Frustrated with itchy, flaky scalp because of dandruff? Well, you aren’t alone. Almost all of us have had dandruff at some point in time and experienced its several discomforts such as redness and flaking on the scalp, itching, and, the most embarrassing of all, snowflake-like dusting on shoulders.
But there is nothing at all to be ashamed of when it comes to dandruff. The popular belief that dandruff is a result of a poor hygiene routine isn’t true. Instead, dandruff is known as seborrheic dermatitis in dermatology, a scalp condition that causes scales and redness. The condition is usually caused by an overgrowth of yeast, to which our body develops an inflammatory reaction leading to an itchy and flaky scalp.
While in most cases, it is difficult to ascertain the underlying cause for dandruff but the general triggers include hormones, genetics, overproduction of oil on the scalp, and stress.
The good news is that it is not that difficult to treat dandruff. In most cases, over-the-counter shampoos – containing ingredients like pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid, ketoconazole, and tea tree oil – work well in controlling dandruff. However, if your problem seems severe and the use of these shampoos doesn’t give any satisfying result, consult a specialist. (1)
It is also important to choose an anti-dandruff shampoo according to your hair type as they can be a bit harsh and strip your hair of moisture. Those with curly and dry hair should choose a dandruff shampoo containing calming ingredients like aloe vera or coconut oil. (2)
Here is a list of 12 anti-dandruff shampoos that can help you fight flakes while making your hair look healthy and better.
1. Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Nizoral contains ketoconazole that helps control flaking, itching, and scaling. When used regularly, it works magically against dandruff. One of the biggest plus points of this shampoo is that despite being an effective dandruff treatment, this is gentle and safe enough to be used on color-treated, chemically processed hair. In addition, the shampoo produces a rich, thick lather that cleans the scalp and leaves hair smelling fresh.
Price: $17.17/ 200 ml
2. Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo
This bestseller from Neutrogena not only effectively controls dandruff but also calms down any inflammation. It contains coal tar extract that helps in getting rid of flaking from dandruff. The shampoo starts giving relief just a week after starting the treatment. It not only gives you a healthy scalp but also leaves hair clean and manageable.
Price: $16.39/ 473 ml
3. Selsun Blue Moisturizing Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with Aloe
When it comes to treating dandruff quickly, nothing works better than Selsun Blue. This is considered a classic for a reason. It contains selenium sulfide that calms down any inflammation and gives long-lasting results. This is a very soothing shampoo that calms down inflammation from the scalp. This variant works well even for those with dry, coarse, and curly hair as it also contains aloe that nourishes and moisturizes your tresses. Use just once or twice a week to see the magic.
Price: $8.69/ 325 ml
4. Head & Shoulders Royal Oils Moisture Boost Shampoo
There is a reason why Head and Shoulders Shampoo is considered a legend in the anti-dandruff category. It offers you instant redemption. Whether you have heavy dandruff or light, you can find a variant from this brand to suit your needs. This one, in particular, is designed for those with curly, kinky, or coiled hair to give them extra nourishment while fighting dandruff. It balances and restores scalp health without stripping moisture from the hair. It contains coconut oil that provides extra nourishment but also clears any build-up from the scalp.
Price: $6.97/ 400 ml
5. L’Oréal Paris EverFresh Antidandruff Shampoo
This is a sulfate-free shampoo that works great for all hair types, including those with color-treated hair. EverFresh Antidandruff shampoo contains pyrithione zinc that works miraculously against dandruff and its related symptoms. This is specially formulated for color-treated hair and doesn’t dull its color.
Price: $6.99/ 250 ml
6. Oribe Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
This glamorous pink bottle not only helps eliminate dandruff but also improves the overall health of your hair. This gentle cleanser contains salicylic acid that helps relieve scalp problems such as dryness, itching, and irritation. In addition, it is very gentle on hair and prevents breakage and damage. So give this fancy formula a try to revive your dull tresses.
