Already have an account?
Get back to the

Avoid a Flaky Scalp With the Best Shampoo for Dandruff

highly rated shampoos for dandruff
Are you someone who works hard to maintain your hair’s health? Do you have an itchy scalp or dandruff flakes that reappear after washing your hair? You undoubtedly need a shampoo designed to treat these issues while also providing voluminous, healthy-looking hair. There are numerous anti-dandruff shampoos available, but not all of them are effective at controlling dandruff.

Effective anti-dandruff shampoos contain active ingredients that fight dandruff while also aiding in the maintenance of general hair health. But, few brands use these active ingredients effectively in their revolutionary formulas to eliminate dandruff from the first wash. So, to help you out, we’ve reviewed the top shampoos for dandruff in 2023 that actually work. Let’s check them out!

Comparing the Finest Shampoos for Dandruff in 2023

MAJESTIC PURE Shampoo for Dandruff – Best Overall

shampoo for dandruff review
The MAJESTIC PURE Shampoo for Dandruff boasts a variety of features that make it a compelling choice for all hair types and daily use. First, the shampoo and conditioner are both sulfate-free, meaning they won’t strip your hair of its essential oils and leave you with an overly dry scalp. The combination of apple cider vinegar and avocado coconut oil is designed to nourish and hydrate hair and scalp alike. This deep cleansing shampoo will remove any build-up while restoring shine, and the conditioner works to reduce itchy scalp, dandruff, and frizz, giving you confidence in your look.

This shampoo and conditioner set is gentle enough for everyday use by both men and women with any type of hair. Even better, this cruelty-free product is proudly made in the U.S. For healthy, hydrated hair that looks great all day long, this MAJESTIC PURE Shampoo and Conditioner for Dandruff is the pick for you. 

  • Cruelty-free shampoo
  • Fights dandruff at the source
  • Comes with conditioner
  • Dries out hair with overuse 

Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo – Best Scent

shampoo for dandruff reviews
If you have an itchy, flaky scalp due to dandruff, this shampoo for dandruff is all you need to treat your condition. It has 1% ketoconazole as an active ingredient, which is a powerful antifungal agent that kills the Malassezia fungus and prevents oil glands from overproducing oil. Ketoconazole treats dandruff by removing both dandruff and its underlying causes.

Even better, this shampoo for dandruff works for all hair types and can even prevent hair loss due to dandruff. Top that off with its fresh, clean scent, and it’s obvious this product is worth your time. We’ve chosen this shampoo as the best on our list because it effectively treats fungus-caused dandruff while maintaining healthy-looking hair.

  • Kills fungus on the scalp
  • Effectively removes flakes and dandruff
  • Soothes itchy scalps
  • Visible results from the first use
  • Medicated formula isn’t suitable for everyone

BIOLAGE Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo – Best Vegan Formula

shampoo for dandruff reviews
If you’re tired of scratching your head due to dandruff irritation, try BIOLAGE Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, which is designed for targeted dandruff therapy. This vegan shampoo for dandruff contains natural plant-based ingredients that work to treat dandruff from the roots and give you clean, healthy-looking hair.

It contains pyrithione zinc as an active ingredient, which helps soothe the scalp by removing dandruff flakes. This shampoo also makes use of the beneficial properties of mint, which is anti-bacterial and leaves a refreshing scent. So, if you’re looking for a 100% vegan way to tame your dandruff, this shampoo for dandruff is a perfect choice.

  • Removes visible dandruff flakes
  • Pleasant scent refreshes your hair
  • Reduces irritation on the scalp
  • Washes away impurities and debris
  • Unsuitable for people with pyrithione zinc sensitivity

Medicasp Dandruff Shampoo – Best Medicated Formula

shampoo for dandruff reviews
The active ingredient in this medicated shampoo for dandruff from Medicasp is coal tar. It is used to treat various scalp conditions such as dandruff, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis. This shampoo’s fast-acting formula starts controlling dandruff right after the first wash, penetrating the skin and removing dandruff that’s causing itching.

