Asian woman with short hair looking in the mirror for a shampoo for seborrheic dermatitis concept

Everything You Need to Know + Best Shampoos for Seborrheic Dermatitis

Ever heard of seborrheic dermatitis? Regardless if you have or haven’t heard of it yet, you’d still probably be surprised to know that it’s a rather common skin condition that mainly affects your scalp. It’s said to be a type of eczema, which manifests into having scaly patches, red skin, and dandruff in your scalp. Depending on how severe it is, having to deal with it can be quite a literal pain. The good news is, there are many ways that it can be treated. Continue reading below to know more about this common skin condition and our recommendations for the best shampoo for seborrheic dermatitis. 

Main Symptoms and Causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis

Let’s talk about symptoms and causes. As mentioned earlier, the main telltale sign that you have seborrheic dermatitis is if you have scaly patches, red skin, and dandruff in your scalp. Given that there’s dandruff, you can also expect to feel a lot of itching, which could be your first indication — especially if it’s particularly excessive and too much to bear already.

So what causes it in the first place? As with dandruff, it can be caused by an overgrowth of a yeast fungus called Malassezia. However, medical experts haven’t really zeroed in on just one cause. As it is, it seems to be a mix of a number of causes and possible risk factors that can include your genes, stress, weather, an irregular response of the immune system, and certain medical conditions or reactions to some medicines. 

How to Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis

While it may sound like a serious condition, in most non-severe cases, seborrheic dermatitis can actually just go away even without proper treatment. For others, all it takes is the consistent and repeated use of treatments like specially formulated shampoos for seborrheic dermatitis that have certain ingredients that target this kind of skin condition. In addition, proper washing of the hair to remove buildup and excess oiliness can also help immensely in restoring the balance in your scalp, which ultimately promotes healthier hair and scalp.

How to Choose the Best Shampoos for Seborrheic Dermatitis

Asian woman washing her hair
Finding the right shampoo is key in treating seborrheic dermatitis. Credit: Natasha Estelle

Before we can even go into what shampoos you can use to treat seborrheic dermatitis, we first have to know what about these shampoos make them effective in doing so. This begs the question, what do you need to look for in shampoos for seborrheic dermatitis?

Again, depending on the severity, you can gauge what kinds of shampoos to get. You can lean towards anti-dandruff shampoos that have active ingredients to cleanse your scalp and get rid of pesky flaking and itchiness. These active ingredients can include but are not limited to, coal tar, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione, and so on. If you have a more severe condition, it’s best to get professional help so they can prescribe you medicated shampoos for seborrheic dermatitis with any of these ingredients present. 

On the other hand, there are also over-the-counter shampoos that have a menthol component that helps in relieving you from the irritated and itchy feeling. If you have more sensitive skin, then going for a natural shampoo for seborrheic dermatitis might be the way to go. Look for those with ingredients like tea tree oil for its anti-inflammatory properties, coconut oil to improve your scalp’s hydration and ease up the dryness of your scalp.

Check out our top recommendations below of shampoos you can use to treat seborrheic dermatitis.

Best Shampoos for Seborrheic Dermatitis

1. CLEAR Complete Soft Care Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Clear Complete Soft Care Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

A great shampoo in taking care of your scalp’s overall health is CLEAR Complete Soft Care Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. CLEAR has been a trusted brand when it comes to getting rid of and preventing dandruff while also providing a host of other benefits. This shampoo has Nutrium 10, which protects the scalp as well. Add the fresh sakura fragrance and you’re good to go!

2. CLEAR Botanique Scalp Care Shampoo

Going for a more natural route, CLEAR Botanique Scalp Care Shampoo has Tripe Anti-Dandruff Technology that’s also infused with a bunch of beneficial essential oils like lavender, rosemary, grapefruit, tea tree, and bergamot — all of which are known for their natural antimicrobial properties. This one’s a great shampoo if you’re looking for an overall kind of shampoo for seborrheic dermatitis that’s also packed with nature’s goodness.

3. Dove Dermacare Scalp Soothing Moisture Shampoo

Dove Dermacare Scalp Shampoo bottle

If you have a dry scalp and need something more nourishing, then Dove Dermacare Scalp Soothing Moisture Shampoo is the way to go. Infused with Olacare Scalp Actives, this one’s bound to leave your scalp nourished and dandruff-free. It also works to give you that fresh feeling as it gives you relief from the itchiness.

4. Sunsilk Naturals Coconut Hydration Shampoo

On a budget? Sunsilk has come up with their Sunsilk Naturals range to promote more natural ingredients while keeping it budget-friendly. Sunsilk Naturals Coconut Hydration Shampoo has coconut water, plus other vitamins and minerals that work together in cleansing and hydrating your hair. This is perfect for dry hair and scalp as its coconut component deeply moisturizes and nourishes your scalp and hair from within.

5. Love Beauty and Planet Sea Salt & Bergamot Deep Restore Shampoo

Photo of a bottle of Love Beauty and Planet with Sea Salt and Bergamot Deep Restore Shampoo

Here’s one of the best natural shampoos for seborrheic dermatitis is Love Beauty and Planet’s Sea Salt & Bergamot Deep Restore Shampoo. If you’re looking to detox your hair, this one’s the perfect choice because it provides deep cleansing, while also working to keep your scalp and hair balanced. Think of it as a reset for your scalp. Infused with Bali sea salt and ethically sourced bergamot, this shampoo’s a winner for your active lifestyle.

6. CLEAR Ice Cool Menthol Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

CLEAR Ice Cool Menthol Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Need some menthol relief from the greasy and itchy feel? CLEAR Ice Cool Menthol Anti-Dandruff Shampoo not only has Triple Anti-Dandruff Technology but it also has lime and cooling mint, which leaves a cooling sensation to keep you feeling fresh all day.

7. TRESemmé Detox & Nourish Shampoo

Bottle of Tresemme Detox & Nourish Shampoo

TRESemmé also has their own line of shampoos with more natural ingredients and without any synthetic dyes or parabens. TRESemmé Detox & Nourish Shampoo has ginger and green tea that detoxes your hair, giving it a good deep cleansing. On top of that, it’s also very nourishing for dry hair and scalp.

8. Love Beauty and Planet Tea Tree Oil & Vetiver Radical Refresher Shampoo

Bottle of Love Beauty and Planet green shampoo

One of the symptoms associated with seborrheic dermatitis is having a greasy or oily scalp. Love Beauty and Planet Tea Tree Oil and Vetiver Radical Refresher Shampoo is infused with Australian tea tree oil that cleanses and detoxifies your hair and scalp deeply. If that’s not enough, it has an aromatic vetiver fragrance that gives you that mood boost as you wash your hair.

Achieve Healthier Scalp with the Best Shampoo for Seborrheic Dermatitis

There’s no reason to worry once you realized you may have seborrheic dermatitis. Treatment is well within reach with both over-the-counter and medicated shampoos for seborrheic dermatitis. But of course, sometimes, try as we may treat these kinds of conditions on our own (at home), there will be instances when it’s time to seek out your doctor’s advice. If you feel your symptoms aren’t responding to these shampoos or other home treatments, then perhaps it’s time to see your doctor.