10 Best Shampoos For Sensitive Skin – How to Take Care of Scalp Tenderness?

Words like “nourishing”, “gentle”, and “chemical-free” are often found on shampoos. But if you are looking for the best shampoo for sensitive skin, you need more than just those words.

You need to take a good look at the ingredients and find a product that has been tested by the FDA or dermatologically and clinically approved.

According to some statistics, more than 60% of women and 40% of men have a sensitive scalp. The reasons can vary from one person to another. But if your skin is sensitive, it can cause tenderness and even pain in the scalp.

With that in mind, let’s look at the causes of scalp tenderness, what can you do to prevent sensitive skin, and what are the products that you can use.

Top 10 products for sensitive scalp skin

Take a look at the list of ten best shampoos for sensitive skin products. 

We’ve compiled this list after extensive research so that you can be comfortable with your choice.

1. Free & Clear Shampoo

Whenever you are looking for the best shampoo for sensitive skin, this product comes on top of that list. The gentle shampoo is also non-medicated and ideal for people with a sensitive scalp.

How does it work? The shampoo cleanses your hair well and makes it easy to manage. In the same time, Free and Clear shampoo prevents flaking and scaling, two symptoms of sensitive skin. As a gluten-free shampoo, it can help control excess sebum secretion and residue build-up.

Thanks to its mild formula, the shampoo can easily eliminate irritants without drying your hair.


  • Mild formula
  • Non-medicated shampoo
  • Prevents flaking and scaling
  • Dermatologically tested


  • Doesn’t soap up well
  • You need to use large amounts of shampoo
  • Can strip your hair of natural oils

2. Sebamed Everyday Shampoo

This shampoo is perfect if you need to balance the pH value of your skin. If you overwash your hair, chances are your pH is imbalanced. And that is the last thing you want to do with a sensitive scalp. With its pH value of 5.5, this shampoo ensures you have a healthy scalp.

Use it on a regular basis, and your scalp will feel comfortable. The non-drying formula can also be used for frequent washings.

Some recommend using a good quality conditioner. If you struggle with your shampoo, and you want baby soft hair, this is the one.


  • Restores pH balance of your hair
  • Results in baby soft hair
  • Non-drying formula


  • Heavy on your hair
  • Some people report dandruff after usage

3. Art Naturals Moroccan Argan-Oil Shampoo

Made with Argan oil, this shampoo will provide a moisturizing effect on your dry skin. Other ingredients include avocado oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, and peach oil. In the same time, there are no parabens or chemicals that can weigh your hair down. In addition to using a shampoo for sensitive skin, you can also use it to reduce dandruff.

Can be used on all hair types, and on both men and women. No matter if you have colored hair or natural color, the shampoo will help.

Thanks to its restorative formula with organic and natural ingredients, the shampoo will also help repair hair damage.


  • Deeply moisturizing
  • Restorative formula with organic ingredients
  • Works on all hair types, and on both men and women


  • The smell can be too strong
  • It can be greasy

4. Puracy Natural Shampoo – Citrus & Mint

The strength of this shampoo is in the balanced formula of cleansers, essential oils, and emollients.

All of the ingredients help cleanse your hair and scalp, and do that without drying it out.

Peppermint and eucalyptus essence adds a hint of freshness to your scalp. And the company claims it uses 99.9% natural ingredients.

Because of the natural ingredients, you can also use to strengthen your weak roots.


  • Hydrates your dry scalp
  • Eliminates frizz and breakage
  • Adds a hint of freshness


  • Can leave your hair greasy
  • Smells more like cologne than citrus and mint

5. Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Green Tea Clarifying Shampoo

Do you want a vegan shampoo for fine hair with green tea extract? This is one of the best in the business. As a sulfate-free and clarifying shampoo, Briogeo Be Gentle will get rid of hair and scalp buildup.

Designed originally for people with oily, fine, thin, and normal hair. But it works as a shampoo for sensitive skin as well. Why? Because it is free of artificial dyes, DEA, and silicones. The formula can even help you get rid of water mineral build-up. Safe to use on relaxed hair and colored hair.

The ingredients list includes green tea extract, palm extract, bamboo extract, and aloe vera.


  • Vegan and gluten-free
  • Eliminate water mineral build-up
  • Safe to use on colored hair


  • Can make your hair dry
  • Does not work on curly hair
  • Not good for frequent washing

6. Cetaphil Baby Wash and Shampoo

The tear-free formula was originally designed to be used on babies and their delicate skin. It can help gently cleanse the skin and hair without drying. But the formula can also be used on adults.

Ingredients like calendula oil helps moisturize your hair. There are no colorants, parabens, mineral oils, and other harmful chemicals. Sadly, there are fragrances that might not be best for some people.

As a tear-free shampoo, it is safe to use on the most delicate skin. The soft and subtle scent is not overpowering. Leaves your hair smelling fresh and clean.


  • Safe for the most delicate skin
  • Smells good
  • Contains calendula


  • Contains fragrances
  • Not certified as organic

7. DHS Clear Shampoo

Designed for people with a sensitive scalp, it can be used for daily cleaning of hair and scalp.

Maintains your skin’s pH value. Use it for a few weeks, and you will notice an improvement in your scalp health.

