The Best Shampoos for Itchy Scalps
If you suffer from an itchy scalp, then you know all too well how frustrating it can be to regularly feel the need to slip your fingers between your locks and give your scalp a good scratch. Naturally, you’ve probably been on the lookout for the best shampoos to help bring you some relief.
But first, let’s look at why you might be suffering from an itchy scalp.
Top Causes of an Itchy Scalp
It would take a full other article to go into full detail about the many reasons for an itchy scalp, but to give you a quick rundown, here are some common causes:
As you will probably be able to glean from the following list of best shampoos for itchy scalps, dandruff is a main reason for an itchy head. To complicate matters, dandruff itself can have a host of different causes, including:
- Fungus: There’s a fungus among us. Or at least, among some scalps. For some people, a harmless fungus grows on their scalp and feasts on the oils.
- Oily hair and dry skin: This is something that a great shampoo can help with.
Unsurprisingly, many of the shampoos on this list are targeted at dandruff relief, which typically coincides quite closely with an itchy scalp. However, even if you don’t have to struggle regularly with those pesky white flakes, many of these shampoos include ingredients that soothe your scalp and bring relief to itching.
Sometimes, your scalp can simply rebel against the products you put into it, which is a great reason to use a shampoo that’s free of parabens and sulfates and uses only all-natural ingredients. Luckily, this list is full of such shampoos.
Dermatitis and Psoriasis
Various forms of dermatitis and psoriasis can also make your scalp itchy and dry. That’s one reason so many types of shampoos are available; they work against the many different conditions. To complicate matters, sometimes your scalp can grow resistant to your shampoo, forcing you to switch it up to have a rotation of anti-itch care.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into some of the best shampoos for an itchy scalp.
1. Blu Atlas Shampoo
Topping our list is Blu Atlas’s invigorating and strengthening shampoo. No matter what state your scalp or hair is in, Blu Atlas shampoo will help keep it itch-free, strong, and fortified with its science-backed formula.
This shampoo is packed with aloe vera to help soothe even the itchiest scalps. The additional strength comes from the shampoo’s saw palmetto and vegan biotin, and jojoba protein to help repair any damage.
To top it off, Blu Atlas shampoo is free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances. It also uses plant-based alternatives to ensure that it still properly cleanses your hair without irritating it the way that sulfate shampoos can.
Blu Atlas even has a medical advisory board to make sure that the company provides safe and science-backed products.
All of these factors combine to make Blu Atlas shampoo one of the best for treating an itchy scalp.
2. Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care
Next on our list is Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care shampoo. Chances are that if you suffer from an itchy scalp, you probably also regularly deal with dandruff—in which case, paraben-free Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care might be a great choice.
Head & Shoulders is, of course, a familiar and trusted name in dandruff care, so it stands to reason that they can probably come up with a few good solutions to help soothe an itchy scalp.
Infused with the favorite snack of koalas, eucalyptus, Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care dives deeply into your scalp, helping to relieve dandruff and any related itchiness.
3. Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Another great option for dandruff-related itchiness is Nizoral’s Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. This clinically proven formula helps keep flaking (and itching!) under control using the company’s very own antiandrogen and antifungal medication, ketoconazole.
Because it’s the only over-the-counter shampoo with ketoconazole, Nizoral is unique on this list, which means this medicated option might be great for a lot of people, but overkill for others.
Nizoral targets that fungus that’s typically believed to be at the root of a lot of dandruff cases. It’s also perfectly safe for gray, color-treated, and chemically processed hair. Anyone who’s struggling to rid themselves of the relatively harmless fungus that causes dandruff and itching will want to try this shampoo.
4. Vanicream Free & Clear Shampoo
If you suffer from an itchy scalp while also having to deal with sensitive skin, Vanicream’s Free & Clear Shampoo is a worthy consideration for your hair care routine.
This non-medicated shampoo is free of anything that might aggravate sensitive skin, so it’s gentle on your scalp while also soothing away the itchiness.
Free & Clear Shampoo also has no formaldehyde releasers, which are commonly found in other shampoos. And as we all say, let’s leave the formaldehyde to the morticians.
So, if you happen to have sensitive skin to go along with your itchy scalp, Vanicream might be worth checking out. The company also makes plenty of other products intended for sensitive skin.
5. Honeyskin Manuka Honey Infused Tea Tree Shampoo
Proving that stem-cell research might have its uses in many industries, Honeyskin has created this shampoo using apple stem cells, as well as manuka honey and aloe vera, for all-natural hydration that leaves your hair and scalp nourished and revitalized.
Of course, in addition to all its other benefits, manuka honey-infused Tea Tree Shampoo also helps fight dandruff, ridding you of flakes and soothing your itchiness.
