The 10 Best Shampoos for Eczema, According to Dermatologists

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The 10 Best Eczema Shampoos in 2022

Byrdie / Chloe Jeong

If you’re battling eczema, take heart in the fact that you’re not alone; it affects an estimated 31.6 million people in the U.S. “Eczema is a condition where a genetic variation affects the skin’s ability to protect itself from outside factors, such as irritants and allergens, and the skin becomes red and itchy,” explains dermatologist Dr. Kautilya Shaurya, of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. This redness and inflammation can crop up anywhere on the face or body, including the scalp.

Byrdie Researched & Approved

Formulated with mild ingredients and lightweight consistency, the Mustela Stelatopia Foam Shampoo earns the top spot on our list. If you're wanting a cheaper alternative, the Dove DermaCare Scalp Anti Dandruff Shampoo is gentle and nourishing while still effective.

“The most common type of scalp eczema is known as seborrheic dermatitis,” adds dermatologist Dr. Annie Gonzalez, of Riverchase Dermatology in Miami. It manifests as scaly patches, red, inflamed, itchy skin, and even flaking—AKA all things that are no fun to deal with.

Here’s where choosing the right shampoo comes into play. You basically have one of two options. You can seek out medicated formulas with ingredients such as zinc pyrithione, salicylic acid, and selenium sulfide, all of which can help address those unwanted symptoms. Or, you can stick with ultra-mild, hypoallergenic options that will be very gentle on the compromised skin so as to not irritate it any further. (You can also try alternating between the two.)

Ahead, the best eczema shampoos sure to bring sweet relief to your stressed-out scalp.

Best Overall: Mustela Stelatopia Foam Shampoo

Mustela Stelatopia Foam Shampoo

 Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Hydrating

  • Super gentle

  • Plant-based formula

What We Don't Like
  • May leave behind a faint residue

Who else recommends it? StyleCraze, PureWow, and Shape all picked the Mustela Stelatopia Foam Shampoo.

What do buyers say? 84% of 1,400+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

“This shampoo was originally formulated for babies and is extremely gentle,” says Shaurya. Containing only very mild ingredients, it’s a great pick to use when your scalp eczema is flaring, he adds. To the point of being gentle and mild, it’s even approved by the National Eczema Association and is both hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. Also nice: The weightless, mousse-like consistency.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Mild | Size: 5 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Budget: Dove DermaCare Scalp Anti Dandruff Shampoo

Dove Dermacare Scalp Dryness & Itch Relief Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Helps with dandruff

  • Smooths hair

  • Soothes an itchy scalp

What We Don't Like
  • Contains sulfates

Gonzalez recommends this affordable option: “It’s gentle and nourishing for the hair, and can be used almost daily if needed,” she says. Still, because it does contain pyrithione zinc, it’s great for helping to target the flaking and itchiness often associated with scalp eczema.

Hair Type: Dry | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Clean | Size: 12 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

When you are using a medicated shampoo, such as this one, make sure to let it sit on your scalp for a few minutes before rinsing, in order to give the active ingredients enough time to do their thing, Gonzalez says.

Best Drugstore: Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo With Build-Up Control

Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo With Build-Up Control


What We Like
  • Clears buildup

  • Soothes an itchy scalp

  • Reasonably priced

What We Don't Like
  • Not for very dry hair

You’re likely used to seeing salicylic acid in skincare (specifically acne-fighting products), but it may be equally beneficial in an eczema shampoo. The beta-hydroxy acid is choice for dissolving excess oil, making this formula a good pick for those dealing not only with seborrheic dermatitis but also dandruff or psoriasis. It’s one of Gonzalez’s picks, who points out that it also has the added benefit of being fragrance-free.

Hair Type: Oily | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: None | Size: 4.5 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best for Dryness: Kiehl's Amino Acid Shampoo

Kiehl's Amino Acid Shampoo

 Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Boosts shine and adds softness

  • Available in multiple sizes

  • Clears buildup

What We Don't Like
  • Contains fragrance

Key Ingredients

Amino acids are the building blocks that make up proteins and have a role in virtually all the biological processes that occur in our bodies, including the reparation of skin.

Improving the skin barrier is a key component in helping to address eczema; this shampoo contains amino acids and coconut oil meant to do just that, while also moisturizing the scalp, points out Shaurya. It’s also a very mild cleanser, and leaves your strands soft and shiny, always important.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Original | Size: 8.4 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Fragrance-Free: Vanicream Free & Clear Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Vanicream Free & Clear Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

 Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Byrdie Clean

  • Effective formula

  • Clears buildup

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more hydrating

Key Ingredients

Zinc is an essential mineral that is needed for numerous healthy bodily functions, including boosting the immune system, healing wounds, and assisting in DNA/protein synthesis and growth. Applied topically, it's shown to aid in wound healing and regeneration, as well as protect the skin by deflecting UV rays.

This straddles the line between the medicated and mild eczema shampoo categories. While it does contain 2% pyrithione zinc, it’s still free of common chemical irritants, including fragrance, which can worsen scalp eczema, notes Gonzalez. Also on that ‘free-of’ list: parabens, dyes, and sulfates.

Hair Type: Oily | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: None | Size: 8 ounces | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Set: Wild Naturals Eczema Psoriasis Shampoo

Wild Naturals Eczema Psoriasis Shampoo
What We Like
  • pH balanced

  • Won't irritate a sensitive scalp

  • Gentle, clean formula

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Key Ingredients

Aloe vera is a naturally derived ingredient known for its soothing and moisturizing properties. The aloe plant's inner gel mucilage (the part that's used in skin care products) is made up of 99.5% water.

