The Ultimate List of the Best Shampoos for Dandruff

Looking for the best shampoos for dandruff? Don’t know which one is best for you? We’ve got you covered.

the best shampoos for dandruff

1. If you have dandruff, you can choose a natural or chemical route. If you want an over-the-counter medicated shampoo, just 5 main ingredients matter. The first, Pyrithione Zinc, is the primary dandruff-fighter in the top selling shampoo, Head and Shoulders Dry Scalp Care Dandruff Shampo. With 8.5 million units sold in the U.S. alone last year, it makes super sense to give it a try. Pyrithione Zinc specifically fights the Malassezia Globosa fungus that can cause dandruff.

According to Symphony IRI Group, which measures sales in multiple drug stores, supermarkets, mass market retailers, military commissaries and select club and dollar chains, the next two best sellers are: Head & Shoulders Classic Clean 2 in 1 Dandruff Shampoo, and Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Dandruff Shampoo. Users must know something.

2. The next ingredient to look for on the label is Selenium Sulfide, an anti-infective which helps prevent and control symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis. Best choice: Selsun Blue. The brand’s Moisturizing, 2-in-1 and Medicated Maximum Strength formulations all contain the key active. Many users consider Selsun Blue to be the go-to shampoo for more difficult dandruff, but it may be that its medicinal scent simply makes it seem more serious. Every scalp is different and only a dermatologist can tell you the specific culprit behind your dandruff. Selenium Sulfide largely controls cellular turnover.

3. If you have dry scalp and want to eliminate build-up and control flaking, try a shampoo with Salicylic Acid like Neutrogena T-Sal Therapeutic Shampoo or Selsun Blue Naturals, which adds botanicals. Salicylic Acid exfoliates the scalp.

4. When you want to control symptoms like itching and flaking, consider coal tar, which is the main ingredient in Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo. Coal tar addresses scalp build-up by controlling the speed at which cells die.

5. When all else fails, try Nizoral. It’s more expensive (about $15 for 7 ounces), but those with chronic dandruff swear by it. It contains ketoconazole cream, which is an anti-fungal drug that treats ringwork, fungus, jock itch and more. The mild over-the-counter version treats flaking, scaling and itching from dandruff. You can also get a prescription shampoo from your dermatologist. Keep it out of your eyes and don’t use it if you have cuts or abrasions on your scalp.

best dandruff shampoos

If you prefer a natural route, try these:

Online: Balanced Guru Balanced Scalp Oil ( Helps control excess oil and sebum production with a balance of essential oils, including Thyme, rosemary, Cyprus, German Chamomile, Spearmint, Sandalwood and Basil

In Salons:

  • Aveda Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo, which takes an Ayurvedic approach to balancing the scalp’s environment
  • Affinity Dandruff Control Cleanser and Dandruff Control Balm, which provides both antibacterial and antifungal action

In Natural-Health Focused Stores:

  • Jason Natural Cosmetics Dandruff Relief, with Colloidal Sulfur, Salicylic Acid, Rosemary and Tea Tree—a natural-stance favorite