Honeyskin also uses only organic ingredients and is 100% cruelty-free. The company’s products are also made in the US, so you can expect free domestic shipping.
6. Denorex Extra-Strength Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner
Here’s another shampoo (with built-in conditioner) that soothes an itchy scalp caused by dandruff while also being great for those suffering from seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis.
Denorex’s active ingredient is 3% salicylic acid, which reduces heavy flakes and scaling and relieves itching. Of course, being an extra-strength, medicated shampoo, this one may not be as suitable for daily use. Instead, use it in conjunction with another gentle, daily shampoo.
To top it off, the built-in conditioner ensures that your now dandruff-free hair has the body, shine, and volume you want.
7. By Gina Pure BioGen Complex Shampoo
This is among the best shampoos for itchy scalps that aren’t specifically made for people suffering from dandruff or similar issues.
By Gina’s Pure BioGen Complex shampoo is great for virtually all hair types, even color-treated hair. What makes it great for itchy scalps is its combination of vitamins and minerals that help breathe life into your scalp.
8. Dove Dermacare Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Another option for itchy scalps caused by dandruff is Dove’s Dermacare Scalp shampoo. Its active ingredient, 1% pyrithione zinc, helps hydrate dry scalps and relieve the irritation caused by itching.
The shampoo is also pH-balanced, so it’s gentle on your hair and scalp. An added benefit is that not only does Dove’s shampoo leave you itch- and flake-free, but the formula also smooths your hair and reduces frizzing.
Plus, you’ll smell of its indulgent coconut and shea butter scent, leaving you looking good and smelling great.
9. Dove Dermacare Scalp Anti-Dandruff Conditioner
Complimenting Dove’s Dermacare Scalp shampoo is the company’s conditioner. So, if you find yourself loving the shampoo, maybe you want to give the conditioner a shot as well.
Alternatively, maybe you’re not looking for a shampoo, but want a great conditioner to complement your already-great shampoo—one that helps soothe the itchiness. If this sounds like you, then it might be worth considering Dermacare Scalp.
Much like the shampoo, this conditioner is great for fighting itchiness and hydrates your scalp to help soothe any irritation from dandruff.
10. Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo
Neutrogena has also dipped its toes into the dandruff/anti-itch market with its T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo. This formula targets chronic scalp psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and even common dandruff.
The active ingredient, coal tar extract, remains in your hair after you’ve finished washing it, helping to soothe your scalp and stop the itching. Coal tar helps by causing your scalp to shed its top layer of skin and impeding the growth of additional cells, which reduces scaliness and dryness. All this together reduces itchiness in your scalp.
One note is that T/Gel might not smell the best depending on personal preference, so keep that in mind before picking it up.
11. Rene Furterer Astera Fresh Soothing Freshness Shampoo
Rene Furterer’s Astera Fresh shampoo’s main goal is to infuse your scalp with smooth freshness, helping to soothe any irritation and put a stop to dryness and itchiness.
This is a great all-round option for people who might have an irritated scalp but don’t need the more intensive anti-dandruff or medicated shampoos. This product is great if your scalp is sunburned or irritated, or if you’ve had a bad reaction to another haircare product.
Astera Fresh Soothing Freshness shampoo’s key ingredients are Asteraceae extract, cool mint, and eucalyptus, which all combine to put the fire out in your itchy scalp. And to top it off, the shampoo is made from 85% natural ingredients, and it’s vegan and biodegradable.
12. TPH by Taraji Master Cleanse Scalp Treatment
Sometimes, all your scalp may need is a thorough cleansing to remove any excessive build-up. Think of it like a full-body cleanse, but for your scalp.
This cleanse makes you tingle while refreshing and rebalancing your scalp—removing all the build-up that may be causing the itchiness you’ve been suffering from. Master Cleanse is great for all hair textures, from natural hair to weaves and braids.
The key ingredient that assists with itchy scalps is witch hazel water, which calms irritation and brings relief to itchiness and flakiness. Master Cleanse also has tea tree oil, an antioxidant that’s invigorating and stimulating. To top it off, it’s cruelty-free, color-safe, and vegan.
13. Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo
Briogeo’s Scalp Revival shampoo was specifically created to help fight dry, flaky, and itchy scalps, and clinical studies have backed up these claims. For the environmentally minded, this shampoo is 95% derived from natural ingredients while also being vegan and cruelty-free.
Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating shampoo uses charcoal to draw impurities from your scalp and hair follicles, helping make your scalp healthy and itch-free. The oils relieve your scalp and heal it to minimize irritation and inflammation. And the titular coconut oil moisturizes your scalp to keep it from drying out and getting flaky.
