Can Vaseline Soothe An Itchy Scalp?

For people of an older generation, petroleum jelly, or more specifically the product known as Vaseline, was the kind of multipurpose fail-safe item that was always around and hailed for its many benefits. Even today, Vaseline always seems to be around, like how it should be incorporated into your beauty routine, and may even help with eyebrow growth, but the question you may be curious to answer if you have landed on this page is — can Vaseline soothe an itchy scalp?


Quite simply put, there is some evidence to suggest it can. However, that evidence is not sufficient proof of long-term and definitive results. A 2015 study published in the American Family Physician journal indicated that in the case of infants suffering from dry scalp, the application of emollients that help loosen the dry scales, such as mineral or olive oil and petroleum jelly (Vaseline), can prove effective. While this information is certainly helpful, it doesn't address the efficacy of Vaseline to soothe an itchy scalp in adolescents and adults. Luckily, we did the groundwork to find more on this subject.

The benefits of using Vaseline on an itchy scalp

Before we begin, it may be fruitful to understand what exactly petroleum jelly is. According to Medical News Today, "Petroleum jelly is an affordable, multipurpose skin care product. As long as a person chooses a safe and refined form of this waxy substance, it is unlikely to cause skin problems." However, they are also quick to caution that petroleum jelly is not a guaranteed replacement for targeted skin care products, and if used with complete abandon, it may also worsen certain skin conditions by slowing down the healing process.


Used to soothe dry, cracked skin on the lips and other sensitive areas of the face and body, Vaseline performs well (per Healthline), but for a scalp that is covered with hair, other factors need to be considered. Massaging a small amount of the product onto the scalp may help alleviate the dry itchiness of the area, but be mindful of the amount of product you use, as using too much of this thick gel may make it difficult to remove from the hair eventually. That said, a small amount of Vaseline may help combat flakiness if it is massaged gently onto the scalp before rinsing the area with shampoo.

Other ways to treat a dry, itchy scalp

In case you are wary of applying Vaseline directly onto your scalp, there are other solutions you could explore to treat a dry, itchy scalp condition. After all, some of these may work faster and more effectively than petroleum jelly would. A clarifying shampoo that contains no chemicals, for example, will help keep the area clean without excessively drying out your hair. This step can be followed up by using the right conditioner that will help strengthen your hair, especially if it's thin or brittle.


Other basic rules to follow include fighting the urge to scratch the area, no matter how itchy it feels as that only serves to worsen the dryness and flakiness, and may even draw blood and cause the formation of wounds, as per Men's Health. You should also avoid using products that contain chemicals that may irritate your scalp further. Mild, fragrance-free products that are labeled as hypoallergenic are most appropriate for people with skin issues. You should also be careful to bathe in cool or lukewarm water if you have itchy and dry skin as hot water tends to strip the skin of its natural oils even further, according to the experts at Healthline.