Natural Dry Scalp 'killer' shampoo.
October 15, 2009 12:41 PM   Subscribe

I'm currently suffering from a moderate bout of dry scalp (not dandruff). Could someone recommend a natural shampoo, free of SLS's, etc, that will combat dry scalp?
posted by anonymous to Shopping (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have any brand recommendations, but you might want to try using a natural conditioner to clean your scalp. A lot of the "no poo" girls recommend the conditioner wash. I tried it a while back to try and wean myself off of SLS, and it kept my hair from being greasy without making my long fine hair flat or limp. Just rub a big blob of it into the scalp like you would shampoo - it doesn't lather, but it does remove excess grease while moisturizing.
posted by twoporedomain at 1:19 PM on October 15, 2009

What she said. I had a super dry scalp; no amount of dandruff shampoo or any other moisturing shampoo helped. As soon as I stopped using shampoo and switched to "washing" my hair with creme rinse, the flaking stopped. My hair is actually in tons better condition now than when I used shampoo. I use Pantene, but I think any creme rinse or conditioner would do the job just as effectively. In my opinion most shampoo is overkill for hair anyway - it's so damaging and drying that most of us have to use something afterwards (conditioner, hot oil treatment, creme rinse) just to negate the harmful effects.
posted by iconomy at 1:28 PM on October 15, 2009

I use the Burt's Bees shampoos. They are free of SLS, I use the volumizing, because I have greasy hair, so I can't tell you about the other varieties.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 1:52 PM on October 15, 2009

I switched to Kiss My Face Whenever shampoo because my old SLS shampoo was making my scalp itch. I think it's a good replacement for regular shampoo, since it actually gets my hair clean, just without the dryness. I know lots of people advocate skipping shampoo entirely but for my hair (fine, blonde, and on the oily side) it just does not work. Sorry, but no. The Kiss My Face stuff still takes a few days to get used to, but once you've adjusted to it, it's great.
posted by Jemstar at 1:53 PM on October 15, 2009

I'm a devotee of using conditioner to wash my hair, but on those few days I use an actual shampoo I've grown quite fond of Trader Joe's Nourish Spa shampoo. It's chock full of all sorts of organic goodies and has no SLS.

If you're going SLS-free on your shampoo, keep in mind that you'll need to be careful that your styling products lack silicone or you'll have a devil of a time getting your hair clean.
posted by DrGail at 3:05 PM on October 15, 2009

I've come to heartily endorse the suggestions to co-wash your hair. I've been doing it for a few months (after my initial disaster of doing the "no-poo" method, where you wash your hair with baking soda and vinegar. That was dandruff/straw-broomstick hair city for me). With co-washing, my scalp doesn't itch anymore, my hair doesn't look limp and greasy mere hours after washing, and I stopped getting random pimples over my back and chest.

The best conditioner to use is literally the CHEAPEST no frills conditioner you can find (no protein, little/no essential oils and no silicones in them). Suave, VO5. Don't get the ones that "repair damaged hair" because those usually have proteins or silicones (any ingredient ending in "cone" or "xane") in them.

If you decide to go with a SLS-free shampoo instead of co-washing, heed DrGail's advice! (when the silicones react with a shampoo that isn't strong enough to remove it, it will leave a wonderfully thick and greasy feeling film over your hair). The trick is to dissolve the silicones with a vinegar rinse, then use your SLS free shampoo.
posted by wiretap at 3:43 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Desert Essence Shampoo Therapy Treatment. It was created as a natural alternative for elimination of head lice, but it works great to cure my dry itchy scalp.
posted by any major dude at 3:46 PM on October 15, 2009

Hugo Naturals Red Tea and Ylang Ylang shampoo and conditioner is extremely moisturizing and makes my scalp feel nice.
posted by crankylex at 4:44 PM on October 15, 2009

I have stopped the itch by rinsing with vinegar between the shampoo and conditioner. Only smells bad until it dries and don't get it in your eyes. But I'm excited to see the shampoos listed above too. Until you find one of them, try the vinegar rinse.
posted by tamitang at 5:27 PM on October 15, 2009

I switched to Free & Clear shampoo, which is apparently recommended by lots of dermatologists according to my fairly superficial web research. I also tried DHS Clear shampoo, which has fewer ingredients, but it dried my scalp too much.
The Free & Clear shampoo not only cleared up my scalp irritation (after about 4-5 weeks), but the rash on my back cleared up. I add a little conditioner to my hair, comb through, then rinse out, but don't condition the roots. An additional bonus is that I no longer have to wash my hair so often - I can go a whole week now between shampoos. And it doesn't itch!
posted by Susurration at 8:34 PM on October 15, 2009

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