The best shampoo and conditioner for sensitive scalp is what you need to deal with hair build-up and other problems related to your scalp type.
As you might know, sensitive scalp is likely to be irritated, flaky, and itchy when you use hair care products containing harsh chemicals.
Suitable products for sensitive skin should contain beneficial ingredients like essential oils, fruit extracts, botanicals, citric acid, glycolic acid, and panthenol.
Meanwhile, they need to avoid such harsh chemicals like sulfate, formaldehyde, and paraben. This will protect your sensitive scalp and facilitate its healthy growth.
To help you choose the suitable products for your hair, we have compiled a list of the top 10 products specialized in alleviating sensitive scalp’s conditions.
Of which, the DERMA E Scalp Relief Conditioner appears to be the best overall for its high capacity in recovering hair texture while deeply exfoliating the itchy scalp and preventing hair build-up and excess flakes.
But there are so many more worth-recommending products at hand! We don’t want to waste your time any longer. Let’s get started.
Top 10 Best Shampoo And Conditioner For Sensitive Scalp
We will provide complete reviews on the best shampoo and conditioner for sensitive scalp in this section.
DERMA E Scalp Relief Conditioner – Best Overall
- Brand: DERMA E
- Hair type: Dry hair
- Material type: Paraben-free, mineral oil-free, gluten-free, GMOs free, lanolin-free
- Scent: Tea tree oil
- Volume: 8 oz
DERMA E Scalp Relief Conditioner wins our hearts for its ability to recover the hair texture, providing silky hair. It comes with enriched ingredients, including provitamin B5, helping you to hydrate from the roots for strong, tangle-free, and soft hair.
Plus, salicylic acid can help exfoliate the itchy scalp and penetrate to remove surface build-up and excess flakes.
The top-rated ingredient, Tea Tree Oil, soothes and cools any irritated scalp. Mentol included in the conditioner offers a refreshing sensation to calm your sensitive skin.
What makes it different from other products is its exclusive Therapeutic Psoszerma Herbal Blend, including vitamin E and A, helping replenish your hair and scalp to improve shine and manageability for a healthy look.
And thanks to 100% organic ingredients of Aloe, Argan Oil, and Sweet Almond Oil, the conditioner can improve hair detangler.
“Dry scalp is a common condition in the winter, but it can be relieved with consistent care,” comments Dr. Schlessinger on DERMA E Scalp Relief at Newbeauty. “These clinically-tested formulas calm the skin while hydrating the hair from the root to the tip.”
We don’t have any complaints about this conditioner.
Usage Caution: Please remember to wait for 2-3 minutes after you apply the product. For the best result, use it in 7 days.
- Enriched ingredients including provitamin B5 for strong and soft hair
- Salicylic acid for exfoliating the scalp
- Tea Tree Oil for soothing and cooling irritated scalp
- Refreshing sensation
- Organic Argan Oil, Aloe, and Sweet Almond Oil for improving hair detangler
Pharmaceutical Specialities Free & Clear Set – Best For Fragile And Thin Hair
- Brand: Pharmaceutical Specialities
- Hair type: All hair and skin types
- Material type: Dye-free, gluten-free, sulfate-free
- Scent: Fragrance-free
- Volume: 12 oz shampoo, 12 oz conditioner
Let’s continue our list with Free & Clear Set from Pharmaceutical Specialities or Vanicream – its more familiar name.
We consider this set as the best for fragile and thin hair. Many dermatologists highly recommend it for people with sensitive scalps as it is very gentle.
Plus, it does not trigger eczema or causes any allergic reaction as neither bottle contains potential irritants. In other words, they do not have artificial fragrances, parabens, masking fragrances, preservatives, gluten, dyes, or formaldehyde releasers.
Another plus point is that both shampoo and conditioner feature a balanced level of pH. For those suffering from scaling and flaking scalp, this suggestion will be the right one for you.
Thanks to active ingredients like sodium cocoyl glycinate and Glycerin, this set can further support you in effectively removing scaling and flaking. Its formula also works with scales of dandruff and helps hinder hair damage and tangles.
Particularly, as per the site Elite Daily, Free & Clear shampoo is one of the three best shampoos for eczema.
“Free & Clear shampoo is a great choice for people with all sorts of skin conditions, including eczema. It’s free of practically every potentially irritating ingredient out there, but it still gives hair a nice, deep clean,” Dr. Robinson says.
