What is the Most Effective Dandruff Shampoo?
That annoying itch on your scalp. The dead skin specks throughout your freshly washed hair. The white flakes that noticeably adorn all of your shirts. What is this common, yet rarely discussed, problem of yours? You guessed it: Dandruff. It’s not that you don’t care about your appearance, although you think others may perceive it as such. Obviously you have tried everything out there but nothing seems to rid you of this pest. We understand that finding the best treatment to free you of dandruff once and for all is a daunting task and that’s why we’re here to help. We have put together a one-stop shopping guide to help you find the best dandruff shampoo that will finally rid you of that pesky dandruff for good. And if that’s just not good enough for you, we have also included natural, nontraditional ways to end this problem once and for all. Take a look! We promise you will not be disappointed.
The Best Dandruff Shampoo Guide
What is dandruff?
Although we have all heard about dandruff, and many of us have even had to deal with it, how many really know what the word means? Well, look no further. Also known as scurf or pityriasis simplex capillitii, dandruff is a common, chronic flaking of the skin on a person’s scalp. All over our bodies our skin cells are continuously renewing themselves without so much as a thought from us. As the skin cells on the scalp are renewed, the dead cells are pushed to the surface and then expelled out of the scalp. For people with dandruff the old cells are dying at a much slower rate than the new cells are being produced resulting in more skin being shed and subsequently dandruff.
Signs and symptoms:
Fortunately signs of dandruff, as well as its symptoms, are fairly easy to spot in most teens and adults. Often white, oily looking flakes of dead skin dot your hair and shoulders. You may notice you have an itchy, scaly scalp or your head may feel tight, tingly, and/or sore.
THE best way to remove dandruff is with shampoo. I know what you are thinking, “There are hundreds of anti-dandruff shampoos out there claiming to be number one, how am I to know which one will actually get the job done?” Below are fifteen of the best, tried and true, no-fail dandruff shampoos out there. Take a look at what other dandruff sufferers have sworn works for them and try it out for yourself.
Redken Dandruff Control shampoo
When you have been dealing with dandruff, waiting for a month for treatment to kick in seems like forever, which is why this product is so amazing. Users have said they have noticed a difference “after the first use” and that this product “worked really fast.” Another consumer raved, “My scalp was always itchy and no matter what dandruff shampoo I used the problem would not go away until I used Redken. By the second application no more itch or dandruff left.” And wait, there’s even a conditioner (link to conditioner as well?) to pair with the shampoo for that extra dual-fighting coverage.
The Body Shop Ginger Scalp Care Shampoo
We have heard nothing but rave reviews about this anti-dandruff shampoo. One customer insisted this was “the only shampoo that works for me” and another spoke of how she nearly gave up hope writing, “I got restless and decided that there was no other way to live but with dandruff.” However, after one last desperate try with The Body Shop Ginger Scalp Care Shampoo, she “saw immediate results” and is “still in shock that (her) scalp is almost free of dandruff.” With its dandruff-fighting powers, shine-producing results, and pleasant scent, many have termed it as a “miracle in a bottle.”
Neutrogena T/Gel Daily Control 2-in-1 Dandruff Shampoo Plus Conditioner
One dandruff critic was excited to announce, “The best thing about this product (other than it actually works) is that it doesn’t smell bad!” Another user has tried many dandruff shampoos and insists, “This is the best product I’ve round for controlling dandruff.” And another product bonus? This is a shampoo and conditioner package.
Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo
The truth of the matter is that this shampoo will not only help your scalp but because of the tea tree oil which is contains, it is also good for your skin and clearing up acne. One reviewer acclaimed, “This is my favorite shampoo. Smells very good and keeps hair soft and fresh,” while another said, “Hands down the best shampoo ever.” Another even praised, “I saw immediate results with this shampoo…literally the day of my first use I saw less flaking.”
Head & Shoulders Green Apple 2-in-1 Dandruff Shampoo And Conditioner
“Feels so good on my scalp and the green apple scents smells nice” comments one fan of this anti-dandruff shampoo product. Others have claimed this is the “best shampoo-conditioner combo around” and that it truly does the job of keeping the flakes off of their shoulders and head, hence the clever name of Head & Shoulders.
Dandruff Shampoo and Vinegar Rinse Cleanser for Dandruff from Just Natural Skin & Hair Care
This shampoo and vinegar rinse combination is an unstoppable duo. While the shampoo helps alleviate and prevent the recurrence of flaking and itching, the vinegar rinse kills the yeast-like fungus that is responsible for dandruff and dry, itchy scalp. Another plus? It’s 100% organic! One consumer was ecstatic that, “after trying many chemical options, this simple, wonderful shampoo worked! It made me realize that using real, quality ingredients is the best option.” Another noted, “This stuff really works and best of all you can smell the natural ingredients in every wash.”
