Works well for severe cases of dandruff. Many begin noticing results after first use. Eliminates itching and burning.
Expensive compared to the other products listed here.
Shampoos and conditions. Affordably priced. Doesn't harm color-treated hair. No antiseptic smell. Does its job as advertised.
Many enjoy the fragrance, but some find it to be too strong.
Very affordable. Choose from a variety of different scents. Leaves hair smooth and shiny. Soothes itchy scalps.
Using too frequently may dry out your scalp.
Pleasant scent. Works on color-treated hair. Leaves hair feeling soft and healthy. Sulfate- and paraben-free.
A few users say it leaves their hair dry.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Dandruff is a very common scalp condition, but it can still leave you feeling self-conscious. The good news is that it isn’t usually a serious issue, which means you can treat it at home with the right products. That’s where an effective anti-dandruff shampoo comes in.
But there are so many formulas on the market that finding the right one can be a challenge. Which active ingredients work to banish the pesky flakes?
BestReviews is here to help. We do all the research so you don’t have have to. If you’re looking for the right anti-dandruff shampoo for your needs, you’ll find all the facts in our shopping guide.
Dandruff is a fairly easy condition to spot. The oily, white flakes on your scalp often find their way into your hair and onto your shoulders. In many cases, your scalp might also be dry and itchy. Unless your scalp is red and swollen, though, it usually isn’t necessary to see a doctor. There are several factors that can cause dandruff, including the following.
This condition causes greasy, red skin covered with flaky, white scales. It’s a common cause of dandruff. It can affect the scalp and other areas of the body that have a large number of oil glands.
Malassezia is a fungus found on the skin. It can cause irritation that leads to the growth of flaky scales on the scalp.
Sometimes a reaction to the ingredients in your hair care products can cause redness, itchiness, and scaling on the scalp.
If you don’t wash your hair often enough, oil, skin cells, and other residue can build up on your scalp and result in dandruff.
While anyone can get dandruff, certain people are more likely to experience the condition:
Men are more likely to have dandruff due to hormones.
Young adults and middle-aged adults are commonly affected by dandruff, though some people struggle with it all their lives.
People with oily hair are more prone to dandruff because the Malassezia fungus thrives in oily conditions.
Anti-dandruff shampoos use a variety of active ingredients to treat existing dandruff and prevent it from recurring. Depending on your particular dandruff issue, some formulas may be a better option than others. The most common active ingredients in anti-dandruff shampoos include the following:
The potent ingredients in anti-dandruff shampoo can sometimes give the product an unpleasant medicinal scent. That’s why some users prefer formulas with added fragrance that provides a fresh, clean scent. However, avoid formulas that are too heavily scented. These can irritate the scalp and cause further dryness.
A note about two-in-one anti-dandruff shampoos
Because anti-dandruff shampoos contain drying ingredients like salicylic acid, some formulas also include moisturizers for a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner product. This type of anti-dandruff shampoo can help save you time and money, but some users find that two-in-one formulas don’t moisturize enough. A separate conditioner might be a better option for some people.
Use shampoo daily if your dandruff is severe. If you’re suffering from a particularly bad case of dandruff, use an anti-dandruff shampoo daily to remove all of the oils and product buildup that can cause dandruff. Daily use also allows your scalp to receive a constant supply of the active ingredients that treat the issue.
Wash hair with non-medicated shampoo first. It’s often a good idea to use a non-medicated shampoo to wash your hair the first time, then follow up a second time with an anti-dandruff formula to fully cleanse and medicate your scalp.
Rinse your hair thoroughly. Always rinse anti-dandruff shampoo from your hair completely. Any residue left behind can cause additional dandruff.
Use an anti-dandruff conditioner. For the best results, pair an anti-dandruff shampoo with an anti-dandruff conditioner to make sure that your hair is properly moisturized while still getting enough of the necessary ingredients to treat the problem.
Continue the treatment. Once you get your dandruff under control, continue to use an anti-dandruff shampoo at least once a week to prevent the problem from coming back.
Q. Is it safe to use anti-dandruff shampoo daily?
A. In most cases, it’s perfectly safe to use an anti-dandruff shampoo daily until you get the problem under control. But there are some formulas that are particularly potent, including those that include ketoconazole, which don’t lend themselves to daily use. Instead, it’s usually recommended that you use these formulas two to three times a week. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions on the shampoo to determine the proper usage.
Q. How long does it take to see results from anti-dandruff shampoo?
A. It depends on the severity of your dandruff, the strength of the shampoo, and how often you use it. In general, you can usually expect to get your dandruff under control within four to six weeks. If you’re still experiencing persistent dandruff after a month or so of regular use, consult a dermatologist.
Q. Can children use anti-dandruff shampoo?
A. It depends on the formula of the shampoo, but most are safe for use on children 12 and older. Some formulas can be safely used on children who are younger than 12, so consult the manufacturer’s instructions for usage guidelines. If you have any doubts, ask your child’s pediatrician if a particular anti-dandruff shampoo is safe to use.