The 5 Best Dandruff Shampoos


Dandruff can be an embarrassing nuisance. Fortunately, with the right dandruff shampoo, you can quickly treat the problem without ever visiting a doctor. A wide range of issues, from dry weather to scalp sensitivity, can cause dandruff, so your best defense is to find an anti-dandruff shampoo that works for you.

What is dandruff shampoo?

Dandruff shampoo is a hair care product that is designed to help relieve dandruff and prevent reoccurrence. It can also treat the itching, flaking, dryness, redness, and scalp irritation commonly associated with dandruff. It can also help remove product buildup and improve the health of your hair and scalp.

For best results, use a dandruff shampoo twice per week. Dandruff shampoos can be drying, so you may want to use conditioner after each wash. You should also rotate a dandruff shampoo with your standard shampoo so that it isn’t as drying. Dandruff shampoo may be too strong or drying for your hair, so you may need to experiment before finding something that works for your hair and scalp. We’ve found some of the best shampoos available to get you started. (See also: The 5 Best Conditioners)

Top 5 dandruff shampoos

Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo can help with dandruff outbreaks and other skin conditions that affect the scalp, like eczema and psoriasis. The active ingredient, ketoconazole, is an antifungal medication that controls flaking, scaling, itching, redness, and dryness. It can be used on all hair types, including color-treated, chemically processed, and gray hair, and has a thick, rich lather that rinses clean and leaves your hair smelling fresh and feeling thicker and stronger over time.

This has outstanding online reviews, including more than 2,500 five-star reviews on Amazon. Many reviewers agree that while it is nonprescription, it works as well as many prescription treatments and can work where other shampoos have failed. However, many reviewers do not like the medicinal smell and find that it can be drying on the hair. It is an Amazon’s Choice product and is recommended by Consumer Reports, Consumer Search, and AskMen.

Currently $14.49 on Amazon

Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Original Formula

Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Original Formula can treat all types of scalp conditions: dandruff, scalp psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and eczema. It can even help treat scalp acne while maintaining a healthy scalp and leaving hair clean and manageable. The rich formula works on contact to help remove dandruff and product buildup, and offers lasting relief from scalp itching and flaking.

It contains neutar (solubilized coal tar extract), which normalizes the scalp, slows the overproduction of skin cells on the scalp, and reduces potential inflammation. The salicylic acid clears scalp buildup and splits flakes into smaller, less visible pieces that can be washed away easily. The zinc pyrithione is an antifungal that helps diminish yeast on the scalp. It offers instant relief, is formulated for daily use, and is scientifically proven to work for hours. By using it just once a week, it can keep you dandruff-free for a whole week. The gentle scalp therapy solution is designed to eliminate flakes immediately, prevent new flakes from forming, and soothe scalp discomfort.

This comes from the #1 Dermatologist Recommended Medicated Shampoo Brand. It has outstanding online reviews, including more than 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. Reviewers agree that it works even where other treatments have failed. However, there is a smell that many reviewers don’t like and some find it to be drying. It is recommended by Consumer Search, Total Beauty, WebMD, and AskMen.

Currently $12.29 on Amazon

Head & Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo

Head & Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo, Instant Relief, can work even where other dandruff shampoos have failed. It is formulated with tea tree essence and peppermint oil, so it can provide immediate cooling relief from uncomfortable itching and flaking. It can fight dry scalp, calm itchy scalp, relieve irritation, reduce redness, remove product buildup, and control dandruff. It is formulated to keep your hair clean and flake-free, while invigorating and soothing the scalp. It also lathers well and smells good (which is unusual for a dandruff shampoo) and is gentler than most dandruff shampoos. It can improve the health of your hair and scalp in just a few days, so your hair will look and feel great.

The gentle, pH balanced formula can be used every day on all hair types, including on color or chemically treated hair. This has outstanding online reviews and many reviewers like it so much that they use it even after their dandruff has been treated. It is recommended by Consumer Reports, Consumer Search, Total Beauty, and WebMD. For even faster relief, consider using this together with the Head & Shoulders Instant Relief Scalp Soother Treatment.

Currently $6.49 on Amazon

Selsun Blue Medicated Maximum Strength Dandruff Shampoo

Selsun Blue Medicated Maximum Strength Dandruff Shampoo is ideal for dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp, eczema, and tinea versicolor. It is specially formulated to control the itching, flaking, and dryness associated with dandruff. The doctor recommended, medicated formula can produce noticeable results in just a couple of days, even for the toughest cases. The active ingredient, selenium sulfide, attacks dandruff at the root. It also contains menthol, which can help calm and cool a burning, itchy scalp. It can cleanse the hair and help improve the health of your hair and scalp in the process, leaving you with softer, more manageable hair.

This has outstanding online reviews, but some reviewers did not like the medicated smell. Some reviewers found immediate relief and agree that this nonprescription shampoo works just as well as prescription medications. It is recommended by Consumer Reports, Total Beauty, WebMD, and AskMen.

Currently $6.98 on Amazon

Redken Dandruff Control Shampoo

Redken Dandruff Control Shampoo is a specialized treatment to relieve dandruff symptoms, including the associated itchiness, dryness, and flaking. It can help improve the health of the hair and scalp by restoring the scalp's natural moisture balance. It produces a rich lather and leaves your hair feeling soft and silky, and smelling great. The active ingredient, zinc pyrithione, can eliminate flakes quickly. This has over 300 five-star reviews on Amazon.

Currently $16.40 on Amazon

And those are our recommendations for the best dandruff shampoos. As always, be sure to check Wise Bread's Buying Calendar to learn when and how to buy just about anything!


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