14. Baebody Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
Baebody Tea Tree Oil shampoo is a gentler shampoo that’s great for anyone who has a sensitive scalp that’s compounded by itchiness and dandruff. This shampoo removes any of that pesky build-up while bringing the shine back to your hair.
As this shampoo’s name implies, its primary ingredient is tea tree oil, which seems to be a godsend for scalp-related issues since it helps revitalize your scalp while being easy on sensitive skin. Plus, it smells exceedingly nice, which is more than can be said for many of the heavily-medicated shampoos.
15. The Body Shop Ginger Scalp Care Shampoo
If you fancy yourself a fan of ginger, The Body Shop’s Ginger Scalp Care might be right up your alley. This shampoo brings life into an otherwise dry scalp, doing away with irritability as well as itchiness.
The Body Shop recently revamped its formula for Ginger Scalp Care. Now, 90% of its ingredients are all natural, including ginger essential oil, birch bark, and white willow bark extracts. This combination frees your head of those flakes and soothes your itchy scalp.
The bottles also come from 100% recycled plastic. Well, except for the cap. But you can’t win every battle.
16. Native Scalp Refreshing 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner
Native prides itself on having no more than ten ingredients in this shampoo as well as in the rest of its products. And one ingredient is just water. The rest of the ingredients are simple; free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and dyes. And like all Native products, the development of this shampoo is entirely cruelty-free.
With the scent of eucalyptus and mint, this refreshing shampoo leaves your hair feeling fresh and smelling great—which makes it one of the best shampoos for an itchy scalp.
17. Majestic Pure Cosmeceuticals Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo
On some level, many of these shampoos offer up similar results. But their slightly different ingredients provide individual feels, scents, etc. Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo is one of those shampoos.
Majestic Pure’s formula restores and nourishes your hair and scalp while providing an apple cider vinegar scent that many find pleasing.
This nourishing formula benefits your hair and hydrates your scalp to stave off the itching, and it’s gentle enough for you to use every day on all hair types. On top of that, it’s 100% natural, cruelty-free, and free of any and all chemicals.
18. Derma E Scalp Relief Shampoo
Derma E has made it a point to create products that don’t include any of the 2,500+ ingredients that have been found to be harmful to either you or our environment. The company has been compiling this list for over 35 years, and, in that time, the list has only grown larger and larger as more ingredients are found to be harmful.
So, if you’re interested in one of the best shampoos for an itchy scalp that features some of the most natural and environmentally friendly ingredients, Derma E is worth a closer look.
At the end of the day, much like many of the other shampoos on this list, Scalp Relief will help cleanse your scalp, ridding it of flakes and itchiness while calming and soothing your hair.
19. Design Essentials Peppermint & Aloe Therapeutics Anti-Itch Shampoo
This therapeutic shampoo from Design Essentials aims to bring relief to the leading causes of itchy scalps: dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.
Peppermint & Aloe Therapeutics Anti-Itch shampoo’s active ingredient of pyrithione zinc puts an end to many sources for the flaking common to dandruff, and the aloe helps soothe a troubled scalp.
On top of all this, the peppermint scent is sure to be pleasing to the nose.
20. Sphagnum PsoriAid Shampoo
If the source of your itchy scalp is psoriasis, perhaps a good “aid” will do the trick. Sphagnum’s PsoriAid Shampoo is specially formulated for dandruff caused by eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis.
The two main ingredients of peat mud, straight out of the forests of Finland, and argan oil bring relief to inflamed and irritated scalps.
Although it’s great if you happen to suffer from psoriasis, it’s also effective on a wide variety of causes for itchy scalps. The ingredients leave your hair looking and feeling revitalized. Plus, the gentle formula is well suited for daily use to keep the scalp itch-free and feeling great.
21. Amplixin Scalp Therapy Shampoo
Amplixin’s shampoo’s main draw is that it can be used by both men and women and for all hair types, including normal, dry, oily, damaged, and color-treated.
Its high-quality ingredients are formulated to revitalize a dry, flaky scalp into a healthy one that produces vibrant hair. Amplixin’s proprietary combination of red clover, bio-mimetic peptides, and caffeine come together to stimulate the scalp, cutting back on irritation and itchiness. On top of all this, it’s also aimed at minimizing hair loss.
Scalp Therapy is also free of harsh chemicals that would only worsen your psoriasis or scalp irritation, and all the company’s ingredients are ethically sourced from only the best producers.
22. As I Am Dry & Itchy Scalp Care Dandruff Shampoo
As I Am created this shampoo to help folks with sensitive and dry scalps finally put an end to the itching. Like many other shampoos on this list, Dry & Itchy Scalp Care dandruff shampoo features tea tree oil, olive oil, and zinc pyrithione—which have all been proven to reduce itchiness. This shampoo will improve your scalp’s moisture to help bring that arid desert back to life and make it flake-free.
