SA scalp therapy shampoo

SA scalp therapy shampoo is formulated with maximum strength salicylic acid; this hair exfoliator helps shed dead cells to relieve the itching, scaling, and flaking of dandruff, psoriasis of the scalp, and seborrheic dermatitis. Suitable for daily use, this advanced formulation gently clarifies the scalp and regulates excess oil production while cleansing and nourishing hair to leave it soft, shiny and manageable.

SA scalp therapy shampoo eliminates flakes and sebum build-up by enhancing cell turnover to spur the scalp to shed dead skin cells while easing itching, working as an anti-bacterial agent, and balancing excess oil production. These shampoos consist of Vitamin B5, which moisturizes, leaving hair healthy-looking and easy to style. Focused ingredients like green tea promote healthy cell renewal for a balanced scalp, and extract fends off free radical damage with potent antioxidant protection.

You may know salicylic acid as an acne-fighting ingredient, but this medication can go beyond facial toners and astringents. Salicylic acid works in shampoo by breaking down dead skin cells. This is scientifically proven to help treat conditions that affect the scalp, like seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis. Salicylic acid works by safely and effectively stripping away the epidermis or external layer of skin. Salicylic acid helps prevent skin conditions like pimples, fungal infections, and dandruff from developing over time by gently removing the outermost layer of skin.

SA scalp therapy shampoo


Salicylic acid works by dissolving dead skin cells. In particular skin and scalp conditions, dead skin cells can accumulate, creating thick dry skin patches. A salicylic acid shampoo can help by breaking down these patches while increasing moisture to help stop them from forming.

This shampoo can help treat the following conditions:


Dandruff is a common scalp condition that causes itchy, flaky skin. The white flakes from dandruff can build up in your hair and on your shoulders.

Salicylic acid is one ingredient found in over-the-counter (OTC) dandruff shampoos. It can help get rid of flakes while also moisturizing a dry scalp. You can use the shampoo for seasonal dandruff or regularly to help maintain your scalp’s moisture levels.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is closely related to dandruff and is also marked by a flaky, itchy scalp. This inflammatory skin condition is known for skin flakes that are more oily than they are dry.

You may be able to tell if you have seborrheic dermatitis; you will see oily skin patches on areas of the skin other than your scalp, including your ears and face. Salicylic acid shampoo can help treat seborrheic dermatitis that occurs on the scalp. The shampoo may be irritating to other parts of the body.

Cleans Excess Oil from Pores

If you're struggling with oily skin, salicylic acid is a crucial ingredient to clean up excess oil and reduce oil levels moving forward. Salicylic acid is oil-soluble, meaning it exfoliates your pore lining and decreases oil build-up. Why does this matter? Because salicylic acid can get underneath excess oil and dead skin deep inside your pores compared to other ingredients that only skim what they can off the top of your pores. Not only does salicylic acid give a good deep cleaning, but salicylic acid also suppresses sebocytes from producing excess oil.

Exfoliates Dead Skin Cells

Salicylic acid is a peeling agent that exfoliates dead skin cells and accelerates skin cell renewal. Salicylic acid is hemolytic, which loosens the bonds between corneocytes (the cells that make up the skin's outermost layer). As a hemolytic, salicylic acid is a gentler exfoliant than azelaic acid and benzoyl peroxide, which are both keratolytic. Keratolytics offer deeper exfoliation but can potentially be more irritating for sensitive skin. All three ingredients are comedolytic, meaning they unclog pores and prevent future whiteheads and blackheads from developing.

Weakens Acne Bacteria

An acne bacterium does not like oxygen (the reason it thrives under clogged pores where no fresh air blows). Because salicylic acid unclogs and exfoliates pores, fresh air gets into the skin and creates a more oxygen-rich environment that's less friendly to acne bacteria. However, it's important to note that even though salicylic acid can weaken acne bacteria, it will not completely kill them. The good news is other ingredients, like benzoyl peroxide, can murder acne bacteria if you're struggling with moderate to severe inflammatory acne. If you're dealing with cystic acne, see azelaic acid.

Scalp Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting any body part, including the scalp. It is caused by excess cell turnover on the skin, causing itchy, scaly, and red patches. Salicylic acid can manage the psoriatic plaques, minimizing itchiness.

It Controls Dihydrotestosterone.

Also known as DHT, it is a hormone that primarily affects men. It is an enzyme that prevents follicle growth, which means minimized hair growth. This is why 40% of men use anti-dandruff shampoos 40% of the time (while women use it 21%). Using salicylic acid can help reduce the amount of DHT on your head, which could mean less hair loss and more hair growth.


While salicylic acid isn’t directly linked to a reduction in hair loss (like minoxidil or finasteride), it can potentially play a role in helping you keep more of your hair. This is because salicylic acid is vital for washing away excess sebum. This waxy, oily substance can contain dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, the critical androgenic hormone responsible for hair loss in men.

Currently, there isn’t any conclusive scientific evidence showing that excess DHT contained in scalp sebum can contribute to male pattern baldness. However, washing away sebum is ideal for keeping your scalp healthy and free of acne, irritation, or dandruff in the first place. In short, should you view salicylic acid as a miracle cure for baldness? No. However, it offers a variety of proven benefits for scalp and hair health, as well as the potential to lower DHT levels on your scalp by keeping your skin fresh, clean, and free of excess dandruff and sebum.


When used topically in a shampoo, salicylic acid naturally strips away the outermost layer of the epidermis, allowing dead skin to wash off your scalp when you shampoo and condition your hair. Many of the most common scalp conditions worsen when dead skin is allowed to build upon your scalp, from dandruff to uncomfortable, itchy hair. You can think of salicylic acid as a tool for loosening dead, irritated skin, making it easier to wash away when you shower. The unique chemical properties of salicylic acid make it one of the most effective ingredients for penetrating the scalp and cleansing your skin.

