Top 5 Best Shampoo For Scalp Acne 2021 – All You Need To Know

Best Shampoo For Scalp Acne

"Best shampoo for scalp acne". Scalp acne is most probably one of the worst scalp conditions any one can ever have. It’s like you have a little dirty secret that you are too embarrassed to let people know. In fact, you may be scared to go to the salon out of fear that the stylist might see what is happening to your scalp.

Yes, this condition may be bad, but you should not let it control you or your life. It may seem impossible but there are actually plenty of treatments that you can use for this scalp condition, and the best and most effective one is using the best shampoo for scalp acne.

But how would you know which one is the most suitable for you? Well, this buying article will tell you everything you need to know!


What Is Scalp Acne? Everything You Need To Know!

Scalp acne is a condition which is characterized by red bumps, itchy pustules, and matting of the hair. In severe cases, oozing and crusting of the bumps and pustules may also take place. When left untreated, it may result in scarring and bald patches.

There are three factors that lead to the development of scalp acne—excessive sebum production, blocked pores, and inflammation. The overactive sebaceous glands produce excessive amounts of oil the which block the pores in the scalp. Due to the blockage, the hair follicle gets enlarged, forming a little bump which ruptures over time, permitting the bacteria to reach the tissues, causing inflammation.

What To Look For In Shampoo For Scalp Acne

Best Shampoo For Scalp Acne

There are plenty of ways on how to get rid of scalp acne. As mentioned above, the best treatment for scalp acne is using a tube of shampoo that is specially designed for this condition. But what exactly should you look for when buying a scalp acne shampoo? Well, we suggest that you check out the ingredients label and look for the following substances:

1. Salicylic Acid

If this ingredient sounds familiar to you, it may be because this ingredient is found in most acne treatments because it can help exfoliate the skin (in your case, the scalp) which loosens up the dead skin cells, removing the blockage from your pores.

2. Tea Tree Oil

This is probably one of the best ingredients to fight acne. This oil is completely natural and has amazing antibacterial properties. Aside from preventing the acne from getting worse, it also does not contain any harmful chemicals which minimize the risk of skin irritation and excessive oil production.

3. Zinc

Shampoos containing zinc have risen to popularity because of its effectiveness in treating a wide array of scalp conditions. It does so by regulating the amount of sebum that is produced by the sebaceous glands. In addition to that, zinc can also unclog the hair follicles and prevent the irritation and inflammation of the scalp.

What To Avoid In A Shampoo For Scalp Acne

Keep in mind that not all scalp acne shampoos are created equal. If there are some things to look for in a scalp acne shampoo, there are also some things that you should definitely avoid.

When choosing a shampoo for scalp acne, you should avoid the one that is oily and too heavy for your scalp as it can increase the chance of having blocked pores, aggravating the condition instead of treating it.

To make sure that the shampoo will not produce too much oil, you should opt for a shampoo that is formulated for sensitive scalp because you are assured that it is gentle and light.

One ingredient to avoid is benzoyl peroxide. While this is the main ingredient in most acne products, it is not recommended for use in scalp because it tends to lighten the hair color.

Additional Tips On Treating Scalp Acne

In addition to choosing the right shampoo for scalp acne, there are also other treatment tips that you should know about:

1. Condition only the ends of your hair.

Hair conditioners are formulated to give your hair the extra moisture that it needs. But if you have acne, the added moisture may be a bit too much for your acne-infected scalp. Because of this, it is recommended that you apply conditioner only to the ends of hair and you should do so only when needed.

2. Avoid wearing hats.

It is natural for our scalp to produce oil. However, too much of it can lead to clogged pores and ultimately, acne scalp. The use of hats can cause the oil to accumulate in certain parts of the scalp so you should limit your use of them. You should also avoid hairstyles, like braids and too tight ponytails, as they tend to promote oil build up too.

3. Brush your hair on a regular basis.

Brushing the hair allows you to evenly distribute the oil to your hair strands which can minimize the clogging of pores. In addition to that, it can also promote the health of your hair.

For more ideas on how to get rid of scalp acne, please watch this video:

Best Shampoo For Scalp Acne Reviews

When it comes to treating scalp acne, there are plenty of shampoos that you can choose from. To make the selection process a lot easier for you, we have narrowed your choices down to 5—5 of the best shampoos for scalp acne that you can choose from. I have also included their pros and cons to help you out!

Maple Holistics Degrease Moisture Control Shampoo

From its name, the Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo is specially formulated to remove the oil and grease build up on the scalp. More than that, the shampoo contains lemon essential oil which maintains a healthy pH balance and sebum in the hair and scalp.

With its rosemary and jojoba formula, the shampoo can hydrate the hair follicles, protect the scalp from pollutants and alleviate scalp itchiness. It also has basil and cypress which helps improve blood circulation in the scalp, making it useful in treating hair loss.

The shampoo is also a gentle and effective keratin treatment on the scalp as it does not contain parabens and sulfates. The purchase of this shampoo comes with a moneyback guarantee.


