Hair-Care Tips

7 Shampoos That Will Almost Immediately Relieve an Itchy Scalp

Photo: Getty/Westend 61

Shampoo is meant to be a reset for hair, but sometimes—particularly for those with an itchy scalp—it can feel like anything but that. The wrong formula, in many cases, can make your scalp feel dry, tight, and incredibly uncomfortable, which is why finding a proper shampoo for itchy scalp is so important.

Scalp awareness is essential for hair well-being. If your hairdresser brings scalp issues to your attention (or if you've noticed the issue yourself), the next best step is to visit your dermatologist. "There are many possibilities to consider," says hairstylist Garrett Markenson, who founded the beyond-beautiful haircare brand REVERIE. However, if you're just noticing some itching here and there, he suggests opting for, "a botanical-based shampoos can be more gentle, without adding toxins, perfumes, and silicones to your scalp."

In addition, looking directly to the ingredients that are involved in a shampoo's given formulation can help you ditch the itch. He calls out zinc, which is found in the REVERIE Shampoo as, "a beautiful ingredient for scalp well-being and follicles, preventing overproduction of DHT [a hormone known for causing hair loss]." A form of zinc—known as zinc pyrithone—in fact is a common ingredient used to fight dandruff. 

While utilizing the proper shampoo with good-for-your-scalp ingredients can help alleviate the itching, it's important to also create healthy lifestyle habits that lead to a healthy noggin. One product Markenson suggests moving away from? Dry shampoo. "It's not a treatment, it's a semi-effective cosmetic solution. The problem is, it creates more problems. People can get addicted and the build up can create damage such as clogged follicles and coarse build up to the hair." So, while it's probably fine to use dry shampoo every now and then, it's not a replacement for actually cleaning the scalp.

But if you find yourself reaching for that dry shampoo bottle a lot (it happens, we're not judging), or are dealing with dry weather that's wreaking havoc on your scalp, don't worry. There are plenty of shampoos on the market that can help solve the problem. Ready for relief? Keep scrolling.


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Shop shampoos for itchy scalp

REVERIE Shampoo — $38.00

Made with botanical-based ingredients, this shampoo has had a home in many a beauty editor’s showers since it first launched. Utilizing an oat protein and mineral complex, this shampoo improves circulation to the scalp, which can promote an overall healthier environment for hair to grow and prosper. I like it because it doesn’t have any super-harsh surfactants, so when you lather up, you can feel certain that your scalp will say “ahhh!” following.

Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo — $49.00

The name of the game with this shampoo is moisture. Thanks to a roster of biotin, plant collagen, caffeine, niacinamide, and Mediterranean Cypress Extract, your scalp is infused with ingredients that help it to retain moisture, strengthen, strands, and help prevent breakage.

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo — $42.00

Not only is this formulation heavy on scalp-soothing ingredients such as peppermint, spearmint, and tea tree oils, it also contains binchotan charcoal and plant-based exfoliators that help to slough away all sorts of oil and impurities from the scalp, leaving your hair feeling clean and refreshed.

Christophe Robin Brightening Shampoo with Chamomile — $34.00

It’s not often that you classify a clarifying shampoo as easy on hair, but this one has the addition of skin-soothing chamomile as well as antioxidant-rich cornflower which can help defend against free-radical damage, which in some cases can cause itching.

Fekkai Brilliant Gloss Olive Oil Shampoo — $59.00

Thanks to ample amino acids in this olive-oil-packed shampoo, as well as plant extracts that are meant to keep moisture from exiting the hair, your strands will remain smooth and your scalp will stay comfy and cozy.

Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Sulfate-Free Honey & Vitamin B Shampoo — $6.00

Thanks to B vitamins as well as gentle sulfate-free cleansers, this Herbal Essences option will fortify your strands and your scalp, while also getting your hair feeling clean.

dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse — $35.00

If you’re looking for an alt-hair wash, this apple-cider vinegar one from dpHue uses the simple principles of the pH scale to dislodge dirt and grime without overly stripping the hair and scalp.

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