No one wants to deal with dandruff. It’s itchy, messy, and can make you feel unkept. But as much of a nuisance as those pesky flakes are, the skin condition is super common. In fact, 50% of people in the United States deal with dandruff, so you’re not alone if you suffer from an irritated scalp. The solution? An effective anti-dandruff shampoo.
To avoid the dreaded dusting of white flakes on your dark sweater, we’ve rounded up the best dandruff shampoos out there.
A lot of people think that dandruff is caused by dry scalps, but most often, it’s actually the opposite. One of the most common kinds of dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, is caused by oily skin, and symptoms are a red scalp and white or yellow scales. Scalps suffering from dryness are extremely itchy and shed smaller white flakes. The type of anti-dandruff shampoo you choose should depend on the type of dandruff you’re dealing with and your specific hair type.
What are the best dandruff shampoos for fighting flakes?
Certain ingredients are needed to reduce dandruff-causing bacteria and provide relief for your scalp. When browsing for a dandruff shampoo, look for products with ingredients like tea tree oil, ketaconazole, and salicylic acid. These ingredients soothe itchy scalps and work to kick dandruff-causing bacteria to the curb. Find the best dandruff shampoos to suit your needs below.
1Head and Shoulders Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
As the OG anti-dandruff shampoo, Head and Shoulders has the most sales of any other flake-fighting product. It’s important to pair your anti-dandruff shampoo with a complementary conditioner, and this 2-in-1 bottle works double-time to nourish your scalp.
2Neutrogena T/Sal Shampoo Scalp Build-Up Control
This therapeutic shampoo has a dose of salicylic acid that works to clear and prevent flaky scalps. Neutrogena actually has an entire line of anti-dandruff products, including another shampoo, T/Gel shampoo (that one contains coal tar, so be careful if you’re blonde—it can darken your hair.) Pro tip: Make sure to follow up this shampoo with a moisturizing conditioner.
3ApotheCARE Essential the Equalizer Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Spotted: A spa-like shampoo at a low price. Not only does tea tree oil give your hair a lovely fragrance, it’s known for fighting flakes like a pro. This anti-dandruff shampoo also contains extracts from rosemary, sage, and sunflower, so it balances the scalp while leaving your hair silky smooth.
4Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo
If you’re looking for quick results, this is the best dandruff shampoo for you. This fast-acting formula is packed with pyrithione zinc, and works to enrich and relieve irritated scalps super quickly.
5Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
With a pleasant fragrance and sleek packaging, this isn’t your average medicinal anti-dandruff shampoo. It’s packed with salicylic acid for fighting flakes, and is known to strengthen and smooth hair. This one’s a splurge, but loyal users say it’s worth it.
6Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
This over-the-counter shampoo works like a prescribed shampoo, only it’s way cheaper. It contains ketaconazole, which is used to treat scaly skin, and works on all hair types and colors.
7Dove Derma Care Scalp Dryness and Itch Relief
Like Head and Shoulders, Dove’s anti-dandruff shampoo formula is an overall winner for every hair type. It’s packed with pyrithione zinc, which relieves and prevents dandruff, plus moisturizing Shea butter and coconut for a pleasant fragrance. Another benefit: You can find this one at any drugstore, so if you’re in a pinch, this dandruff shampoo is your go-to.
8Biolage Scalpsync Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
With a cult following, this anti-dandruff shampoo is a trusted solution for irritated scalps. It contains anti-inflammatory pyrithione zinc and scalp-soothing mint, resulting in a calming, flake-fighting formula.
9Eufora Aloe Therapy Soothing Hair-Body Cleanse
This is one of the best dandruff shampoos for people with sensitive skin due to its ultra-gentle formula that’s known to calm and soothe your scalp. With drops of oat and water lily, this cleansing shampoo will leave your hair light and refreshed.
Now, go kick those flakes to the curb with the best dandruff shampoos on the market.