Think all shampoos are equal? Shampoo formulations can very dramatically from one brand to another – and even some shampoos claiming to be ‘natural’ can in fact contain high amounts of artificial perfumes and colourings that will set off a sensitive scalp. So shopping for the best shampoo when you’re prone to sensitivity requires a little bit of detective work.
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You need to know what to look out for and what to avoid, so you can cut through all the hype and the pretty packaging to find a shampoo that works for you. Here’s how to do it…
Avoid these common ingredients – they’re all potentially inflammatory to a sensitive scalp:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
Ammonium Xylene Sulfonate
TEA Lauryl Sulfate
The last two ingredients on the list: sulfur and selenium sulfide are both, believe it or not – most commonly used in dandruff shampoos. Yes, that’s right – the shampoo you’re using to treat your flaky, itchy scalp could potentially be inflaming it!
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When you’re shopping for a scalp shampoo, look for products that are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. Organic shampoos are a good alternative too, though some people find certain natural ingredients such as eucalyptus and mint irritating for their scalp, so sometimes there’s the need for a bit of trial and error.
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If all else fails, you can try making your own shampoo – that way you can be certain there’s nothing else added to the formula and you can experiment to find the combination of natural ingredients that works for you. A popular DIY recipe for sensitive scalp shampoo is to combine soap flakes with distilled water and chamomile tea.
Do you suffer from a sensitive scalp? What do you find helps to soothe an irritated scalp?