Best Shampoo for Smelly Scalp | Top 5 Shampoos & Comparison

Most people find it awkward to confess that they suffer from unpleasant smells generated by their body parts, especially the scalp. They are always on the lookout for ways and products that could save them from countless embarrassing moments.

And if you are among those who count themselves unfortunate for being smelly, then let me tell you- Smelly scalp odor is a common skin problem found in men and women.

A stinky scalp is considered a not-so-good smell originating from your scalp and then spreading to your hair.

This common problem can be easily avoided if you pay due attention and use the right products. Using the right shampoo will provide you clean, fresh, and absolutely no-stink results after every wash.

In this article, we will discuss the top five best shampoos for the smelly scalp to use. Our compilation of top-ranked and most sold shampoo for the smelly scalp is based on experts’ as well as customers’ reviews data collected from available online sources.

Top 5 Shampoos for Smelly Scalp

1Paul Mitchell Tea TreeBest Overall
2Maple DegreaseAll-Natural
3Neutrogena Clarifying ShampooBest for Thin Hair
4OGX Extra StrengthBest for Sensitive Skin
5BIOLAGE Cooling Mint ScalpBest Anti-Dandruff

The Best Shampoo for Smelly Scalp: Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo

Best Overall

Known as a ruler in professional hair treatment products, Paul Mitchell’s hair products have been best-selling in the market for many years.

Its Tea Tree special shampoo was designed for smelly scalps and is our pick for the best shampoo for smelly scalps.

Using rich ingredients, like peppermint, tea tree oil, and lavender, the brand has built this special shampoo for all hair types to shine bright.

Tea-tree oil possesses antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It is best known for cleaning and washing away bacteria and other impurities from your scalp with increased blood flow to achieve strong hair.

The all-vegan product uses natural ingredients to invigorate the scalp and leave your hair clean and fresh. Apart from these essential oils, moisturizing elements such as vitamin B5 and glycerin are also present in this liquid formula.

The fragrance is divine and offers an aromatherapy experience.

Suitable for all hair types, this Tea Tree special unisex shampoo has excellent results on oily scalp. Moreover, the shampoo leaves a tingling sensation when applied.

It’s a value for money product as little quantity is needed to be applied for good results. The shampoo does a fantastic job of restoring volume and movement. 


  • Product Dimensions:‎ 3.68 x 3.68 x 8.68 inches
  • Weight: 2.4 Pounds
  • Scent: Tea tree
  • Hair type: All but great for oily hairs


  • It’s a paraben-free and all-vegan product
  • Safe for chemically treated hair
  • Provide full luster and shine
  • Smells amazingly fresh
  • Cleans all impurities


  • It’s not an anti-dandruff product
  • Packaging is not premium

User Reviews and Feedback on Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo

By scanning reviews on various online platforms, we concluded that most users rated the tea-tree shampoo on a larger scale. Some of the most expected positive reviews are listed below.

Positive Reviews

  • Most users have been using the brand products for a long time and stated that the brand has maintained its high quality.
  • Customers loved its amazing and fresh smell.
  • Many people commented that it does a fantastic job on greasy & itchy scalp, especially if you suffer from scalp dermatitis.
  • They mostly said that they experienced a tingling sensation while applying it. They further said that the hair felt very light and ultra-cleaned after washing. The Special ingredients and tea tree oil leave no residue on the scalp and leave hair full of vitality and luster.
  • Several users complimented the brand for having a cruelty-free approach to making its product and using recycled packaging.

Negative Reviews

Though more than three-fourths of all reviewers gave a thump-up to this product for the smelly scalp, few showed disappointment on some points.

  • Few users felt that it was an expensive product. 
  • Some of the users were not satisfied with the overall packaging of the product. 
  • Some customers complained about this product’s inefficiency in removing dandruff.
  • Many rated the moisturizing ability of this shampoo for the smelly scalp as average. 

What Makes Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo the best for Smelly Scalp?

