Aveda's Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo Revived My Dry, Itchy Scalp

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Aveda Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo

Aveda Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo

@aveda/Design by Cristina Cianci

What We Like
  • Vegan formula

  • Effectively removes buildup

  • Packaging uses over 80% post-consumer materials

  • Amazing scent

What We Don't Like
  • A bit pricey

  • Not Byrdie Clean

This 100% vegan shampoo is good for your scalp and smells amazing. If you’re willing to spend $25, you won’t be disappointed.


Aveda Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo

Aveda Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo

@aveda/Design by Cristina Cianci

We put the Aveda Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

For me, there are few instances more embarrassing than getting home from a meeting or outing with friends, looking in the mirror, and realizing there was dandruff in my hair the whole time. It ranks far worse than finding something in your teeth, I think. But regardless of its ability to humiliate (yes, I’m dramatic), it’s also a sign that your scalp needs some help. There are several routes you can take—serums, scrubs, and so on—but a great place to start is with your bread and butter: a new shampoo. Enter Aveda’s Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo, the subject of this review and a new fixture in my shower. Keep reading to learn whether it lived up to the test.

Aveda Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo

Best for: All hair types, especially those experiencing dandruff or a dry scalp.

Uses: Removes excess sebum and increases circulation, 

Potential allergens: Not likely

Active ingredients: Sage leaf, echinacea, burdock root, sea buckthorn, coconut, and babassu-derived conditioning agent.

Byrdie Clean? No; includes PEGs, methylchloroisothiazolinone, and methylisothiazolinone.

Price: $25

About the brand: Aveda (Sanskrit for "all knowledge") is a cosmetics company that was founded in 1978 and has been owned by Estée Lauder Companies since 1997. Best known for high-quality hair products, the company was the first to sign the CERES Principles (Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies) in 1989, and their products are now 100% vegan.

About My Hair: Thick and wavy

It’s an ongoing joke in my family that my dad—bald as can be—got the short end of the stick. My mom, two sisters, and I all have thick, healthy hair that up until recent years, I’d taken for granted. While my hair is still holding up well in terms of thickness and volume, ever since I moved to New York six years ago, my scalp has given me grief (I chalk this up to the change in climate; I’m originally from California). During this time, I’ve worked my way through countless bottles of shampoo and conditioner and plenty of masks, all to little avail. With this ongoing struggle in mind, I was more than eager to give Aveda’s Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo a whirl in the shower.

The Feel: What you'd expect

The texture is in line with what you’d expect from most shampoos. Also, if you’re a fan of a hair product that lathers up, this one is oh-so sudsy.

The Ingredients: Natural and nurturing

Aveda's Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo is formulated with a glorious blend of burdock root, echinacea, and sage. The echinacea boasts some serious soothing properties while the sage leaf steps in as a purifier. There’s also a coconut and babassu-derived conditioning agent to soothe and hydrate as well as sea buckthorn. If you’re not familiar with the latter, it’s a vitamin-rich antioxidant that protects your hair and scalp from environmental bad guys.

The Scent: Instant serenity

When I tell you this shampoo smells good, I’m not just saying it’s pleasant and that’s all there is to it. This thing effuses a type of calmness that can only be described as the ultimate anti-anxiety-scented shampoo. The scent is a blend of certified organic vetiver, rosemary, and cinnamon. It’s the perfect match for the types of smells I tend to gravitate toward. Will you have this same reaction? Maybe not—my boyfriend thinks it smells weird. C’est la vie!

The Results: Small improvements with each use

Aveda Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo Results on Nicole Kliest

Nicole Kliest/Design by Cristina Cianci

I’ve been using Aveda's Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo for about a month now, and after each application (usually twice a week), my scalp feels healthier as a result. I won’t say my dandruff is completely gone, but it is undeniably much improved. I have high hopes that if I stick with the whole bottle, I’ll emerge with a happier head of hair.

The Value: Expensive but worth it

If you’re used to picking up a $9 bottle of shampoo from the drugstore, then I can understand that encouraging you to spend $25 might seem audacious. However, I’m a firm believer in spending more money on yourself and the items you use all of the time and skimping on other areas you might need less frequently (for me: coffees and takeout).

Similar Products: You've got options

Playa California Salt Shampoo: This weekly shampoo ($38) is formulated with California sea salt and tea tree oil to clean and exfoliate your scalp. Scrub away buildup and flakes while reducing dryness for a result that’s restored and soothed. Big fan!

Prose Cleanse Shampoo: If you’ve ever toyed around with the idea of trying out a custom hair line, make it Prose. Its sulfate-free shampoos ($25) are gentle and effective. Also, it’s fun to fill out the hair quiz.

Final Verdict

It’s easy to reach for the same shampoo month after month, but once I shook up my routine and added this option from Aveda to the rotation, my scalp (and hair) are now on their way to greater and grander things.


  • Product Name Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo
  • Product Brand Aveda
  • Price $25.00
  • Weight 8.5 oz.
  • Full Ingredient List Water\Aqua\Eau, Babassuamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Chloride, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Extract, Echinacea Purpurea (Coneflower) Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract, Narcissus Tazetta Bulb Extract, Peg-12 Dimethicone, Dimethicone Peg-8 Meadowfoamate, Glycerin, Isostearamidopropyl Morpholine Lactate, Polysorbate 20, Trisodium Sulfosuccinate, Laureth-3, Sodium Sulfate, Fragrance (Parfum), Linalool, Eugenol, Citral, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.

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