Q. Please will you recommend a shampoo and conditioner for a sensitive scalp and highlighted/colour-treated hair. My scalp and the skin on my ears and neck become itchy, sore and flakey unless I use Simple’s shampoo and conditioner. But I find that these are not the best products for the condition of my hair. I have tried many of the products recommended in The Green Beauty Bible that are great for the condition of my hair, but which I then have to stop using because they irritate my scalp. Please help.
A. There are quite a few products we know of which, at least anecdotally, don’t cause the problems that traditional shampoos and conditioners do – but which should leave your hair in better nick. First up: Barefoot Botanicals S.O.S. Dry Scalp Shampoo, and S.O.S. Scalp Rescuing Conditioner from a brand which is incredibly popular with eczema and psoriasis sufferers, as well as the sensitive-skinned. Essential Care Herbal Shampoo, is a long-term favourite of Jo’s. As a deep conditioning treatment, to restore the condition of your hair, we recommend occasional (once a month) oil treatments. Frankly, store cupboard basics – such as olive oil mixed 50/50 with sunflower oil -create a fantastic (if slightly messy) option. As you’re so sensitive, we wouldn’t recommend adding any essential oils to the blend (which is our usual tip) – although having said that, a few drops of soothing lavender would probably be just fine. This is messy though – so you’ll want towels. Then massage small amounts of the oil into dry hair and comb through once there’s enough liquid to make the hair feel ‘wet’. You can gently heat the oil with a hairdryer to enhance penetration, and we like the tip from our hair guru friend Philip B. who ‘twists’ the hair to encourage the oil to penetrate beneath the cuticle of the hair. Leave on for 20-30 minutes, then shampoo out. Two shampoos may be required to lift the oil; then condition as normal. We know all sorts of shiny-haired women who swear by oil treatments like these – but let us know how you get on…
• Barefoot Botanicals S.O.S. Dry Scalp Shampoo, £12.95 for 200 ml at www.victoriahealth.com – buy here (NB Don’t forget your exclusive 5% discount as a visitor from our site, it will be automatically deducted at the checkout)
• Barefoot Botanicals S.O.S. Scalp Rescuing Conditioner, £12.95 for 200 ml at www.victoriahealth.com – buy here (NB Don’t forget your exclusive 5% discount as a visitor from our site, which will be automatically deducted at the checkout)
Q. I have a very sensitive scalp, and for years have been using Essential Care and Green People shampoos with no problems. However, I recently tried a natural shampoo with essential oils and since using this my scalp is extremely itchy and irritable constantly, even though I have stopped using this shampoo. Please would you be able to advise what I could use to settle my scalp down and stop itching? I will then go back to using my original shampoos.
A. Essential oils are lovely but it’s sadly true that some people do react to them. We suggest you try Botanical Shampoo (which doubles as a body wash) by Botanical Therapeutics. It comes with a conditioner at the same price, Botanical Conditioner by Botanical Therapeutics.
Both products, as with the others in the range, are formulated with natural ingredients, some of them organic. It’s an extra mild formulation and contains absolutely no synthetic preservatives or sodium lauryl sulphate, which is a known skin irritant.
It has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, which – together with its soothing qualities – makes it ideal for irritated scalps or inflammatory disorders including dandruff.
It might also be worth increasing your consumption of omega-3 essential fatty acids in the form of fish, nuts, seeds and dark green veggies, as well as sipping lots of still pure water, just to help calm and soothe your irritated scalp.
If the condition doesn’t improve after a couple of weeks, please do go and see your health professional.