The Best Non-Toxic Shampoo for Itchy Scalp

Here’s the deal: My scalp itches all the time. I mean like ALL. THE. TIME. I’ve tried everything, from medicated shampoos, anti-dandruff shampoos, scalp treatments, tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, washing less often, washing more often – you name it. Some things have worked better than others, but after a while I’m just back square one.

My biggest splurge recently was a Japanese Head Spa in NYC for a scalp massage. I met with a stylist who got all up in my scalp with a flashlight that had a built-in camera that projected on to her iPad so we could an enlarged look at my scalp. I was so sure she would tell me I had some sort of scalp condition, or at least see how irritated it was from all of my scratching.

But no.

Instead, she told me that my scalp was healthy and that I had beautiful hair. “Then why all the itchy?” I asked. She said it could be climate or stress. Or both. She moved the flashlight-camera around my head. “See?” And see I did. My scalp looked fine.

So WTF?

While I have not found conclusive answers for the cause of my own personal itchy scalp, I encourage everyone to check with their doctor first because there are a lot of scalp conditions out there that require legit medical treatment.

So here’s what I was using over the last 6 months:

Prose Hair Mask.jpeg

PROSE CUSTOM HAIRCARE

PROS: Fast shipping, a custom formula, and regimen. Your custom formula is based on the results of your hair quiz that takes everything into account from your hair length to your location for the next 3 months. You can even opt for silicone-free and fragrance-free, which I did. I bought the full 3-piece set: Hair mask (pre-shampoo), shampoo, and conditioner. The whole thing cost me $88 and lasted just over 3 months. My hair was so soft.

CONS: The hair mask actually made my scalp itch more over time, even though it was supposed to do the opposite. My personal formulation recommended that I use it 2-3x a week, but you have to leave it in for at least 20 minutes. The 3-step process started to feel really time consuming after the excitement wore off.

EWG Rating: N/A. Prose is relatively new but I don’t think it’s possible to get an EWG rating because every formulation is different. The website claims “natural beauty” but without transparency, I’m not convinced.

But when the itching got worse, I suspected that I might be allergic to one of the ingredients without knowing. Your Prose order comes with a little instruction booklet and lists the main ingredients in each product, none of which I have a known allergy to.

Out of sheer convenience, I then decided to try:

BEAUTYCOUNTER DAILY SHAMPOO

PROS: My hair is so soft! The shampoo lathers really well and was not drying at all – two of the most common complaints with sulfate-free shampoos. It has a light citrus scent and as someone who is sensitive to heavy perfumes and synthetic fragrance, I find it refreshing and not overpowering at all. Best of all, my scalp is dramatically less itchy, like so so much less itchy.

CONS: There were a few times I noticed slight separation so now I just give the bottle a little shake before using.

EWG Rating: 2

And there you have it! In my opinion, BEAUTYCOUNTER Daily Shampoo is the best non-toxic shampoo for itchy scalp that I’ve found. Unlike other sulfate-free brands, it has a rich lather and doesn’t dry my hair out. Plus BEAUTYCOUNTER bans 1,500 harmful or questionable ingredients from all of its products, so while I might not know what synthetic ingredients other brands use that make me itchy, I know I’m less likely to be exposed to skin irritants with this shampoo.