Do you find yourself constantly wiping off those tell-tale little white flakes from your shoulders or struggling to keep scratching your scalp when in public? Dandruff can be an embarrassing and itchy condition, which can lead to a loss of self-esteem, problems socializing, and even problems with finding a job.
You don’t need to live with dandruff forever, though, because there are some wonderful and highly efficient shampoos and hair treatments available over the counter, which can help reduce and eliminate as well as prevent dandruff altogether.
Best Dandruff Shampoo
We tested a wide variety of hair care products and asked some expert dermatologists about the right home treatments for dandruff.
As a result, we came up with the top 10 dandruff shampoos and other hair care products that are available in 2021.
Read on to find out more about our top picks, and to learn more about dandruff and how you can prevent it and treat it.
Nizoral has been the leading anti-dandruff shampoo for years because of its affordability, and most importantly – its effectiveness in controlling, reducing, and eliminating the flaking, itching, and scaling of the skin on the scalp.
Its active ingredient is Ketoconazole 1% which is FDA approved for treating fungus causing dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, as well as for binding the hair proteins which helps curb the flaking and scaling. Ketoconazole is also an anti-inflammatory substance, so it will treat any inflammations and irritations which may be causing your dandruff outbreak as well.
Best of all, Nizoral doesn’t require a prescription, and you can get it at a very affordable price.
Given the fact that the manufacturer recommends that you use it only 2 times per week, one bottle of this magical anti-dandruff solution will last you for a long time.
All you need to do is to wash your hair with the rich and thick lather and then rinse it off. During the rest of the week, you can continue using your regular shampoo and conditioner.
This 7-ounce strong anti-dandruff shampoo is tested on all kinds of hair – color-treated, grey, chemically processed, and on men, women and children aged 12 or more, and it is found to be completely safe to use. In fact, it has been found that this miraculous anti-dandruff shampoo can help boost hair growth in both men and women as well which is great news for all of you suffering from Androgenic Alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness.
Your hair will feel and smell really fresh after you use Nizoral, and the results of its regular use will become evident in just 8 weeks. It can be used with Nizoral conditioner and other hair styling products.
The producer offers a money-back guarantee for 56 days after the purchase, so you can test it and return it if for some reason you are not happy with the results or the product.
Overall, this shampoo is the closest you can buy over the counter to the prescription drug for treating dandruff, and it is a very cost-effective anti-dandruff solution, so waste no more time, and start treating your hair with Nizoral A-D, and pretty soon you will forget all about the discomfort and embarrassment of having to deal with dandruff!
Our runner-up is the 8 fl oz. Amplixin therapy shampoo which is incredibly soothing and efficient for treating dry and itchy scalp skin, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff in both women and men.
It is made from Tea tree and Peppermint oil, and a number of other ingredients picked specifically for treating problems associated with dry, itchy, flaky and scaly scalp skin. Some of them include red clover, caffeine and bio-mimetic peptides which also help with any inflammations of the scalp and slow down hair loss because it blocks the so-called “hair loss hormone” production. The gentle Aloe Vera in the shampoo helps reduce and eliminate the itching by cooling the skin of the scalp.
It is sulfate, parabens, and cruelty-free, and doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals which can irritate the skin of those of you suffering from psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis or other uncomfortable of painful skin conditions.
The shampoo is FDA certified and made in the USA with carefully selected and researched ingredients only.
One 8 oz. bottle of this wonderful anti-dandruff shampoo will last pretty long thanks to the nifty dispenser which allows you to use just as much shampoo that you need for one wash.
It is a family-friendly shampoo, so you can all use it for thicker and shinier hair, healthier scalp skin, and anti-dandruff and itching on a daily basis!
We picked this Cedarwood anti-dandruff shampoo from Maple Holistics as the top budget-friendly dandruff shampoo for 2021, because it is sold at a very reasonable price, and the 8 oz. bottle will last for ages.
You only need a few drops of this shampoo to perfectly wash your hair, refresh your scalp and deal with the annoying and embarrassing flaking and scaling of the skin of your scalp.
