The Best Dandruff Shampoos

While you might think that dandruff is the result of dry hair, it’s often caused by oily, clogged follicles. Besides the embarrassing white flakes, it can also cause intense itching and even prevent hair growth. One way to manage this is with a great dandruff shampoo. The ingredients pull double duty to simultaneously treat the scalp and ensure the hair is shiny, clean, and frizz-free. Here we have rounded up a few of our favorite dandruff shampoos, so read on to find the one that's best for you and your mane.

Head and Shoulders Moisture Renewal Anti Dandruff Shampoo

The people's pick

This well-recognized offers a strong dandruff shampoo that doesn't strip hair of its moisture.
Best Overall

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Quite a few qualities make this a top pick for a dandruff shampoo. Besides thoroughly cleansing the scalp and removing any build-up, the formula is also super moisturizing. It gets rid of the flakes while making sure the scalp and hair stay healthy and hydrated. Free of any parabens and dyes, the shampoo works for all hair types but is especially recommended for curly hair textures.

Pros:

  • Relieves itching
  • Works for all hair types
  • Safe for color-treated hair

Cons:

  • Some users may not like the coconut scent
  • May not add sufficient moisture to extremely dry hair

Maple Holistics Sage Shampoo for Anti Dandruff

Au naturel

This shampoo's ingredients are high in quality, and it does a solid job at treating serious dandruff.
Most Natural

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Sometimes products that truly work to alleviate a dry or flaky scalp can contain ingredients that are way too harsh. But not Maple Holistics. The shampoo gives the scalp a good cleanse and 96 percent of the ingredients are natural. It’s also cruelty-free and paraben-free. Ingredients like sage oil and tea tree oil work to unclog hair follicles that may be packed with dead skin, oil, or dirt. But the shampoo doesn’t just take care of the scalp. Moroccan and jojoba oils lock in moisture, add shine, cut down on frizz, and promote healthy hair growth.

Pros:

  • Great for color-treated hair
  • Affordable
  • Clarifies the scalp

Cons:

  • May irritate sensitive scalps
  • Not ideal if you’re sensitive or have allergies to essential oils

Ethique Solid Shampoo Bar

Happy scalp, happy wallet

Keep your scalp happy and Mother Earth happier with this bar shampoo.
Best Eco-Friendly

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Who says a shampoo has to come in a liquid form? Ethique’s shampoo is actually a convenient bar soap. Besides cutting down on packaging, the bar is also great if you fly often and don’t want to worry about limiting the liquids in your carry-on bag. This single bar is equal to three bottles of shampoo. That’s saving a ton of plastic waste, but also saving you some serious cash. Ingredients like kiwifruit oil, neem oil, and oatmeal work to treat itchy scalps but also leave the hair with luster and a balanced pH.

Pros:

  • 100 percent compostable packaging
  • Perfect for someone who travels often or is on the go
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Contains sulfates

Neutrogena T/Gel Extra Strength Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

No time to lose

If other dandruff shampoos haven’t worked, it might be time to give this a try.
Best Fast-Acting

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When it seems you’ve tried everything and nothing works, it might be time to whip out the heavy-duty shampoo to tackle dandruff. Neutrogena’s extremely popular T/Gel shampoo is a great pick for those dealing with excessive dandruff or psoriasis. Containing 1 percent coal tar extract, the shampoo is known to start working after just one use and alleviates itching and flakes. This is a great option if you’ve tried other over-the-counter dandruff shampoos and haven’t been happy with the results.

Pros:

  • Okay for everyday use
  • The ingredients continue working even after the shampoo has been rinsed out
  • A dermatologist recommended product

Cons:

  • The smell can be intense
  • Formula might be strong for some users

Frequently Asked Questions

What ingredients are in dandruff shampoo? 

The ingredients in dandruff or anti-dandruff shampoo can vary based on brand and strength, but common ingredients include tea tree oil, zinc, salicylic acid, and coal tar. They all work to cleanse the scalp and unclog follicles.

How often can you use dandruff shampoo?

Typically, dermatologists recommend against using dandruff shampoo on a daily basis. It’s always a good idea to read the instructions on the specific product you’re using. Start off slowly to see how your skin and scalp will respond.

Does dandruff shampoo cure dandruff?

With consistent use, some shampoos can help manage dandruff and a flaky scalp but there isn’t necessarily a cure for recurring dandruff.