If you’re on the lookout for a soothing shampoo for an itchy scalp – no need to worry, you’re not alone. Although flaky and itchy scalps aren’t exactly the sexiest of beauty topics, it’s an issue that affects a lot of us, and has recently become even more common. Any guesses as to why? While our overall hygiene levels have been increasing year-on-year, our hair-washing habits have failed to keep up. This makes sense, especially since it often falls down in the pecking order for our priorities, thanks to our busy lives and whatnot.
Best shampoos for itchy scalps at a glance – our top picks:
- Best shampoo for itchy scalps overall: OUAI Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, £32, LookFantastic
- Best daily shampoo for itchy scalps: Philip Kingsley Flaky/Itchy Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, £25.50, LookFantastic
- Best affordable shampoo for itchy scalps: Aveeno Skin Relief Soothing Shampoo, WAS £11.64 NOW £6.66, Amazon
- Best medicated shampoo for itchy scalps: Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo, £7, Boots
A study commissioned by Head & Shoulders in 2020 revealed that Brits are much more likely to clean their kitchen surface daily than their hair (66% vs 27%). While this might not sound surprising, your scalp carries 6,000 types of microbes in comparison to your kitchen surface which carries on average 100-300.
Not all microbes are bad of course – as is the case with most of our bodily processes, a healthy scalp needs good bacteria. However, an overgrowth of bad bacteria can often lead to dandruff, dryness, itchiness and in severe cases, hair loss.
Bad bacteria isn’t the only reason your scalp could be itchy, though it is a major one. Your diet, a skin condition, addiction to dry shampoo, or even seasonal changes and stress can also come into play. And both an overly dry or overly oily scalp can bring forth a chronic itch while also stunting hair growth.
If the itch is just a mild irritation, it’s still worth sorting, especially you’re working on length retention. Consultant trichologist at the Fulham Scalp & Hair Clinic, Eleanore Richardson tells GLAMOUR: “As with any skin, if there is any inflammation on the scalp, it will be felt and it will be visible. Unhealthy scalp, will not get you the best growing hair as a result.”
The first step you can take to tackle the problem is adding a soothing shampoo for an itchy scalp to your hair care regime. There are a few ingredients you should be looking out for in your mane care wardrobe like the ones below: