girl washing hair

Do you know what’s in your shampoo?

There are hundreds of commercial shampoos on the market that are said to relieve dry, itchy scalp. What you don’t know is that many 'anti-itch' and 'dandruff' shampoos feature detergents that could be triggering your scalp issues. This is why it’s important to take notice of the detergents found in your shampoos and learn how to treat scalp conditions. These detergents are found in shampoos which can cause irritation or dry, itchy scalp.

Many 'anti-itch' and 'dandruff' shampoos feature ingredients that could be triggering your scalp issues. 

Sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate

Sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate is a harsh cleaning agent commonly found in commercial shampoos, soaps, and household cleaners. Because it’s a highly concentrated detergent, Sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate could potentially lead to a dry and itchy scalp, and scalp irritations.

Cocamide DEA, TEA, or MEA (monoethanolamine, diethanolamine, and triethanolamine)

Cocamide DEA, TEA, or MEA are harsh chemical foaming agents also found in many commercial soaps, shampoos, body washes, and other cosmetics. These ingredients are categorized as Ethanolamines, which are colorless ammonia chemical compounds used to break down surface tension. This allows soluble and insoluble to become coherent. Similar to sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, Cocamide DEA, TEA, or MEA is also a harsh, drying  agent responsible for itchy scalp and dandruff.

Cocamidopropyl betaine

Similar to Cocamide DEA, TEA, or MEA, Cocamidopropyl betaine is a surfactant-foam booster used in cleansing products for oral care, skin care, and baby and infant care.  It’s the chemical agent used to create more slip and produce a foamy consistency. Contrasting to Sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate and Cocamide DEA, TEA, or MEA, Cocamidopropyl betaine is a chemical derived from coconut oil and mistaken as a safe, natural ingredient. Cocamidopropyl betaine can potentially cause allergic reactions and irritations such as scalp inflammation (dermatitis) and skin rashes.

Consider this if the problem persists:

Here are simple and effective ways to treat your itchy scalp from harsh detergents.

  • Use commercial anti-itch and anti-dandruff shampoos that do not contain sulfates. Look for hypoallergenic shampoos instead.

  • Use naturally calming essential oils such and lavender, chamomile and yarrow.

  • Wash your scarf, bonnet, and pillowcase in gentler soaps and detergents.

  • Consider purchasing a water softener and filter. Washing your hair in hard water can irritate the scalp.

  • Consider taking an allergy test to determine the cause/causes of your itchy scalp

Make your own oil blend to relieve an itchy scalp

Don’t put up with your itchy scalp any longer. Use this DIY recipe to treat your itchy scalp now. You need some jojoba oil, lavender and tea tree essential oils, and an applicator bottle.


1. Mix ¼ cup of jojoba oil with 3 drops of lavender and 3 drops tea tree oil into your applicator bottle.

2. Shake well, and apply to your scalp 2 to 3 times a week.

3. This can be used as a pre-poo treatment on your wash days, or as a scalp refresher in between washes

Do you have a scalp or hair related question? Ask us here in the NaturallyCurly Q&A Section.