Experts share their go-to products for getting rid of flakes.
From the telltale itchy scalp to white flakes on your dark sweater, there's no doubt about it—dandruff is a pain. The good news: Over-the-counter shampoos can help remedy the chronic skin condition, which affects nearly 50% of people worldwide.
Because there are so many variations of dandruff shampoos on the market, it can be hard to tell the difference between them all. That’s why we reached out to experts to find out exactly what to look for when shopping for dandruff shampoos, along with their recommendations on which ones are actually worth buying.
These are the 12 best dandruff shampoos to buy online, according to dermatologists:
- Best Overall: Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Dandruff Shampoo
- Best Rated: Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
- Best Value: Dove DermaCare Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
- Best With Coal Tar: Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo
- Best Cooling Sensation: Selsun Blue Medicated Maximum Strength Dandruff Shampoo
- Best for Scalp Buildup: Neutrogena T/SAL Therapeutic Shampoo With Salicylic Acid
- Best for Curly Hair: Head & Shoulders Royal Oils Moisture Boost Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
- Best High-End: Oribe Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
- Best for Color-Treated Hair: L'Oreal Paris EverFresh Anti-Dandruff Sulfate-Free Shampoo
- Best With Tea Tree Oil: Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo
- Best for Scalp Acne: DHS Zinc Shampoo
- Best for Thin Hair: Nioxin Scalp Recovery Anti-Dandruff Medicating Cleanser Shampoo
When shopping for dandruff shampoos, one of the most important factors to consider is what ingredients it uses, because that’s what makes it effective. “The active ingredients in dandruff shampoos work to manage and reduce flakiness, dryness, and itchiness of the scalp,” says Shari Sperling, DO, a board-certified dermatologist at Sperling Dermatology.
Some of the most common ones include pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid, ketoconazole, and coal tar. But since dandruff has many causes—dry skin, sensitivity to hair products, and a yeast-like fungus are common culprits—you may need to experiment with a few different products to find the formula that works best for you.