Skip To Content

    22 Products To Help You Take Care Of Your Scalp

    Because healthy hair starts at the roots!

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo sweeps away all of that heavy, scalp-clogging buildup you've accumulated since your last wash (from styling products or otherwise) and boosts volume — all without irritating your scalp or stripping your hair of its natural oils, win!


    Promising review: "I have been using this for practically my whole life. It is the best clarifying shampoo I have ever encountered. It smells good, in my opinion, and the price is super reasonable. It's a great thing to use about once a week to keep buildup out of my hair. I have a dry scalp and this doesn't aggravate it or make me itchy." —Leah

    Get it from Amazon for $4.83+.

    2. Design Essentials Scalp & Skin Care Anti-Itch & Tension Relief employs natural tea tree oil to moisturize and stimulate the scalp (for healthy growth), while aloe soothes and calms the scalp, so it doesn't get sore or tense from braids, locs, extensions/wigs, and protective styles.

    Promising review: "I use this oil religiously when doing sew-ins, and then to keep my scalp moisturized and healthy while wearing extensions. It soothes an itching scalp and it actually does help to relieve tension. I love it. My daughter does too. She loves it so much she steals it all the time — especially when she’s rocking braids. I’m gonna have to buy her some." —SheLuvsGod

    Get it from Amazon for $8.99.

    3. Kristin Ess Instant Exfoliating Scalp Scrub sloughs off dead skin/flakes, product buildup, excess sebum, and hard water deposits with sugar crystals, but it does so without drying out your scalp — hello, game-changer!,

    Promising review: "I have chronic issues with dry scalp, and this product in combination with application of scalp oil before I shower has FINALLY solved my winter dry skin woes! It has a very strange texture going on, but once you get the hang of it, it feels amazing to scrub into your scalp, and it is SO effective for getting the flakiness away and KEEPING IT AWAY! I am a life-long fan now." —remarkhannah

    Get it from Target for $14.

    4. An ergonomic Maxsoft scalp massager with Goldilocks-approved bristles — not too soft that they're ineffective and won't get rid of buildup/dandruff/itchiness, and also not too rough that they'll pull on your hair and/or irritate your scalp — is the stimulating, deep-clean shower moment you didn't know you needed, and one your fingertips alone can't provide., Amazon

    Promising review: "I cannot explain how good this feels! It relaxes you and for sure is better than just using your fingertips to shampoo your hair. It actually gets down to the roots and makes sure that it gets into all the spots to clean your hair. My hair has never felt smoother than after I started using this product." —Romie Patel

    Get it from Amazon for $7.58+ (available in three colors).

    5. John Masters Organics Deep Scalp Follicle Treatment & Volumizer is a fab leave-in treatment that keeps your scalp-care routine going long after you step out of the shower — thyme improves blood circulation and promotes hair growth, anti-inflammatory ingredients calms down an oily, irritated scalp, and a blend of 17 organic herbs and essential oils helps regulate sebum production and protect hair against environmental stressors.

    Promising review: "I've got a large head and super-fine straight hair. Most products make my hair flat like a pancake on my scalp. This does not, whether I blow dry or air dry. I get lots of volume when I blow dry with this, but I usually air dry. Also, I used to have some 'bits' on my scalp and now when I touch my scalp it feels smooth and free of any 'bits.' I also switched shampoo, so that could be a factor. But overall, I love this spray and hope it is making my thin hair and scalp healthier." —LW21

    Get it from Amazon for $23.

    6. Dove Dermacare Scalp Invigorating Mint Anti-Dandruff 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner keep your scalp cared for in terms of retaining nutrients and natural moisture levels, while nipping dandruff right in the bud, and keeping it g-o-n-e over time.


    Promising review: "I have had scalp psoriasis for 50+ years. I have tried everything, including other zinc shampoos, and have seen several dermatologists, all to no effect. I bought this shampoo simply because I think a lot of Dove and this Dermacare line was, as far as I knew, the first Dove dandruff product. I cannot over exaggerate how quickly and completely it worked. No more scaling, itching, or scalp sores. I can wear any color blouse. My wiry white hair has a shine and bounce to it." —Fair to a fault

    Get it from Walmart for $4.88 (also available in a 2-in-1 clean & fresh version, as well as separate Dryness & Itch Relief Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner, and Soothing Moisture Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner).

