Best Shampoo for Scalp Acne

These 7 Best Shampoos for Scalp Acne Will Get Rid of These Pesky Zits

Those who have never had acne on their scalp should thank their lucky stars. Even if you have cystic acne on the face, having zits on your scalp is still worse. Why? For one, it’s easy to forget that they’re there. Some won’t even know that they had a breakout until they brush their locks and experience the shooting pains that come with zits being touched.

Two, they’re quite hard to treat. The scalp is a great place for bad bacteria to live in as they have lots of food there. As not everyone washes their hair daily, the excess oil and dead skin cell aren’t removed very often so the bacteria feed on them. This allows them to live healthily while you suffer from the consequences of having scalp acne.

Because not everyone can just remove or shave their hair to clear out the problem area, it’s imperative to find other solutions. Fortunately, the best shampoo for scalp acne can address this issue easily. With their help, you can treat, manage, and prevent scalp acne from coming back.

How do you find the best shampoo for acne prone scalp? Below are some shampoo for scalp acne reviews and tips that you can use to find your right match. Make sure to read all the way through as the information available in this article can really come in handy for lots of acne sufferers.

Our Top Rated Shampoo for Scalp Acne

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    Helps soften hair without leaving a dry scalp
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    Helps get rid of acne and prevents future breakouts
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    Gentle formula without any synthetic and harmful chemicals

Best Shampoos for Scalp Acne on the Market

Product
Sensitivity
Our Rating
Tree to Tub Organic Shampoo For Dry Hair



Hypoallergenic but scented
5.0
Neutrogena T/Sal Shampoo



Alcohol and fragrance free/center>
4.5
Maple Holistics Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo



Hypoallergenic but scented
4.5
Honeydew Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner with Tea Tree Oil



Scented
4.5
OM Botanical Organic ANTIFUNGAL Full Body Wash and Shampoo



Reviewed not to irritate sensitive skin
4.0
Whamisa Organic Seeds Hair Shampoo for Dry Scalp



Contains soy
4.0
Honeydew Volumizing Shampoo for Dandruff & Hair Loss



Free of harmful ingredients and chemicals
4.0

Buying Guide

Where should you start your search for the best shampoo for acne in the scalp? It’s always best to know what you should look for in a product before you actually start comparing items. So, for this, we’ve listed down a few tips and things to look for when shopping for a shampoo for your scalp breakouts.

Look for the right ingredients.

Like in any skin and hair care products, you have to be very particular with the ingredients in your anti-acne shampoo. If you want it to work as a treatment for your condition, it needs to have the right contents to get the job done.

Luckily, you won’t run out of options when it comes to acne-fighting ingredients. Everything that works on your face will also work on your scalp. You just can’t use them as a spot treatment because of your hair is in the way. Shampoos that have these ingredients, however, will help you manage your condition effectively:

  • Tea tree oil
  • Salicylic acid
  • Glycolic acid
  • Ketoconazole
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Ciclopirox

All of these have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties so they can all help deal with the possible causes of your scalp acne. However, just like on your face, some might not work on you. This is why it’s also important to know which ones work for you best and which ones to skip.

Consider your hair health, too.

There are lots of shampoos designed for scalp acne but the best medicated shampoo for scalp acne might also dry out your hair. This can be an ugly consequence of treating your scalp. It doesn’t mean, however, that you should settle with stringy, unmanageable, and dead-looking locks. You also have to keep your tresses healthy and beautiful.

Opting for mild shampoo formulations is something you can do to achieve this. Not a lot of people know that shampoos can be too heavy, resulting in clogged pores on the scalp. This can then cause acne, leaving you with a painful and bumpy head. A mild shampoo that can still wash away natural oils will be your best bet to prevent and manage scalp acne without damaging your locks.

Pairing your shampoo with a nourishing conditioner helps, too. Just make sure not to apply this product on your scalp, though. Doing so will prevent your delicate scalp from getting irritated by the formulation of conditioners. These products are only meant to be used for the ends of your hair anyway, so it’s best to do that instead.

Avoid shampoos with high oil content.

Oil can easily clog your pores so it’s not the best addition to your shampoo if you’re already struggling with scalp acne. While your condition might be caused entirely by other factors, you still shouldn’t make the situation worse by using a product that can trigger another breakout.

Once you find the best shampoo for acne on scalp, you should also make sure to use it properly. Thorough and frequent hair washing is recommended if you want the zits gone immediately. Unfortunately, that can damage your hair, so you might also have to step up your hair care game.

