The Best Dandruff Shampoos in 2023
When choosing a shampoo, you need to find one that works for your hair type in order to get the best results. If your scalp is dandruff prone, this is particularly important to help you avoid unsightly flakes and an irritating itch. Read on to find out how to choose the best dandruff shampoos in 2023!
What causes dandruff?
Dandruff is caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Dry skin on the scalp.
- An excess of oil on the scalp. This may seem counterintuitive, but excessive oil is actually a leading cause of a flaky scalp.
- A fungus called Malassezia can cause dandruff, especially in people with oily skin.
- Certain skin conditions, such as seborrheic dermatitis.
- Not shampooing often enough, which can lead to a buildup of dandruff-causing oil and skin cells.
- Using too many hair styling products, such as gels and sprays.
- Sensitivity to ingredients in hair care products, such as sulfates.
What are the challenges of dandruff-prone hair?
- Dandruff can cause itching on the scalp, which is uncomfortable and distracting.
- The white flakes associated with dandruff can be visible on the scalp, in the hair, and on dark clothing, which can be embarrassing.
- The presence of dandruff can make it difficult to style hair, as the flakes may stick to hair products and make the hair appear greasy or dirty.
- The visible nature of dandruff can lead to feelings of self-consciousness and low self-esteem.
What should you look for in dandruff shampoo?
You can apply one of two strategies when looking for a dandruff shampoo: find a shampoo that uses natural ingredients or find one that uses stronger chemicals. This list contains both types of shampoo, but we recommend that you try a shampoo with natural ingredients before resorting to one with harsher chemicals. Here are some natural ingredients to look for:
- Tea tree oil: This essential oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties and may be effective at reducing dandruff caused by Malassezia, a yeast-like fungus that can grow on the scalp.
- Aloe vera: This plant has soothing and moisturizing properties and may be helpful for relieving the itchiness and dryness associated with dandruff.
- Neem: This plant has antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties; it may be effective at reducing dandruff and relieving the associated symptoms.
- Apple cider vinegar: This vinegar has astringent and antimicrobial properties, which may make it effective at reducing dandruff and balancing the pH of the scalp.
- Baking soda: This substance has exfoliating properties and may be helpful for removing flakes and relieving the itching associated with dandruff.
Other ingredients to look for:
- Zinc pyrithione: This is an antimicrobial agent that can help control the growth of yeast on the scalp.
- Selenium sulfide: This is an antifungal agent that can help reduce the population of yeast on the scalp.
- Ketoconazole: This is an antifungal agent that can help control the growth of yeast on the scalp.
- Tar: This is a substance that can help control the growth of yeast and reduce inflammation on the scalp.
- Salicylic acid: This is a keratolytic agent that can help soften and remove flakes on the scalp.
What works for your hair will be unique to you, so if you don’t have any success with one dandruff shampoo, don’t hesitate to try a different product. Read on to find out our picks for the best dandruff shampoos in 2023.
1. Blu Atlas Shampoo
This shampoo is a great product to use for dandruff prone hair. We love that it contains only high quality natural ingredients, which soothe the scalp and reduce irritation. Blu Atlas shampoo contains saw palmetto, aloe vera and jojoba protein, and cleans your hair and scalp with coconut surfactants. The aloe vera is designed to soothe your scalp, which can be left itchy and inflamed by dandruff. The coconut surfactants have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the occurrence of dandruff. Additionally, coconut oil is a natural moisturizer and may help relieve dryness and itching on the scalp.
As well as these great anti-dandruff properties, the saw palmetto and vegan biotin in Blu Atlas shampoo strengthens your hair while the jojoba protein repairs damage, leaving your hair not only dandruff-free but strong, shiny and healthy.
2. Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Dandruff Shampoo
This shampoo relies more on medicated ingredients than natural ones but is a good option for budget conscious people. It contains the active ingredient pyrithione zinc, which is an antimicrobial agent that helps control the growth of yeast on the scalp. This can help reduce dandruff and relieve the associated symptoms such as itching and flaking.
In addition to pyrithione zinc, Head & Shoulders Classic Clean dandruff shampoo also contains several other ingredients, including glycerin, panthenol, and aloe vera, that moisturize the scalp and hair to improve the overall scalp health.
3. Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Another strongly medicated option, Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is a product specifically formulated to treat dandruff. It contains the active ingredient ketoconazole, an antifungal agent that works to prevent the growth of yeast on the scalp, which prevents the itchiness and flaking that can come with dandruff.
Other ingredients in Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, in addition to ketoconazole, are intended to moisturize the scalp and hair and enhance the general health of the scalp. These components include menthol, cetyl alcohol, and stearyl alcohol.
