Skip to main content

Treating scalp psoriasis is not easy. There’s no cure for psoriasis. But choosing the right hair products can help you manage its symptoms. You might need to try several combinations of different ingredients before you find the ones that work for you. This buying guide is here to help you find the best vegan and cruelty-free hair products to manage psoriasis.

We may earn commissions from links on this page, but we are independent and only feature vegan hair products we truly believe in. Why trust us?

What is Scalp Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a common chronic autoimmune condition that causes skin inflammation. While it’s not clear how exactly psoriasis breaks out, a deficient immune system and a genetic predisposition are likely to be the root causes of this skin condition.

Although psoriasis can affect many parts of the body (elbows, trunk, knees and even nails), it is most commonly found on the scalp (50% of cases). Scalp psoriasis causes scaly patches of skin and sometimes sore scales. In some extreme cases, it can lead to hair loss.

Psoriasis vs Dandruff

Ok, now that my scalp itches and flakes, how do I tell if it’s just dandruff or psoriasis?

Usually, scalp psoriasis shows more defined scaly plaques than dandruff. And unlike dandruff, it can spread to the neck and ears (and eventually spread anywhere on your body where there is skin). Another major difference is dandruff can disappear completely, while psoriasis can reappear through cycles and cannot be cured.

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between psoriasis and dandruff. In fact, even professionals can have a hard time distinguishing them. If you suspect psoriasis, you should first confirm your diagnostic with a specialist.

Hair Products for Psoriasis

One of the most widely prescribed solution for psoriasis is Clobetasol. This medication is a super-potent prescription-only corticosteroid. Because it is not vegan nor cruelty-free, and it has an impressive list of side effects, we do not recommend this product UNLESS you suffer from a severe form of psoriasis or your dermatologist prescribed it for your condition.

But fighting psoriasis isn’t just about taking medicine. It requires getting and keeping a daily healthy hair routine in the long run, and having gentle tools to do so. That’s why we suggest you always go for natural hair care products without harsh chemicals such as parabens, sulfates, SLS, silicone, phthalates, alcohol and artificial scents.

Luckily, natural and safe ingredients can help you manage moderate psoriasis symptoms, reducing pain and itching, and accelerating the healing process. These ingredients can be found in their purest form and are also used in some cruelty-free and vegan hair products.

Ingredients to Fight Scalp Psoriasis

Apple Cider Vinegar

Well known for its numerous benefits, apple cider vinegar can help with mild psoriasis flare-ups. The National Psoriasis Foundation agrees that this ingredient relieves itchy and irritated scalp. It also contributes to lower the pH of your strand, resulting in smoother and velvetier strands.

Apple cider vinegar can be used “as is”, i.e. pure or diluted with water (1-to-1 ratio). However, avoid using this it if you suffer from eczema, if your skin is cracked or bleeding. Vinegar will make your wounded scalp feel like it’s burning. Check with your dermatologist first to make sure apple cider vinegar in a pure form is right for you. Or you can try quality vegan and cruelty-free hair products that contain apple cider vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar Vegan Shampoo & Conditioner Set

Pura d'Or
  • Superior hair and scalp hydration while encouraging hair to grow out fuller and thicker
  • Blend of 15 key active ingredients, such as biotin, keratin, castor oil, caffeine & DHT blockers
  • No sulfates, parabens, or any other artificial additives
  • USDA Certified Biobased Product
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 2x16 fl oz / 2x473 mL
Get It Now

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse Lite

  • Formulated to help remove impurities without stripping the natural oils
  • infused with Lavender Extract and Aloe Vera for added softness & conditioning
  • Non-GMO
  • No parabens, SLS, SLES, sulfates, phthalates, alcohol, formaldehyde, fragrance or gluten
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 8.5 fl oz / 250 mL
Get It Now

Aloe vera

Does psoriasis feel tight or itchy on your scalp? Well, the gel found inside the aloe leaf is well known for its wonderful healing properties. A 1996 study suggests that using aloe vera can help manage moderate chronic plaque-type psoriasis with no side effects.

