It’s hard to find an all-natural eczema shampoo that works to calm itch and inflammation without chemicals. Luckily, natural anti-itch shampoos are becoming more of “a thing”, especially among online shoppers.
Accordingly, natural beauty brands are responding with earth-friendly and pregnancy-safe natural eczema remedies that get better every day.
Unfortunately, most over-the-counter anti-itch and anti-dandruff shampoos still contain toxic chemicals that have been linked to everything from cancer to endocrine disruption.
However, a new class of gentle, all-natural anti-itch, scalp eczema shampoos have emerged in recent years– and many are just as effective as their chemical counterparts at treating itchy, burning, or aching scalp. You just have to know what you’re buying.
The below shampoo formulations vary based on the degree of symptoms they address, but all of them are cleaner, more natural alternatives to other eczema shampoos out there.
Below, you can find a run-down of the most effective “clean” eczema shampoo brands, as well as a few lifestyle changes you can make to treat itchy, ache-y, or flaky scalp.
This guide contains Amazon Affiliate links for easy purchasing. (As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. This is why we work our butts off to make sure these recommendations are solid.) Let us know which ones work best for you!
We are on a mission to get people to stop using body products that contain harmful chemicals. There are effective alternatives out there– you just have to figure out which ones work best with your body chemistry.
Wild Naturals Eczema Shampoo
Wild Naturals Eczema Shampoo (they also make a gorgeous, creamy conditioner) is great for people with a naturally oily scalp who are plagued by itchy-burny sensations related to scalp eczema or inflammation of the scalp.
And yet, this pH-balanced formula is also strengthening, enriched with B vitamins and naturally anti-microbial manuka honey, which promotes collagen production and hair growth.
As a result, Wild Naturals is an ideal anti-itch shampoo for fine hair that could use more love at the roots. Aloe vera helps nourish and moisturize the scalp while organic orange peel oil helps repair and soothe.
Both the shampoo and conditioner are also super emollient, so they distribute evenly in the shower with a nice citrus-y sweet scent.
Overall, Wild Naturals is a great family shampoo. The product is safe for kids and the scent is very neutral, so men, as well as women, enjoy using it. The products are also made in America with organic ingredients, and they are not tested on animals.
Most importantly, this shampoo targets ache-y scalp very effectively. Anecdotally, I’ve used ketcozonal steroidial shampoo to treat scalp aches in the past, and the results didn’t last.
But Wild Naturals Eczema Shampoo, combined with more regular hair washing, was very effective at minimizing painful scalp aches because of how it gently shifts your scalp chemistry. (Don’t believe the rumored benefits of washing your hair less frequently. That is not recommended for everyone!)
Sphagnum Botanicals Peat Therapy Eczema & Psoriasis Shampoo
Sphagnum Botanicals is a new name in the realm of natural scalp treatments, but they are definitely one to watch. Their creamy jet-black Eczema & Psoriasis Shampoo is made with peat, a naturally-occurring therapeutic mud that has a deeply nourishing, cleansing, and moisturizing effect on the hair and scalp. (Plus, it looks super cool!)
By incorporating Nordic peat mud (a mineral-rich skin purifier,) Sphagnum can make this formula without sulfates (which can dry out hair and scalp). For sulfate-free shampoo, it also builds a surprisingly great lather.
Most importantly, this shampoo is free from coal tar, a common ingredient in scalp shampoos that has been linked to cancer. In addition to Nordic peat mud, this shampoo is made with argan oil, which is ideal for those with a particularly dry, inflamed, and itchy scalp. (As opposed to an oily, itchy scalp.)
Working synergistically, these two ingredients increase blood flow and skin humidity at the roots, which encourages the scalp to heal from damage. This allows the scalp to “breathe”.
We also love that this shampoo is made in the EU, which has strict guidelines on the use of GMOs. (They tightly regulate other known carcinogens in personal care products.) As a result, this is a super clean formula.
Sphagnum Botanical’s matching hypoallergenic Hair Therapy Conditioner is also made with Nordic peat mud, argan oil, and olive oil, which is ideal for extra thin and damaged hair. We recommend using them both together for maximum benefit.
