i need a shampoo that will wash my hair properly but wont make my scalp itchy.

(72 Posts)
StephenFrySaidSo Wed 28-Aug-13 23:08:16

I've been using tresemme for a few years and have had an itchy scalp for just as long, for a while i put it down to the hair colour i was using so stopped using it but the itch continued. eventually i decided to try another shampoo, so i just lifted the first thing my eyes landed on in asda which was herbal essences, it took the itch away but didn't actually wash my hair properly and took two shampoos each wash and lots of it to even get a lather (my hair is a short bob and i was using about a full palmfull of shampoo!)

so what do i buy now?- I've gone back to tresemme just for the fact that it at least washes the hair but my scalp is sore and itchy again and it's getting unbearable.

Solo Wed 28-Aug-13 23:09:54

T Gel. It worked on my Mum's itchy scalp. It's a bit expensive, but worth it.

WhenDoISleep Wed 28-Aug-13 23:12:15

This is excellent.

Maverick66 Wed 28-Aug-13 23:17:30

I would recommend Philip Kingsley flaky itchy scalp range which you can get on QVC Amazon and some salons. Larger Marks and Spencer's also stock it. It is pricey but like you my scalp itches after I get a colour done and I use Philip Kingsly itchy scalp toner very soothing Oilatum also make a great shampoo. In meantime if itch driving you crazy try taking an antihistamine. Also check your cycle and see does this itch appear at same time each month could be hormonal .

PoppyWearer Wed 28-Aug-13 23:21:40

T Gel.

Or the GP can prescribe something.

karinmaria Wed 28-Aug-13 23:23:42

Brands like Tresemme, Herbal Essences, Fructis, Pantene etc all have silicone in them which is probably why your hair doesn't feel clean. I'd steer clear of most cheap branded shampoos in that vein.

The shampoos suggested are all good. Also might be worth trying one recommended by a hairdresser like Redken or Kerastase (yes, both made by the giant that is L'Oreal, as is Fructis, but with different ingredients).

Maybe give baby shampoo a go for your scalp? I'm using the Boots own brand baby shampoo followed by a Tigi conditioner at the moment. Has solved my itchy scalp and very tangly hair!

StephenFrySaidSo Wed 28-Aug-13 23:36:02

thank you all- great advice about trying antihistamine aswell.

i'll try baby shampoo and see how i get on, if that doesn't work i'll work my way through all your suggestions.

valiumredhead Wed 28-Aug-13 23:41:35

You need Loreal shampoo, dark blue bottle with orange lid, available in boots.

Fraxinus Wed 28-Aug-13 23:44:01

Eucerin shampoo for dry itchy scalps. Fab stuff.

Maverick66 Wed 28-Aug-13 23:44:06

ASDA do a lovely own brand range of baby shampoo etc which are hypoallergenic I think it's called " little angel" their liquid talc is brilliant also I use cetrozine not loratodine antihistamine just buy it in one of the pound shops usually in a blue box.

ArtexMonkey Wed 28-Aug-13 23:53:04

You don't need shampoo. I have hair down below my bra strap, I haven't used shampoo since may, and it is perfectly clean.

ArtexMonkey Wed 28-Aug-13 23:55:48

I should add, I suppose, that 'hair below my bra strap' refers to the length of my head hair, not the location of some weird mutant werewolf type hair.

StephenFrySaidSo Wed 28-Aug-13 23:58:36

grin artex!

what do you use? i have tried bicarb and ACV in the past and stuck it out for about 9 months but honestly my hair never felt properly clean in all that time.

LeoandBoosmum Thu 29-Aug-13 00:01:12

This Phyto one I was looking at on lookfantastic.com has good reviews from those with flaky, itchy or sensitive scalps

Want2bSupermum Thu 29-Aug-13 00:12:48

tresemme kills my scalp. I buy the huge tubs of paul mitchell shampoo & conditioner. Here in the US it is 2 for $38 and if you buy after thanksgiving you get 20% off at our local supercuts. This lasts me 18 months.

When visiting in the UK I use aussie or neutrogena for normal hair (get it on amazon).

Want2bSupermum Thu 29-Aug-13 00:15:06

Forgot to add that I double shampoo (shampoo, rinse and shampoo again) and wash my hair every other day. If I wash every third day during the summer months I start to get flaking again because it is so damn humid here.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Thu 29-Aug-13 00:16:27

I use Dead Sea Salt Mineral shampoo, plus their Scalp Mud.
I like the look of the Oregon one - might try that as I think it's good to change every so often.

Have also tried the Phyto one which was good once I twigged you needed a generous dollop to get a good lather!

I did try the no poo method for a few months, until I developed a painful cyst/boil thing on my hairline. Not for me.

