best shampoos for scalp conditions

There are a variety of products available at drugstores and beauty supply stores to help control dandruff and reduce itch, inflammation, excess oil production, and other symptoms associated with scalp conditions.

Sometimes a scalp condition can occur because of a specific allergic reaction to an ingredient in one of the hair products you are using. Use a process of elimination and stop using products you use repeatedly one at a time to pinpoint which product could be responsible.

When you are searching for a product to help treat your dandruff problem, make sure you know what ingredients will help control your symptoms.


Antiseptics prevent infection. In anti-dandruff shampoos they are used to help retard or stop the growth of fungus and yeast associated with dandruff and severe cases of scaly problems like seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.

Examples of antiseptics found in shampoos to treat dandruff are selenium sulfide, salicylic acid, pyrithione  zinc, sulphur iodine, ketoconazole, and hydrogen peroxide.

Shampoos with antiseptic ingredients:


According to Cleveland Clinic, “pruritus or itch is defined as an unpleasant sensation of the skin that provokes the urge to scratch.” Many people who suffer with scalp problems complain of having an itchy scalp. It is recommended to avoid scratching the scalp so your scalp will not be inflamed or get infected. An antipruritic can help soothe the scalp and reduce the need to itch. They are found in shampoos, lotions, creams, and lotions for the scalp. An antipruritic leaves the scalp feeling cool. Camphor, coal tar, menthol, and eucalyptus are all antipruritic.

  • Therapeutic Denorex Maximum Itch Relief has 1.8% coal tar and 1.5% menthol to relieve constant itchy scalp. It is a shampoo and conditioner in one.
  • Scalpicin Maximum Strength Liquid Scalp Itch Treatment claims to help “temporarily relieve itching associated with minor skin irritation and rashes due to seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.” Scalpicin has 1% hydrocortisone alcohol to reduce itching, glycerin to moisturize a dry, tight scalp and help soften flakes, and menthyl lactate, which is a derivative of menthol used as a cooling agent in hair and skin care products.


Keratolytics aid in the normal desquamation process of the skin.  Desquamation is the natural process of skin shedding of the epidermis. When this natural process takes place at a rapid rate like psoriasis, coal tar, sulphur, and salicylic acid can help with the process of flake removal from the hair and scalp.

  • Extra Strength Denorex has 3% salicylic acid to help control buildup on the scalp and remove scales from dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. Extra Strength Denorex helps reduce itching. This product is a shampoo and conditioner in one.