4. Desert Essence Tea Tree Replenishing Shampoo
This Shampoo is a natural anti-dandruff product formulated with tea tree oil and other natural ingredients, including peppermint oil and yukka. Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has antifungal and antibacterial properties and is effective at reducing dandruff caused by Malassezia, a yeast-like fungus that can grow on the scalp. The peppermint oil is soothing for your scalp if it’s irritated from dandruff, and the yukka conditions your hair and gives it a healthy shine.
5. Jason Dandruff Relief Shampoo
Jason Dandruff Relief Shampoo is a natural anti-dandruff shampoo made with ingredients that are beneficial to the scalp and hair. It’s packed with natural dandruff fighting superstars, including tea tree oil, neem oil, and jojoba oil.
Tea tree oil brings its powerful antifungal and antibacterial properties to the formula, while neem oil provides antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce dandruff and relieve its symptoms. Jojoba oil is a plant oil with moisturizing properties that help relieve scalp dryness and itching.
6. OGX Extra Strength Refreshing Scalp + Teatree Mint Shampoo
This shampoo contains tea tree oil, which is often the star ingredient of natural dandruff shampoos for a reason—the antifungal and antibacterial properties can’t be matched.
OGX Extra Strength Refreshing Scalp + Teatree Mint Shampoo also contains several other ingredients designed to moisturize the scalp and hair while improving the overall health of the scalp. Peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, and witch hazel are among the ingredients, all of which are soothing for an irritated scalp.
7. Selsun Blue Medicated Anti-dandruff Shampoo with Menthol
This shampoo is a classic for a reason. It’s designed specifically to treat dandruff and contains the active ingredient selenium sulfide, an antifungal agent that aids in the control of yeast growth on the scalp. This can help reduce dandruff and relieve symptoms like itching and flaking.
Selsun Blue Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo contains menthol, a natural compound derived from mint, in addition to selenium sulfide. Menthol has a refreshing and cooling effect on the skin and may help relieve scalp itching and discomfort. It also leaves your hair smelling incredibly fresh and clean.
8. Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Original Formula
Another product that relies more on medicated ingredients than natural ingredients, this is a great option for people who want a tried and true solution to their dandruff problem. Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo contains coal tar, a substance derived from the distillation of coal, as an active ingredient. Coal tar has anti-inflammatory and keratolytic properties, which means it can help reduce scalp inflammation as well as soften and remove flakes.
Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo contains several other ingredients intended to improve the overall health of the scalp, in addition to coal tar. Hydroxypropyl guar, sodium lauryl sulfate, and cocamidopropyl betaine are among these key ingredients.
9. La Roche-Posay Kerium DS Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
You can’t go wrong with La Roche-Posay as a brand, and their shampoo is no different. This shampoo has the active ingredient pyrithione zinc, which stops dandruff before it begins by preventing yeast overgrowth on the scalp. It also contains LHA, which works to perform a fine and intensive micro-exfoliation to quickly remove stubborn dandruff.
The Root Targeting Technology applies a sanitizing complex to the scalp and pilous-sebaceous follicle to treat the source of the dandruff and prevent recurrence. We think it has a fresh, clean, simple smell and leaves your hair free from flakes and feeling cleaner than ever.
10. Ethique Heali Kiwi Shampoo Bar
This solid shampoo bar is a great option for people who prefer natural ingredients or for folks who have sensitive scalps. Ethique offers a range of shampoo bars, and this one is specifically formulated to treat dandruff or other scalp issues. This product contains oatmeal, coconut oil, neem oil, and karanja oil. While oatmeal is soothing for the scalp, coconut oil has antifungal properties, which prevent dandruff from forming in the first place.
Neem oil is a natural anti-dandruff superstar, with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties that help to reduce redness, irritation, and scaling on the scalp. It can also help kill the fungus that causes dandruff, and it can help unclog hair follicles, which further helps to promote healthy hair growth.
Lastly, karanja oil is known for its ability to nourish and strengthen the hair, promote healthy hair growth, and prevent damage. It’s high in fatty acids, which can help moisturize and nourish the hair, making it softer and more manageable. It’s also rich in antioxidants, which help protect the hair from environmental damage and breakage.
11. Kérastase Specifique Bain Anti-Pelliculaire Shampoo
A pricier option than some of the other products on this list, this Kerastase product is a favorite for a reason. It’s specifically designed to help manage dandruff and other scalp conditions. It contains a combination of ingredients that work together to reduce dandruff, soothe the scalp, and promote healthy hair growth.