StephenFrySaidSo Thu 29-Aug-13 00:49:54

that phyto one is quite expensive- a bit hmm to hear you need a big dollop for it to work! i think i'll try the baby shampoo first grin

i would love to be able to say the no poo worked for me but it just didn't and i messed around with quantities etc but no joy.

goodasitgets Thu 29-Aug-13 01:29:56

Body shop ginger shampoo is great

Themarriedwoman Thu 29-Aug-13 02:04:25

Try SLS (sodium laurel sulphate) free shampoos. They make my head itch. I am not in the UK so can't recommend a particular brand but check the ingredients. Baby shampoos always seem to contain SLS, organic or natural shampoos are better.

Mominatrix Thu 29-Aug-13 06:33:25

Matrix Biolage Scalp Therapy shampoo - smells fabulous, too.

ArtexMonkey Thu 29-Aug-13 09:05:53

Ah, I'm no pooing, sometimes I use bicarb and acv, sometimes I just wash with conditioner, sometimes I use very very dilute Castile soap mixed with coconut milk for lather.it's not for everyone though I agree.

Dh gets a very sore flaky itchy head, with ormal shampoo, he uses selsun shampoo from the chemist, it's for sebhorrheic dermatitis whatever that is.

milktraylady Thu 29-Aug-13 09:18:33

Noone has mentioned green people brand yet. I recommend you give them a go.
You need to avoid sodium laureth sulphate (SLS) as its this that makes your skin itch.
It is a lathering agent, that is also an irritant to some people.

A new loreal brand is SLS free "ever rich" and "ever pure", you can get it in big boots.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Thu 29-Aug-13 10:02:04

Selsun - I think I used to use that successfully when my flakiness got particularly bad. Had forgotten its name.

GobblersKnob Thu 29-Aug-13 10:14:03

Lush Karma bar, my scalp never itches now and it makes my hair all shiny and swishy.

StephenFrySaidSo Thu 29-Aug-13 10:28:58

oh thank you all- loads to try now! grin

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 29-Aug-13 11:14:40

T-Gel is great if you have an itchy, flaky scalp.

I use Aveda. Not as expensive as you might imagine, a litre bottle costs me about £25-30 ordered online and delivered, and lasts for a year.

Whitecat Thu 29-Aug-13 11:32:58

Ditch the SLS in shampoo and silicone in conditioner.

You'll probably need to shampoo with a clarifying shampoo to strip the silicones out and then don't use any again. You'll probably notice lots of split ends because the silicone is not slicking your hair down. Get the ends cut off and start afresh with less harsh shampoo and conditioner that improves your hair rather than putting a bonding agent on it.

Naked from boots is easily available and there have been lots of good suggestions up thread. Once your start looking you'll find loads of good SLS and silicone free products.

You'll probably find you don't need to wash you hair as much too.

TerribleTantrums Thu 29-Aug-13 11:39:07

I agree about avoiding SLS, cutting them out of my shampoo and shower gel has cut out almost all the itchiness. I use Aveda shampoo (like Alibaba says it's goes a long way so doesn't work out that expensive) use a smaller amount than you think you need, you can always add a little more if it doesn't lather enough. I use Aussie conditioner, I've tried loads of different and more expensive ones but Aussie does the job the best.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Thu 29-Aug-13 12:50:10

The other thing that can cause itchiness ime is the styling spray/mousse you use (if you use it). Weirdly, I find V05 spray is ok, but I've tried some 'green' products that have me itching like mad.
Would like to find a more ethical alternative but have drawn a blank so far - can't find anything that both makes my hair easier to style and nourishes my scalp.

StephenFrySaidSo Thu 29-Aug-13 15:37:14

good point about the styling products! that is probably part guilty for the itch aswell.

I went today and got T-gel- the one for seborhaeoic (sorry I know that isn't the right spelling) skin and the aussie hair conditioner.

I also looked at the ingredients list on both the asda little angels baby shampoo and the johnsons baby shampoo and both have SLS so I gave them the swerve.

AgathaF Thu 29-Aug-13 18:34:45

Silicones, SLS and parabens all make my head and back itch. Bodyshop do a rainforest range that is free of them. Lots of different makes available on the web too.

PipkinsPal Thu 29-Aug-13 18:35:35

Nizoral to get rid of the itchiness.

ArtexMonkey Fri 30-Aug-13 11:09:26

How do you style your hair Shotgun? Is it curly or straight? I have seen recommendations for homemade flaxseed hair gel as like a curl clumping/texturey thing, and to that end I bought some flaxseeds off tinternet a bit back, a massive big bag (but haven't tried it yet) I could post you some if you really want.

ArtexMonkey Fri 30-Aug-13 11:10:49

third recipe here for flaxseed whatnot.