Using other tools like a hair steamer and techniques like massaging would also come in handy when treating scalp acne. These might not have anything to do directly with the condition, but as it can mitigate the side effect of the treatment process, you should still give them a try.

Product Reviews

To help you get started on finding the best shampoo for dandruff and scalp acne, here are seven shampoo for scalp acne reviews that you might find interesting:

Starting this roundup is the Tree to Tub Organic Shampoo For Dry Hair. Best known for its use of soapberry to gently cleanse the skin, this product addresses a concern other natural shampoos don’t.

It’s no secret that a lot of natural shampoos only care about cleaning your locks. There are tons of people who experienced dry scalp after switching to these eco-friendly options. In some cases, they don’t just get flaky skin as a result but they also get breakouts from time to time.

The Tree to Tub shampoo addresses this problem by being gentle on your skin. This cleanser won’t just clean your hair but care for your scalp as well. How? The soapberry base provides a potent cleaning agent while the aloe vera, chamomile and olive leaves, as well as argan oil hydrates and moisturizes the scalp. This results in soft, clean, shiny, and healthy hair and healthy scalp.

Available in three variations, you can also choose how you want your hair to smell like. Peppermint offers a clean and fresh feeling while the lavender can help soothe and calm you down. There’s also an unscented option so if you’re sensitive to fragrance, even those from natural sources, this can be a solid pick for you.

Things We Liked

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    Available in 3 variants
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    Lathers even without using synthetic ingredients
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    Formulated to care for your scalp while cleaning your locks

Things We Didn't Like

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    Slightly pricey but as it does not contain chemicals, its price can be easily justified

The Neutrogena T/Sal Shampoo is probably one of the most popular medicated shampoos on the market today. This is why it shouldn’t be surprising to find this product on this list of the top-rated shampoos for scalp acne. Its formula is proven effective by thousands of users worldwide, making it a solid pick for those who want their scalp acne gone.

What makes this product work is its potent salicylic acid content. It has 3% of the said ingredient which makes it powerful enough to reduce the inflammation of your zits and speed up its healing.

Aside from salicylic acid, this shampoo doesn’t have a lot of other ingredients. This is intentionally done to ensure its mildness and minimize the odds of adding a potential irritant to the mix. It might not be the best natural shampoo for scalp acne but as not all chemicals are bad for you anyway, this can still be a solid pick for lots of acne sufferers.

Clinically proven to be effective, this product also works even after rinsing the product off. This guarantees that it will work to heal your scalp breakouts without a fuss.

Things We Liked

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    Contains 3% salicylic acid which offers a potent cure for acne
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    Also works for seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis
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    Dermatologist recommended

Things We Didn't Like

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    Color-treated hair might need additional conditioning when this product is used

Offering a natural alternative to the T/Sal shampoo is the Maple Holistics Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo. Instead of using salicylic acid and a bunch of synthetic ingredients, this one utilizes the power of tea tree oil, other essential oils, and a variety of natural ingredients.

Tea tree oil, as lots of people know, is a particularly potent ingredient against acne. It has antimicrobial, antiseptic, antibacterial, and antiviral properties that can help kill the causes of your breakouts, heal the inflammation, and prevent acne altogether. Unlike synthetic acne treatments, it’s also non-carcinogenic so you can be sure that it’s safe to use.

Combined with plant extracts, it promises to nourish your hair and scalp as well. This can guarantee that it won’t leave your locks stringy and dead-looking after a few times of use.

The addition of vitamins and essential oils can also help boost your skin and hair’s moisture. So if you want to treat your scalp from acne, dandruff, or itchiness but still want it to look lustrous and soft, this shampoo can be a good pick.

On top of curing your acne, this product can also keep lice away. Tea tree is also capable of keeping these parasites at bay as they hate the scent.

Things We Liked

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    Hypoallergenic and free of parabens and sulfates
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    Safe for color-treated hair
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    Cruelty-free
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    Formulated to care for your locks

Things We Didn't Like

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    Slightly pricier than others on this list but as it serves various functions, the price can be easily justified

Those who are battling with various skin and hair issues should check out the Honeydew Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner with Tea Tree Oil. This set is designed to care for your scalp and hair in various ways so it can be everything you need to clean, nourish, and protect your locks.

What can this product do? It offers three ways to care for your locks.

