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SPY Editor’s Choice: Reviewing Harry’s Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner

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SPY Editor’s Choice products meet our strictest quality standards. After years of regular use, we have updated our original review of Harry’s Shampoo and Anti-Dandruff products to include our “Editor’s Choice” badge and additional information about the products. Not only have these products been personally tested by the SPY team, but we’ve also consulted dermatologists and other experts about the best way to fight dandruff.

Harry’s is one of our favorite online shaving clubs, and this independent men’s grooming brand has its eyes set on total world domination. Well, at least the men’s grooming world. Lately, you may have noticed Harry’s shampoo, shaving creams and razors appearing on drug stores and grocery store shelves.  

On September 29, 2020, Harry’s originally launched a new line of anti-dandruff products for men. By that time, Harry’s had already broken into new product categories like hair and skincare, but the brand’s new anti-dandruff products remain some of the company’s best. Over the years, these anti-dandruff shampoos and scrubs have won numerous SPY awards. You can pick up the whole suite of products for just $25, which is a small price to pay for banishing dandruff from your life. 

Harry’s sent SPY these new dandruff treatments prior to their original launch for testing, and this writer has continued to use these products in the years since. For a product reviewer, this is the best test of a product’s true value — when the free sample runs out, are we going to keep spending our own money to use the product? In this case, the answer has been yes.

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At the time of its launch, a Harry’s representative told SPY that the goal of the anti-dandruff line was to create a “straightforward and effective” line of dandruff products that achieved results without “the use of harsh chemicals, a synthetic smell, overdrying, and residue.”

We’ve found that this product line lives up to that promise. Below, you’ll find our full Harry’s shampoo review and more info on all of Harry’s new dandruff products, as well as some information on what causes this irritating skin problem and how to get flakes under control.

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Courtesy of Harry's
  • Natural ingredients such as peppermint and tea tree oil
  • Pyrithione zinc for fighting flakes
  • Competitively priced with other dandruff shampoo
  • Multiple strengths available
  • Products really work
  • Some men will be reluctant to try sugar scalp scrubs
  • May not be available in all drug stores

The Lifecycle of Dandruff: How To Fight Flakes

I’ve always been a little vain about my hair, and so I was embarrassed to experience dandruff problems for the first time this year at the age of 32. I know there’s nothing to be embarrassed about, but I wasn’t looking forward to switching up my favorite shampoos and conditioners. Fortunately, Harry’s Anti-Dandruff shampoo and conditioner arrived at the perfect time.

So what do guys like me need to know when using anti-dandruff products for the first time?

“Whether you’re experiencing dandruff for the first time or have suffered from symptoms for years, as a rule of thumb, I typically recommend looking for products that are free of harsh ingredients, like sulfates, parabens and dyes, as they can often irritate and dry out your scalp,” Carlos Charles, MD, a Board Certified Dermatologist who works with Harry’s, told SPY via email. “What I love about the new Harry’s line is how they’ve combined natural active ingredients like Jujube Bark Extract with Pyrithione Zinc, which are very gentle on the skin, yet incredibly effective as antifungals to restore scalp health.”

To understand what causes dandruff, you need to know about sebum, which is an oily substance produced by glands in your skin. Sebum is part of the skin’s natural barrier against germs, but it can also become home to a fungus called malassezia. Over time, this can cause irritation to your scalp’s skin, which is easy to neglect when it’s covered up by your otherwise gorgeous hair. This causes flaking and dandruff, which will get worse if you try to ignore it.

No one likes to think about fungal infections, but dandruff can be treated by regular cleaning with a hydrating shampoo. If that doesn’t work, a medicated shampoo containing the anti-fungal pyrithione Zinc can take care of the problem.


Reviewing Harry’s New Line of Anti-Dandruff Products

Because dandruff can range from mild to severe, Harry’s didn’t simply create a one-size-fits-all anti-dandruff shampoo. The line contains three versions of the brand’s new Anti-Dandruff 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner — Dry Scalp (without pyrithione Zinc), Normal Strength and Extra Strength. Unlike some anti-dandruff shampoos, these products don’t smell like medicine. They have a light fragrance and lather up nicely in the shower.

That’s because in addition to pyrithione zinc, these products also contain botanical ingredients that naturally fight fungus and bacteria such as peppermint, tea tree oil, black pepper, papaya extract and jujube bark extract. These natural ingredients help get skin irritation, flakes and dry skin under control. The dandruff shampoo and conditioner also provides that refreshing peppermint feeling you expect from the best dandruff products.

Check out the whole line of anti-dandruff products, as well as our reviews, below. If you aren’t sure which products are right for you, Harry’s has a new quiz on their website to help guys buy the right products.

Harry’s Scalp Scrub

Here at SPY, we love a good exfoliating scrub for men. Unfortunately, most scrubs are only designed to treat your facial skin, leaving all of the skin on your scalp vulnerable to oil buildup and dandruff-causing fungus. This scalp scrub should be used once a week to maintain scalp health. It contains a mix of sugar, salicylic acid, tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract.

We’ll be honest, we weren’t sure what to expect from a scalp scrub. We’d be willing to be that most men have never used a product like this, and I certainly hadn’t prior to testing this line. However, it’s turned into my favorite product from the entire line, and I strongly recommend it to any guys dealing with stubborn dandruff. The natural ingredients in the scrub provide a soothing, refreshing feeling, and the scrubbing particles feel great against your scalp — like scratching an itch that’s been bothering you all day.

Most importantly, I’ve found it to be an effective tool in fighting dandruff, and a little bit of this scrub goes a long way. The only downside? For guys with thicker, longer hair, it can be hard to work down to the scalp.

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Courtesy of Harry's

Harry’s Shampoo & Conditioner for Dry Scalp

The mild version of Harry’s anti-dandruff shampoo, the Dry Scalp formulation contains natural ingredients like papaya, aloe and black pepper. If you’re dealing with itchiness and occasional dandruff, this is the product you need. To be honest, if you’re dealing with dandruff, we would recommend going with one of the stronger formulations of Harry’s shampoo, as this might not provide the clinical ingredients you really need to fight dandruff. However, if you prefer a milder, natural anti-dandruff shampoo, then this is a solid option.

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Courtesy of Harry's

Anti-Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner – Normal Strength

The normal strength version of Harry’s anti-dandruff shampoo adds 1% pyrithione Zinc into the mix to fight the fungus that causes dandruff. Along with the Harry’s Scalp Scrub, this is the product I’ve been using for almost two years, and in that time I’ve been very happy with the results. It feels refreshing on your scalp and doesn’t smell like medicine. The included conditioner also ensures your hair doesn’t get too dry, which can be an issue with some dandruff shampoo.

In my original Harry’s shampoo review I praised this product, and I’ve continued purchasing it over the years. I alternate this with my other go-to men’s shampoo and add this to my routine when I notice dandruff returning.

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Courtesy of Harry's

Anti-Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner – Extra Strength

If you’re dealing with persistent and severe dandruff, then it’s time to stop messing around. Harry’s Extra Strength dandruff shampoo has 2% pyrithione Zinc and 0.5% jujube bark extract. Together these ingredients get dandruff and irritation under control while providing relief from itching.

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Harry’s Scalp Cream

Finally, there’s Harry’s new anti-dandruff scalp cream. This leave-in conditioner uses aloe and an amino acid blend to soothe and hydrate your scalp skin. It’s an oil-free cream that will help banish dandruff flakes. For particularly intense dandruff that won’t go away, this scalp cream is the final step you need to get rid of dandruff.

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Courtesy of Harry's

Updates: SPY’s Harry’s Shampoo review was originally published in September 2020, when these products were first released. After spending additional time with the products — years, in fact — we updated our review on August 12, 2022.