StephenFrySaidSo Fri 30-Aug-13 11:51:27

Tgel stinks grin and it feels horrible on my hair but I suppose that's the lack of silicones and SLS. I did have to lather twice! i'm now starting to wonder if the water supply to my house has changed or something as prior to the last few months I had no problem getting a really good lather with only a small blob of shampoo even when my hair was waistlength!

ArtexMonkey Fri 30-Aug-13 11:55:04

Have you got scaly stuff in your showerhead? Give that a right good clean, see if it helps.

ouryve Fri 30-Aug-13 12:01:47

The t-gel with the salicylic acid, rather than the coal tar is the one to go for to sort out a flaky scalp. It smells of nothing and gently dissolves away the flakes and the grease that's sticking them to your scalp. I always have some to hand. Happy hair days is quite gentle, but cleans well. Lather isn't essential for the shampoo to clean your hair - that's often just down to foaming agents, anyhow.

I don't use the t-gel as much as I use to (I have really short hair, now, which doesn't get so scurfy) but when I used it regularly, I used it a couple of times a week - I'd do the first wash with it, leave it on for 2-3 minutes, rinse it out and then use my normal shampoo and conditioner to finish my hair, so it didn't end up feeling so dry.

StephenFrySaidSo Fri 30-Aug-13 12:06:32

good call artex i'll give it a soak in some vinegar tonight.

thank ourvye- I've bought the coal tar one so will try the other one.

valiumredhead Fri 30-Aug-13 14:24:12

Just be careful with the Aussie range-makes me want to rip my scalp off! T gel is good though.

StephenFrySaidSo Fri 30-Aug-13 16:13:11

ooh really valium? even the conditioner? I don't put it on my roots.

valiumredhead Fri 30-Aug-13 16:16:18

I have to be as careful with conditioner as I do shampoo, even putting it on the ends results in me scratching. I use the Loreal conditioner for coloured hair, red bottle.

StephenFrySaidSo Fri 30-Aug-13 16:22:24

thanks valium- I will keep a watch out for that.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Fri 30-Aug-13 23:53:27

Artex I just use the styling spray plus a few drops of argan oil, then blow dry. It's straight I suppose, but I try and inject a bit of volume and movement into it.
Thanks for the flaxseed offer - I actually have some, and would you believe, made the gel a few years ago, mainly for DS who was then 12 and starting to want to style his hair. Can't remember if I tried it on myself, though, so I should probably get onto that next.

I do think diet can have an effect on the skin/scalp as well; have you considered that as a possible cause op? Hard to determine what the culprits might be (and if you can avoid it by changing products U'd stick with that), but dairy (afair ) is one of the main suspects.

TheBeanAndTheBee Sat 31-Aug-13 07:47:50

Tresemme is the devils work! Had the worst silicone build up. I threw away the rest of the bottle and am now back on redken. Using the cleansing cream shampoo which has got rid of that nasty greasy itchy build up.

StephenFrySaidSo Sun 01-Sep-13 01:06:13

Head has started itching again. Hair was washed yesterday with tgel and aussie conditioner. I'll try tomorrow with just tgel and no conditioner and see if that makes a difference. I am due on though so maybe thats whats causing it? Will have to start noting down when this happens to see if its hormonal.

wrigglebum Sun 01-Sep-13 07:57:52

I suffered for years with a chronically itchy and flaky scalp. Went silicone free and it is so, so much better.

I wash with Tresemme Naturals conditioner (and very occasionally the shampoo) and scrub my scalp with the Denman shampoo brush as I do. Coconut oil on the ends and Naked leave in conditioner and styling products.

My hair and scalp always feel clean after a conditioner wash.

RaspberrySchnapps Sun 01-Sep-13 08:16:56

I switched to Green People vitamin shampoo and conditioner for the same itchy/mild eczema reason. it's excellent.

I think the vast majority of what is available in big supermarkets/chemists contains nasties, despite what it says on their clever marketing.

valiumredhead Sun 01-Sep-13 08:24:06

Leave the t gel on for as long as you can,I wrap mine up in a towel for 20 mins then wash and rinse again.

Philip Kingsley here. Have been using it for about3 years now and will never stray. You can buy1 litrebottlesdrom JL. It really is a miracle and got rid of DH's dandruff too.

StephenFrySaidSo Sun 01-Sep-13 11:57:10

thank you- im not going anywhere today so can leave the tgel on for a good while.

I've also tried cocnut oil in the past but couldn't get to grips with the right amounts or when to apply it.

StephenFrySaidSo Sun 01-Sep-13 11:59:13


i'm now getting ads along the side for SLS free products and seborrheic dermatitis oil!