Paul Mitchell is an American brand that offers hair products in an affordable range. Unlike some brands that spend loads on packaging and advertisements, the brand believes in delivering premium products wrapped in classic packaging to keep the overall cost low.

The ingredients used are all-natural and are researched, formulated, and tested before processing. The product is free from harmful chemicals such as sulfate, paraben, etc.

The shampoo is even gluten-free. Again, the brand opposes animal testing for hair care products. The product is rated best for its refreshing formula, excellent revitalizing, and caring outcomes.

Furthermore, the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo is available in multiple size options and can be used regularly or as a regular clarifying shampoo. Few of the buyers complained about receiving counterfeit products from online vendors.

While some may find it not a bargain deal compared to other drugstore options, its salon-type features make it worth the price.

4 More Top-Rated Shampoos for Smelly Scalp

1. Maple Degrease Shampoo 

All-Natural Clarifying Shampoo

If you need a gentle and hydrating natural shampoo for your smelly scalp, look no further; Maple Holistic’s essential oil-based Degrease shampoo is based on a formula that works to prevent excessive oil reduction and buildup on oily scalp.

The scientifically formulated shampoo effectively combats flaking and itchy scalp. The Maple Degrease shampoo is made without artificial chemicals such as sulfates or BPA.

Using a combination of herbs such as basil, botanical keratin, and essential oils like rosemary and Cypress Oil with lemon oil, the Maple Degrease Shampoo is safe and gentle enough to use daily.

On one end, Lemon oil removes excessive oil from the scalp, and on the other natural ingredients such as Cypress, help restore healthy sebum and maintain moisturization.

In addition, the presence of rosemary oil boost blood circulation, which helps in strengthening the hair. Again, the inclusion of Jojoba and Peach Kernel in the formula naturally moisturizes the hair.

The clarifying shampoo from Maple holistic possesses antibacterial, detoxifying, and hypoallergenic properties. The thick formula prevents hair loss and unclogs follicles.

The application thoroughly cleanses the scalp and hair and reduces possible sources of irritation & odor. Most importantly, the product carries a 100% risk-free refund policy that makes it exclusive in the club of similar products.


  • A unisex powerful, gentle and safe product.
  • Effectively cleanse, degrease, and moisturize.
  • It has a pleasant scent,
  • All-natural ingredients.
  • Safe for even color-treated hair
  • Does come with a money-back guarantee


  • May not eliminate all of the dandruff
  • It May cause hair dryness in some
  • Available only online

2. Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo

Best for Thin Hair

Love to use a lot of serums, hair sprays, color, oils, and other styling hair products on yourself, but are you afraid of the heavy, dulling buildup? Then look no further than the Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo.

The Neutrogena product effectively removes up to 90% of residue caused due to such hairstyling products.

Build with high-quality ingredients such as Sodium Chloride, citric acid, Glycerin, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, PEG 40, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, etc.; shampoo doesn’t use any artificial dyes or colorants.

It revitalizes hair and instantly rinses away greasiness and dirt from the scalp without leaving the hair dry. The shampoo is gentle on even color-treated & thin hair and doesn’t cause any irritation. Instead, the shampoo improves the volume of hair.

The liquid lathers quite well. Neutrogena is a trusted brand known to offer affordable hair care products. Like other Neutrogena collections, the Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo is also tested and approved by dermatologists.

The brand recommends its users apply this shampoo once per week for best results on the smelly scalp.


  • A gentle and mild formula
  • Remove heavy buildup from the scalp
  • Boost volume 
  • Non-irritating clarifying shampoo
  • Recommended for all hair types
  • Uses no artificial dyes or colorants


  • Can’t remove buildup from hard water
  • Not for everyday use

3. OGX Extra Strength Refreshing Scalp

Best for Sensitive Skin

Want to give full life to your hair? Then try OGX Extra Strength Refreshing Scalp shampoo. The deep, invigorating peppermint shampoo cleanses hair with a burst of freshness and a tingling sensation.