However, this set doesn’t appear to be perfect. We found that the shampoo does not lather up much. For that reason, if your hair is oily, you will need to wash it twice.
- Not trigger eczema or cause allergic reactions
- Gentle formula for sensitive scalp
- No potential irritants
- pH-balanced level
- Help deal with scaling and flaking
- Hinder hair damage and tangles
Con: Not lather well on oily hair
CLn Gentle Shampoo – Best For Eczema Treatment
- Brand: CLn Store
- Hair type: All hair types, especially fine and fragile hair
- Material type: Paraben-free, triclosan-free, antibiotics free
- Scent: Fragrance-free
- Volume: 8 oz
We consider this shampoo the best shampoo for sensitive scalp eczema for the following reasons.
As this fragrance-free shampoo contains sodium hypochlorite – a clinically reliable disinfectant, the shampoo can clean and soothe scalp prone to infection and conditions like atopic dermatitis, eczema, folliculitis, and other conditions.
Plus, thanks to its lightweight milder formula, you can use it daily on sensitive scalps or beards without fear of irritating these areas but leaving hair smelling clean and fresh.
Moreover, thanks to Glycerin found in this shampoo, your hair and scalp can be nourished. This ingredient is a humectant, helping your hair retain moisture without clogging the pore – the main culprit causing sensitivity.
CLn Skin Care claims its product is hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, and contains no parabens, triclosan, steroid, and antibiotics when it comes to safety.
Many have complimented this shampoo for its ability to cleanse the scalp effectively and help to stop the itching. The only downside of this shampoo is that it, in fact, can make your scalp slightly dry.
- Lightweight milder formula for sensitive skin
- Sodium hypochlorite for cleaning and soothing scalp
- Glycerin for nourishing hair and scalp
- No paraben, triclosan, steroid, antibiotics
- Hypoallergenic and cruelty-free
Con: Slightly dry scalp
Aveeno Scalp Soothing Oat Milk Blend Shampoo – Best For Balanced Moisture
- Brand: Aveeno
- Hair type: Color-treated
- Material type: Free of sulfates, dyes, and parabens
- Scent: Fresh
- Volume: 12 oz
This shampoo deserves the title of best for providing balanced moisture for your hair. It contains oat and almond milk, greatly providing nutrients and moisture for every strand from root to tip and a healthy scalp.
Thanks to its mild formula, you can use it daily for all hair types, even kids’ sensitive hair, which is a great option for your whole family.
The Aveeno sensitive scalp shampoo is free of dyes, sulfates, parabens and safe for color-treated hair to further confirm its position on the list of best shampoos for sensitive scalps.
We also like its ingredient blends, providing a fresh and sensational fragrance for your hair.
Any cons? We have to say Yes. Due to its natural ingredients, it doesn’t lather a lot. Thus, if you have oily scalps, you need to wash your hair twice.
- Provide balanced moisture for hair
- Oat and almond milk for replenishing hair
- Free of dyes, sulfates, and parabens for sensitive scalp
- Gentle, suitable even on kids
- Fresh and sensational fragrance
- Not lather much on oily hair
OGX Healing Plus Vitamin E Shampoo and Vitamin E Conditioner – Best For Damaged Hair
- Brand: OGX
- Hair type: Dry, brittle, over-processed hair
- Material type: Free of dyes, parabens, and sulfates
- Scent: Parfum
- Volume: 13 oz shampoo, 13 oz conditioner
The 5th spot calls the name of the OGX Healing Plus Vitamin E Shampoo and Conditioner set. This combination is ideal for improving damaged hair due to its enriched formula, giving your hair many types of essential vitamins.
And as both products are free of dyes, parabens, and sulfates, they don’t lead to any scalp irritation, which is a great choice for your sensitive scalp.
Due to the enriched formula of Glycerin and Vitamin E, this set can greatly soothe your hair surface, boost hair with a healthy glow and increase elasticity and strength.
It also helps heal the signs of damage and lower future breakage risk. Thus improve frizziness and split ends for a healthy look. As both shampoo and conditioner come with mild formula, you can use them daily to reduce the risk of dullness and breakage.
On the downside, we found that this set’s shampoo doesn’t lather well on oily scalp and hair.