Without any harsh detergents in the formula, the shampoo ensures there are no scalp issues afterward.

The company also suggests you try the shampoo for issues like dandruff, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis.


  • Can be used for scalp issues like dandruff and psoriasis
  • Lathers nice and smells nice
  • Clears excess oils
  • Maintains the skin’s pH level 


  • Leaves a tingling feeling
  • Too harsh
  • Some people noticed no difference after using

8. Oribe Ultra Gentle Shampoo

Oribe is an award-winning company for hair products. Their motto is “moisture and control for highly textured hair”. And this shampoo delivers that.

The problem is, it is much more expensive than other products on the list.

The ultra-gentle shampoo is made with watermelon, vitamin B5, and other ingredients that deliver moisture and UV protection.

Rich in volumizing ingredients, it can help you build stronger strands. Safe to use on color-treated and keratin-treated hair.


  • Provides UV protection
  • Safe to use on colored and treated hair
  • Super gentle formula


  • Need to use two times more shampoo for washing
  • Consistency is very thin

9. Biotera Hypoallergenic Ultra Gentle Shampoo

An extra-gentle formula, the shampoo can help people who tend to break-out or have allergic reactions to normal shampoos.

There are no fragrances or harmful chemicals in the formula. However, there are some common allergens, including Benzophenone-4.

You can use to minimize flakiness if you are suffering from dandruff issues. Includes natural extracts that can deliver soft hair.

One downside is users have to use a large amount every time they shampoo to ensure a deep cleanse.


  • Contains natural ingredients 
  • Can help with dandruff issues


  • Doesn’t provide volume
  • Contains two of the five common allergens
  • Doesn’t detangle well

10. Tree To Tub Soapberry Shampoo

Now you can finally have soft hair without skin irritation. Many natural shampoos do not contain ingredients that can soothe your skin. Your hair might feel soft, but the trade-off is itchy skin and an overpowering smell.

This organic shampoo strives to deliver the perfect balance. With soapberries in its formula, it can balance the pH of your scalp and clear dandruff. You can also use it to treat psoriasis. And it works as a conditioner at the same time.

In addition, the formula is infused with organic chamomile, olive oil, Argan oil, and aloe vera. All of these ingredients soothe your hair and skin.


  • Helps with dandruff and psoriasis
  • Conditions and shampoos
  • Free of harsh detergents


  • Initially, it can dry out the hair 
  • Doesn’t soap well

What causes scalp tenderness?

As we mentioned previously, the causes of sensitive skin on the scalp can vary from one person to another. But there are general common causes that you can attribute the sensitive skin to.

Those include:

  • Skin disorder, with dermatitis being the most common condition associated with inflammation of the scalp skin. Can be triggered by contact with certain soaps, cosmetics, pollution, laundry detergents, hair products, and even water
  • Infections like folliculitis, carbunculosis, furunculosis, and other infections of the hair follicles that cause scalp sensitivity. In some cases, these infections can even affect the back of the neck and the armpit
  • Fungal infections of the scalp like tinea capitis, and can cause hair loss
  • Infestations, for example, lice
  • Tension headaches can cause scalp pain, and because of the stress, depression, and anxiety, they can lead to sensitivity of your scalp skin
  • Other common causes include sunburn, wind, cold, and heat

How do you know if your scalp is sensitive?

The one question many people ask is how do you know if your scalp is sensitive. Well, all you have to do is look at the signs.

These include itching, flaking, redness, burning sensation, tingling sensation, and tightness of the scalp.

Also, if your scalp is prone to extremes, that means you have sensitive skin. For example, your scalp can be super oily, or super dry.

Irritated scalp can sometimes be a symptom of a much larger problem. Those include scalp diseases like psoriasis, hair loss, folliculitis, and seborrheic dermatitis.

How to take care of sensitive scalp?

There are a couple of ways to take care of your sensitive scalp. But most importantly, you have to pay close attention to the ingredients in the products you are using.

If there are any parabens, phthalates, alcohol, and fragrances, they can all cause a stinging sensation and other uncomfortable reactions.

Other ingredients to pay attention to are sodium laureth sulfate and sodium laurel sulfate, both of which are cleansing agents used in most shampoos.​

Sulfates can dry the skin and hair, and that is why people with sensitive skin should avoid them.

You should also strive to minimize the frequency of washing and shampooing your hair.

Dermatologists say that you can even go a full week without using a shampoo. And if you have sensitive skin, it is absolutely crucial that you do not overwash your hair.

Styling hair is another area to pay attention. Aggressively brushing your hair can further irritate your sensitive skin and cause physical trauma.

Make sure to use styling products that are not problematic as well. Lay off heat styling, for example.

Last, but not least, wear sunscreen, or in this case, a hat to protect your scalp.

Which hypoallergenic shampoo to buy?

We will give you ten options for the best shampoo for sensitive skin. Which one you choose is up to you.

You can benefit from using a hypoallergenic shampoo if:

  • You are allergic to ingredients in normal shampoos
  • You have naturally sensitive skin and scalp
  • Poor quality shampoos can cause breakouts in your scalp
  • You are looking for a fragrance-free shampoo due to migraine problems

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