Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Shampoos & Scalp Allergy

Q: I seem to have a scalp allergy and I'm prone to spots and itching. I think I'm allergic to one or more ingredients in the shampoos I tried. When I don't wash my hair for more than a week, the itch disappears. Can you recommend a good shampoo for people with sensitive scalps?
A: First, any allergic reaction - even a suspected one - should be discussed with your physician. As a master cosmetologist, I am not licensed or qualified to diagnose or recommend any sort of treatment for any medical condition. Allergic responses count as medical conditions. Be wary of any hairdresser who suggests treatments for allergic conditions.
man with a hair problem That being said, there are a number of products on the market designed for use on sensitive scalps. Simply look for words like Hypo-allergenic and you should find something that you can tolerate. It is typically my policy not to recommend or endorse the use of specific brands.
The usefulness of a brand is often largely a matter of personal preference, and the brand I would suggest may not fit within some individuals' personal budget, or may not work for that individual.
But please, do not hesitate to bring this up with your doctor at your next visit. There are some substances used in shampoos that are used in other personal hygiene products, including skin care, laundry care and such. Being able to identify your specific allergen can help you to avoid future problems.
In the meantime, if using conditioner does not cause these issues, you should be aware that in many cases, the alkalinity of conditioners is sufficient to remove daily soil accumulation on the hair. And you should always condition the hair daily whether you shampoo or not.
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