Price: $45/ 250 ml
7. Biolage Scalpsync No-Dandruff Shampoo
Biolage Scalpsync No-Dandruff Shampoo comes with an interesting list of ingredients. It contains pyrithione zinc that keeps dandruff and irritation in control. The shampoo also contains mint that has a cooling effect on inflammation. It deep cleanses your scalp and calms any inflammation by treating the problem at the source.
Price: $32/ 1 litre
8. Dove Beauty Derma Care Scalp Dryness & Itch Relief Anti Dandruff Shampoo
This one is perfect for those with dry strands as it not only fights flakes but also nourishes your hair and controls frizz. Apart from pyrithione zinc that controls dandruff-causing fungus, this variant from Dove also contains coconut and shea butter that nourishes parched strands. This is an affordable drugstore option that is gentle and nourishing for hair. It can be used daily for all hair types.
Price: $7/ 355 ml
9. Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo
If you’re looking for some instant solution for your dandruff and scalp relief, try Redken. This shampoo contains the anti-dandruff ingredient pyrithione zinc, which acts as an anti-inflammatory and stops seborrheic dermatitis from spreading. In addition, this potent ingredient combats bacterial and fungal growth while taking care of the inflammation. Apply the shampoo to wet or dry hair by massaging it into the scalp. Leave on for five minutes and rinse. This gentle formula can be used daily.
Price: $23/ 250 ml
10. Shea Moisture African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Deep Cleansing Shampoo
If you’re looking for a sulfate-free, color-safe option in the anti-dandruff shampoo category, then Shea Moisture should be your choice. Apart from salicylic acid that helps fight dandruff, the shampoo contains bamboo charcoal and tea tree oil. This is a very gentle and soothing shampoo. It calms down the irritated scalp while at the same time moisturizes it. In addition, Shea butter, coconut and jojoba oils, and aloe extracts present in this shampoo add extra nourishment to the hair.
Price: $13.76/ 384 ml
11. Neutrogena T/Gel Daily Control 2-in-1 Anti-Dandruff Shampoo Plus Conditioner
As the name suggests, this anti-dandruff shampoo also conditions your hair while tackling the dandruff issue. The formula contains a combination of pyrithione zinc that helps relieve itching and flaking of the scalp and vitamin E that moisturizes the hair and scalp. This is a shampoo and conditioner in one bottle; it helps get rid of dandruff and itching while leaving hair soft and manageable in one simple step.
Price: $10.85/ 250 ml
12. Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo
This cult favorite from Paul Mitchell comes loaded with a list of interesting ingredients such as tea tree oil, peppermint, and lavender. This shampoo gets rid of all sorts of impurities from the scalp and makes it squeaky clean. It works well for all hair types and leaves locks healthy and lustrous. It may not be as effective as a zinc/ salicylic acid shampoo, but it balances the scalp by getting rid of yeast. Use it with a conditioner from the same line and experience the tingling sensation of tea tree oil.
Price: $11.90/ 300 ml
Dandruff can easily be termed as one of the most frustrating and recurring problems of the scalp. Just like pimples, it can happen for no reason at all. The most annoying symptoms of dandruff include redness, flaking, and itching on the scalp. The good news is that it is not that difficult to treat dandruff. Over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoos containing ingredients like pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid, ketoconazole, and tea tree oil can give excellent results in a short time. In this article, we enlist the 12 best anti-dandruff shampoos that work well on various hair types without leaving them parched.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the best way of using an anti-dandruff shampoo?
For a dandruff shampoo to give you good results, you must apply it to the scalp and leave it like that for at least 10 minutes before rinsing it out. This will give active ingredients enough time to start working.
What are the key ingredients that one should look for while buying anti-dandruff shampoo?
Look for ingredients like pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid, ketoconazole, and tea tree oil in a dandruff shampoo.
How often can we use anti-dandruff shampoo?
Anti-dandruff shampoo should be used daily or on alternate days to show good results, but if that doesn’t fit well into your routine, try using it at least twice a week.
- “Seborrheic Dermatitis: Best Shampoos for Treating Your Scalp” – healthline.com
- “All About Dandruff Shampoos, Plus 5 Recommendations” – healthline.com