One of the main active ingredients in the shampoo is piroctone olamine, which is an antimicrobial agent that helps kill the yeast that can cause dandruff. It also contains salicylic acid, which helps exfoliate the scalp and remove excess dead skin cells that can contribute to dandruff. In addition, the shampoo contains glycerin and panthenol, which help moisturize and nourish the hair and scalp, and vitamin B5, which helps to strengthen the hair and promote healthy growth.
12. Aveda Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo
Aveda Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo is designed to nourish and balance the scalp while cleansing and conditioning the hair. It contains a blend of natural ingredients that work together to promote a healthy scalp and hair, and help reduce dandruff and other scalp conditions.
A key ingredient in the shampoo is salicylic acid, which helps exfoliate the scalp and remove excess dead skin cells that can contribute to dandruff. It also contains ingredients like menthol and eucalyptus, which have a cooling and refreshing effect on the scalp and help soothe irritation and reduce flakiness. In addition, the shampoo contains plant-based ingredients like aloe vera and calendula, which help moisturize and nourish the hair and scalp to promote healthy hair growth.
13. Avalon Organics Therapy Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
The Therapy medicated anti-dandruff shampoo from Avalon Organics is made with a blend of organic ingredients that together lessen dandruff, calm the scalp, and encourage strong hair growth.
Pyrithione zinc, an antimicrobial agent that aids in killing the yeast that can cause dandruff, is a main component in the shampoo. Additionally, this shampoo contains tea tree oil, which helps calm the scalp and lessen inflammation, and has antifungal and antiseptic properties. The product also has botanical components like aloe vera and calendula, which nourish and moisturize the hair and scalp, and encourage the growth of healthy hair.
14. L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Shampoo
This shampoo is designed to help purify and rebalance the scalp, and reduce dandruff and other scalp conditions. It contains a blend of three types of clay—kaolin, montmorillonite, and ghassoul—which work together to absorb excess oil and impurities from the scalp and hair. This can help reduce dandruff and other scalp conditions to promote healthy hair growth.
In addition to the clay, the shampoo contains a blend of plant-based ingredients, including nasturtium and rosemary, which help nourish and revitalize the hair and scalp, and promote healthy hair growth. It’s suitable for all hair types and is gentle enough to be used daily.
15. PHYTO Phytosquam Intense Exfoliating Dandruff Treatment Shampoo
This is a product specifically designed to help control dandruff and reduce the appearance of flakes. It contains a blend of plant-based ingredients that work to exfoliate the scalp and remove excess oil and skin cells. It has four highly effective active ingredients, which work together to rid your scalp of dandruff.
Zinc pyrithione helps control the growth of yeast-like fungi that contribute to dandruff, while salicylic acid helps exfoliate the scalp and remove excess oil and dead skin cells.
Piroctone olamine is an antimicrobial agent that helps control the growth of yeast-like fungi on the scalp, while tea tree oil uses its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to soothe an itchy scalp.
16. Philip Kingsley Flaky Scalp Shampoo
Another strong addition to our list of the best dandruff shampoos in 2023, Philip Kingsley Flaky Scalp Shampoo is designed to help control dandruff and reduce the appearance of flakes on the scalp. It contains a blend of active ingredients that work to exfoliate the scalp, remove excess oil and skin cells, and soothe irritation.
Salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid that helps exfoliate the scalp and remove excess oil and dead skin cells, is a main active ingredient in this shampoo. The shampoo helps unclog hair follicles and reduce the appearance of dandruff by removing excess oil and skin cells.
The shampoo also contains zinc pyrithione, an antimicrobial agent that aids in the control of yeast-like fungi that can cause dandruff. The shampoo helps reduce the occurrence of dandruff by inhibiting the growth of these fungi.
Furthermore, the shampoo contains pyridoxine and panthenol, which are vitamin B6 and B5 derivatives, respectively. These ingredients may relieve itching and moisturize the scalp and hair.
17. Nioxin Scalp Recovery Anti-Dandruff Medicating Cleanser Shampoo
An excellent option for people who prefer medicated shampoos, this product includes the tried and tested ingredients pyrithione zinc to prevent fungal growth, salicylic acid to exfoliate the scalp and remove visible flakes, and menthol and tea tree oil to soothe.
The shampoo also contains glycerin, which is a humectant that helps moisturize the scalp and hair. This may help to reduce dryness and improve the overall health of your scalp.
18. Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo
Scalp Relief by Redken is a mild shampoo that contains pyrithione zinc to help remove dandruff. It’s a one-of-a-kind dry/wet formula, which operates a little differently from the other dandruff shampoos on this list. The initial dry application targets the dandruff, and the water application clarifies and cleanses the scalp to remove the dandruff.
It’s gentle enough to be used on a daily basis, or can be used only as needed.