More importantly, coal tar removes existing fungus from the scalp and creates a base that prevents the fungus from growing on the scalp. Overall, this is a great medicated shampoo for dandruff that’ll have you saying goodbye to that flaky, itchy scalp in no time.

  • Reduces the recurrence of dandruff or fungus
  • Fast-acting formula
  • Reduces irritation, flakes, burning, and redness
  • Works from the first wash
  • Strong coal tar scent

Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo – Best Value

shampoo for dandruff reviews
The organic formula of Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo contains 1% coal tar as an active ingredient. It works on dandruff from the first wash, preventing recurrence with its long-lasting effect, and can also treat conditions such as psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. Even after rinsing the shampoo, the effect of coal tar remains on the hair for several hours.

This medicated shampoo for dandruff not only removes dandruff, but also leaves your hair manageable and clean. In fact, many dermatologists recommend this shampoo because of its effectiveness and mild, non-irritating formula.

  • Relieves dandruff and itchy scalp
  • Effective against persistent dandruff
  • Gives lasting relief for hours
  • Only one application per week is required
  • More expensive than other brands

Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Shampoo – Best for Cradle Cap

shampoo for dandruff reviews
This shampoo for dandruff is specifically designed for children who are born with a cradle cap, a condition that is common in children 5 years of age and under. It contains no fragrance and is designed with children’s sensitive scalps in mind.

Its active ingredient, pyrithione zinc, which is suitable for children of all ages, removes flakes and reduces itching, redness, and irritation on the scalp. This shampoo for dandruff also contains licorice root extract, which reduces redness around the ears, neck folds, and under the armpits. And, if all that wasn’t enough, this shampoo’s gentle formula can also be used as a body wash.

  • Leaves scalp dandruff-free
  • Refreshes and softens your skin and scalp
  • Soothes itching and redness
  • Suitable for children’s sensitive skin
  • May dry out the skin

Buying Guide: Shampoo for Dandruff

Dandruff is the second most common hair problem after hair loss, and many people have had dandruff in their hair at some point in their lives. It can appear naturally in the hair or as a result of a medical condition. Generally, dandruff is not considered a serious problem; however, dandruff can cause hair loss if it is accompanied by severe itching or irritation. 

So, to keep dandruff at bay, you should get your hands on good-quality shampoo for dandruff.  That said, finding a decent product out of the wide range on the market is easier said than done. To help, we’ve put together this buying guide that’ll ensure you’re making a well-informed purchase next time you’re shopping for shampoo for dandruff.

What Is Dandruff?

Dandruff is a scalp condition in which skin cells congregate to form flakes. As a result, the scalp becomes irritated and scaly. These flakes are visible in the hair and, in extreme cases, fall while brushing or nodding the head.

Dandruff on the scalp is caused by a variety of factors. It can be caused by Malassezia yeast on the scalp or because of excessive oil production by the sebaceous glands. The presence of yeast on the scalp also triggers the immune system to produce more dandruff.

Mild dandruff can generally be treated by regularly cleaning hair with over-the-counter shampoos. But, when dandruff is stubborn and refuses to go away, you should treat it with dandruff-specific shampoos.

What Is Dandruff Shampoo?

Shampoo for dandruff contains antimicrobial and antifungal properties that aid in relieving itchy dandruff flakes and removing excess sebum buildup in the scalp. It contains ingredients that either remove yeast from the scalp or control sebum production from the sebaceous glands.

Different dandruff-relieving agents that work to stop the production of dandruff or to clear out existing dandruff are present as active ingredients in anti-dandruff shampoo. 

Ingredients That Fight Dandruff

Coal tar

This ingredient can be found in a variety of shampoos for dandruff. Coal tar aids in the reduction of skin cells that cause dandruff on the scalp and also helps to remove existing dandruff scales from the scalp.

Salicylic acid

Dandruff flakes are formed when skin cells stick to one another. Salicylic acid dissolves scales and prevents your skin cells from adhering together.

