Flaky, itchy, sensitive skin is the pits. It’s especially annoying and uncomfortable on the scalp. Worse, it could be something as simple and necessary as your hair products that are causing it. So, what is the best shampoo if you have eczema?
First, we recommend asking your doctor about how to treat eczema on the scalp. Then, educate yourself about the best shampoos for eczema. The reviews below will help you find safe, hypoallergenic shampoos for sensitive skin.
- 1 How to choose the best shampoo for eczema
- 2 Best Shampoos for Eczema in 2021
- 3 Conclusion
How to choose the best shampoo for eczema
Shampoo isn’t bad for eczema, but certain ingredients can trigger flare-ups. It’s smart to avoid shampoos with strong fragrances, even ones made with essential oils.
Look for fragrance-free products. Even “unscented” ones might have ingredients that mask odors and trigger allergic reactions all the same (1).
Choose gentle shampoos with fewer ingredients. For guidance on whether individual components are risky, check the EWG Skin Deep Database.
Sulfate-free formulas might be helpful as this surfactant can be drying to the skin. Also, consider avoiding cocamidopropyl betaine as it was named Allergen of the Year 2004 by the Contact Dermatitis Society.
Dandruff shampoos are good for soothing an itchy scalp and removing dead flakes.
|The best shampoos for eczema||Why we love them|
|CLn Gentle Shampoo||
|CLn Shampoo for Scalp Prone to Folliculitis, Dermatitis, Dandruff||
|Vanicream Free & Clear||
|Vanicream Free & Clear Medicated AntiDandruff Shampoo||
|Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo||
|No Nothing Very Sensitive Shampoo||
Best Shampoos for Eczema in 2021
CLn Gentle Shampoo
The National Eczema Association granted this product a Seal of Approval. That’s a big deal since they’ve only approved three eczema shampoos for adults (at the time of writing).
People with psoriasis and contact dermatitis can benefit from it. Moreover, it’s a moisturizing shampoo suitable for daily use on all hair types, even fragile, damaged hair. It’s fragrance-free and safe for sensitive skin.
Since it’s also a beard shampoo, it’s handy if you have eczema on the face. For best results, massage the shampoo into the skin or scalp for thirty seconds before rinsing.
While that all sounds wonderful, you might be alarmed when you discover the active ingredient. It’s bleach. Keep in mind that this is a carefully designed formula and definitely not the same as household bleach. The shampoo has sodium hypochlorite in a concentration appropriate for delicate skin. That’s why it kills harmful bacteria and clears up infection and inflammation.
Reviewers say it leaves their hair noticeably clean and manageable. Many people can get by without using conditioner.
- Has the National Eczema Association Seal of Approval
- Fragrance-free and gentle enough to wash all hair types daily
- Leaves the hair manageable and soft
- Also good for washing beards
- Features sodium hypochlorite to cleanse the hair and scalp and clear up infection and inflammation
- Some reviewers noticed a faint chemical odor when dispensing the shampoo, but it doesn’t linger on their hair or skin
CLn Shampoo for Scalp Prone to Folliculitis, Dermatitis, Dandruff
This is one of the best shampoos for eczema, dandruff, or an itchy scalp. It treats folliculitis, which makes it excellent for bearded guys or anyone who shaves any part of their body and suffers with red bumps afterward.
It carries the National Eczema Association Seal of Approval because it’s fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. With that said, it’s best for normal to oily hair and only up to three times per week.
Not only does it contains sodium hypochlorite, but it also has salicylic acid. The former is basically bleach that disinfects the skin and hair follicles and helps clear up infection. Then, the latter is anti-acne medication that removes dead skin and dissolves the oil that clogs pores. It also helps reduce inflammation.
Reviewers say that the shampoo doesn’t make a lot of lather. It performs better if you rub it between your hands first. But it works like magic to calm itchy, scabby scalps and clear away flakes.
- Has the National Eczema Association Seal of Approval
- Fragrance-free and hypoallergenic
- Treats inflamed follicles, flaking, and itching caused by a variety of conditions
- Cleanses with sodium hypochlorite and salicylic acid
- Also helpful for beards and skin affected by shaving
- May be a little drying for dry, fine, or fragile hair
- Not made for daily use, recommended for one to three washes per week
Here’s the third shampoo approved by the National Eczema Association. In fact, it won an award from the organization because it respects ultrasensitive skin. Still, this is a seborrheic dermatitis shampoo that can handle the tough jobs.
If you’ve experimented with other eczema or dandruff shampoos, you already know that it’s hit or miss whether you’ll have an eczema flare or if your hair will end up clean and manageable instead of a frizzy mess. Take a deep breath and try this product because it may be the Holy Grail you’ve been looking for.
Not only is it fragrance-free, but it doesn’t have sulfates or cocamidopropyl betaine. (Don’t be surprised at the lack of lather because this is a low-foam shampoo). There are no artificial colors or parabens, either.
Nevertheless, if you have a sensitivity to phenoxyethanol or issues with caprylyl glycol, you’ll still need to look elsewhere. Also, if you have naturally oily hair, you’ll probably want to wash your hair daily.