Aloe vera is a gentle ingredient. You can apply it safely up to 3 times a day on your scalp to keep it hydrated and calm irritation. Continue this daily routine for up to a month to see full results.

What about aloe vera as oral supplement? Try to avoid them. This kind of oral supplement do not show any benefits on scalp psoriasis.

Pure Aloe Vera Oil

  • 100% pure aloe vera oil
  • Non-GMO
  • No synthetic additives, preservatives, colorants
  • Vegan, cruelty free
  • 3.4 fl oz / 100 mL
Get It Now

Aloe Vera Vegan Shampoo & Conditioner Set

Organic Bubbles
  • Helps to nourish scalp and sooth itching while replenishing needed hydration
  • No parabens, sulfates, silicone, phthalates, petroleum, BPA, PVC-Plastic, MEA, TEA, and no EDTA
  • 100% biodegradable
  • Vegan, cruelty free
  • 16.5 fl oz / 490 mL
Get It Now

Coal tar

The idea of applying coal tar on scalp doesn’t feel very sexy. But it could have positive effects on psoriasis. Coal tar contains carbazole, an ingredient which stops cells from getting inflamed and can help to reduce the scaling of psoriasis. If your psoriasis is not flaring-up, try to avoid using coal tar, as it may just irritate your skin and provide no benefits.

As a matter of fact, it’s not clear whether coal tar is safe or not. While the FDA approves concentration from 0,5 to 5%, coal tar is considered as a potential carcinogen by others. It can also cause allergic reaction, so always test a coal tar product on a small area of skin first. If a reaction occurs, apply the tar product on top of a moisturizer. If a reaction occurs again, stop using it immediately. If you want to give it a shot, we recommend you see your dermatologist first.

Scalp Revival Mega Strength Dandruff Shampoo

  • Helps to eliminate and prevent the recurrence of scalp itching, irritation, redness, and flaking
  • Contains charcoal, 3% salicylic acid and hydrating lactic acid to gently exfoliate and address symptoms associated with dandruff and psoriasis
  • No silicone, dyes, phthalates, sulfates, parabens
  • Vegan, cruelty free
  • 8.4 fl oz / 248mL
Get It Now

Activated Charcoal Vegan Soap Bar

The Yellow Bird Store
  • All-natural ingredients to help fight dry and sensitive skin
  • Made by hand through traditional, cold processed, small batch method
  • Non-GMO, certified organic
  • Vegan, cruelty free
  • 4.5 oz / 127 g
Get It Now

Hair Oils for Scalp Psoriasis

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is an essential oil that can help manage your psoriasis. The oil extracted from lavender has powerful antifungal and antibacterial cleansing properties. As psoriasis flare-ups can come from fungus or bacteria, lavender oil may be effective on your scalp. Moreover, lavender oil is one of the most studied oil in Aromatherapy for its numerous virtues, including calming anxiety. Knowing stress is a trigger for psoriasis flare-up, this calming property makes this oil so unique and effective.

Before applying on your scalp, test it on a small area of your skin. Even if no reaction occurs, you can proceed (with caution). Like all essential oils, always mix lavender oil with a carrier oil: 2 drops of lavender oil to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. You can vary the concentration as you want as you get more and more experienced with it.