Additionally, if sulfur is added to the shampoo along with salicylic acid, it removes cell buildup and prevents yeast formation. This is because sulfur has antimicrobial properties that relieve itching caused by dandruff on the scalp.


Ciclopirox is an antifungal agent that inhibits the groantiwth of fungus on the scalp and eliminates fungus-caused dandruff. It is mostly found in medicated shampoos for dandruff.

Zinc pyrithione (ZPT)

This scalp healing agent inhibits yeast growth on the scalp and reduces sebaceous gland oil production. It also prevents the overproduction of skin cells, which would otherwise adhere to form dandruff flakes.


This antifungal agent works specifically to eliminate the Malassezia fungus. The Malassezia fungus stimulates and irritates the oil-producing glands on the scalp. This overproduction of oil on the scalp can, in turn, cause dandruff.

Selenium sulfide

Shampoos for dandruff with selenium sulfide have antimicrobial properties that inhibit yeast growth and skin cell overproduction, which can cause dandruff.

Important Tips

When shopping for a shampoo for dandruff, look for one that contains any of the active ingredients listed above. Because of the different functions of different ingredients, certain ingredients may not work for some people. A dermatologist can help you determine which active ingredient will work best for you.

Keep in mind that, while shampoo for dandruff may be effective in treating dandruff on the scalp, it may not be effective in general hair health and maintenance.

Hair Type

Shampoo for dandruff reacts differently on different hair types. According to research, men are more likely than women to have dandruff in their hair. Men who used shampoo containing 1% ZPT had a much greater response in terms of reduced dandruff than women who used shampoo containing 1% ZPT as an active ingredient.

Similarly, if you have oily hair, avoid dandruff shampoos that contain selenium sulfide at all costs because they make your hair oilier. Instead, use dandruff shampoo with salicylic acid, which works to remove excess cells that stick together in the oily scalp and cause dandruff.

Color-treated hair

If you have light-colored hair, avoid using a dandruff shampoo that contains coal tar. Coal tar has the ability to stain or darken hair color. But, if you already have dark-colored hair or are okay with your hair color turning dark, feel free to use shampoo for dandruff that has coal tar.

Frizzy hair

If you have frizzy hair and dandruff, try using dandruff shampoo with 1% or 2% ZPT as the active ingredient. According to research, ZPT works as an active ingredient in dandruff shampoo to reduce frizz in hair, clear away dandruff, and make it neater by reducing excess oil production.

Medicated Dandruff Shampoo

If you have dandruff, we generally recommend that you try an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo. Only use medicated dandruff shampoo if your doctor has prescribed it. Medicated shampoos for dandruff are intended for specific conditions, particularly when dandruff is severe and does not respond to over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoo.

If your doctor has prescribed medicated shampoo, follow the dermatologist’s recommendations. Medicated shampoo for dandruff should not be frequently used; applying it twice a week is usually sufficient. Also, its use should be discontinued once your dandruff has been controlled or improved.

People Also Asked

Q: Does anti-dandruff shampoo damage hair?

A: Anti-dandruff shampoos with active ingredients should not be used more than the recommended dosage, usually three times a week. The use of shampoo for dandruff regularly is discouraged because it can cause dryness and itching on the scalp, which can damage the hair follicles.

Q: Is oiling my hair good for dandruff?

A: Oiling your hair to remove dandruff is not a long-term solution. While oiling is beneficial for moisturizing hair, it cannot control or treat the underlying cause of dandruff. Dandruff is caused by conditions specific to the scalp that require active anti-dandruff ingredients to treat.

Q: Does shampoo for dandruff permanently cure dandruff?

A: Although anti-dandruff shampoo cannot permanently cure dandruff, the active ingredients in it can effectively control dandruff. To reduce the frequency of recurring dandruff, use a shampoo for dandruff containing selenium sulfide or zinc pyrithione once or twice a week.

For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!