12 Dandruff Shampoos to Alleviate Flakes, Itchiness, and Dryness
Dandruff can be annoying, no matter how severe or mild, but luckily there are a host of effective dandruff shampoos on the market to make itchy flakes a problem of the past. Anyone who's ever experienced a dry, itchy scalp knows this persistent hair-care concern can be hard to treat but not impossible with the right hair products or treatments. The best anti-dandruff shampoos are suitable for anyone and help alleviate dry scalp after just a few uses.
Board-certified dermatologist at The Mount Sinai Hospital, Francesca Fusco, MD, previously told POPSUGAR that the condition is super common. "Thirteen million Americans have had it," she says. "According to a recent study conducted by Unilever, most consumers who have had dandruff have suffered long term, with 51 percent having had dandruff for more than two years. If someone has dandruff — or a pre-disposition to dandruff — the best way of controlling it is to cleanse the hair regularly with a product that has an ingredient like zinc pyrithione, which helps to clear and control the dandruff."
If you happen to be one of the many people experiencing the condition, don't worry. We rounded up the best dandruff shampoo options on the market that will treat flakiness, soothe a tight and dry scalp, and eliminate itchiness. With the right shampoo product in your hair-care arsenal, you'll be able to wash your hair effectively and cleanse your scalp properly. Shop our top picks ahead.
— Additional reporting by Anvita Reddy and Renee Rodriguez
Best Overall Dandruff Shampoo
The Jupiter Balancing Shampoo is formulated with zinc and coconut oil to simultaneously fight flakes while moisturizing the scalp. It's great for those dealing with mild to moderate dandruff, dry scalp, flakes and itchiness. It helps control excess oil production as well, so it's ideal for those with oilier scalps. It has a delish fragrance of mint, vanilla, sage and lavender.
Best Medicated Dandruff Shampoo
If you suffer from a dry and itchy scalp, the Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is one of the best dandruff shampoos on the market that works within the first use. This is the best medicated anti dandruff shampoo, and within a few weeks of consistent use, you can expect your tight, dry scalp to be a thing of the past. It contains one percent of ketoconazole, which helps controls flaking, scaling, and itching. It's even gentle enough to use on color-treated hair.
Best Exfoliating Dandruff Shampoo
The Briogeo Scalp Revival Dandruff Relief Charcoal Shampoo uses three percent salicylic acid and lactic acid to gently exfoliate the scalp relieving irritation due to dandruff like itchiness and redness. It cleanses the scalp without making it feel stripped or dry. It's great for all hair types as well, and best used at least twice a week. Read the in-depth review of the Briogeo Scalp Revival Dandruff Relief Charcoal Shampoo.
Best Drugstore Dandruff Shampoo
A staple in many people's showers, the clears flakes, banishes itch, and soothes dryness, and is gentle enough for color-treated hair. It's an affordable option that has a cooling, tingling sensation from eucalyptus to provide instant relief.
Best Dandruff Shampoo For Color-Treated Hair
Ouai Detox Shampoo ($32)
The Ouai Detox Shampoo is an editor-backed clarifying shampoo that helps eliminate build up, flakiness, and excess oil. It's a great shampoo for dandruff. It has chelating agents and apple cider vinegar to exfoliate the scalp. It is nonstripping and color-safe due to hydrolyzed keratin, which helps soften and smooth the hair. Plus, you only need to use it once a week. Read the in-depth review of the Ouai Detox Shampoo.
Ouai just came out with this Anti-Dandruff Shampoo ($36) that contains salicylic acid to help reduce flaking, itching, and irritation associated with dandruff. It's a gentle treatment great for all hair types.
Best Dandruff Shampoo For Fine Hair
Klorane Shampoo with Peony ($24).
If your scalp is sensitive, try the Klorane Shampoo with Peony. It contains alpha-hydroxy acids to help soothe an irritated, dry scalp. Its balancing formula will provide relief from itchiness and flakiness. You can use this in conjunction with a stronger dandruff shampoo to help maintain hair health.
Best Dandruff Shampoo For Thick Hair
Finally get your scalp back to normal with the Christophe Robin Purifying Shampoo. It rebalances your scalp so oily roots and flakes can be a thing of the past. It contains jujube bark extract that helps combat dandruff and regulates excess oiliness. It's a dandruff shampoo that is gentle enough to use daily if needed, and even adds hydration back into the hair so it won't dry you out.
Best Dandruff Shampoo For Sensitive Scalps
Neutrogena T-Gel Shampoo ($25)
The Neutrogena T-Gel Shampoo is one of the most trusted dandruff shampoos on the market. The dandruff shampoo helps relieves flakes and itchiness with coal tar extract, which helps aid chronic scalp psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and even common dandruff. It's the best dry scalp dandruff shampoo. It's best to let this sit on the scalp for a few minutes before rinsing.
Best Dandruff Shampoo For Oily Hair
The Kristin Ess Scalp Purifying Micellar Shampoo is like a shampoo hybrid. It uses micellar-water technology (yes, the same kind you use on your face) to gently cleanse your hair while keeping your scalp's natural moisture from being stripped. It works for all hair types and textures and is color-safe.
Best Dandruff Shampoo For Dry Hair
The Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo is specifically formulated to help combat dandruff, since its star ingredient is pyrithione zinc. Your scalp will feel fresh and cleansed without feeling stripped, and your hair will feel soft as ever. It's not overly stripping, and won't dry out the hair. It's best to keep this shampoo on your scalp for five mintues before washing it out.
Best Dandruff Shampoo For Itch Relief
The Biolage Scalpsync Anti-Dandruff Shampoo chemically exfoliates your scalp with pyrithione zinc, ridding it of flakes. After using it, you'll start to see the flakes on your hair disappear as your scalp becomes more balanced and healthy. It's best to use this twice a week, and letting it sit on your scalp for a minute or two.
Best Splurge Dandruff Shampoo
The Oribe Serene Scalp Anti-dandruff Shampoo is infused with caffeine and salicylic acid to soothe irritated scalps while also preventing dandruff. It's a great option for those who have drier scalps since it also infuses the area with hydration. It's a color-treatment safe option too.