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See what causes sensitive scalp and how to treat it with our tips from choosing the right shampoo to making a few simple changes to your hair care routine


We often hear about sensitive skin on the hands and face, but your scalp is in fact the next most common area to experience sensitivity.

Put simply, a sensitive scalp is one where the scalp exhibits reactions such as redness, itching or dryness more easily than ‘normal’ skin.

Like sensitive skin elsewhere on the body, it can be caused by a whole number of issues including:

  • allergic reactions

  • dry or damaged skin

  • environmental factors such as excessive heat or cold 

The symptoms of sensitive scalp 

If you have a sensitive scalp, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • redness

  • itching

  • dryness

If you suffer from dandruff too, these could appear worse as scratching damages the surface of the scalp even more. 

How to treat a sensitive scalp

You can’t cure a sensitive scalp, but there are plenty of things you can do to manage it and help prevent the symptoms from flaring up.

First, choose the right shampoo. Sensitive scalp shampoos are designed to be gentle on the scalp with a hypoallergenic, dye-free formula.

But as well as choosing the right shampoo, you can make a few simple changes to your hair care routine like turning the water temperature down, to avoid factors which can cause your symptoms to flare up.

5 things to avoid if you have a sensitive scalp

More tips and advice on sensitive scalp: