The 8 Best Dandruff Shampoos of 2019

Washes that combat dry flakes

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

First Look

Best Overall: Head & Shoulders Classic 2 in 1 at Walmart

“Convenient shampoo and conditioner formula makes fighting dandruff easy.”

Best Budget: Selsun Blue Medicated Shampoo at Amazon

“Does the job with the power of selenium sulfide.”

Best Luxury Buy: Malin + Goetz Dandruff Shampoo at Nordstrom

“Tea tree oil is also added to take care of flakes and control excess scalp oil.”

Best for Oily Hair: Neutrogena T/Gel Shampoo at Amazon

“People with particularly stubborn cases of seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis on the scalp say that this clears up rash-affected areas.”

Best for Women: Redken Scalp Relief Shampoo at Walmart

“Aside from controlling dandruff, people praise the product for leaving strands silky and soft.”

Best for Men: Suave Men 2-in-1 at Amazon

“The creamy, hydrating formula keeps hair and scalp nourished, even during colder months.”

Best for Color Treated Hair: Nizoral A-D Shampoo at Amazon

“This shampoo gets rid of flakes while preserving color-treated hair and grays."

Best for Kids: Mustela Foam Shampoo for Cradle Cap at Amazon

It’s free of preservatives, like parabens and phthalates, that often set off irritation.”

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Anti-Dandruff 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner

Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Anti-Dandruff 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner
Courtesy of Walmart.

It may be called Classic Clean, but this product truly is a classic for a reason. One percent pyrithione zinc is the active antifungal ingredient that controls flaking and itching. Reviewers say they were excited to finally find a dandruff shampoo that is not greasy and smells pleasant, as opposed to other stronger options. What’s more, the convenient shampoo and conditioner formula makes fighting dandruff easy.

It’s also worth noting that not everyone suffers from dandruff year-round so it's great to keep this in the bathroom for when it's needed. At a reasonable price, its smart to always have this bottle on hand to help fight a dry scalp.

Best Budget: Selsun Blue Medicated Maximum Strength Dandruff Shampoo

Fighting dandruff shouldn't cost an arm and a leg, and that is why Selsun Blue is a long-time cult fave dandruff shampoo. It does the job with the power of selenium sulfide to wick away flakes in a few washes at a bargain price. Besides leading the war on dandruff this shampoo also helps ward off seborrheic dermatitis.

This formula comes in five different versions so you can find the right pick for you—medicated, full and thick, itchy scalp, deep cleaning, or moisturizing.

Best Luxury Buy: Malin + Goetz Dandruff Shampoo

Malin and Goetz Dandruff Shampoo
Courtesy of Nordstrom.

Just because you have dandruff doesn't mean you can't indulge in a salon-quality shampoo. This pick from beloved Malin+Goetz may be a bit more expensive than other shampoos of its kind, but you'll be giving your hair premium treatment. This bottle packs 1.9 percent pyrithione zinc, which is twice the concentration of similar formulas. Plus, tea tree oil a natural dandruff treatment is also added to take care of flakes and control excess scalp oil.

The invigorating scent is eucalyptus, something reviewers say is a nice perk. Plus, even for its power, the creamy formula keeps hair nourished.

Best for Oily Hair: Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo

Even those with oily hair still get dandruff. This top pick uses coal tar extract to fight off flakes even long after you shower. This product can be used daily, but for many using it just twice a week will produce desired results. To use lather onto hair and leave on for a few minutes and then rinse.

Besides eliminating a flaky scalp, it has also been recognized by The National Psoriasis Foundation to help fight off inflammation. It also helps control seborrheic dermatitis.

Some reviewers say the smell can be a little potent, but for scalp relief, it is a price many will pay.

Best for Women: Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo

Redken Dandruff Shampoo
Courtesy of Walmart.

One of the common complaints about dandruff shampoos is that they tend to smell bad. It’s worth it, clearly, for a flake-free scalp, but this Redken shampoo has the added benefit of smelling lovely and not having a medicinal scent.

Aside from controlling dandruff, people praise the product for leaving their strands silky and soft. For those who tend to color and process their hair often, they say that this shampoo also helps soothe irritation—another big bonus.

Best for Men: Suave Men 2-in-1 Anti-Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner

Suave Men 2-in-1 Dandruff Shampoo
Courtesy of Amazon.

Pyrithione zinc slays the need to scratch itchy, flaky patches. The creamy, hydrating formula keeps hair and scalp nourished, even during colder months (when dandruff problems peak for some men.) What many like is that this is designed for men's hair and doesn't have an overly medicinal smell that many dandruff shampoos can have. This formula can be used daily, too, making it a must-purchase for anyone who gets an occasional dusting of flakes.

Best for Color Treated Hair: Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

With the fungus-killing anti-dandruff ingredient ketoconazole, this shampoo gets rid of flakes while preserving color-treated hair and grays. Dandruff sufferers say this performs better than similar ketoconazole prescription washes because they find it’s far gentler and doesn’t irritate skin or damaged hair. Most importantly, it is truly effective. Reviewers say they notice results anywhere from a few washes to after a couple of weeks of use.

Best for Kids: Mustela Foam Shampoo for Cradle Cap

Baby soft skin may exist, but it doesn’t apply to scalps. If your little one is dealing with large patches of flakes or the plaques of cradle cap, then this should be your go-to from birth to nine years old. It’s free of the preservatives (like parabens and phthalates) that often set off irritation, especially in a child’s more sensitive skin.

Some people complain about the smell, while it didn’t bother others. Still, reviewers overwhelmingly say that by massaging this into their child’s scalp, the flakes began to lift off in just a few washes. Be sure to consult your pediatrician or doctor, though, before using this product on children for best practice.

Our Process

Our writers spent 5 hours researching the most popular dandruff shampoos on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered more than 20 dandruff shampoos overall, screened options from 16 different brands and manufacturers, and read over 250 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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Article Sources

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  • Reeder NL, Kaplan J, Xu J, et al. Zinc Pyrithione Inhibits Yeast Growth through Copper Influx and Inactivation of Iron-Sulfur Proteins. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 2011;55(12):5753-5760. DOI:10.1128/aac.00724-11

  • Satchell AC, Saurajen A, Bell C, Barnetson RS. Treatment of dandruff with 5% tea tree oil shampoo. J Am Acad Dermatol. 47.6 (2002): 852-855.