- Enriched formula with essential vitamins
- Glycerin to bring back soft and silky hair
- Vitamin E for healthy glow and shine from damage
- Increase the strength and elasticity
- Mild formula for daily use
- Sensitive scalp-friendly due to a non-dye, non-paraben, and non-sulfate formula
Con: Not lather well on oily scalp and hair
Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo – Best For Removing Build-Up
- Brand: Neutrogena
- Hair type: Color-treated, all types of hair
- Material type: No artificial dyes, paraben-free
- Scent: Fragrance
- Volume: 12 oz
The Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo stands out among other products thanks to its ability to remove hair build-up and residue (sensitive scalp’s worst nightmare) of up to 90%.
It is formulated with a non-irritating and nutrient-rich formula, gently cleansing your scalp and helping boost the hair volume by immediately rinsing away build-up.
Notably, it delivers a long-lasting effect to help you avoid bad hair days. You can even use it once a week only.
Done with scalp care, let’s move on to pampering the strands. As it contains Glycerin, the item can make your hair feel smoother and softer. Moreover, with sodium chloride, you can rest assured that this shampoo can cleanse your hair thoroughly.
On the downside, it features an unpleasant scent of spice for those with a keen nose. And it comes with a quite high price in comparison with other products.
- Ability to remove 90% hair build-up and residue
- Non-irritating and nutrient-rich formula
- Contain Glycerin for smoother and softer hair
- Sodium chloride for cleaned hair
- Unpleasant scent
- High price
MG217 Psoriasis Scalp Solutions – Best For Psoriasis Treatment
- Brand: MG217
- Hair type: All types of hair
- Material type: No paraben, colorants
- Scent: Fragrance-free
- Volume: 8 oz
As per the National Psoriasis Foundation, medication topically applied to the skin and scalp is the first defense line for psoriasis treatment. And two actives approved by FA – Coal tar and salicylic acid work wonders with this condition treatment.
Doctors highly recommend this combination, especially its appearance in the MG217 Psoriasis Scalp Solutions. That’s why we consider this item as the best option for treating psoriasis.
Accordingly, this pick can remove hair build-up and prepare the scalp for optimal response to other treatments. Plus, coal tar can reduce scaling, irritation, and itching quite well.
We also love its natural ingredients, helping soothe, repair, and protect your hair without irritating the sensitive scalp.
Unfortunately, this solution can cause your hair to become slightly dry and not smooth as you expected. You may combine your favorite conditioner in the hair care routine for a better outcome.
Usage Caution: Use at least twice a week or as directed by your physician for optimal results.
- Contain coal tar and salicylic acid for psoriasis treatment
- Reduce scaling, irritation, and itching
- Prepare the scalp for followed treatment
- Natural extract for repairing and protecting your hair
Con: Slightly dry skin and hair
Head & Shoulders Royal Oils Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner – Best For Formula
- Brand: Head & Shoulders
- Hair type: All hair kinds
- Material type: Paraben, sulfate, and dye-free
- Scent: Fresh coconut
- Volume: 13.5 oz shampoo, 13.5 oz conditioner
The next position belongs to Head & Shoulders Royal Oils, thanks for its indulgent rich formula. The lineup contains exclusive coconut oil, helping effectively balance natural moisture levels that not many products can do for healthy hair.
Another plus point is its creamy and rich lather, cleansing and removing build-up while offering long-lasting and lightweight hydration to your hair and scalp.
The shampoo is free of dyes and parabens, ensuring its safety to use daily.
With a balanced pH level, you can rely on this Head & Shoulders shampoo to deal with seborrheic dermatitis and other itchy and irritable scalp conditions related to dandruff.
A lot have praised the set for their great hair moisturizing and cleansing abilities without stripping natural sebums, leaving your hair soft and manageable.
The only downside of this shampoo is its price, which is slightly higher than other competitors.
- Indulgent rich formula
- Natural coconut oil for balanced moisture level
- Long-lasting scalp relief
- Paraben and dye-free
- Balanced pH level to cure dandruff
Con: High price
Vanicream Free & Clear Medicated AntiDandruff Shampoo – Best For Dandruff Treatment
- Brand: Vanicream
- Hair type: All hair types
- Material type: Free of chemical irritants, gluten-free and sulfate-free.
