Fragrance-Free Shampoo: 9 Options For Sensitive Scalps
If you have sensitive skin, you likely know that one trigger for some people is fragrance. Yes, the ingredients that perfume your beauty products may cause the skin to become itchy, inflamed, tight, ashy, or red. "[Artificial fragrance] is one of the most common ingredients to cause sensitivity, puffiness, itch, and rash," says board-certified dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo, M.D., FAAD.
Essentially, hypoallergenic and artificial-fragrance-free follow the same beat. That's why board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, M.D., says to look for "fragrance-free" on the label, in addition to the overarching hypoallergenic. "Even products that are labeled 'unscented' may still contain fragrance and can therefore still cause an allergic reaction," she advises.
And while many people go straight for their face creams when looking for their irritation culprits, don't overlook your hair care. Shampoos, conditioners, and styling products are commonly scented in some capacity, and thus may be the cause of your tight, itchy, and inflamed scalp—but also any irritation that shows up around the hairline, neck, shoulders, and the back (especially if you have long hair).
If this sounds like you, it may be time to look into fragrance-free shampoos. Here, nine of the best.
SEEN Fragrance Free Shampoo
This hair-care brand was developed by dermatologists, so it keeps your skin top of mind. Not only will it help keep your irritation at bay by keeping out the perfume, but the blend is noncomedogenic, so it won't clog pores. So if you find that your skin is sensitive to hair care—and you see pimples along the scalp, hairline, or back, reach for this option.
Fragrance Free Shampoo, SEEN ($29)
Prose Custom Shampoo in Fragrance Free
Because Prose is customizable, you can make their products work for you. One option they give you? Nix the scent (they have several perfume options to choose, from their signature to floral to citrusy). From there, the shampoo options take into account your hair type, density, styling routine, and so much more. You can't go wrong.
Custom Shampoo in Fragrance Free, Prose ($25)
Desert Essence Fragrance Free Shampoo
Phillip Adam Shampoo In Fragrance Free
Kristin Ess Fragrance Free Daily Cleansing Shampoo
If you're one to shampoo daily or every other day, you'll want an option that's gentle so it's not stripping away your natural oils. Here's a clean option that skips harsh sulfates but leans on easy-on-the-skin surfactants. Don't worry: You'll still get some of that classic lather.
Fragrance Free Daily Cleansing Shampoo, Kristin Ess ($12)
CurlMix Clarifying Moisture Shampoo
A curl-friendly blend that loads in aloe vera, making it ideal for sensitive scalps in two ways. First, it's, of course, fragrance-free. But then aloe vera is a known and beloved ingredient to soothe easily irritated skin—not to mention deeply hydrating and full of antioxidants.
Clarifying Moisture Shampoo, CurlMix ($18)
We Are Paradoxx Super Natural Shampoo
A 91% natural option, this blend is full of good-for-you herbs and botanical extracts to help give you the full-of-life hair of your dreams. Hops and nettle extracts help create bounce. Babassu oil, matcha green tea, and carrageen moss extract help give an easy, silky finish.
Super Natural Shampoo, We Are Paradoxx ($22)
Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Aloe + Oat Milk Ultra Soothing Fragrance-free Hypoallergenic Shampoo
An option for all hair types that loads up hydration without weighing strands down. We particularly love that it contains oat milk, which is full of polysaccharides and is rich in omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin B.
Typology 10-Ingredient Shampoo
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.