Very effective for the sensitive scalp that suffers from itchiness, dandruff, redness, or eczema, the OGX Extra Strength Refreshing Scalp shampoo is the ultimate product.

Made with peppermint, tea tree oil & witch hazel (a natural astringent), it decently moisturizes your hair along with stimulates the senses with a refreshing feel. The shampoo is filled with anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.

Again, the formula has a good lathering effect and helps remove buildup and nourish the scalp. The milk protein present in the product adds to the shine and provides strengthening.

Ideal for all moisture types, this nourishing shampoo features a lightweight formula that gives you a long-lasting clean. Finally, this smelly scalp shampoo smells irresistibly good.


  • Leaves hair soft and more manageable
  • Reduce the problem of dry hair and frizziness 
  • Gentle on the hair
  • Completely free from sulfates and parabens
  • No scalp buildup


  • It might have a drying effect on some hair types
  • Not for coarse texture hair

4. BIOLAGE Cooling Mint Scalp Sync Shampoo 

Best Anti-Dandruff

BIOLAGE Cooling Mint Scalp Sync Shampoo will be an excellent choice for those suffering from the smelly scalp and dandruff hair problems.

The shampoo is designed for professional salon kind treatment at home. The formula invigorates and treats the scalp for silky and touchable hair by cleansing excess oil from the scalp and hair.

Infused with the goodness of mint leaves, Peppermint Leaf, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, & Mallow Extract, Biolage Scalpsync Cooling Mint Shampoo awakens hair and scalp with a cool, stimulating feeling.

The antibacterial and calming properties of the mint leaf further help balance the scalp, leaving hair clean, healthy, and strong.

If you have dandruff, this hair problem needs extra concern. The product is highly effective as an anti-dandruff shampoo. The rich formulas not only retain moisture but nourish and prevent damage to overprocessed hair.

Applying a Little quantity gives a good lathering effect. The results are visible in the form of silky and manageable hairs.

The hair roots look more natural. Ideal for everyday use, this shampoo for the smelly scalp is good for an oily scalp and suits all hair types, including wavy, curly, straight, and fine.

The product is packaged in a sleek, durable white decanter with a tube-like dispenser. 


  • Good for Stressed & Dry Hair
  • Have antibacterial and calming properties
  • Smoothes and moisturizes overprocessed hair
  • Keeps hair silky and manageable
  • Suitable for everyday use


  • The mint fragrance is not very amazing

How to Select the Best Shampoo for Smelly Scalp?

The smelly scalp is a difficult problem, and whosoever suffers from it needs a good solution. Regular shampooing from general shampoo might not be an effective solution.

One requires a specialized formulated shampoo that can target the build-up of oils or bacteria on the scalp. The good news is that many clarifying and cleansing shampoos on the market have the cure for this common but embarrassing hair issue.

We have listed some useful tips (crucial aspects) that one should consider before picking up the best shampoo for smelly scalp.

1. Choose Clarifying Ingredient

Shampoo for Smelly Scalp with Best Clarifying Ingredients

The market is filled with hundreds of products claiming to be the best for smelly scalp. However, before clicking on the buy button, the most important thing one should ensure is the shampoo ingredients.

Carefully look at the constituents. They should be all-natural & active ingredients as much as possible. Presence of harsh chemicals in a shampoo further damages hair and increases associated problems such as more oil production, hair loss, dryness, etc.

Hence only after going through its listed specifications, try to pick the best shampoo with all-natural compounds as much as possible.

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo is a shampoo that scores high among this feature.

The ingredients such as tea tree, peppermint, lemon oil, and citric acid in this shampoo work as a clarifier agents. And at the same time, it makes the product smell nice. 

Another of our favorite picks among all-natural clarifying shampoos is Maple Degrease Shampoo.

The shampoo is an essential oil-based formula with a blend of rich herbs like basil and botanical keratin. 

