Over half the population experiences dandruff at some point.
If you're looking to be rid of this annoying problem once and for all, a good dandruff shampoo can help – but it may take some shopping.
Dandruff has multiple causes – dry skin, product buildup, and fungal infection among them.
The best treatments have active ingredients that target symptoms while fighting several potential causes. If you're not sure where to start, this guide can help you choose the best dandruff shampoo for you.
- Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
- Redken Dandruff Control Shampoo
- Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Original Formula
- Selsun Blue Medicated Maximum Strength Dandruff Shampoo
- Phyto Dandruff Treatment Shampoo
- Pete & Pedro CONTROL Dandruff Shampoo
- Dove Dermacare Scalp Soothing Moisture Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
- Head & Shoulders Classic Clean
- Head & Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo, Instant Relief
- Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo
Nizoral's product contains the active ingredient ketoconazole, which treats fungal infection – the most common cause of severe and stubborn dandruff. If that's the trouble, you'll see a notable difference after just a couple uses. Even if your flakes have a different root cause, this formula will bring improvement.
It's an alternative to prescription dandruff shampoos – much stronger than most over-the-counter products.
On the one hand, that means it's probably the single most effective solution for dandruff that you can get without a trip to the doctor, and it works equally well for all hair types.
On the other hand, the scent has been described as “medicinal” and it can be very drying. But if you've tried other options and you're ready to be rid of dandruff once and for all, this is guaranteed to get the job done, and for that it earns the top spot.
Although slightly pricier, this shampoo, which contains the active ingredient zinc pyrithione, leaves hair soft and silky while improving scalp health. Reviewers often comment that it's also one of the fastest-working products they've tried.
Among dandruff shampoos, this is one of the best for color-treated hair. While other treatments may strip or dull your color as they soak up the buildup that causes flakes, Redken's whisks away oil while leaving color untouched.
T/Gel treats all kinds of scalp conditions that cause dandruff – from psoriasis to seborrheic dermatitis to eczema. It will even clear up acne around your scalp and hairline.
Formulated with balancing neutar and anti-fungal zinc pyrithione, it relieves itching immediately and will clear up most dandruff problems with just one wash per week.
One note: neutar can darken your hair color slightly, so you may want to look for a product with a different active ingredient if you have very fair hair.
Selsun Blue is an old-standby brand that's frequently recommended by doctors.
Its active ingredient is selenium sulfide, a topical medicine that can drastically reduce flaking. The formula also contains menthol, which soothes itchy skin on contact.
This is an intensive month-long regimen – the directions require, rather than simply swapping out your shampoo, 2-3 applications per week, with the product left in for four minutes each time. The advantage of frequent and slow treatment is that this product eliminates flakes and scalp itch with zero ill effects for even very dry or damaged hair.
If your dandruff issues are chronic, you can continue to wash weekly with the product after the initial month of treatment. Reviewers agree, however, that if you stick with the recommended application schedule for that month you will see an immediate and lasting difference.
Pete & Pedro's new CONTROL Dandruff Shampoo uses a secret formula, containing a whole slew of impressive stuff including two key active ingredients: 1.8% coal tar and 1.5% menthol. It's an amazing anti-itch therapeutic cleansing moisturizing shampoo that is an effective treatment for dry hair, itchy scalp, redness, irritation, and scaling.
Control also does an incredible job simply cleansing, strengthening and moisturizing your hair and scalp via glycerin, tea tree oil and peppermint oil. At such a low price, it's easily one of the best products on the market.
If you have dry or sensitive skin, you've probably used some Dove product at some point. Like the rest of their line, this pH-balanced shampoo is gentle, won't completely strip the oils out of your hair, and is relatively easy on the wallet.
But for most cases of dandruff, it's also incredibly effective – clarifying the skin of the scalp and cutting through oil buildup to eliminate flaking in just a week or so of regular use.
This one of the best-known zinc pyrithione-based shampoos. Its power to fight fungus and bacteria on the scalp is well established.
Both dermatologists and customers recommend using this one daily at first to restore some normalcy on your head, then gradually re-introducing normal shampoo. Use after workouts and whenever you notice symptoms flaring up to keep dandruff completely at bay – forever – at a drugstore-brand price.
This product has the same active ingredient as the rest of the Head & Shoulders line, but with the addition of tea tree essence and peppermint oil. These cool and soothe the scalp for – like the name says – instant relief from itching and burning.
It's been noted for its gentle formula and for smelling better than most dandruff shampoos.
Relieving flaking with a combination of salicylic and lactic acid (both of which work by clearing oil buildup from the scalp), reviewers have noted this product for its sense of luxury – it looks, smells, and feels more like a spa treatment than a medicine.
Although it's not as effective against severe dandruff, it's perfect if you need to nip a problem in the bud and don't want to compromise on your overall hair care experience.
Now your hair's looking clean and shiny, why not kick it up a notch by choosing one of the 10 most attractive men's haircuts?
And if you're wondering ‘what hair product should I use?' – click here to find out.