    7. Maple Holistics Tea Tree Oil Shampoo & Conditioner fight dandruff by clearing away dead skin cells with naturally antiseptic tea tree oil and soothing an itchy scalp with lavender, while nourishing amino acids and essential vitamins prevent your scalp from feeling stripped — tea tree is also a godsend for scalp acne, so get on it!


    Promising review: "I have scalp psoriasis and this is the only product I have found to give me relief from scalp itch. The shampoo lathers wonderfully and contains no harmful chemicals. This product is also safe for colored hair. I used the product for the first time three days after coloring and had no color washout. I highly recommend this product." —DDR

    Get the set from Amazon for $17.95 (you can also buy them separately for $12.95 each).

    8. Ouai Scalp & Body Scrub unclogs product buildup and smooths out dry, itch-causing patches using sugar crystals, and conditions your hair before shampooing — call it your pre-shampoo power step!


    Promising review: "I have been trying multiple things to clean up buildup on my scalp, dandruff shampoo, minty scalp scrubs (sold by Sephora as well), that work...but this is MAGIC! You don’t have to use much to get amazing results. It feels like my scalp can breathe again! It’s pricey but if you have buildup you NEED this." —kgrl03

    Get it from Sephora for $38.

    9. Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal and Tea Tree Scalp Treatment gives itchiness and flaking the straightforward goodbye they need, so you can spend less time agonizing over flaky messes and more time admiring your glossy mane — thanks to a combination of binchotan charcoal, peppermint/spearmint oils, witch hazel water, and biotin (whew, so many goodies).

    Promising review: "I have a very dry scalp and a lot of flakes come out every time I flip, touch, or brush my hair. It was so embarrassing every time when I wear dark tops. My scalp was so itchy and suffered hair loss. It has been an ongoing issue for over a year. I tried every single product and nothing helped. This treatment and shampoo duo works on first try. On my first try, I noticed less flakes and itchiness. On my third try, you could tell the dead scalp buildup is almost gone! I know it is pricey, but it works." —angelfromhell

    Get it from Sephora for $32.

    10. SheaMoisture African Water Mint & Ginger Detox & Refresh Shampoo and Conditioner are the sulfate-free power duo of hydrating (organic shea butter and African water mint!), soothing, and toning dry scalps, while also adding body and shine to dull, limp hair.


    Promising review: I've always loved mint-ish shampoos, but this shampoo and conditioner is everything! I am Nigerian Montserratian, so my hair is thick and coarse, but these two products together are my best friends since having my locs! They leave my hair feeling light and fluffy, and its natural shine is always popping before I oil my hair. The tingling is like a massage on my scalp and the charcoal has healed my scalp from excessive dandruff!" —Amazon Customer

    Get the shampoo and conditioner from Amazon for $10.98 each, or as a set for $19.98.

    11. NatureLab. Tokyo Perfect Repair Treatment Masque restores severely damaged hair with bamboo stem cells, smart keratin, and an antioxidant-rich oil blend to make your scalp and strands feel like braaaaand new!

    Promising review: "I have extremely long and thick, bleached hair. It’s pretty healthy considering the bleaching, but sometimes it gets tangled or straw-ish still. I have an itchy scalp and my hair weighs so much, but this makes my hair so soft! From the second I start rinsing it out in the shower is feels like I’m seriously running my hands through silk. I am VERY keen on taking good care of my hair. I have lost it all three times due to Lupus and value it long and pretty. I’ve tried other masks and nothing compares! In the last six months I have changed almost all of my hair care *and* skincare to Japanese products." —amber.cherie

    Get it from Amazon for $16.

    12. IGK First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo uses charcoal powder to lift away dirt, oil, and buildup — as well as to eliminate any odors — while white tea powder soothes the scalp. It's especially great for folks with colored/dyed hair who try to shampoo less. Oily, irritated scalps, begone!


    Promising review: "This stuff is great. I have extremely long, thick, dark hair and dry shampoo usually leaves my hair heavy and powdery. But after this sits for 30 seconds, my scalp feels refreshed and soothed. I have dry hair but an oily and irritated scalp. It leaves my hair feeling wonderful but does not increase dandruff or irritation on my scalp. Can I also add that it smells incredible??? I absolutely adore this stuff, and I will never go back!" —tashilynn

    Get it from Sephora for $14+ (available in two sizes).

    13. OGX Extra Strength Tea Tree Mint Scalp Treatment ~awakens~ your scalp with tingly tea tree leaf oil extract, peppermint, and witch hazel extract to keep it well-balanced and hydrated — just press it directly into your towel-dried scalp and massage it in, and voila!