2. Know your skin

Shampoo for Smelly Scalp depending on Skin Type

Before considering a product for a smelly scalp, one needs to be particularly sure about one thing. Check your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, purchase a shampoo based on a mild formula.

If you suffer from skin issues like dandruff, psoriasis, or eczema, choosing a strong formula-based product may cause more complications. 

OGX Extra Strength Refreshing Scalp and BIOLAGE Cooling Mint Scalp are very effective Lightweight formula-based shampoos.

The former is best for sensitive skin, filled with anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. The latter is best for those who have the additional issue of dandruff. Biolage works as an anti-dandruff and superb cleansing shampoo.

3. Determine your Hair type

Best Shampoo for Smelly Scalp suitable for all hair types

First, see what type of hair you have; thin, thick, brittle, normal, or color-treated. The condition of your hair will decide what type of shampoo will suit you.

Thick hair requires more moisturizing and hydrating elements, whereas thin hair needs volume. Colored and brittle hair requires extra protein ingredients to improve hair strength.

People with thin hair and smelly scalp should opt for volumizing shampoos like Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo, which is non-irritating clarifying shampoo. It perfectly boosts volume to your thin hair and is gentle on the scalp.

If someone has chemically treated hair or loves to over-style, you want a strengthening shampoo such as Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo that works as a fortifying agent against those damages.

4. Quality & Price

Cheapest Shampoo for Smelly Scalp with Best Quality

Another essential aspect to be kept in mind is the cost. Remember that both cost and quality are proportional. Good quality, brand assurance, and tested hair products are always beneficial but can cost you a few bucks.

One shouldn’t compromise on performance, and comfort as far as body problems are concerned. A high-quality branded shampoo for smelly scalp may be a bit expensive at first look, but the durability and fits of all hair types’ features make it a worthy investment.

Buying a branded product like Maple Degrease Shampoo gives its buyers a 100% risk-free refund policy that makes it exclusive in the club of similar products.

The full money-back guarantee option speaks about product quality and manufacturing precision.

5. Customer Reviews

Shampoo for Smelly Scalp with Best User Reviews and Ratings

It’s recommended to read reviews or testimonials that real buyers have shared about the shampoo’s effectiveness on multiple online platforms.

Look for brands and shampoos that have appealed to most users. Read about their first-hand experiences. These customer ratings are a good indicator to check the credibility and efficacy of the products.  

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo wins the competition based on the present ratings.

It has faced high (4+) on most important features like the scent, comfort, value for money, and more, making it the most popular choice among users.  

The runner-up position goes to Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo.

Comparison of Top 5 Shampoos for Smelly Scalp

 Hair typePrimary IngredientsFragranceLatheringSulfate-FreeRemoves residue buildup and reduces inflammation
Paul Mitchell Tea TreeNormal to oily strandsNatural tea tree oil, peppermint and lavender essential oilsHerbaceous scentYesNot exactlyYes
Maple DegreaseOily, Color Treated, Dry, NormalLemon, rosemary oil, Cypress Oil, and peach kernelsNatural and earthyYesYesYes
OGX Extra StrengthOily, color-treated hairPeppermint, tea tree oil & witch hazelSweet Peppermint, Iced Vanilla &Tea-tree mintYesYesYes
BIOLAGE Cooling Mint ScalpAll, even for thin hairPeppermint, camellia Sinensis extract, mallow extractMintYesYesYes
Neutrogena Clarifying ShampooAll-MulticulturalSodium chloride, citric acid, glycerin, castor oil,Slight medicated smellYesNoYes

Final Words:

You must have known that there is more than just one reason for a smelly scalp. The most specific is one oily scalp. However, the sweat, grime, and filth trapped inside your oily hair can be nicely cleaned if you use shampoo.

Today there are lots of products available on the market to end the problem of smelly scalp. You need to buy the best product as per your needs and preferences.

Do pay attention to our buying guide. A little improvement in your lifestyle and dietary habits will further help you treat your hair nicely and healthily.