This duo is specially formulated at a pH of 5.5 in order to ensure a healthy moisture balance on your scalp. It’s hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, both attributes that Shaurya says are important to look for in an eczema shampoo. Also noteworthy: There’s no water added to the shampoo. Instead, the first ingredient is skin-soothing, organic aloe vera, and it also boasts healing manuka honey.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: None | Size: 8 / 16 / 32 ounces | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Flakes: DHS Zinc Shampoo

DHS Zinc Shampoo

 Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Soothes an itchy scalp

  • Reasonably priced

  • Helps with dandruff

What We Don't Like
  • Not Byrdie Clean

To address scaliness, reach for this flake-fighter. “It contains zinc pyrithione, an ingredient that has both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that help treat and prevent eczema,” explains Shaurya. It’s a fan favorite on Amazon, too, with many satisfied reviewers commenting on how well it works to combat not only flakes but itchiness, too.

Hair Type: Oily | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Clean | Size: 8 / 16 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Itching: Philip Kingsley Flaky Scalp Cleansing Shampoo

Philip Kingsley Philip Kingsley Flaky Scalp Cleansing Shampoo

 Courtesy of Violet Grey

What We Like
  • Soothes an itchy scalp

  • Fresh, fruity scent

  • Can be used daily

What We Don't Like
  • Contains sulfates

Is there anything more annoying than an itchy scalp? We think not. Gonzalez says this shampoo can help you stop scratching, thanks to the addition of piroctone olamine, an anti-microbial meant to alleviate both itch and flaking. She also lauds it for being safe even on color-treated hair, though FYI, it does contain added fragrance.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Green apple | Size: 8.5 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Curly Hair: Head & Shoulders Royal Oils Moisture Boost Shampoo

Head and Shoulders Shampoo
What We Like
  • Moisturizing

  • Smells tropical

  • Clears buildup

What We Don't Like
  • Not Byrdie Clean

Addressing scalp eczema when you have curls can be a bit more problematic; curly hair is naturally prone to be drier than straight hair because the oils your scalp produces have a harder time making their way down the hair shaft. Gonzalez recommends this sudser for those with coarse, coiled hair because it imparts plenty of moisture and isn’t stripping, yet still has pyrithione zinc to treat the scalp.

Hair Type: Curly, coily | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Coconut | Size: 13.5 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best for Eczema and Dandruff: Bodewell Shampoo


 Courtesy of Bodewell

What We Like
  • Helps with dandruff

  • Won't irritate sensitive skin

  • Softens hair

What We Don't Like
  • Contains sulfates

Dandruff is a common symptom of scalp eczema. This sudser addresses both, thanks to the addition of pyrithione zinc to reduce itching and flaking, an active ingredient both derms we spoke with recommend. It’s also specially formulated to restore much-needed moisture to the scalp. 

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Almond | Size: 8 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Final Verdict

Eczema is no fun to deal with anyone on your body, but perhaps even more so on your scalp, which is when a good eczema shampoo can make all the difference. The Mustela Stelatopia Foam Shampoo is approved by experts and the National Eczema Association, a formula that’s so gentle that its intended use was for babies. At the drugstore, pick up the Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo with Build-Up Control, a good choice if you have scalp eczema, psoriasis, or dandruff. And if flakes are your main complaint, try the DHS ZInc Shampoo, an affordable go-to.

Meet the Expert

  • Dr. Kautilya Shaurya is a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology in New York City. He specializes in both general and cosmetic dermatology.

  • Dr. Annie Gonzalez is a board-certified dermatologist at Riverchase Dermatology in Miami, FL. Her specialties include both adult and pediatric dermatology and chronic skin conditions.

What to Look For In an Eczema Shampoo

A Medicated Formula

More specifically, one that contains zinc pyrithione, salicylic acid, or selenium sulfide, active ingredients that can help combat the symptoms of eczema, such as itching and flaking.

A Super-Gentle Formula

On the flip side, if your eczema is milder or you perhaps don’t want a medicated option, stick with mild, hypoallergenic formulas that won’t irritate your already stressed-out scalp. (Fragrance-free is always one important criterion.)

  • What shampoo is best for someone with eczema?

    Shampoo specifically formulated for eczema is best if you have this skin condition. Consider using a shampoo containing zinc pyrithione and/or salicylic acid and selenium sulfide. If your scalp is very sensitive, it may be best to avoid medicated shampoos. Instead, choose a gentle formula or primarily use a mild formula with a medicated one reserved for occasional use.

  • What can I use for eczema on my scalp?

    For eczema on your scalp, look for a shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for people with eczema. These can include medicated products with zinc pyrithione and/or salicylic acid and selenium sulfide or gentle, non-irritating products that can help to calm angry, inflamed skin. Which one you choose depends on the reason for your eczema and how your skin reacts. Seek the help of a dermatologist for personalized advice.

  • Can shampoo make eczema worse?

    Some types of shampoo can make eczema worse. Some people have eczema due to allergic reactions and skin sensitivities. If this is the case for you, looking for a shampoo designed for sensitive skin may be best. Medicated shampoos specifically for treating eczema may help, or they may be too harsh. Determine the best choice for you depending on how your scalp reacts.

  • Should you wash your hair every day if you have eczema?

    Washing your hair every day if you have eczema may worsen your skin, especially if your hair products are irritating. Try cutting back to washing every two to three days and using a medicated shampoo for eczema or a non-irritating formula that contains ingredients like amino acids that can help heal the skin.

How We Researched

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. Having dealt with eczema since she was a toddler, she has extensive experience with all of the many over-the-counter eczema products, shampoos included, out there.

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any eczema shampoos from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at and we will evaluate the product ASAP.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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