Handcraft Lavender Essential Oil

Handcraft Blends
  • 100% pure lavender essential oil
  • Contributes to preventing fungi and bacteria
  • Helps balancing scalp moisture
  • Premium therapeutic grade
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 4 fl oz / 120 mL
Get It Now

Truly Calming Lavender Conditioner

The Honest Company
  • Infused with organic lavender essential oil
  • Organic shea butter and olive, jojoba, and safflower oils nourish and support the skin’s natural moisture balance
  • Chamomile, calendula, and aloe calm and soothe
  • No dyes, silicones, parabens, or synthetic fragrances
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 10 fl oz / 295 mL
Get It Now

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has been known for ages for its healing properties on minor to moderate skin issues. A 2006 study suggests tea tree oil is a potent anti-inflammatory oil, antifungal, antimicrobial and thus, may help to manage scalp psoriasis. However, do not use it if you are breastfeeding or pregnant, have linear IgA disease, or currently take vancomycin (an antibiotic). Also, some people reported allergic reactions after using it. Start with just a drop on your arm and wait to see if any skin reaction occurs. If that’s the case, you know this oil is not for you.

Just like any essential oils, tea tree oil should be paired with a carrier oil (e.g. olive oil, avocado oil, grape seed oil, coconut oil or jojoba oil). Apply the mix to the irritated zones of your scalp, let it dry and wash it off. You can also mix it with water and even add a few drops in a warm bath.

Handcraft Tea Tree Essential Oil

Handcraft Blends
  • 100% pure tea tree essential oil
  • Anti-fungal / antimicrobial properties
  • Helps preventing dryness and clearing blocked pores
  • Premium therapeutic grade
  • VeganCruelty-free
  • 4 fl oz / 120 mL
Get It Now

Tea Tree Tingle Special Liter Duo Set

Tea Tree
  • Made with natural tea tree extracts, calming lavender and cooling peppermint
  • Paraben-free
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 2x 33.8 fl oz / 2x 1000 mL
Get It Now

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can be used as a topical help for psoriasis. It contains lauric acid, a fatty acid that will help to reduce fungus and inflammation. And Coconut oil helps to get rid of excess hair and scalp oil (sebum) as well.

But coconut oil is also an amazing moisturizer. It can be used as a conditioner or hair mask to provide dry and itchy scalp with deep hydration. Apply roughly one teaspoon directly on your hair and massage it into the scalp. Leave-it for one hour or even overnight, and you should see great results within the first 2 weeks of regular use.

Raw Extra-Virgin Organic Coconut Oil

Garden of Life
  • 100% unrefined organic coconut oil
  • Not hydrogenated, bleached, or deodorized
  • Non-GMO, USDA Organic certified
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 29 fl oz / 857 mL
Get It Now

Coconut Oil Vegan Conditioner

  • Contains Coconut, argan oil, bamboo, tea tree oil, charcoal and shea butter
  • Without silicones, SLES, SLS and parabens
  • Gluten-free
  • 1 purchase donates 1 bar of soap to someone in need
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 33.8 fl oz / 1000 mL
Get It Now

Peppermint Oil

All 600 different peppermint varieties have one common potent organic compound: menthol. And menthol is what specifically interests us here, as it cools inflamed skin, reducing redness and itchiness caused by psoriasis.

You can easily make your own peppermint home remedy. Simply mix 2 to 3 drops of peppermint oil with coconut or any carrier oil. Then, gently massage the concoction into the scalp. If you don’t have a carrier oil, you can also mix in a spray bottle 5 to 7 drops of peppermint oil with a cup of water, and spritz the substance on itchy scalp.

In small doses, peppermint is pretty safe. But because your scalp is already weak, there’s still a higher chance of irritation and allergic reaction. If you notice unusual symptoms after using it, immediately stop. Or you can use a gentle hair product which contains small quantity of peppermint oil.

Handcraft Peppermint Essential Oil

Handcraft Blends
  • 100% pure and natural peppermint oil
  • Blends with basil, coriander, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lemon, palmarosa, pepper, rosemary, spearmint, spruce, vanilla, wintergreen, ylang ylang
  • Premium Therapeutic Grade
  • Vegan, cruelty free
  • 4 fl oz | 120 mL
Get It Now

Peppermint Oil Cruelty-Free Shampoo and Conditioner Set

Botanic Hearth
  • With vitamin E & H, peppermint, tea tree, argan, and coconut oils
  • No sulfates and parabens
  • Cruelty-free
  • 2x16 fl oz / 2x473 mL
Get It Now

Bath Care for Scalp Psoriasis

Oatmeal Bath

When talking about oatmeal, we are not referring to your morning Quaker cereals! Oatmeal helps soothing irritated and itchy scalp, and get rid of skin swelling and dry plaques. This underrated ingredient contains omegas-3 and omegas-6 fatty acids that are beneficial for your scalp.

