We’ve all been there. Maybe you didn’t moisturize your hair well enough, or your hair is missing some crucial element — either way, your hair starts creating dandruff and flaking. It’s annoying and embarrassing, and nobody wants to worry about being caught flaking. Thankfully, we have some shampoos that will help your scalp fight the dandruff battle.
Dandruff shampoo helps to strip the scalp of dandruff-causing bacteria and helps create a healthy environment for hair to grow. From dandruff to hair thinning, dandruff shampoos act as an antibacterial and antifungal treatment that gets to the root of the issue (no pun intended). As the scalp is relieving itself of dandruff, the dandruff shampoo supplies the scalp with ingredients to fortify and nourish the hair. You might notice your hair appearing to be healthier and thicker after continued use.
Dandruff shampoo is an easy way to get rid of dandruff while also keeping your daily hair routine. We’ll give you dandruff shampoo benefits below, and follow with a list of dandruff shampoos that will make your hair thick, healthy and flake-free.
What to Look For in Dandruff Shampoo
There are some key ingredients that you should look for when selecting a dandruff shampoo. These include:
- Pytithione zinc
- Coal tar
- Salicylic acid
Pyrithione Zinc has antibacterial properties that help fight dandruff, scalp psoriasis, and acne. Coal Tar is used to treat itchy, dry scalp conditions and dandruff by slowing down skin cells and causing skin cells to shed from the top layer of the skin, specifically the scalp. Salicylic acid is derived from a class of drugs known as salicylates helping to shed dead skin cells and reduce inflammation and dandruff. When dealing with shampoos and other hair needs, there are some elements typically avoided: sulfates, parabens, and phthalates.
Sulfates help to strip your hair of dirt and grime but can also strip your hair of its natural oils. Parabens are typically used to inhibit microbial growth but they also can affect your hormonal functions as well. Finally, phthalates can cause a host of medical issues with long-term usage.
Ready to take control of your fight with dandruff? Read on for our list of the best dandruff shampoos below.
1. Harry’s Anti-Dandruff 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner
Harry’s Anti-Dandruff 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner helps to remove annoying flakes while leaving behind a manly scent. This option has 1% of Pyrithione zinc, thus making it a powerful addition to your dandruff-fighting arsenal. Harry’s Anti-Dandruff line also has other options to choose from that will aid your scalp and have your strands looking healthier and stronger than ever.
2. Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
The Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is salon-tested. Nizoral contains one-percent of Ketoconozale, which is clinically proven to fight dandruff. This option is safe to use on color-treated and gray hair and is usable on all hair types. The formula can help your hair stay clean, fresh and soft.
3. MALIN+GOETZ Dandruff Shampoo
MALIN+GOETZ makes some of the best-smelling skincare, fragrances and even candles, with a focus on clean, natural ingredients. If you’re looking for a dandruff shampoo that’s an upgrade on the basic options on the market, MALIN+GOETZ has you covered. This dandruff shampoo is made from a blend of pyrithione zinc, amino acids and tea tree oil, which has natural skin and hair benefits. It also comes in a stylish, minimalist bottle.
4. Head and Shoulders Shampoo and Conditioner 2 in 1
We’ve featured the moisture-boosting version of Head and Shoulders, but the classic version is also a good one to get. The formula combines shampoo and conditioner into one for easy use, and two 32 oz bottles are included in each order. It comes out in a thick, almost lotion-like consistency, but it does an effective job of controlling dandruff and eliminating visible flakes. The paraben-free formula also reduces itchiness.
5. Selsun Blue Medicated Dandruff Shampoo/Conditioner
In a clinical study published on the National Institutes of Health website, Selsun Blue was rated as the top-performing dandruff shampoo in a trial that included Head and Shoulders. If you need powerful, proven dandruff relief, Selsun should be one to look for. However, it can have an off-putting smell, so for those with mild dandruff, another option may be preferable. This bottle includes cleaning and conditioning, for an easy all-in-one option. One 11 oz bottle is included.
6. Aveda Scalp Remedy Dandruff Solution
Many dandruff products are designed to be used the same way a regular shampoo is, but Aveda’s solution is designed as a leave-in treatment to combat itching and flaking. It’s supposed to be applied two to four times a day without washing it out. Aveda also takes an environmentally-friendly approach to their products; products are vegan, not tested on animals, and manufactured in plants powered by wind and solar.
7. Aesop Sage & Cedar Scalp Treatment, 25 mL
While not specifically listed as a dandruff treatment, Aesop’s solution is made to reduce scalp itchiness by hydrating and soothing your scalp. Aesop’s (admittedly expensive) products are noted for their great smell, and the same goes for this oil, which features sage and cedar. It’s designed as a pre-shampoo oil, so you can use it in addition to your preferred shampoo.
8. Briogeo B. Well Organic + Australian 100% Tea Tree Skin & Scalp Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural solution that can potentially treat flaky and itchy scalps, and this potent formula is designed to be diluted or mixed in for blemishes, minor abrasions and for itchy scalp relief. The brand suggests mixing it into another carrier oil, adding it to your shampoo or diluting it with water.
9. Head and Shoulders Royal Oils Moisture Boost Shampoo
BEST FOR NATURAL HAIR
Free of parabens and dyes, Head and Shoulders Royal Oils Moisture Boost Shampoo leaves your hair with a coconut scent and long-lasting odor protection that can help with day to day maintenance of kinky hair. This option treats your hair with a coconut oil formula that also works to seal in the moisture.
10. Honeydew Anti Dandruff Shampoo for Kids
BEST FOR KIDS
Honeydew Anti Dandruff Shampoo for Kids is hypoallergenic and can be used for kids of all ages. This anti-dandruff shampoo is tear-free and moisturizes the child’s scalp to alleviate itchiness and flakiness. Also included in the formula are jojoba, tea tree and lavender oils which help to nourish the scalp and hair simultaneously.
11. Dr. Squatch Natural Men’s Shampoo
BEST SCENT FOR MEN
Dr. Squatch is an all-natural men’s skin and hair care brand, and their products include a scent geared towards men. This shampoo nourishes the scalp, which helps with thickening and stimulates growth. Also, Dr. Squatch’s shampoo moisturizes the scalp, which helps with fighting dryness and flakes. Using this option will make your manly strands thick and moisturized.
12. Jason Dandruff Relief Treatment Shampoo
BEST PROFESSIONAL OPTION
Jason’s Dandruff Relief Treatment Shampoo not only treats and controls dandruff but also might help to prevent seborrheic dermatitis from happening. It is cruelty-free and includes many oils that may nourish your scalp including rosemary, jojoba and olive oils. This dandruff treatment shampoo brings a professional salon treatment to the comfort of your home.
13. Shea Moisture African Black Soap Shampoo
BEST FOR COILS AND KINKS
The Shea Moisture African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Deep Cleansing Shampoo clarifies the scalp while nourishing your hair. This option doesn’t have parabens, phthalates or sulfates, and is also cruelty-free. For a healthy scalp that will foster an environment for growth, Shea Moisture’s shampoo might help.
14. Davines Purifying Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
BEST FOR OILY SCALPS
This unisex option fights against flakes while nourishing your scalp. Davines Purifying Anti-Dandruff Shampoo works well with both greasy and dry dandruff. Also, this shampoo fights microbial attacks and creates an environment that stimulates healthy hair growth.
15. Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo
Neutrogena’s T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo might be able to help you through a plethora of scalp conditions. This option may help with the itching and flaking of the scalp, caused by chronic scalp psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and common dandruff. With regular usage, the T/Sal shampoo might clean up the build-up that’s causing you to flake out.