    OGX Beauty

    Promising review: "I purchased this after being diagnosed with dermatitis on my scalp. I've been using prescription shampoo for the dermatitis, however, it dries out my scalp terribly. I put just a little of this on the dry areas and it works wonderfully. Unlike other, much more expensive products I've ordered, the oily residue is minimal so I can put this in multiple times a day (while at work, running errands, etc.,) and it doesn't look like my hair is wet or dirty. This was a great and very affordable find!" —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $8.99. This formula is also available as a shampoo and conditioner!

    14. Peppermint and jojoba oil is a winning combination when it comes to clarifying your scalp or restoring moisture levels (jojoba oil mimics natural sebum production) — use them alone, together, or mixed in with shampoos or conditioners. Adjust to your own preferences! //

    You can either apply it straight to your scalp/hair (leaving it in for 15–20 minutes and then rinsing) or mix it into your shampoo, conditioner, or mask. Adding other oils, like jojoba, can help lessen the intensity of the menthol in peppermint oil. And for people with especially sensitive scalps, peppermint's antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory characteristics can also help with dryness and itching!

    Promising review: "Love this product — it smells good and has many uses. I mix it in shampoo and conditioner, or put a few drops in with other oils like jojoba or caster oil, and then massage my scalp for hair growth." —Ms. Jae

    Get bottles of each from Amazon: peppermint oil for $10.95 and jojoba oil for $9.99

    15. Head & Shoulders Instant Soothe Scalp Elixir provides 24-hour scalp protection and is free of alcohol, sulfates, parabens, and dyes, so you know you're putting in protective, effective ingredients that'll leave your scalp feeling fresh, cool, and free-of-itching as can be!


    Promising review: "This product was really good for my itchy, flaky scalp. It creates a cooling sensation that soothes your scalp instantly. I love that it’s water-based, so it’s lightweight and doesn’t leave any flakes or product buildup on my scalp. I also like that it can be used on my scalp right before I straighten my hair because it’s so lightweight that it doesn’t weigh my hair down. I use it every day. No dandruff!!!!" —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $8.74 (also available in a shampoo, conditioner, co-wash, masque conditioner, and scalp cream).

    16. Amika Reset Pink Charcoal Scalp Cleansing Oil exfoliates away dirt and pollutants (thanks, French pink clay and charcoal!), while menthol-related ingredients invigorate the scalp with a cooling sensation, and sea buckthorn berry hydrates and preps hair for shampooing — it does it all!


    Promising review: "I have the DRIEST scalp ever! I don’t use many products in my hair, so I know it’s not buildup. It’s to the point where as soon as I wash and dry my hair it’s immediately back to flaking up. Well, I decided to get this because of its 5-star rating and I immediately felt a difference. This left a cooling sensation on my scalp and I could feel that it was working. I really like the applicator because it allows you to put product directly on your scalp and not get it all over your hair. I definitely recommend this if your scalp is the culprit to your hair problems." —ATizeno

    Get it from Amazon or Sephora for $25.

    17. Living Proof Restore Dry Scalp Treatment is a leave-in concoction containing hyaluronic acid to soothe the scalp and Vitamin B3 to rebalance your scalp's natural ecosystem for ~lasting~ relief and not just a temporary fix.

    Promising review: "I have sensitive, psoriasis-prone skin. This has helped alleviate itching and flaking for a longstanding problem area on the back lower part of my scalp. Excellent product! I can use the hair care products needed for my colored hair and not suffer constant itching as a cost." —Momoffourgirl

    Get it from Sephora for $32.

    18. Active Wow Argan Oil & Organic Botanicals Anti Hair-Loss Shampoo is formulated to stimulate hair growth by repairing damaged hair follicles and reinvigorating your scalp with nettle leaves, saw paletto, and pumpkin seed oil, so you see real results with continued use!, Amazon

    Promising review: "Purchased this in desperation because I was going through an episode of hair loss. I put it mainly on my scalp and massage all around the head, let it sit as it states, and use a different organic peppermint shampoo for the ends of my hair. I'm not sure if it is all the biotin from my vitamin intake and this shampoo or an improved diet, but my hair definitely stopped falling out after I started using this. It's been about five months since I stopped losing my hair and I noticed all around my head that a couple of inches of new hair are starting to grow." —Mischelle

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99.