In addition to killing any fungus or micro-organisms that might be calling your scalp home, As I Am’s Dry & Itchy Scalp Care dandruff shampoo helps untangle your hair, making it easier to comb and style.
Another noteworthy aspect is that As I Am offers a full range of anti-itch products, including the shampoo featured here, as well as a conditioner and co-wash.
23. Pura D’or Scalp Therapy Shampoo
Pura D’or’s Scalp Therapy is a daily-use shampoo to help keep your scalp hydrated and free from the pesky flakes that come along with itchiness.
To make your hair and scalp as healthy as can be, this shampoo features a wide range of helpful ingredients to revitalize your scalp from the root up. Its oils and vitamins, including aloe vera, tea tree oil, biotin, vitamin B, vitamin E, and argan oil, alleviate irritation and provide fuller and healthier-looking hair.
Pura D’or only uses certified organic ingredients, so you can expect this and their other products to be free of parabens, sulfates, and harmful chemicals, while also being hypo-allergenic, vegan, and color-safe. As a result, Scalp Therapy shampoo more than earns its place on this list of the best shampoos for itchy scalps.
24. Maple Holistics Tea Tree Special Formula Shampoo
If your itchy scalp is due to build-up, this Tea Tree shampoo from Maple Holistics might be right up your alley. This paraben- and sulfate-free formula exfoliates your scalp, removing any build-up and relieving itching. At the same time, keratin and botanical extracts like jojoba, rosemary, lavender, and argan oils give your hair some much needed hydration.
Maple Holistics’ Tea Tree shampoo is specially formulated for dry scalps and greasy hair, perfect if your needs check either or both of these boxes. This shampoo is also great for all hair types, even color-treated. So if you’re searching for one of the best shampoos for itchy scalps, Tea Tree is worth a shot.
25. Neutrogena Healthy Scalp Soothing With Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
This non-medicated shampoo from Neutrogena calms dry scalps and hydrates your hair for an itch-free scalp and gorgeous locks. With its natural ingredients, this shampoo is great for sensitive skin, too.
The tea tree oil is an all-natural ingredient that revitalizes dry and scalps to bring relief to any itching. And with regular use, this Neutrogena shampoo will maintain your scalp’s natural barrier bringing a healthier scalp.
The gentle formula is paraben-free, sulfate-free, and is safe for color-treated hair of any type.
26. Selsun Blue Itchy Dry Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Selsun Blue’s Itchy Dry Scalp offering is extra hydrating to help bring dry, itchy scalps back to life, all while reducing flaking and nourishing your hair.
The formula lathers up quickly, helping it to get into the crevices of your scalp, bringing much needed relief. And the shampoo is gentle enough on your head that it can easily be used every time you shower.
With just one active ingredient, pyrithione zinc 1%, Itchy Dry Scalp anti-dandruff shampoo controls dandruff and itching without subjecting your scalp to any harsh chemicals.
27. Kick Tea Tree Oil and Peppermint Men’s Shampoo
This sulfate-free shampoo from Kick is specially formulated for men’s hair. Featuring 11 separate botanical ingredients, it restores optimal balance to your scalp to relieve itch and support healthy-looking hair. It’s also completely free of anything that might irritate an already-itchy head.
Made for active men, Kick helps to counteract the effects of sweat on dandruff and dry scalps in general. What’s more, sweaty scalps, in combination with dandruff, can also lead to hair loss, which Kick’s shampoo seeks to minimize.
With dry, sensitive scalps in mind, this tea tree oil and peppermint shampoo is free of any ingredients that might irritate your scalp to make it even drier and itchier. It’s also cruelty-free and color-safe.
28. ProBliva Fungus Shampoo for Hair & Scalp
If your scalp itchiness is caused by living organisms calling your head their home, then ProBliva’s antifungal shampoo is definitely worth considering. It’ll take care of the dandruff fungus as well as any irritating bacteria and even ringworm.
Only a handful of shampoos on this list are intended for ringworm, so if you’ve tried everything to get rid of your itchy scalp and nothing seems to work, you may have been stricken with a case of ringworm. Despite its name, ringworm is a fungus and not any sort of worm, so this antifungal shampoo is great for providing you relief.
ProBliva’s shampoo also has coconut, jojoba, and emu oil, so even if you don’t have ringworm, there’s a good chance that it will soothe an irritated scalp regardless.
Now that we’ve gone over what we consider the best shampoos for itchy scalps, hopefully at least one of them will bring some relief to your itchy scalp. With 28 options available, one is bound to work for you!