  • Lemon essential oil which maintains pH balance and sebum production on the scalp, making it useful for scalp acne
  • Rosemary-jojoba oil formula hydrates and protects scalp
  • Basil and cypress for hair loss
  • Paraben and sulfate free
  • Money back guarantee


  • Bottle dispenses the contents slowly
  • Makes hair texture a bit coarse

Nizoral Anti-dandruff Shampoo

The Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is described as a fresh smelling shampoo that contains itching, flaking, and scaling of the scalp. It contains 1% ketoconazole which is an amazing anti-dandruff ingredient. It has been proven and tested gentle for twice a day use.

Because of its gentleness, it is recommended for use on gray, colored and chemically treated hair. It also works even for gray hair. It also produces a thick and rich lather which will leave your hair clean and smell fresh.


  • Fresh smell
  • 1% ketoconazole
  • Relieves flaking and itching of scalp which makes it suitable for scalp acne
  • Rich and thick lather
  • Great for chemically treated, colored and gray hair
  • Used only 2x a day
  • Antifungal
  • Gentle


  • Changes in hair texture
  • More of an anti-dandruff shampoo than a shampoo for scalp acne

Maple Holistics Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

If you are looking for an all-natural scalp acne treatment, this is the shampoo to use. The Maple Holistics Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo contains all natural tea tree oil. Being both antifungal and antibacterial, this ingredient is widely known as an effective ingredient against scalp acne.

In addition to the mentioned properties, the tea tree oil gives the scalp the hydration it needs and at the same time, locks in moisture. More than that, the shampoo also helps to clean the hair follicles and relieves itchy and flaky scalp.

The shampoo is also paraben-, sulfate-, and silicone-free. It is also considered to be cruelty-free as it has not been tested on animals. Last but definitely not the least, it also doubles as a hair growth therapy and a natural lice treatment.


  • Contains tea tree oil which is highly effective against scalp acne
  • Antifungal and antibacterial
  • Hydrates and moisturizes scalp
  • Cleans hair follicles
  • Free of paraben, silicone, and sulfate
  • Not tested on animals
  • Acts as lice treatment and hair growth therapy
  • Natural fragrance


  • Tends to dry out hair
  • Does not lather much

Free & Clear Shampoo

While this shampoo is initially designed for hair loss, many users claim that the Free and Clear Shampoo also assists in problems like scaling, flaking and oily scalp. The shampoo is also pH balanced, helping to maintain the right pH in the scalp, helping to prevent the development of other scalp conditions.

As compared to other shampoo products, this shampoo does not contain any chemical irritants. In addition to that, it is also free from non-alkaline ingredients, protein sulfate, and phosphates, making it gentle on the scalp.

In addition to that, the shampoo is also effective in removing build up from hair products like sprays, shampoos and leave-in conditioners, minimizing the possibility of developing scalp acne.

For best results, it is recommended that you use this shampoo in conjunction with the Free and Clear conditioner.


  • Chemical-free
  • Gentle
  • Removes build-up from hair products which makes it useful for scalp acne
  • Comes in a complete set—with a conditioner
  • pH Balanced


  • No active ingredient that is formulated for scalp acne
  • Not a tearless shampoo

Neutrogena T/Sal Shampoo

Specially formulated for scalp acne, Neutrogena T/Sal shampoo has salicylic acid as its main ingredient. This active ingredient helps to break down the flaky and crusty acne build up in the scalp, making this shampoo one of the most effective first step treatment to scalp acne. It is considered to be effective as it contains the maximum dose of salicylic acid which is 3%.

The shampoo does not contain fragrance, alcohol added color or preservatives, minimizing the possibility of skin irritation. The lack of the harmful chemicals in its formulation makes it gentle enough for daily use.

With its ability to relieve itching and flaking, it is also the shampoo of choice for various scalp conditions like seborrheic dermatitis and scalp psoriasis. In addition to that, it helps to condition the hair too, making it soft and manageable.


  • Makes hair soft and manageable
  • Contains salicylic acid which is a useful ingredient in treating scalp acne
  • Free of alcohol, color, preservatives, and fragrances
  • Can also be used for other scalp conditions
  • Maximum dose of salicylic acid
  • Gentle for daily use


  • Tends to dry out hair
  • Strong unpleasant smell


Truly, having scalp acne is a big struggle for many of us, but we do not have to settle with having it for the rest of our lives. There are plenty of ways on how you can treat scalp acne, and the first step to do that is to use the "best shampoo for scalp acne".

With that in mind, the best shampoo from this batch is no other than Maple Holistics Degrease Moisture Control Shampoo. But if you tend to have skin irritations when you use salicylic acid, the next best option for you is the Maple Holistics Tea Tree Oil Shampoo as it is an antifungal and antibacterial agent which is another must-have for shampoos formulated for scalp acne.

What do you think of this review? Did you find it useful? If so, please share this buying guide with your friends! If you have questions or a few tips to share with us, you are free to leave a comment in the section below. I as well as the other readers will surely appreciate any information you would love to share!