8 Best Dandruff Shampoos, According to Experts

Dermatologists, hairstylists, and beauty scientists can't get enough of these.

Best Dandruff Shampoo

No one wants to look in the mirror and see flakes all over her scalp. Seborrheic dermatitis, or dandruff, is both uncomfortable and frustrating.

"Many people think that dandruff is a dry, scaling issue, but really, this is a greasy, flaky problem," says Amy McMichael, M.D., a professor and chair of the Department of Dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Health. There are a variety of causes for it, but what you need to solve the problem is a really good dandruff shampoo.

"With dandruff shampoo, we recommend that you lather up and leave it in contact with the scalp for five to 10 minutes before rinsing out," says Rajani Katta, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and author of Glow: The Dermatologist’s Guide to a Whole Foods Younger Skin Diet. "This provides longer contact time with the active ingredient." Keep in mind that some anti-dandruff shampoos can dry out your hair, so many people find that heavier conditioners are an effective companion.

To get started, check out our list of the best expert-approved and customer-recommended shampoos that will help you fight the flakes.

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1 Top Lab Pick: Head & Shoulders Dry Scalp Care Shampoo and Conditioner

These 2-in-1 haircare products earned the Good Housekeeping Seal for their powerful, skin-saving results. They both help remove flakes, calm itching, relieve irritation, reduce redness, and fight dryness. The key is that Head & Shoulders products work against the impaired top layer of skin, called Malassezia, by repairing it and reducing the loss of moisture. 

2 Dermatologist Recommended: Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with Ketoconazole 1%
$11.16 (35% off)

"Ketaconazole is an anti-fungal ingredient that helps reduce the growth of Malassezia," says Dr. Katta. "This is a yeast that lives on everybody's scalp, but in some people it seems to trigger inflammation, with redness and flaking of the skin." 

3 Dermatologist Recommended: Neutrogena® T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo

Dr. Katta likes this product because it contains one important dandruff-fighting component: salicylic acid. Though often used to treat acne, the active ingredient helps remove any excess flaking. 

4 Dermatologist Recommended: Dove Dermacare Scalp Soothing Moisture Shampoo

Francesca Fusco, M.D., a New York City dermatologist, says her #1 recommendation contains pyrithione zinc 2%. "It helps get rid of flakes, irritation, hydrates a dry and/or itchy scalp, and can be used every single day." But make sure you use it routinely, because "consistency of use is critically important when using dandruff shampoo," says Dr. Fusco. 

5 Hairstylist Recommended: Eufora Aloe Therapy Soothing Hair-Body Cleanse

"I always use the Eufora Soothing Hair Body Cleanse shampoo for my clients with dandruff," says NYC hairstylist Dana Hodges. "It's incredibly gentle, and the aloe stem cells help soothe the scalp and stop the itch that often comes with dandruff." 

6 Online Bestseller: Christophe Robin Purifying Shampoo with Jujube Bark Extract

This currently stands as the best-selling shampoo for dandruff on Sephora.com, with reviewers raving about how much it's helped them. "This is the ONLY product that has worked for me so I am giving it a full 5 stars," shared on Sephora reviewer. 

7 Online Bestseller: Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo

Many Ulta buyers have found relief with this shampoo from Redken. "Within 2 weeks it resolved my dandruff issue," wrote one online reviewer. "And it makes my hair look so pretty and healthy." Like the Dove shampoo, the dandruff-busting ingredient here is pyrithione zinc, which Dr. McMichael says is anti-inflammatory and keeps the seborrheic dermatitis from spreading.  

8 Online Bestseller: Biolage Scalpsync Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Hundreds of Amazon reviewers can't stop raving about this product, saying it's the only one that's kept dandruff their away. "First shampoo I've used that actually got rid of my dandruff," wrote one reviewer. "Been looking for 20 years ... Not sure if I got lucky but it's been great to finally not have flakes." Like the Redken shampoo, this product also contains pyrithione zinc. 

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