Sleepyfergus Sun 01-Sep-13 12:07:19

Try Happy Hair Days shampoo/conditioner. Only sold in large Sainsburys though (as far as I am aware) and often on 2 for £5 offer. They are paraben and SLS free. The moisturising ginger and pomegranate is lush, lathers nicely and the smell lingers throughout the day (in a nice way iykwim!)

Noggie Sun 01-Sep-13 12:40:40

T gel sensitive has worked wonders on my itchy flaky scalpsmile

valiumredhead Sun 01-Sep-13 12:42:56

SLS free did nothing for me at all.

Pancakeflipper Sun 01-Sep-13 12:47:10

I second the Happy shampoo at Sainsburys.

I have a bathroom full of half used expensive stuff and this is the one I find reduces the itching. Apparently the conditioner has the SL thingies in it - so I was told.

I use a macadamia oil for conditioner ( I have dry wavy hair).

MoreThanWords Sun 01-Sep-13 12:55:25

Does anyone else find their itchy scalp is seasonal? Mine was horrendous at Easter time, clear all summer and is now getting scabby again. It really gets me down. I must have spent over £60 on all different shampoos and oils but I think it just clears up when it's ready confused

Pancakeflipper Sun 01-Sep-13 13:09:51

Yes between Feb and April it was driving me bonkers. It was so sore I couldn't go to the hairdressers for little scabs on my scalp.

MoreThanWords Sun 01-Sep-13 13:28:34

I would love to do something as drastic as shaving it all off just to sort it out with cream or whatever - I have thick hair and its the devils own job to get stuff through to the scalp. Trying cider vinegar at the mo and REALLY trying not to look for/pick at the scabby bits. Sorry, that sounds disgusting confused

Are you sure it's not the styling products you're using rather than shampoo and conditioner?

StephenFrySaidSo Sun 01-Sep-13 13:35:56

tbh i don't really use styling products. i used to use a heat protectant and a shine spray and also hairspray but I've stopped all that. for about 2 years i stopped even blowdrying my hair and i was using bicarb and ACV aswell but my hair just never flt clean and looked hideous tbh.

i will persevere with tgel and no conditioner and no styling products and see how i get on.

I always use t-gel when mine flares up by the way. You might need to use it a few times before it calms down.

StephenFrySaidSo Sun 01-Sep-13 13:40:47

thanks curly- that's good to know.

also- usually only wash my hair every 2-3 days- should i be doing it more often or less often? i don't think i could leave it longer- it gets really sore and itchy- and greasy.

GobblersKnob Sun 01-Sep-13 13:41:58

I LOVED the Happy Hair Days range, and recommended it on here, but after a while that started to make me itch too, on checking and googling the ingredients I found it has methylchloroisothiazolinone in, which is apparently a well known allergen.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Sun 01-Sep-13 14:10:44

One thing that's just come back to me and has worked for me in the past - use olive oil overnight. Apply it to the dry scalp, protect your pillow with a folded towel, then wash out next morning. You need loads of shampoo applied to the dry hair - don't wet it first!

Or you can wrap cling film and a towel around your head and wash out after an hour or so.

I know it's yet another thing in a long list to try, but at least if it dosn't work you won't have forked out hard cash to try it out! Gives you loads of volume as well.

StephenFrySaidSo Sun 01-Sep-13 14:13:37

ok so olive oil on scalp overnight. in morning apply lots of (which?) shampoo to DRY hair and then rinse out with water?

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Sun 01-Sep-13 17:40:10

Yes - well the shampoo I like is the Dead Sea Minerals one I mentioned upthread - but whatever one you're trying I suppose. I usually have to repeat the wash after rinsing.

StephenFrySaidSo Sun 01-Sep-13 17:47:57

that's great shotgun- thank you- i'm going to do it this evening.

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Sun 01-Sep-13 22:05:45

you need loreal navy bottle with orange lid with active selenium same stuff as selsun but only £4 a bottle. leaves my hair squeaky clean and scalp isn't itchy or flakey at all. smile

PickleTheWeasel Sun 01-Sep-13 22:28:38

I find coconut oil on my scalp overnight works really well (same method as mentioned up thread with olive oil) at getting rid of a dry scalp.

Also the Organix brand shampoo and conditioner (can buy in Boots, Waitrose, Superdrug etc) has no parabens or SLS or petrochemicals and has been helping for me.

I started using it a week ago after having been using a lush shampoo bar (which I discovered has SLS in it) and its making my scalp feel much better.

hugoagogo Sun 01-Sep-13 22:39:43

Tgel is crap.

Try allergenics it is reasonably priced, smells ok and sorted out my itchy head and scabby eyebrows when I was pregnant.

valiumredhead Sun 01-Sep-13 23:56:21

A lovely bunch-that'd the only thing apart from t gel that had worked in 20 years! I love the stuff and it's nice for your hair too. Completely itch and flake free!!

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