To use it in a bath and calm your psoriasis symptoms, you can either get plain ground oats and mix it with the warm water of your bath, or choose a colloidal oatmeal-based products such as soap.

Colloidal Oatmeal

Traverse Bay Bath & Body
  • 100% colloidal oatmeal
  • Supplies for do-it-yourself and crafters
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 32 oz / 907 g
Get It Now

Colloidal Oatmeal Eczema And Psoriasis Soap

Jewett Naturals
  • Contains colloidal oatmeal, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil, castor oil, sweet almond oil, palm kernel oil and vegetable glycerin
  • Handmade with premium 100% natural ingredients
  • No dyes, fragance or chemicals
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 4.2 oz / 119 g
Get It Now

Epsom Salt Bath

Did you know that bathing in the Dead Sea could significantly improves psoriasis? Rich in minerals and nutrients, the salts contained in the Jordan Rift Valley can relieve scalp itching symptoms and even remove scales.

Yes, we know that barely no one can afford this kind of trip on a regular basis. There is a more convenient alternative: Epsom salts. Very simple to DIY in the comfort of your bath! Take a whole body soak in Epsom salts blended in warm water, regularly immersing your scalp, for fifteen (15) minutes. Don’t use it as an exfoliator. After you’re done, apply a moisturizer (e.g. coconut oil) so that irritated skin won’t dry out after the treatment.

Epsom Salt

Sky Organics
  • 100% pure magnesium sulfate USP grade
  • Medium grain
  • Non-GMO, fragrance-free
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 5 lbs / 2.26 kg
Get It Now

Oral Supplement for Scalp Psoriasis

Vitamin D

A 2011 study shows that vitamin D boosts the immune system. As we discovered earlier, psoriasis is an autoimmune response. Therefore, vitamin D could help treat the condition internally if you suffer from vitamin D deficiency. It’s recommended to take 400 to 1,000 international units (IU) per day, no more. Be aware that taking too much may be dangerous.

Want to get your dose of vitamin D easily, safely and for free? Go out and take a sunbath! In fact, our body metabolizes sunlight in vitamin D. Besides, sunlight contains UV-B rays and may help treat psoriasis. Don’t forget your favorite sunscreen!

mykind Organic Whole Food Vitamin D Spray

Garden of Life
  • Vitamin D3 extracted from lichen
  • Also contains organic plant omegas from organic pumpkin seed oil and organic cranberry seed oil
  • USDA organic, non-GMO verified
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 2 fl oz / 58 mL
Get It Now


Omegas-3 are well-known for reducing risks of heart disease and may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Rich in fatty acids, it is also a popular anti-inflammatory supplement mentioned in several studies as effective with psoriasis: relief of itchiness, improvement in scalp scaling / inflammation are some of the benefits omegas-3 has shown.

It’s recommend to take omega-3 over a period of 3 months or longer. Generally found in oily fishes (i.e salmon or sardins), plant-based sources of Omega-3 are available in as olive, walnuts, coconut, chia seeds, flaxseed, beans, safflower, edamame, or in any vegan and cruelty-free omega supplement.

Vegan Omega 3 Supplement

  • 550mg of omega-3 extracted from algae
  • Also contains organic plant omegas from organic pumpkin seed oil and organic cranberry seed oil
  • Donates $1 from every product sold to UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 60 Veg Softgels
Get It Now

Even if well-documented and carefully written, this content should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Consult a qualified health care provider before making any health care decisions about any specific medical condition.

Vincent P.

Humanist and animal's rights defender