5 Best Shampoos For Acne Prone Scalp That Actually Get The Job Done

In our dedication to helping you end your skin breakouts, whether they’re on your face or scalp, we’re listing down the best shampoos for acne prone scalp in this article. We’ve spent a lot of hours and went through 20 different products to make sure that we only bring the best ones to the table. They were ranked based on their ingredients, ability to control oil and acne-preventing properties.

A Look At The Best Shampoos For Acne Prone Scalp

Sebamed Everyday Shampoo is a good choice when it comes to scalp acne since it doesn't disrupt the scalp's natural pH and balance. It can leave your hair softer and your scalp moisturized.

Its scent, however, can be a major con for some people.

If you are looking for something organic, Naked Bee Orange Blossom Honey Shampoo and Conditioner is highly recommended. It can get rid of the dirt and excess oil on your scalp without leaving it dry.

It does have an orange blossom scent. It can be refreshing or too harsh, depending on your nose's tolerance.

Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Scalp Acne Shampoo contains salicylic acid. It's medicated and created specifically for people struggling with scalp acne.

It's meant to be used a couple of times a week. To avoid the associated dryness, you can follow it up with a non-oily conditioner.

Pharmaceutical Specialties Free & Clear Shampoo For Sensitive Skin is a mild shampoo that you can use every day. It can make your hair and scalp squeaky clean.

It's perfect for people with very oily scalp.

Sea Breeze Astringent for Skin and Scalp, on the other hand, isn't technically a shampoo but it can be used prior to one. It can remove sweat, oil and dirt that can clog the pores on your scalp.

It's a multipurpose product which you can use for your nails as well as your skin.

Reviews of The Best Shampoos For Acne Prone Scalp

Sebamed Everyday Shampoo

Sebamed Everyday Shampoo contains mild organic cleansing agents. It claims to be gentle enough to be used on almost all skin types- including sensitive skin.

Best Essential Oils for Acne Prone Skin

What makes it great for acne prone scalp is that it’s free from alkaline. This ingredient is known to disrupt the scalp’s natural barrier.

Here’s how it goes:

When your scalp’s barrier becomes imbalanced, it gets inflamed and sensitive. These factors can give you spots.

Now, what this product does is that it cleanses your scalp without stripping its natural oil. It’s able to keep your scalp’s moisture and can even add volume to your hair.

It claims to have a pH of 5.5 which matches the pH of your hair and scalp which is at 4.5 to 5.5.

It lathers well once massaged on wet hair. Despite leaving a squeaky clean feel to your hair, you’ll get noticeably softer hair once it’s dried up.

The shampoo does contain a mild scent, which some users likened to the fragrance of hair colorants. It tends to stick even after a few hours.

What We Like

  • Doesn’t affect scalp’s natural pH
  • Cleanses without drying hair and scalp
  • Good for sensitive skin
  • Matches the pH of scalp and hair

What We Didn't Like

  • Contains fragrance
  • Some users experienced itching
  • A bit pricey

Naked Bee Orange Blossom Honey Shampoo and Conditioner

Naked Bee Orange Blossom Honey Shampoo and Conditioner is perfect for people who like multi-purpose products. Since the product already has cleansing and moisturizing properties, you’ll only need to keep one bottle with you while you shower.

Although convenient, this combination might not be enough, particularly if you have dry hair. Some of its customers actually think that there’s not enough conditioner in the formulation.

As a solution, you can try leaving it on your hair longer to give this shampoo and conditioner combo enough time to do its magic.

The product is non-comedogenic and made with 70% organic ingredients. It’s hypoallergenic, too.

It has organic aloe vera, honey and spirulina. These ingredients are great in nourishing the scalp while leaving the hair shiny and healthy.

As a shampoo, it lathers well but not as much as commercial shampoos. It has a nice scent, too.

What We Like

  • Noncomedogenic and hypoallergenic
  • Made with 70% organic ingredients
  • Refreshing scent
  • Leaves hair shiny

What We Didn't Like

  • Conditioner may not be enough for some
  • Fragrance can be a bit too strong

Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Scalp Acne Shampoo

Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Scalp Acne Shampoo is a medicated shampoo containing 3% salicylic acid. It’s initially created to help treat seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.

However, because of its active ingredient, the product also works well in preventing scalp breakouts. A lot of its users find it helpful in relieving itchy scalp, too

This Neutrogena acne shampoo has no fragrance or preservatives. It’s thick in consistency and clear in color.

It’s recommended to use the product three times a week. It can, however, be used every day but you must anticipate getting dry hair with that.

To keep your hair moisturized, you can use a non-oily conditioner after. Another good tip is to keep the product to your scalp where it’s most needed.

What We Like

  • Contains salicylic acid
  • Effective in controlling
  • No fragrance

What We Didn't Like

  • Can be drying to the hair
  • Can be a bit difficult to completely wash off

Pharmaceutical Specialties Free & Clear Shampoo For Sensitive Skin

Despite the brand’s name, this product isn’t a medicated shampoo. It’s actually a mild product for those who have sensitive scalp.

The packaging looks clinical. As for the product, it’s clear in color and has no distinct scent to it.

It does, however, contain Sodium Hydroxide which can be drying to both hair and scalp. If you have an extremely oily scalp, then this shouldn’t really be a problem.

For people with dry or thin hair, this can cause a major issue. It can strip the hair of its natural moisture which can cause them to become brittle and tangled.

