Dandruff is a common very common and harmless outside of the itch that often accompanies it, but nobody wants to deal with the unsightly condition that leaves your shoulders looking like they’ve been dusted with a flurry of dead skin. Oily, irritated skin, stress, and cold weather can all affect the dandruff coming off your head, but there are endless shampoos on the market formulated to help stop it before it embarrasses you.
From the classics to the newer, higher-end solutions, we’ve compiled a list of anti-dandruff shampoos that will help whether the sufferer is an adult with a serious case in need of a medicated formula, or maybe a child whose sensitive scalp and eyes need extra precautions during treatment. Keep reading to find a perfect shampoo for the whole family.
While you’re at it, upgrade your blow dryer with one of our top picks to make sure you’re having your best hair days possible.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn a commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing, expert advice and our own research. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Nizoral Anti Dandruff Shampoo - 7 fl oz
Nizol is an undisputed classic along the lines of Head & Shoulders when it comes to dandruff-fighting shampoo names. The seven ounce bottle you get is approved for all hair types, included chemically processed, gray, and color-treated hair, and active ingredient ketoconazole helps prevent itching, flaking, and further outbreaks. Nearly 4,000 reviews on Target’s website alone average out to a 4.5 star rating, basically ensuring it will help you conquer your own scalp issues.
L'Oreal Paris Ever Fresh Sulfate-Free Antidandruff Shampoo
L’Oreal is a long-trusted name in the beauty world, so their very reasonably priced Ever Fresh antidandruff shampoo is a natural choice for those who already flock to the brand for their hygiene needs. In addition to being sulfate-free and gentle on hair, the shampoo is also cruelty-free, vegan, and a clean formula, and most customers who reviewed the product are happy to recommend it. As one happy owner writes, “Smells great, works great and gentle enough for my 8 year old!”
Matrix Biolage Scalpsync Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Matrix Biolage focuses its healing anti-dandruff shampoo around the anti-bacterial and soothing properties of mint, so it smells delicious while combining with zinc to fight off the flakes. Reviews rave about what it does for your hair’s health as well as its healing properties, and many praise how gentle the product is while maintaining the same effectiveness as cheaper, less luxurious product. “It really worked for my hair,” one user writes, “I have the type that gets oily after 8 hours and I get bad dandruff. Since I started using this shampoo my hair has felt and looked healthier.”
Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo
Much beloved haircare experts Redken know that hair health starts at the scalp, and thus they created this product to stand up to that area’s delicate concerns. Pyrithione zinc targets both the symptoms and causes of dandruff, while your hair shaft will soak in the premium formula’s active ingredients for a top-of-the-line shampooing experience that feels salon-worthy and instantly effective.
Selsun Blue Medicated Maximum Strength Dandruff Shampoo, 11 Ounce
If luxury isn’t a must for you, it’s always a surefire bet to go with Selsun Blue’s Maximum Strength formula to end flakiness pronto. Menthol helps medicate and soothe the scalp, and users whose skin has grown used to the original report increased results by switching to this stronger variety. One thrilled reviewer claims:
“My doctor recommended this product for my dry itchy scalp and it worked great. My scalp is no longer is dry, flaky or irritated from all other shampoos I've used in the past. My hair is soft and manageable and even my barber noticed a difference. I've used this product now for the last three months, but noticed how soothing it was on my scalp with the first application. I don't use anything else now.”
Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Anti-Dandruff, 16 fl oz
Coal tar extract is the magic bullet behind Neutrogena’s classic T-Gel formula, which gives it a unique, somewhat masculine scent that stands out like nothing else on this list. The active ingredients keep working long after you rise, lather, and repeat, and hair is left “clean and manageable” so styling is a breeze.
Honeydew Safe Kids Shampoo for Dry Scalp
Last but not least, we have the ideal choice for the younger members of your family whose more sensitive skin and eyes need extra bathtub care. Honeydew’s all-natural dandruff shampoo is full of mild ingredients that smell fantastic without being overwhelming and work with any hair type. Kids will love the gentle yet fresh scent, and the tear-free formulation ensures no accidents will happen on your child-rearing watch.
Head and Shoulders Shampoo, Moisture Renewal
Restore scalp health, boost moisture, and have a great hair everyday with this top-selling dandruff killer. In addition to keeping the flakes away, it has a delightful coconut scent (great for summer!) and controls any odors that may arise in relation to your scalp condition.
Oribe Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Purifying with salicylic acid and packaged to wow, this high end treat for your head will leave you with the best hair day of your life and make you feel like royalty doing so. Customers with severe dandruff who have a tendency to develop sores swear by it, saying it clears up the flakes and spots like no other brand can.
Dove DermaCare Anti Dandruff Shampoo for Scalp Dryness and Itch Relief
Dove makes some of the best budget-friendly shampoo on the market, so clearly their anti-dandruff shampoo is a great choice for anyone looking to improve their scalp health. Users note it is significantly less drying than others brands, so it’s perfect for anyone already battling brittle hair.