Honeyskin Organics Gentle Moisturizing Shampoo
Honeyskin Organics Gentle Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner make the perfect gentle one-two punch for dry, itchy, eczema-riddled scalp. It’s organic, sulfate-free, gluten-free, pH balanced, cruelty-free, and paraben-free, and both the shampoo and conditioner are safe enough for everyday use on sensitive skin.
This shampoo is so gentle you can even use it in conjunction with other medicated scalp treatments, as well.
Honeyskin’s cruelty-free eczema shampoo line also includes a clarifying tea tree shampoo and conditioner that is good for people with dandruff or those who could use a little more exfoliation on the scalp. Try it if you want a more aggressive clean, or if you have product buildup.
We love this shampoo formulation because it’s not very astringent (again, if that’s what you’re going for, try their tea tree oil shampoo). Plus, it contains cehami flower extract, a potent anti-inflammatory from the Australian outback that is increasingly trendy in the realm of natural beauty.
This shampoo is one of the cleanest, most “natural” shampoos on this list and the only one made from majority organic ingredients. It has a very subtle orange-y scent.
^ Try this shampoo or Mustela (below) if you have very sensitive skin or a tendency to break out when using new products.
Mustela Stelatopia Foam Shampoo
Mustela Stelatopia Foam Shampoo was originally made for babies, but it works well for adults with sensitive skin, too!
It’s hypoallergenic, clinically tested, and free from parabens, fragrance, phthalates, and a sneaky chemical called phenoxyethanol, a stabilizer that has been linked to eczema and allergic reactions.
Because this shampoo was originally formulated for babies, it’s also safe for the entire family. And it’s an ideal shampoo for people prone to contact dermatitis.
We love the foam of this OG anti-itch shampoo. (It’s hard to get good suds from an all-natural shampoo, let alone an all-natural eczema shampoo.) We also love using the pump foam dispenser, which feels… oddly luxurious.
Overall, Mustela Stelatopia Foam Shampoo is ideal for extremely dry skin; it works best on scalps that need all the moisture they can get.
Accordingly, it’s not ideal for people with thick hair or oily scalps (try the below shampoos for that). Still, it’s gentle enough for everyday use, for both kids and adults.
Puriya’s Scalp Therapy Shampoo
Puriya’s “family tested, family approved” Scalp Therapy Shampoo is an emerging natural scalp eczema shampoo that’s great for people with dandruff as well as itch. Plus, it works for all hair types, including color-treated hair.
Puriya’s gentle blend of cleansing tea tree oil, soothing aloe, arnica, sage, and rosemary oils yield a refreshing, effervescent scent. If you like the smell of tea tree oil, this shampoo is the one for you.
Vitamin B complex and aloe work synergistically with tea tree oil to help soothe and cleanse a flaky, itchy scalp. This treats the problem at the source, without stripping hair follicles of their naturally beneficial oils.
Moreover, this is an ideal shampoo for people with lots of product build-up in hair. (It cleans out the roots without drying out the rest of your hair.)
Puriya is also a great value for the size of their standard 16 oz shampoo bottles. (Most other natural eczema shampoos are 1.5 to 2 times the price for this volume.) The formula is also 100% sulfate-free and paraben-free and made in the U.S..
Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Dandruff Shampoo
I know– shocking! Contrary to what you might guess, Head & Shoulders’ Class Clean Dandruff Shampoo has a coveted 1 Rating in EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics database. That means it’s actually one of the safest– and affordable!– dandruff shampoos on the market.
This of course is assuming you get the plain, original formula without added scents or deviations like “Clinical Strength” or “Moisture Boost”. (Though these work wonders if you don’t have concerns about a few extra chemicals.)
It’s also worth noting that H&S is one of the most affordable clean anti-itch shampoos on the market. Often, we assume that “clean” or “chemical-free” beauty products have to be more expensive. And yet, this is a safe, economical fix widely available at most drug stores.