It is a gentle hair product that provides top-quality cleansing of the hair and head. You will see the results of its use pretty much immediately. Your hair will feel cleaner than ever, it will look all energized and rejuvenated thanks to the natural essential oils in the shampoo, and it will be healthier and fuller from the vitamins it contains.
The Cedarwood, Jojoba, Argan oil and Rosemary tea will do absolute wonders with even severe cases of scaling and flaking of the skin. The shampoo also contains provitamin B5, silk protein amino acids, keratin and other ingredients which will make your hair look better than ever before!
It is a safe and antibacterial shampoo that will cleanse the hair and moisturize it perfectly. It is sulfate free and safe for just about any type of hair – straight or curly, male or female, color-treated, ethnic, grey or other.
Maple Holistics offer 100% satisfaction guarantee with the Cedarwood shampoo, so if you are not so happy with the results, you can return it and get a full refund.
So, if you want the full luxurious home hair treatment at a very affordable price, the Cedarwood anti-dandruff shampoo is definitely the right option to go with within 2021!
See also: Men’s shampoos that smell amazing
Our other top picks for dandruff shampoo in 2021
The large 16 oz. Sage shampoo for heavy dandruff from Maple Holistics is another excellent anti-dandruff hair product that will relieve you from bothersome dandruff and will leave your hair perfectly clean, shiny and healthy, and one bottle will last a very long time.
- Large 16 oz. bottle
- Designed and made especially for treating dandruff
- Cleanses the scalp, removes the flakes and scales and soothes any irritation or itchiness
- Promotes hair growth by stimulating the hair follicles, and makes the hair thicker and shinier
- Helps revive damaged or dull hair thanks to the Jojoba, Argan oil and Peach Kernel
- Helps prevent hair loss
- Made of all natural ingredients including Sage, Argan oil, Keratin, Tea tree, Rosemary and others
- Paraben, sulfate, and chemical-free
- Sold with 100% money back satisfaction guarantee
- Made especially for men’s hair, and is suitable for all hair types – dry, oily or normal
- Contains Tea Tree oil, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Aloe Vera, Rosemary, and other all-natural oils and ingredients
- Comes in a large 17.4 oz. bottle which will last very long because a single dab of the shampoo produces thick and rich lather enough to cleans and condition your hair and scalp
- Very powerful against dandruff – it helps to remove the dead skin cells, treat inflammations and get rid of bacteria and fungi
- Helps make the hair stronger and fuller by treating and conditioning the dry scalp
- No more frizzy, dry or oily hair thanks to the combination of the ingredients used for this shampoo
- It will make your hair color (natural or color-treated) brighter and more vibrant
- No sulfates, parabens and no harsh chemicals are used which can harm you or irritate your skin
- Animal cruelty-free product
Related article: Shampoo For Men’s Curly Hair in 2021
- The bundle contains an 8 oz. bottle of Sage shampoo, and an 8 oz. bottle of Tea tree conditioner at an incredible price
- Both products are created to treat dandruff, as well as other inflammations which make the scalp all itchy, scaly and flaky
- Made of all natural essential oils (Argan oil, Jojoba, Green tea, Lavender, Rosemary, Shea Butter, Keratin, Spikenard, Peach Kernel), vitamins and others
- No sulfates, parabens or other harsh chemicals are used
- The ingredients used have antiseptic and antibacterial properties
- The Tea tree conditioner is vitamin rich and will help prevent breakage of the hair, frizz, and dryness
- Smooth, silky and better-looking hair
- Family-friendly – suitable for men, women, and children
- Works for all hair types
- The keratin, silk amino acids and vitamin b5 are perfect for hair repair
- Cruelty-free product
- 100% money back guarantee
If your child has issues with dandruff, a dry scalp, psoriasis or other similar conditions, and you want the gentlest and best treatment – this Tear Free anti-dandruff shampoo from Honeydew is the hair care product that we can highly recommend.