    19. Coola Organic Scalp & Hair Mist SPF 30 infuses a lightweight blend of plant-based antioxidants and sunscreen actives to protect colored hair from fading and sensitive scalps from the scorching sun (you have monoi oil, gotu kola extract, and Vitamin B5 to thank for that) — and it's water-resistant for up to 80 minutes!


    Promising review: "I've been using this for about a week now since I saw it online — it's what I've been waiting for. While I don't use it every day, I work outside typically have to wear a hat. But I break out a lot on my forehead so having this scalp SPF has totally allowed me to wear my hair pulled back, have SPF on my part line, and not get burned. It's amazing!!! I didn't get any greasiness and the packaging has been great. No clogging and the spray is a nice direct mist up close. I'm sure the company will exchange it for one if you have any issues." —Surfgrl405

    Get it from Sephora for $26.

    20. DevaCurl Buildup Buster Micellar Water Cleansing Serum uses gentle, non-stripping micellar technology to remove buildup, while Abyssinian seed oil and jojoba deliver moisture and shine, so your waves/curls stay bouncy and looking like they just left a salon.,

    Promising review: "This was so soothing on my scalp. I struggle with a dry, itchy scalp and this has helped immensely. The nozzle helps to get the product through my thick 3a/3b hair and I noticed an immediate difference in my hair afterwards. It has a cooling sensation that makes your hair feel refreshed and clean. It was like an ACV rinse without the nasty smell, lol. It does give a deep clean but my hair didn't feel stripped or overly dry, so it seems to work really well for me!" —Brianne

    Get it from Amazon for $14.53+ (available in two sizes).

    21. Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo helps regulate a healthy pH balance for your scalp, so you can flip your hair around confidently knowing that it's free of dandruff, itchiness, and fungus — plus, salicylic acid gently sheds dead skin and promotes new cell growth and lactic acid helps regulate oil production. It's truly skincare for your scalp!


    Promising review: "I have struggled with dandruff for years and nothing seemed to work. I saw a dermatologist who suggested that I try Targum as well as other prescription-strength shampoos and treatments. These did not work for me. I resorted to rinsing with diluted apple cider vinegar and that seemed to heal some of my scalp flakiness, redness, and scaling but never for very long — simply for getting the symptoms under control. I found out about this Sachajuan shampoo while researching my next remedy and someone mentioned it in a post for another product. I don't know how else I would have found it. It works perfectly. After the first wash I noticed a difference, and after the second wash I no longer had the persistent signs of dandruff. At all. I have been using this about twice a week for two months and my scalp is now healthy. My hair is also much brighter and softer. The scent is lovely and the bottle is packaged beautifully and doesn't scream 'dandruff shampoo.' I am so grateful that I found this and I hope that they don't change the formula. I will continue to buy this as my regular shampoo and will eventually try the conditioner too." —odetta

    Get it from Amazon for $28.

    22. Drybar On The Rocks Charcoal Scalp Scrub combines micro-fine sugar and activated charcoal for gentle exfoliation that w-o-r-k-s and minimizes damage to the scalp or hair cuticle — plus, lemon and orange extracts back up the gentle aspect and support cell renewal for a healthier scalp, period.


    Promising review: "IN LOVE! I am amazed by the ingredients and the action this had on my scalp. My scalp tends to be oily but can get dry (I know a very weird condition) but it has really IMPROVED the overall condition of my scalp. No more flakes when I run my hand through my hair and no oil or shine — I just love it! I try to avoid dry shampoo as much as possible and using this for two weeks has helped me reduce the dry shampoo to the point I no longer need it. A little goes a long way though. I made a mistake by running this down my lengths — do NOT do this. I think it is only meant literally for the scalp! Just massage on the scalp for a few minutes and rinse it out. Scent is amazing as well but I am VERY happy with the results." —MortalBeauty

    Get it from Sephora for $32.

    A healthy scalp and luscious locks? Yes, you flaunt them!!

    YG Entertainment / Via

    Need more for your mane? We’ve got the best products for curly hair, solutions for dry or damaged hair, and incredible products for natural hair. Or check out all of our beauty content for even more great stuff for your hair, skin, and more.

    Shopping for something specific? Check out BuzzFeed Reviews to find the best things for every budget!


    The reviews used in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Need A Shopping Buddy?

    Get great products - from pros in the fine art of buying stuff online - delivered to your inbox!
    Newsletter signup form