19. Head and Shoulders Royal Oils Sulfate-Free Scalp Care Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
If you’re looking for an anti-dandruff shampoo designed with kinky, coily or frizzy hair in mind, this is the product for you. Another great dandruff shampoo from Head and Shoulders, the Royal Oils range is created especially for curly, kinky, or coiled hair types. Dandruff shampoos tend to be drying, but this one compensates for that by using coconut oil and apple cider vinegar to care for and rehydrate your hair.
20. Biolage Scalpsync Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Pyrithione zinc and cooling mint are combined in this calming dandruff shampoo to soothe an irritated scalp while addressing the root of the issue. A little bit of the creamy formula produces a lot of lather for a thorough clean. It’s a fantastic choice to use every day or as often as required.
21. Dove DermaCare Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Dove Dermacare Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is intended to reduce the appearance of dandruff and keep it from returning. It contains pyrithione zinc, an active ingredient that aids in controlling the yeast that causes dandruff. Additionally, the shampoo contains ingredients that soothe and moisturize the scalp, which can help reduce irritation and flakiness. This product also has a pH-balanced formula that’s gentle on the hair and scalp. By using this shampoo on a regular basis, you can help keep your scalp healthy and dandruff-free.
22. Vanicream Free & Clear Medicated AntiDandruff Shampoo
This medicated dandruff shampoo is great for people with sensitive skin or fragrance allergies because it doesn’t contain any fragrance or sulfates. It contains 2% pyrithione zinc, like many other dandruff shampoos, to help treat flaking and alleviate itchiness, dryness, redness, and scaling.
It’s free of common allergens and irritants, making it suitable for people with sensitive skin or allergies. It’s also non-greasy and non-drying, so it won’t leave your hair or scalp feeling oily or stripped of natural oils.
We love that this product is free of fragrances, dyes, and other harsh chemicals, which can further irritate sensitive skin and make dandruff worse. It’s suitable for use on all hair types, including color-treated hair.
23. L’oréal Paris EverPure Scalp Care + Detox Sulfate Free Shampoo
Although dandruff shampoos can be particularly brutal on color-treated hair, this L’Oréal formulation is a good choice. It’s free of sulfates, salts, and surfactants, which are known to strip or dull color, but contains menthol and neem extracts to help clean away flakes, dirt, product buildup, and oil. It also has a pleasant, refreshing herbal scent thanks to ingredients that include rosemary leaf extract.
24. OUAI Detox Shampoo
OUAI Detox Shampoo is a clarifying product designed to remove impurities and buildup from the hair and scalp. It’s not specifically formulated to treat dandruff, so it may not be as effective as other shampoos on the list at controlling the symptoms of dandruff. However, by removing impurities and buildup from the hair and scalp, it may help improve the overall health of the scalp, which can in turn help reduce the appearance of dandruff.
It also smells amazing, with notes of bergamot, lychee, cedarwood, and white musk—a nice change if you’re tired of the smell of medicated dandruff shampoo!
25. SheaMoisture African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Deep Cleansing Shampoo
This shampoo, which contains African black soap, bamboo charcoal, salicylic acid, and tea tree oil, is yet another excellent choice for natural hair types. Shea butter, coconut and jojoba oils, as well as aloe, are added to the product so it gives the hair a moisture boost and cleans and soothes the scalp.
The shampoo also contains ingredients like tea tree oil and willow bark extract, which have natural astringent and anti-inflammatory properties that may help soothe and calm the scalp.
26. First Aid Beauty Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with 1% Pyrithione Zinc
A mild, sulfate-free shampoo designed to aid in dandruff control is First Aid Beauty Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with 1% pyrithione zinc. Pyrithione zinc, the main active component of this shampoo, aids in regulating the development of the yeast that can result in dandruff. Regular use of this shampoo can help lessen dandruff’s appearance and stop it from returning.
The shampoo also includes nourishing components like aloe vera and panthenol, which, along with pyrithione zinc, help calm and moisturize the scalp and hair. Additionally, calendula and silk peptides soothe and calm your scalp, improving the look and feel of the hair all around.
27. ORIBE Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
To round out our list, we have a splurge item, but you’ll definitely feel it’s worth the price. ORIBE Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is a salon-quality product that contains salicylic acid and caffeine to exfoliate and refresh your scalp. It prevents drying by including shea butter and vitamin E.
This shampoo is formulated with a blend of botanical extracts and oils that help nourish and moisturize the scalp and hair. These include cumin seed oil, sunflower seed oil, and ginger root extract.
ORIBE Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is free of sulfates, parabens, and other harsh chemicals, making it suitable for people with sensitive skin or allergies. And the oils and extracts combine to give this shampoo a pleasant, refreshing scent, which will make you excited to wash your hair.