Unlike most shampoo ingredients, salicylic acid can enter into and cleanse pores, preventing oil build-up and helping to unclog your hair follicles. This can mean healthier hair growth and fewer skin issues, such as seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff. If you’ve noticed dandruff or scalp itching caused by dry skin, salicylic acid is worth considering as an addition to your hair care protocol.


Pore-Penetrating Power

Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid, which is part of what makes its role in skincare so valuable. You might have heard of a related category of chemicals - alpha-hydroxyl acids - being touted as essential skincare ingredients for exfoliation. Alpha-hydroxyl acids (like citric acid and glycolic acid) are known for their ability to exfoliate the skin and their role as a moisturizer gently. 

Beta-hydroxyl acids like salicylic acid are also great exfoliants for skin cells. Still, because their chemical structure is slightly different, they are oil-soluble, making them more effective at penetrating deep into the pores (another word for this is lipophilic). Essentially, salicylic acid products can cut through oily layers in the skin that alpha-hydroxyl acids can’t reach. This is what makes salicylic acid skincare products so good at removing the pore-clogging that can lead to blackheads and whiteheads in acne treatment. 

Because dandruff involves the build-up of skin oils and Malassezia wastes, salicylic acid can also be a powerful aid in clearing away both the build-up that Malassezia feeds on and the waste the fungus produces that can contribute to irritation of your scalp and even your hair follicles (which leads to flaking). This kind of deep cleaning can help keep the population of Malassezia on your scalp under control.

Promotes Normal Skin Sloughing

Salicylic acid helps promote healthier skin sloughing, which the outer layer of the skin sheds typically. In a healthy scalp, outer, dead skin cells are shed as new skin grows without noticing - we don’t feel or see this process. But in scalps with dandruff, the outer layer of skin often sticks together in more extensive, visible flakes or scales.

Salicylic acid is keratolytic - meaning it might help break apart and remove dead skin and unclog pores to speed along and normalize the sloughing process. And in case you’re curious, the cool-sounding technical term for this skin sloughing process is “desquamation,” which comes from a Latin root that refers to removing scales from a fish.

Calms Pain and Inflammation

Like its cousin aspirin (which is also a salicylic drug), salicylic acid also works as an anti-inflammatory substance that can help reduce pain and inflammation. Reducing inflammation can be an aid in promoting healthier skin. That’s because soft swelling is part of breaking the cycle of clogged pores, excess oil, and dead skin build-up and dryness. Salicylic acid also helps relieve pain directly through its analgesic properties. 

Antimicrobial Powers

Salicylates are known for their ability to control or kill microbes. Salicylic acid fights fungus and bacteria. Since people experiencing dandruff tend to have too much Malassezia fungus on their scalps, salicylic acid can help handle the overpopulation. 

How to use shampoo for scalp therapy made from Salicylic acid


As with any medication, salicylic acid shampoo only works if you use it correctly. Follow these steps for proper usage:

1. Thoroughly wet your hair and scalp with lukewarm water.

2. Apply a small amount of the shampoo directly to the scalp, adding more as needed.

3. Work the shampoo into a lather by massaging your scalp. Do not scrub or rub the shampoo through your ends.

4. Let the shampoo sit for up to 5 minutes at a time.

5. Rinse thoroughly.

6. Follow up with a conditioner for the mid to end sections of your hair to replenish moisture.

The salicylic acid shampoo is most effective when it’s used weekly. A dermatologist may recommend you use shampoo daily until your condition improves. Even if your scalp clears up, you’ll likely need to use the salicylic acid shampoo once or twice a week for maintenance.


Consult a doctor before using salicylic acid shampoos, especially if you are undergoing treatment for a scalp issue.

Check for any allergic reactions to avoid serious skin issues.

Avoid using a salicylic acid shampoo on broken, irritated, and compromised skin. Please do not use it on any open cuts and wounds.

Overusing salicylic acid shampoos can further irritate the skin and cause dryness and itchiness. Consult the doctor regarding the frequency or follow the instructions on the shampoo bottle.

Do not use any other hair care product with salicylic acid and SA shampoos simultaneously. This can irritate the scalp.

Do not use it on children. Consult a doctor before using a salicylic acid shampoo on a child’s scalp.

Check the percentage of salicylic acid in the shampoo. Determine what concentration may work for your scalp condition (if any). Consult a doctor for the recommended concentration.

If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant and breastfeeding, ask your doctor before using salicylic acid shampoos.

Although salicylic acid shampoos are safe to use, unregulated use may cause adverse reactions.


Salicylic acid shampoos may cause:

Contact sensitization (allergic reaction)

Dry skin

Stinging sensation

Erythema or inflammation

Salicylism (SA toxicity)



Skin irritation


How Long Can I Leave Salicylic Acid On The Scalp?

Shake into the palm of your hand, massage hands together, and use your fingertips to rub into the scalp. Apply enough to cover the entire scalp. Leave on for 10 minutes, and then wash your hair as usual.

Does Salicylic Acid Shampoo Cause Hair Loss?

There are several over-the-counter (OTC) options. When choosing a product, remember that salicylic acid breaks down the scales but could cause your hair to break off. This can cause temporary hair loss. Also, tar products can be effective, but they can stain fabric and gray hair.

Can Salicylic Acid Make Dandruff Worse?

Having your body more readily shred the irritated skin can help control symptoms. However, salicylic acid can cause irritation and dry skin if used too often, so discontinue use if it makes your symptoms worse.

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