While it’s not the cleanest of all the anti-itch shampoos on this list, H&S doesn’t contain any red flag ingredients. Head & Shoulders was the original itchy scalp shampoo, and they continue to lead the pharmacy aisle for a reason.
DHS Zinc Shampoo
DHS Zinc Shampoo is an old classic, but it’s also just barely “natural” enough to garner a 1 Rating on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Clean Cosmetics Database. This means it’s pretty safe, chemical-wise.
This anti-fungal, anti-bacterial medicated eczema shampoo contains 2% zinc pyrithione. This active ingredient helps treat seborrheic dermatitis, aka eczema on the scalp, directly. It’s sort of a magic bullet in that way.
Thus, if a dermatologist has diagnosed you with this specific condition, this is an ideal shampoo for treating your itchy scalp.
Use DHS Zinc Shampoo twice a week to “cleanse” your roots. Just be sure to leave it on for at least 5 minutes before rinsing!
Then, try alternating with other, gentler shampoos like Honeyskin (above) for maximum benefit.
Or Try This Targeted Treatment:
Tamanu Oil for Eczema on Scalp
- Tamanu Oil has a cult following in the natural beauty world as it works wonders as a targeted treatment for dandruff. Because it’s a single, pure oil, you know exactly what you’re putting on your scalp, without any unwanted chemicals. Dab a few drops directly on your scalp about 30 minutes prior to showering. Then, wash as normal with your natural eczema shampoo of choice. (Use warm, not hot water if possible.) If your scalp isn’t oily, tamanu oil can also work as a post-shower treatment. Dab it directly on parts of the scalp that need a little extra love. (We like Leia Naturals tamanu oil because it’s organic, unrefined, and fast-absorbing.)
If The Above Options Don’t Work For Your Scalp and You Still Need To Use Chemicals, These Shampoos Work Well
- Neutrogena T/Gel is a staple for treating scalp eczema and buildup. It works well, though it does have a kind of bad rating on EWG, so it’s definitely not a natural eczema shampoo. But it works at quelling inflammation and itch.
- Nioxin Scalp Recovery Purifying Exfoliator works well as a targeted treatment for chronic itchiness. Use before you shampoo and then wash/condition hair as normal.
- Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is also not a natural eczema shampoo, but it works well if you have a flaky scalp.
- If none of these treatments work, you can also ask your dermatologist about getting a prescription for Ketoconazole, an anti-fungal shampoo that will knock out scalp eczema if used for 5 minutes at a time once a week. (It’s medicated, so it’s not for use every day. This shampoo has the same active ingredient as Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, linked above– but usually, a doctor can give it to you at a stronger prescription if you need it.)
Other Tips for Healing Itchy, Eczema-Prone Scalp
- Don’t go to bed with wet hair. “A chronically damp or wet pillow may become a breeding ground for bacterial or fungal infections since the combination of warmth and moisture allows many fungal elements to thrive,” says Amber Tully, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic, in a recent interview with the Dermstore Blog. “That could result in seborrheic dermatitis— a.k.a. dandruff, the most obvious sign of which is a chronically red, itchy, or flaky scalp.”
- Don’t wash your hair with super hot water. Try warm or cold if you can handle it. The cooler the water, the less likely it will be to inflame your scalp. (At least according to the National Eczema Association.)
- Don’t sleep with product in your hair, whenever possible. That can lead to oil and gunk buildup that can inflame your scalp and attract bacteria, as well.
- Finally, try sleeping on a silk pillowcase, to minimize friction between your hair, skin, and fabric. Etsy also has several affordable, colorful options!
Related: Want a natural balm for itchy, eczema-prone skin? These 8 Steroid-Free Natural Eczema Creams can help.
You can also make this Calming DIY Lavender Body Balm at home! (It’s easy to whip together and made with ingredients you may already have at home.)
7 Natural Face Moisturizers That Are Good for Mind, Body, and Earth.
I have not tried any of those shampoos but I am willing to try it…I have very icky scalp..
Molly Beauchemin says
That’s great! These are perfect shampoos for itchy scalp, and they get more effective with time and repeat use. 🙂