- Made of all natural essential oils and products including lavender, jojoba and tea tree
- Suitable for children of all ages
- Sulfate free, paraben free, no artificial coloring or harsh chemicals
- A hypoallergenic premium formula for the gentlest hair care possible
- Suitable for all kinds of hair
- Safe for everyday use
- A tear-free formula for a tear-free bathing experience
- 8 oz. bottle
- 100% money back guarantee – no questions asked
- Suitable for men, women, and children
- 8 oz. bottle
- Contains 100% pure and natural Tea tree oil which is highly effective for treating itchiness, flaking and for reducing and eliminating dandruff
- Helps repair damaged hair and restore the hair volume
- Paraben and sulfate free
- Suitable for color treated hair
- Made in the USA in accordance with and exceeding all GMP standards
- 100% money back guaranteed
Are you fed up with buying and trying new and new anti-dandruff products without any results? This shampoo from Puriya is sold with a 120-day money back satisfaction guarantee, which means you can rest assured that your money won’t be wasted if the results are not as expected.
- Made of a blend of Arnica, Tea tree oil, Rosemary and Sage which help reduce the itching and flaking of the scalp and helps treat fungal infections
- The effect is visible after the first few applications
- In more severe cases, you can safely use it daily for better results
- Comes in a 16 oz. large bottle which you will use for a long time
- The shampoo moistens and feeds the dry scalp and the hair, and improves the circulation of the blood to the scalp – this can help revert or prevent hair loss
- Removes al build-up and residue from the hair gently, without drying it out or wearing it out
- The ingredients are all-natural and include no parabens, sulfates or other chemicals and synthetic aromas which can irritate the skin
- Perfectly pH balanced
- Suitable for all kinds of hair and for women, men, kids, and even for your pets
- Sold with a 180 money back guarantee for a risk-free purchase
- Made in the USA
If you want an aromatic high-end shampoo that will help you deal with your dandruff, and at the same time keep your hair looking healthy and smelling perfect, we strongly recommend the Oribe Serene scalp anti-dandruff shampoo.
- Gently removes every single flake of dandruff
- Soothes itchy and irritated scalp skin thanks to the salicylic acid and other gentle ingredients
- Dermatologist tested, safe for use with no parabens, sodium chlorite or sulfates
- Safe for hair that is color or Keratin treated
- 5 oz. bottle
- Features the signature Oribe complex of Watermelon, Edelweiss flower, and Lychee which helps protect the hair from photoaging, oxidative stress and deterioration
- Also contains anti-oxidants such as sugar maple and bilberry fruit
- The pea sprout extract helps prevent breakage
- Contains caffeine which helps rejuvenate the follicles and energizes the scalp for better blood circulation
- Also contains sugarcane extract, orange and lemon, and other natural extracts
- Provides UV protection for the hair
- Vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free product
- Has the trademark fragrance of Oribe
What is Dandruff?
Dandruff is a disorder of the skin of the scalp and is also known as seborrheic dermatitis. It causes the overproduction and the buildup of the skin cells, which clump together or separate as individual flakes when they die. Dandruff can be itchy in some cases as well.
One of the primary reasons for dandruff is a type of fungus which lives on the human scalp, which is why most of the ingredients used in the prescription drugs and in over-the-counter anti-dandruff products are anti-fungal. The dandruff is actually the natural reaction to the fungus on the scalp.
But the problem is that not all flaky skin is actually dandruff. In some cases, people get flaky scalps due to seasonal changes, or as a result of a build-up of different hair styling products, as well as a side effect from certain medicaments.
Stress, hormones, and genetics too can cause the yeast living on your head to go into an overdrive as well, which too can cause scaling and flaking of the skin as well as itching.
Thankfully, there are various excellent and highly efficient OTC shampoos and hair products which you can use to prevent or resolve dandruff, as well as prescription medication for the more severe cases.
How do you treat Dandruff?
There are some proven effective substances for treating dandruff which has been used in anti-dandruff shampoos and medications for years. Some of the most popular ones are:
Zinc Pyrithione (ZPT)
This is the oldest anti-dandruff ingredient used by many drug and hair care product manufacturers. In order for it to be effective, make sure that you look for a shampoo or other topical treatment product with a concentration of at least 2% of ZPT.
