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Choosing a Shampoo for Scalp Acne

As with most acne, scalp acne results from many of the same causes – bacteria, clogged pores, scalp infections and excess oiliness. Choosing a shampoo that addresses these issues is pretty important for controlling or eliminating breakouts.

If you suffer from scalp acne, one of the best ways to treat it is to select your shampoo carefully. It is important to remember that in most cases scalp acne is due to your hair

being overly oily or dirty. When this happens, your pores will become clogged, trapping oil and bacteria inside. The blockage isn’t always due to oily or dirty hair; sometimes it is simply hormones, genetic factors or stress that cause the problem. No matter the cause of the issue, however, unclogging the pores is the answer and there are plenty of shampoos designed to help do just that.

Good Featuresfollicleanse shampoo for scalp acne

When you are looking for a shampoo to treat scalp acne, you want to look at the ingredient list carefully. You will notice that salicylic acid is an incredibly common ingredient and that is because it works to treat acne anywhere and when used on scalp bumps and acne, it won’t dye your hair (like benzyl peroxide might). This acid is great at exfoliating the skin in the scalp and by doing so it will loosen up any dead skin cells, freeing your pores. Some dandruff shampoos, specifically those that contain zinc, can also help as they will reduce the inflammation associated with the acne.


Zinc shampoos have become pretty popular in the past few years – primarily due to their success in treating several hair and scalp issues. Zinc naturally regulates/controls the amount of oil secreted by the sebaceous glands in the skin and scalp. The reduction of excess oil reduces the likelihood of bacteria or fungus forming on the scalp. Zinc also works well to unclog follicle pores and to reduce inflammation and irritation – all issues related to scalp acne. Products like Follicleanse, Follicleanse ME and Healthy Hair Plus’ Dandruff shampoo contain Zinc or other natural ingredients that help to regulate excess oiliness.

Tea Tree Oil

One of the best ingredients to look for in a hair cleanser to fight pimples is tea tree oil. This is a great option as it is completely natural and also works to fight germs. This means it will attack the bacteria that cause the acne in the first place. At the same time, the lack of chemicals means that it won’t cause any further irritation and it won’t make your hair oilier.

Bad Features

When looking at your shampoo options, you also want to pay attention to how heavy or oily a product is. Keep in mind that any hair product that is oily or heavy will increase the blockage of your pores, making the problem worse instead of helping it. If you don’t know how to tell if a product is heavy or oily, just try looking for something that says it is for a sensitive scalp as this will be lighter and gentler. Another option is to avoid using conditioner on your scalp and just apply it to the ends - this generally helps with scalp acne, pimples & bumps.


One of the best natural products to treat scalp acne is Kiehl’s Tea Tree Oil Shampoo. As you can guess from the name, the active ingredient in this product is tea tree oil but it also contains other extracts as well as humectants. Another great option is Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo (Scalp Build-Up Control). The main ingredient in this product is salicylic acid which can help exfoliate the skin of your scalp, loosening dead skin cells and unclogging pores in the process. This means that it is also great for psoriasis or dandruff in addition to scalp acne. If you want something that will eliminate build-up (such as dandruff) and therefore open up the pores, Head & Shoulders is another option that is easy to find with the main ingredient of zinc pyrithione.

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Emu Oil Shampoo Emu Shampoo

Emu Oil Shampoo formulated with 100%, Grade A Emu Oil. Excellent for adding moisture & hydration to dry, brittle, lifeless hair. Adds body, volume & superb manageability. Improves moisture content & hydration. Natural anti-bacterial properties for improved hair & scalp health.

List Price: $18.00
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Antifungal Shampoo - Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory cleans fungus, oil and dirt while soothing the scalp! Antifungal Shampoo

Healthy Hair Plus Antifungal Shampoo helps reduce and eliminate any fungus, bacteria, and inflammation on the scalp and skin. Antifungal Shampoo also adds moisture and help promote new healthy hair growth.

List Price: $20.00
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ANTI-b Antibacterial Shampoo ANTI-b Antibacterial Shampoo

Strong antibacterial & anti-inflammatory helps kill pore-laden bacteria and infection. Complex formula reduces irritation, itching while naturally soothing and moisturizing. Leaves hair and scalp feeling and looking great!

List Price: $22.00
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Follicleanse Shampoo and Conditioner - 12 oz Follicleanse Shampoo & Conditioner - 12 oz

New 12 fl oz size! Our best-selling shampoo and conditioner for cleansing build-up, residue and for reducing dandruff, oily hair and scalp and for addressing inflammation, itchiness and common scalp problems. Zinc and natural plant extract formulas!

List Price: $32.00
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