- Scent: Unscented
- Volume: 8 oz
Another product from Vanicream (also called Pharmaceutical Specialities) – the Free & Clear Medicated AntiDandruff Shampoo. There must be a good reason this brand has landed two products on our list, right?
As its name suggests, it is designed for dandruff treatment. Thanks to its formula of 2% zinc pyrithione, it can effectively control and reduce seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff symptoms.
Many consumers praised that this fragrance-free shampoo can leave the hair significantly manageable without dryness.
There are no common chemical irritants in this shampoo like dyes, fragrances, lanolin, masking fragrances, paraben, and formaldehyde. Also, it is free of sulfate and gluten. Thus, you can rest assured to use it to take care of your sensitive scalp.
The shampoo can deeply remove build-up with sodium chloride, leaving a lightweight and clean environment for better hair growth.
That said, we found that as it focuses on dandruff treatment, it cannot work effectively in enhancing your hair’s shine and smoothness.
Usage Caution: Remember to wait for a few minutes after lathering and massaging your hair for optimal results.
- 2% zinc pyrithione for controlling and reducing dandruff
- No chemical irritants
- Free of gluten and sulfate
- Sodium chloride for thoroughly removing hair build-up
- Might not deliver shiny and silky hair
Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Combination Pack – Best For Anti-frizz
- Brand: Shea Moisture
- Hair type: All types, color-treated hair
- Material type: sulfate-free
- Scent: Coconut
- Volume: 13 oz shampoo, 13 oz conditioner, 12 oz smoothie
The last option is the Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Combination Pack. This set is an ideal option for frizz-free and shiny hair, thanks to its ultra-hydrating formula.
The shampoo can deeply cleanse and smooth your hair with silk proteins, coconut oil, and floral hibiscus. It is one of the best shampoo for sensitive scalp and curly hair.
Meanwhile, with a rich, creamy texture, the conditioner can tame curly, thick, and frizzy hair effectively, leaving smooth and silky hair.
You will like its natural sulfate-free ingredients, which are suitable for sensitive scalp. As you might know, sulfates can dissolve natural oils on your scalp, thus leaving your scalp dryer than normal.
There are also moisturizing elements, including shea butter, smoothening thick, and wavy manes, for the best professional salon results.
The formula is also free of flavor, artificial color, preservatives, starch, and other harsh chemicals so that you can use it safely and regularly on easily irritated scalp.
However, as this combination features a quite rich formula, it might make your hair greasy.
- Ultra-hydrating formula with silk proteins, coconut oil, and floral hibiscus
- Ideal for curly and frizzy hair thanks to a rich, creamy texture
- Irresistible scent
- Free of flavor, artificial color, preservatives, and other ingredients
- Sulfate-free ingredients suitable for sensitive scalp
Con: Might make the hair slightly greasy
Frequently Asked Questions
#1. What Is A Sensitive Scalp?
Sensitive scalp is known as the onset of burning, tingling, or prickling sensations without or with pruritus or pain. It’s triggered by many factors such as diet, environmental conditions, menstrual cycle or using hair care products containing harsh detergents making the skin drier.
That’s why it is imperative to choose suitable shampoos and conditioners for sensitive scalp.
#2. How Do You Know If You Have A Sensitive Scalp?
There are some common symptoms of sensitive scalp, including stinging, burning, dry scalp, and vague discomfort in the scalp. If you have these symptoms, it’s advisable to consult with a dermatologist to have an answer to this question.
#3. What Properties Do Your Shampoos And Conditioners Need To Avoid For Regular And Mild Use?
These properties include mineral oils, lanolin, and sulfate. These substances can clog pores and damage the hair moisture and pH balance, leading to dry hair.
So you have gone through our best shampoo and conditioner for sensitive scalp reviews.
In a nutshell, it is better to choose a shampoo and conditioner free of chemical irritants, sulfate, paraben, mineral oils, and lanolin, as these substances can worsen your scalp condition.
The hair products mentioned above can mostly meet your requirements. Of which, the DERMA E Scalp Relief Conditioner, Free & Clear Set, and CLn Gentle Shampoo are our favorite products. Their active ingredients in dealing with hair build-up, moisturizing, and recovering hair impress us.
Anyway, if you have any further questions, please feel free to let us know.
Thank you for reading!