We tend to think of the scalp as an integral part of our hair, but it’s actually skin—just like you know, the skin on your face. With that being said, if you have sensitive skin on your face and body, it’s fairly likely that your scalp is also prone to irritation, inflammation, flakiness and itchiness, making the hunt to find the best shampoo for sensitive scalps a top skincare priority. If your skin falls on the highly reactive end of the spectrum, you’re probably already aware that using harsher actives like Vitamin C and retinoids can cause some major flare-ups and discomfort, and the same is true when it comes to the stuff you put on your head.

Shampoos are notoriously laden with irritating chemicals and additives that can wreak havoc on a delicate scalp. From the violet-pigmented dyes in your purple shampoo, to the delicious, perfume-replacing fragrances in your daily hair wash, and even nasty additive like sulfates and parabens, these scalp no-no’s all happen to be common culprits linked with causing major scalp issues. As if these commonplace, impossible-to-pronounce shampoo ingredients weren’t troubling enough, you may be surprised to learn that some popular shampoos are infused with alcohol and, wait for it—even formaldehyde. Yikes, indeed.

There are endless shampoos on the market labeled with beauty buzzwords like “gentle,” and “moisturizing,” but often times, these formulas are still chock full of troublesome additives that won’t help you combat dandruff or irritation in the slightest. Natural shampoos—often infused with tea tree and other essentials oils can be a great place to start, but you’ll still want to do your research when it comes to reading the finely printed ingredient list on the back. If you’re clueless with where to start in your search, we’ve rounded up a few safe options for sensitive skin and irritated scalps that will still give your locks a good deep clean.