literally on the first wash. More specifically, one that contains zinc pyrithione, salicylic acid, or selenium sulfide, active ingredients that can help combat the symptoms of eczema, such as itching and flaking. But before you start any treatments for persistent scalp eczema, get your scalp checked by a dermatologist if you’re able to. You could actually be dealing with psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, or dandruff—all of which require different treatment methods. Dr. Farber says your doctor can also do patch testing to determine which ingredients might be causing your irritation, aka less work and money for you on products that’ll just make you itch. Coal tar is an ingredient found in shampoos used to treat seborrheic dermatitis because it decreases inflammation and has antifungal properties.
The real cause for dandruff formation from the normal physiological spectrum of scaling is yet to be understood. Because that’s what it is – it’s designed to do all thethings a good shampoo should do so you can use it regularly to help tackle flakes. “Even though it’s called a shampoo, you should really use as a scalp treatment,” he says.
Zinc pyrithione does not work as well as ketoconazole for most people, although it may be effective in combination with either ketoconazole or ciclopirox. According to the FDA in the U.S., you need to use Clinical Strength shampoo twice a week for it to be effective, so most people won’t need to change their shower routine to fit it in. It’s the maximum strength dandruff relief available without a prescription.
The malic acid in apple cider vinegar may help to shed excess skin cells on the scalp. Not only that, but its acetic acid potentially works against dandruff-causing yeasts and bacteria. Once the initial symptoms subside, some people are able to manage their seborrheic dermatitis by using ketoconazole shampoos just once or twice a week.
Applied once daily, it may effectively prevent the seborrheic dermatitis symptoms. Your physician can also check to see whether the condition is a more severe problem. It is so common that almost everyone has seen it, as the embarrassing flaking of scalp skin that many people find cosmetically unacceptable. The flakes have a characteristic look, are somewhat oily, and seem to be present on a good part of the scalp.
To ease this effect, use it only once a week with a moisturizing conditioner. A common ingredient in many OTC anti-dandruff shampoos, pyrithione zinc may have both antimicrobial and antifungal power. Some authorities, like the American Academy of Dermatology, even suggest washing affected areas of the body with pyrithione zinc soaps. Since seborrheic dermatitis itself can be drying to your skin, by the time you start applying an antifungal treatment, your skin could be in need of some extra hydration. Seborrheic dermatitis is a common condition amongst children, especially in babies under three months. It usually begins with cradle cap, but can also start on the face or diaper area.
This story is part of Survivor’s Guide, a series on navigating the impact of psoriasis through beauty and self-care. A towel can be placed over the pillowcase to protect bedding from Scalpicin. This may minimize unwanted cosmetic results of residual product left in the hair. We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we love.