This is a newer anti-dandruff ingredient which helps control the fungus which causes it. Our top pick Nizoral A-D contains KET, and is one of the most effective over-the-counter products which we have tested against dandruff.
Coal tar has been found to be very efficient in treating seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. It works by helping slow down the rate at which the skin cells die and flake off. Unfortunately, it doesn’t smell or look too good which puts a lot of people off.
Also known as BHA, this ingredient works as an exfoliant which removes the dead skin cells from the scalp gently and efficiently. It is also an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory product which helps reduce the irritation and itchiness. The Oribe Serene shampoo includes BHA as one of its main ingredients.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil is the perfect natural solution for dandruff, which is why most of our top picks for dandruff shampoos for 2021 have it as one of their main ingredients, alongside other essential natural oils. It has anti-fungal properties and is safe for use on the skin.
Tips for dealing with dandruff
Here are some basic tips to help you overcome your dandruff problem:
- Stay away from water that is too hot, as well as from heated hair treatment devices
- Use gentle and circular motions to massage the scalp when you are washing your hair to help remove the dead skin cells from the surface
- Avoid scratching because you can damage the skin and increase the fungus
- Read the instructions of your anti-dandruff medication or hair care product carefully because some of them should be used only several times a week, while as others are safe for everyday use
- Switch in between the anti-dandruff and your regular shampoo and conditioner to keep the dandruff condition under control, even if dandruff seems to have disappeared
- Leave the medicated shampoo on the scalp for 2 to 3 minutes, to allow for the ingredients to work, but then rinse it off completely to avoid drying and irritation
- Stay away from heavy conditioners and oils because this can increase the growth of the fungus
Home remedies for dandruff
You may want to save money, and try out one of these natural remedies for treating dandruff with products which you probably have at home right now.
Aspirin contains salicylic acid so you can crush two aspirins into powder and add it to the shampoo you use. Leave the shampoo on your hair for a couple of minutes and rinse it off and wash it again with shampoo.
Tea tree oil
Add a couple of drops of Tea tree to your shampoo and just wash your hair as you usually would.
Apply a handful of baking soda on your wet hair and wash it without shampoo. This will cause your scalp to start producing its own natural oils and will help get rid of the flaking.
Apple cider vinegar
It will help change the pH of the scalp and will reduce the growth of the yeast. Mix equal amounts of water and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the mixture on your scalp. Wrap it in a towel and let it sit for up to an hour before washing it with normal shampoo. Do this two times a week for a good result.
Aloe Vera is a perfect natural solution to the itching associated with dandruff, which is why it is commonly used in anti-dandruff shampoos and products. Massage some Aloe Vera on your scalp before washing your hair. It has a cooling effect which will alleviate the itching.
Apply about 4 or 5 tablespoons of coconut oil on the scalp by massaging it in and let it sit for an hour before washing your hair with regular shampoo. Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory and also smells good. It will nourish the scalp and help limit the fungal growth.
Just like apple cider vinegar, lemon helps balance the pH of the scalp and can help reduce and even eliminate dandruff. Massage 2 tablespoons of lemon juice on your scalp and rinse it out with water. After that rinse the hair with a mixture of 1 cup of water and a tablespoon of lemon juice for the greatest results.
We hope that our suggestions for the top 10 dandruff shampoos for 2021 have helped you decide which shampoo to use to resolve your embarrassing and uncomfortable dandruff condition.
All of our top picks are very well priced, made of safe and tested ingredients, and most of them are sold with a money-back satisfaction guarantee, so you can be sure that you are investing your hard earned money wisely.
We have chosen shampoos which are suitable for just about any type of hair, as well as products which you will be able to use for longer, so you don’t need to spend a fortune for properly dealing with dandruff.
We wish you good luck with the anti-dandruff hair care product of your choice, and hope that pretty soon you will have forgotten all about those dreaded flakes and the itching of your scalp so you can lead your life normally once again!