It lathers really well and creates a lot of suds. You should be able to rinse it without any difficulty and get a squeaky clean feeling on your scalp and hair.

What We Like

  • Great for oily scalp
  • No fragrance
  • Lathers well

What We Didn't Like

  • Can be drying
  • Can make hair brittle

Sea Breeze Astringent for Skin and Scalp

Sea Breeze Astringent for Skin and Scalp works well in reducing the oil on your scalp. If you have acne prone skin, this is one of the most effective ways to reduce your scalp breakouts.

It’s technically not a shampoo per se, but it’s great to use as a pre-shampoo. It will leave your scalp squeaky clean and ready for your shampoo.

It also works well in removing dirt and excess sweat that accumulated on your scalp throughout the day.

One key thing to remember about this product is that you shouldn’t use it everyday or for a long period of time. Since its main effect is to remove or control excess oil, using it constantly can lead to an excessively dry scalp.

Sea Breeze Astringent for Skin and Scalp is a multipurpose product. It can also be used for your nails, too.It comes in a large bottle with 32 oz of product. For its price and uses, this is actually a good buy.

What We Like

  • Generous amount
  • Effectively removes excess oil and dirt
  • Leaves skin squeaky clean
  • Multipurpose product

What We Didn't Like

  • A bit strong for those with extra sensitive scalp
  • Can be drying if used frequently or excessively

Reviews and Comparisons of the Best Shampoos for Acne Prone Scalp

Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Scalp Acne Shampoo

Sebamed Everyday Shampoo

Naked Bee Orange Blossom Honey Shampoo and Conditioner

Pharmaceutical Specialties Free & Clear Shampoo For Sensitive Skin

Sea Breeze Astringent for Skin and Scalp

Best Shampoos for Acne Prone Scalp 2017




The Naked Bee

Free & Clear

Sea Breeze

Main Action

Relieves itchy scalp, controls oil, has Salicylic acid

Preserves scalp’s natural oils and pH

Cleans scalp without drying, 70% organic made

Controls oily scalp

Reduces excess oil buildup and removes dirt from scalp


No scent

Somewhat similar to scent of hair colorants

Orange blossom honey scent

No scent

Cool, clean scent


4.5 fl oz

6.8 fl oz

6.7 fl oz

12 oz

32 oz

Get Started

What Makes The Best Shampoo For Acne Prone Scalp


Have you ever heard of Pomade Acne?

Don’t laugh. It’s actually a thing- a pretty common thing.

Much like how pomade can cause acne, using the wrong shampoo can also trigger breakouts in your skin.

Acne, as we all know, is caused by a lot of factors. Just think about clogged pores, dirt and excess oil. And your hair products count, too.

When you use a shampoo, it’s not enough that you consider its scent or its ability to lather on your hair. More than the cleaning properties of shampoos, you should also be conscious of their ingredients.

Your scalp, much like the skin on your face, can react negatively when exposed to the wrong products. Here are some of the things you need to keep in mind when picking the best shampoo for acne prone scalp.


When a hair product or shampoo is made from organic ingredients, there’s a good chance that it doesn’t contain any preservatives or chemicals that can irritate your skin. In fact, most organic ingredients have properties that can help address your scalp acne.

Tea tree, for example, has antibacterial properties that can help get rid of the bacteria on your scalp. Other great natural ingredients for scalp acne are aloe vera and green tea.


Sulfate is typically added to shampoos and soaps to increase these products’ foaming properties.

Although it helps them lather up well, it’s actually a nasty ingredient. It can cause irritation, dryness and stinging when it comes in contact with your eyes.

Sulfate can also aggravate any existing scalp condition you may have.

Silicone Free

Recognizing silicone ingredients in your shampoo can be a bit difficult, particularly if you’re not familiar with them. As a basic rule, you should look out for ingredients that end with “-cone”- like cyclomethicone.

But, here’s the thing:

Not all silicone ingredients are bad for your skin. Those that aren’t water soluble tend to leave residues on your skin and scalp that can contribute to scalp acne.

In short, you have to stick with silicones that are water soluble so that when you rinse off your shampoo, there won’t be any product left to clog your pores or irritate your scalp.

One good tip is to look for silicones that start with PEG. Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane and Lauryl Methicone Copolyol are good, too.

How To Prevent Scalp Acne

Aside from choosing the best shampoo for acne prone scalp, here are some of the things you can do to prevent breakouts in your scalp:

  • Wash your hair every other day to preserve its natural oils.
  • If you have oily scalp or you use too much hair products, wash your hair every day.
  • Avoid wearing tight hair accessories.
  • Try to avoid scratching your scalp, especially with dirty fingers and nails.
  • Find a way to relieve stress and anxiety.
  • Use products containing salicylic acid or glycolic acid to provide mild exfoliation on your scalp.


There are a lot of factors that can cause scalp acne. Remember, it’s not just your shampoo.

However, if you want to avoid further breakouts, you should consider replacing your shampoo, particularly if it isn’t doing any good for your scalp. For this list, we’re considering Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Scalp Acne Shampoo as the best shampoo for acne prone scalp.

For one, it has salicylic acid which is a potent anti-acne ingredient. It relieves itch and can control oil. It also has no fragrance which we really liked.

If you can get past its drying effect or you can find a non-oily conditioner, this product is a must-have shampoo if you want to save your skin from those nasty breakouts.

Image credits: Amazon.com

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments