After 18 hours of research evaluating 73 products, we picked Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo as our top choice.
Can’t wear black anymore for fear that it’ll be covered in flakes before you even get to work? You’re not alone; according to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 40 percent of adults over 30 experience some level of dandruff.
Well because dandruff is, sadly, natural. Those flakes are simply dead skin cells – traditionally held together with oil from your scalp.
There are a couple of causes, including not shampooing frequently enough. Seborrheic dermatitis, however, is one of the leading causes of these flakes, as it is an oily, irritated scalp. Another cause is a fungus that just about everyone deals with – though it doesn’t affect everyone with serious flakes.
Luckily, most people can solve their flakes with a shampoo for dandruff. However, not everyone experiences the same results from over-the-counter products.
Not sure where to begin?
Well, we’ve taken the time to narrow down the best shampoo for dandruff if you’re battling flakes. Keep reading to find the best anti dandruff shampoo for you. Welcome to the flake free life!
You won’t find any parabens or sulfates in this shampoo for dandruff. On top of that, it visibly reduces flakes and reduces itchiness quickly.
You’ll definitely need a conditioner after this product and it’s not exactly cheap. Plus, the smell can be a little too strong for some users.
One of the things we like most about this shampoo for dandruff is that you won’t feel the need to wash your hair every day. This treatment lasts between washes and most people find that it leaves their hair feeling clean and shiny. That said, you may want to add a conditioner to the mix – especially if you have damaged or color-treated hair.
This is an amazing shampoo for dry and itchy scalps and most users find that it works relatively quickly. You can also expect a visible reduction in flakes, but it won’t happen overnight. That is, however, to be expected when you’re dealing with such a natural formula. But, that’s not a bad thing when you’re after something for sensitive skins.
Active ingredients: Homeopathic ingredients with essential oils
Package size: 8 fluid ounces is your only option, but it is available as a Subscribe and Save product on Amazon.
Pricing: The MSRP is $9 and you’ll pay a little less than this which works out to a little more than $1 per ounce. It’s not terrible, but you can also find less expensive dandruff shampoos – though perhaps not such natural ones.
Not only does this do the job when it comes to dandruff, it really does work well for seborrhic dermatitis. You can choose between sizes and they’re all affordable.
Not everyone can handle the smell – and it can take a little longer to work than some dandruff shampoos.
This shampoo for dandruff does a stellar job for those that battle seborrheic dermatitis. Indeed, is does a fair job with dandruff flakes, but it’s really better for the former condition. If you deal with a combination of the two, you want this. Hey, even if you’ve been battling mild dandruff, the price on this should sway you.
Now, there is something you should know – the smell is, well… strong. But, that has to do with the clinical-level ingredients, which we love. Scalps do feel clean after use and there are plenty of dermatologists that would recommend you start with this shampoo before moving onto other options. Given the range of affordable sizes, we don’t see why you wouldn’t.
Active ingredients: 1% selenium sulfide
Package size: Amazon offers three different choices of packs with 13.5-ounce bottles. Each of them is more than affordable.
Pricing: For the 2-pack of 13.5-ounce bottles, you’ll pay about $12. You don’t need to have strong math skills to know that’s a seriously affordable dandruff treatment (a little more than 60 cents an ounce) Nice, right?
This shampoo won’t scream that you need dandruff control; it also offers a nice tingle and there’s a TSA-approved size available.
Besides being expensive, it’s not totally effective for everyone.
Okay, this cruelty-free product is only so-so at getting flakes under control. It is pretty good at keeping them in check once you’ve cleared the condition, but it’s not necessarily going to be your friend until then. However, you shouldn’t rule out this shampoo for dandruff for a couple of reasons.
For a start, it won’t be obvious that you’re keeping dandruff under control. Additionally, it smells terrific and it lathers exceptionally well. As it does so, you can expect a tingling sensation on your scalp which will make you feel amazing. And, this shampoo is also sold in a 2-ounce, TSA-approved size so you can take it with you on the plane. Score, score, and score; it’s just not as cheap as we’d like.
Active ingredients: Tea tree
Package size: There are a couple different package sizes available. We’re fans of the 2-pack of 16 ounce bottles. You can also Subscribe and Save on six different packs available.
Pricing: For the 32 ounces in the 2-pack above, you’ll pay less than $30 and that means a little more than 90 cents an ounce. That’s actually a terrific price for an effective cruelty-free product.
Does a good job with dandruff as well as other scalp conditions, such as psoriasis. The price is right and it’s an Amazon best seller.
There are those that can’t handle the smell; it is quite strong.
There are pros and cons to this shampoo for dandruff. On the plus side, the price is right and it has enough backing from real users as evidenced by its status as Amazon #1 best seller. There are also plenty of rave reviews to back it up (particularly interesting is the story about one woman’s cat who appears to be addicted to the smell).
On the downside, this doesn’t work for everyone, nor does it work for every condition. Though it’s supposed to control dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis, not everyone achieves the same results. On the upside, when it works, it works fast – in just a few washes. So, it’s not as if you need to wait around for ages just hoping for a result. But, and this is really important, it’s crucial to follow the directions if you want results.
Active ingredients: Coal tar
Package size: 16 ounces
Pricing: You should be paying less than $12 for the 16 ounces of this dandruff shampoo. That works out to less than 75 cents per ounce. For an effective treatment, that’s a darn good price.
It cleanses and conditions. On top of that, it battles dandruff, dermatitis, and mild cases of psoriasis. Plus the price is right.
Some users with longer hair need to get a separate conditioner.
You may remember Head and Shoulders as the best 2-in-1 from back in the day. That is hardly the case today as this is hands-down the best shampoo for dandruff that includes conditioner. To be fair, women (and men) with longer hair may require a dab of extra conditioner on the ends, but most find this formula to do the job just fine.
We’re a big fan of the way this deals with scalp dermatitis and mild psoriasis - users find a lot of relief for all sorts of scalp conditions. The natural ingredients don’t strip color from treated hair which makes it a solid choice for many people. The price isn’t bad; it could be better, but it’s not terrible.
Active ingredients: Pyrithione Zinc
Package size: 12 ounces
Pricing: You’re likely to pay between $13 and $15 for the 12 ounce bottle. That does make this quite cost effective at a little more than $1 per ounce. Not bad. Not bad at all.
The Ketoconazole 1% controls flaking, scaling, and itching while remaining gentle on the scalp. The formula works by binding to the protein of your hair.
Besides being expensive, this isn’t going to do anything about other issues, such as eczema or psoriasis.
This is the stuff that truly works. Seriously. And, it’s so effective that you only need to use it twice a week. Now, this dandruff shampoo can be a little drying, so it’s best to use a conditioner on the days when you use this shampoo, but don’t rinse it out completely.
That said, the way this shampoo for dandruff works is through the attachment of the Ketoconazole to the hair proteins. The active ingredient does battle against the natural fungi we all have which causes dandruff. So, you may not want to be washing with other shampoos in between these treatments.
In case you’re wondering, this works for men and women of every shade and hair type. Really, if you can afford this, you want it.
Active ingredients: Ketoconazole (1%)
Package size: 7 ounces
Pricing: The MSRP is closer to $18, but you can find this dandruff shampoo for a little more than $14. That’s about $2 per ounce. Sadly, that does make this one of the most expensive options, but it is also one of the most effective.
Dandruff affects a lot of people. In fact, it’s probably a lot more common than you think. Despite this, we understand that dandruff can lead to a lot of embarrassing situations—most of them involving dark clothing. It’s also associated with itching and either dryness or oiliness, which can be quite uncomfortable to deal with.
Fortunately, using a good anti-dandruff shampoo can make a massive difference for most people. The best shampoos for dandruff will not only keep those pesky flakes at bay, but they will also help your hair restore its health and balance.
So, how exactly do you choose the best dandruff shampoo? Check out our guide below!
There are a variety of things that can cause dandruff. In fact, many cases of dandruff are triggered by a combination of two or more of these factors. Knowing all of them can help you narrow down the potential triggers in your specific case, which will ultimately help you find the best anti-dandruff shampoo.
There are literally dozens of shampoos for dandruff on the market today. Fortunately for you, we’ve already done the research and listed the best of the best shampoos above. But if our list still isn’t specific enough for you, here are a few tips you can use to further narrow down your choices.
Most anti-dandruff shampoos on the market use one of the following ingredients (or a combination of several of these). The best ingredient for you will vary depending on the circumstances of your condition. Here are brief descriptions of the most popular active ingredients for fighting dandruff.
Zinc pyrithione is widely used for its anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It helps prevent the Malassezia fungus from taking over your scalp and worsening your dandruff. It also helps control the production of yeast on the scalp.
What’s more, zinc pyrithione can help improve the health and texture of your hair strands. It also helps in removing dead cells that may be accumulating on your head, as well as in minimizing hair fall.
Coal tar is commonly recommended for those with greasy hair. It’s a natural antifungal substance that slows down the growth of yeast. However, coal tar should not be used by people with color-treated hair.
You probably know salicylic acid as an anti-acne skincare ingredient. It’s a popular component that’s found in the best pimple patches, after all. Salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliant that helps clear the pores on your face, and it helps reduce dandruff through a similar mechanism.
When used on the scalp, salicylic acid helps get rid of stubborn dead skin cells and accumulated sebum, consequently eliminating and clearing flakes. It has a tendency to cause dryness, though, so it’s important to pair it with a moisturizing conditioner.
Selenium sulfide is another substance that is generally recommended for those with oily hair. This chemical soothes the scalp and slows down the production of sebum in the scalp glands, which could help slow down dandruff production. As with coal tar, it is not ideal for those with chemically-treated hair.
Ketoconazole is arguably the most popular and effective anti-fungal ingredient used in dandruff shampoos. What makes it so great is that its effects last long after you have stepped out of the shower. Ketoconazole binds to the proteins in your hair to eliminate excessive levels of fungi on the scalp. What’s more, it controls the shedding of dead skin at the same time, leading to a two-pronged approach that gives fast results.
Another popular natural ingredient is tea tree oil. If you have used tea tree oil for acne before, then you’ll know that it has powerful antiseptic and antifungal properties. This helps in maintaining a cleaner scalp with reduced dandruff.
Green tea extract is used as a natural remedy for dandruff, psoriasis, and other skin conditions. Its effects aren’t as pronounced and established as those of the other ingredients on this list, so it’s recommended only for the mildest cases of dandruff.
Whatever shampoo you end up purchasing, there are a bunch of lifestyle changes that you can adopt in order to secure a dandruff-free scalp for the long term. These habits will ensure that your exposure to dandruff triggers will be kept to a minimum, thereby helping you get the most out of your dandruff shampoo.