For starters, it can clean your hair and scalp thoroughly. The shampoo contains tea tree oil so it can help kill harmful bacteria and help clear your acne. It also has aloe vera so it can also soothe and heal inflammations easily.

Its aloe vera content is also said to be helpful in stimulating hair growth. So if you’re struggling with thinning hair, this shampoo can be a good pick for you.

This product is also designed to help prevent lice in kids. It’s tea tree oil, menthol, rosemary, and lavender content can all keep lice away as these parasites hate these ingredients. Its gentle formulation also won’t damage your child’s sensitive skin, hair, and scalp, so it can be a handy choice for a lot of parents.

The conditioner, on the other hand, is very useful as well. It’s packed with great ingredients that are highly moisturizing, so you don’t have to worry about your locks looking frail, dry, and damaged with this product.

What makes it even more attractive is the fact that it can be a practical pick for your household. With its versatility, it can be used by everyone despite having different hair woes. You can all just use this bundle and solve all of your scalp and hair problems in one go.

Things We Liked

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    Sold as a set which makes it a convenient pick
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    Serves multiple functions to keep your hair and scalp healthy
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    Practical pick

Things We Didn't Like

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    Some folks don't find the conditioner to be as moisturizing as they want but it works well for others

At first glance, you won’t instantly expect that the OM Botanical Organic ANTIFUNGAL Full Body Wash and Shampoo is a product for your hair. It says “body wash” in the bottle, so some people tend to miss out on what it can offer for their scalp and locks.

Its all-natural composition promises to help manage various skin woes. These include body odor, eczema, jock’s itch, athlete’s foot, ringworm, and body acne. Made of all-natural ingredients, it also promises not to harm your skin.

What makes it a great choice for the best shampoo for itchy scalp acne is its use of neem and tea tree oil. As mentioned above, tea tree oil has potent antibacterial properties that help cure inflammations.

Neem, on the other hand, is a natural astringent. It also contains salicylic acid and bio-flavonoids, promising to heal inflammations as well as lighten and smoothen scars. Combined with a series of skin nourishing ingredients like olive oil, aloe vera, peppermint oil, and clove oil, it can also nourish your hair and scalp.

Things We Liked

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    Can work as a head to toe wash
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    Contains potent antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic ingredients
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    Doesn't irritate sensitive skin

Things We Didn't Like

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    Some people found the scent off-putting at first but got used to it later on

K-beauty enthusiasts know that Whamisa is one of the mid-range brands that offer great results at a price. This is why they’re so popular not just in South Korea but in the West as well. The Whamisa Organic Seeds Hair Shampoo for Dry Scalp is another offering of theirs that gained a lot of buzz.

With aloe maculata leaf and apple extracts, hordeum vulgare seed extract, menthol, peppermint oil and soybean ferment filtrate, this shampoo promises to moisturize your scalp and hair nicely. This allows it to be considered as one of the best shampoos for scalp acne by users. It approaches dry scalp and scalp acne by providing hydration and nourishment, so it can work effectively.

Another great draw of this product is that it’s certified to be safe. It’s BDIH certified and EWG Verified™ so you can be certain that it has been tested by experts and proven to be capable of delivering their claims.

Things We Liked

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    Safe to use for pregnant women
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    Gentle and nourishing formulation
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    Will help control oil production and moisturize your scalp

Things We Didn't Like

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    Contains soy but if you're not allergic, there won't be any problems

Dry scalp often results in limp and lifeless locks. This is why choosing a shampoo that can address both is essential. The Honeydew Volumizing Shampoo for Dandruff & Hair Loss promises to do just that, though.

With tea tree oil, this product helps heal and soothe inflammations. This ingredient can kill bacteria that cause acne breakouts and soothe the damaged skin to help it heal. Combined with premium peppermint oil, it can nourish your scalp with vitamins A and C. It also has Omega-3 fatty acids so it can further moisturize your delicate scalp.

Thanks to this formulation, this product can also keep away lice and stimulate hair growth. So if you have several scalp and hair issues that you want to deal with efficiently, this product might just do the trick.

Things We Liked

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    Can address various scalp problems
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    Clearing and nourishing your scalp
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    Free of harmful ingredients and chemicals

Things We Didn't Like

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    Can be a bit pricey but its performance can justify its price tag

About the Author Samantha Brown

Growing up as a kid who played outside, Samantha enjoys an active lifestyle and emphasizes health as a key component to her life. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with others so that anybody can live a healthy life. On the weekends, you can find her hiking around Southern California!

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