Reviewers point out that it’s a little like putting lotion on their head, but it rinses clean. It soothes itching and gets rid of flakes, leaving the hair soft and shiny.
- Award-winning low-foam shampoo with the Seal of Approval from the National Eczema Association
- Ideal for ultrasensitive skin and suitable for seborrheic dermatitis
- Free of sulfates, fragrances, parabens, and cocamidopropyl betaine
- Appropriate for all hair types, can be used daily
- Although the manufacturer has included phenoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol, it’s explained that they are in concentrations that won’t bother the majority of users
Vanicream Free & Clear
This shampoo is dermatologist-tested and recommended for managing contact dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and other sensitive skin conditions. It’s colorless, odorless, and still manages to make a decent lather. If you use the matching conditioner, it’s creamier than the shampoo and also fragrance-free. We suggest you get the conditioner if you have curly, coarse, or dry hair.
The entire Free & Clear product line is a godsend for anyone dealing with sensitivities as they avoid practically all potential triggers like perfumes, dyes, parabens, sulfates, gluten, and so on.
Specifically, this shampoo is mild enough to use daily and potent enough to treat minor dandruff. It rinses clean and leaves the hair super soft and tangle-free.
The only caveat is if you have keratin-treated hair as the formula contains sodium chloride.
- Dermatologist-tested and recommended for managing eczema, psoriasis, and contact dermatitis
- Fragrance-free and colorless, contains no gluten
- Suitable for all hair types and daily use
- Has a matching conditioner
- Contains salt which could strip keratin-treated hair
Vanicream Free & Clear Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
As you might expect, this shampoo does not contain chemicals like fragrances and masking fragrances, dyes, parabens, formaldehyde releasers, cocamidopropyl betaine, or sulfates. We’ve always been entertained by the fact that the list of ingredients is shorter than the list of components it avoids.
The dermatologist-tested formula is also pH-balanced and gluten-free. The most potent ingredient is the most common over-the-counter anti-dandruff medication: zinc pyrithione 2%.
If you’re dealing with the triple threat of eczema, an itchy scalp, and white snow on your shoulders, this is the shampoo to try. It’s excellent for managing eczema, contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, and plain old dandruff. It may take it a week or two to stamp out the problem, but you can count on the solution.
Reviewers say it leaves the hair perfectly manageable, never over dry. Plus, you can use the Free & Clear conditioner after shampooing.
- Dermatologist-tested and free of sulfates, parabens, fragrances, formaldehyde releasers, gluten, and other irritants
- Treats eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and psoriasis
- Uses 2% zinc pyrithione to relieve itching and flaking
- Leaves hair soft and manageable
- Contains sodium chloride and may not be safe for keratin-treated hair
Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo
At first we hesitated to recommend this seborrheic dermatitis shampoo, but it’s one of the best treatments for an itchy, flaky scalp. Our reluctance stems from the fact that it has SLES, cocamidopropyl betaine, an artificial fragrance, and a potential formaldehyde releaser (DMDM hydantoin). Moreover, the principal active ingredient is coal tar which is not exactly the healthiest thing for humans. Any one of these components could encourage an eczema flare instead of clearing it up.
Still, coal tar is very effective as a dandruff treatment. It begins working immediately and continues relieving symptoms for hours after washing. Furthermore, it only needs to be used once or twice a week.
- Relieves severe itching and flaking from the first use
- Maintains efficacy if used only once or twice a week
- Has a pleasant fragrance even though it contains coal tar
- Effective treatment but loaded with potential triggers like an artificial fragrance and sulfates
No Nothing Very Sensitive Shampoo
This shampoo was developed in Finland in collaboration with the Allergy, Skin, and Asthma Federation. It’s purposefully designed for sensitive scalps and persons with allergies.
The hypoallergenic formula isn’t just unscented, it’s fragrance-free. It has no parabens, formaldehyde releasers, essential oils, or artificial colors, either. We also appreciate the fact that it’s cruelty-free and vegan.
What’s interesting is that it features UV protection to prevent hair color from fading. Unfortunately, it has salt (sodium chloride) which could harm keratin treatments.
Also on the downside, it contains both sulfates and cocamidopropyl betaine. But it counterbalances any drying effects with avocado oil to leave hair silky soft.
Choose from Moisturizing, Volumizing, and Repair versions. Reviewers like all of them, saying that they behave like “normal” shampoo.
- Formulated in collaboration with the Allergy, Skin, and Asthma Federation of Finland
- Hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, contains no parabens, dyes, or formaldehyde releasers
- Safe for color treatments and all hair types
- Offers UV protection against color fading
- Some ingredients of concern – please check the label
Yes, you can enjoy silky soft hair that’s flake-free and manageable. You don’t have to put up with an itchy scalp, either. Switch to one of the best shampoos for eczema and let it work its magic. It may take a week or two to get control of the situation, but hope is in sight.
We hope our reviews helped you find the best solution for your needs today. If you’re having success with your new shampoo, we’d love to hear about it. Feel free to drop us a comment below.
1. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/eczema/eczema-shampoo-how-to-choose by Janie McQueen, published 08 April 2021, accessed 13 October 2021