Pura d’or Anti-dandruff: Premium Organic Shampoo
This proprietary herbal blend is made up of all natural and botanical ingredients that control flaking, scaling, and itching while soothing, balancing, and moisturizing. Reviewers claim “This works like a miracle” and have noticed a huge improvement with their itching and flaking in just a few washes. One customer even vowed, “This is the final stop for your dandruff problem!”
Aveda Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo with Burdock Root
“This shampoo balances and heals dry scalp unlike anything I have ever tried. It is truly amazing! Treat yourself!” raves one user. Another adds, “It is so natural and smells great. Hair loss stopped and dandruff reduced.” In hair care, burdock root diminishes hair loss, increases the vitality of your hair and scalp, and also reduces dandruff. In skin care it is known to heal a variety of issues such as acne or eczema. As a wide-ranging anti-fungal and anti-microbial, it is useful against scalp inflammation or hairline pimples.
JASON Natural Cosmetics Shampoo, Tea Tree Oil Hair & Scalp Therapy
Although is may seem odd to some, one user was thrilled to find a gluten free shampoo and recommends this as “Perfect for anyone looking for a healthy gluten free shampoo.” Another swears by this product, noting, “If you have stubborn scalp issues, I highly recommend this product,” although he does mention it will take some time (approximately one bottle) to see such dramatic results.
Garnier Fructis Anti-Dandruff Mint Cleanse Shampoo
“This shampoo leaves my scalp so clean and healthy, and it is so refreshing!” praises an avid Garnier user. Many others love that this shampoo is not only “effective at preventing dandruff” but that it is also a low-cost hair care product. What a win-win!
Sage Shampoo for Heavy Dandruff with Argan, Jojoba and Organic Spikenard
This anti-dandruff shampoo is not only made from natural ingredients but is safe for color treated hair. One elated consumer is “SO happy (he) found this” because his scalp “feels so much better and LOOKS so much better.” Another said, “I like this much better than (other) dandruff shampoos” and continues, “This has a pleasant smell and it takes care of dandruff problems without stripping my hair of all of its oils.”
Dove Men+Care Anti Dandruff Fortifying Shampoo
Not only equipped to tackle tough dandruff, Dove Men+Care Anti Dandruff Fortifying Shampoo is also enriched with caffeine and zinc to improve scalp health. Dove is especially great for those with sensitive skin, as one consumer shared, “My husband and son have sensitive skin and they both like the Dove’s men products.” Another exclaims, “I am honestly in love with this shampoo. It does its job and more.”
Clear Men Scalp Therapy AntiDandruff Shampoo
With natural mint, this shampoo has been clinically proven to help eliminate dandruff symptoms. One customer was left in awe, noting, “Who would think that something so affordable would be so effective. I not longer have scalp poriasis!” Another claims, “This product does make a difference in dandruff” after only a few washes.
Nizoral AntiDandruff Shampoo
This anti-dandruff shampoo contains the most prescribed ingredient for dandruff and is to only be used on adults and children over 12 years of age. Unlike other shampoos, Nizoral only needs to be applied twice a week in order to control dandruff. One user was thrilled with this shampoo, noting, “It does a great of keeping my dandruff in check, it has a refreshing aroma, and it leaves my hair very soft.”
Selsun Blue Medicated Maximum Strength Dandruff Shampoo
This shampoo is specially formulated to control the itching and flaking of serious dandruff while making the hair softer and more manageable. One customer even admitted being “kind of a brand snob” but swallowed her pride and said “this worked much better than all the others. No more itching or flaking.” Another user has struggled with dandruff for the better part of his life and declared, “After only 3 days of using this shampoo my dandruff had gone away completely.”
Feeling hopeless, like shampoo is not the answer for your unique case of dandruff? Well, don’t be. Although there is no cure for dandruff there are other treatment options out there. The key, however, is to be patient and persistent. Huffingtonpost.com also recommends four nontraditional ways to get rid of dandruff:
- Aspirin: Aspirin contains what is known as salicylates, which is an active ingredient in dandruff shampoos that contain salicylic acid. To try this method, take two tablets of aspirin, crush them into a fine powder, and add it to your shampoo. Once the aspirin and shampoo are lathered in your hair, let it sit for one two to minutes before rinsing. Wash hair again, this time without any aspirin, in order to eliminate any remaining powder.
- Natural Oils: Olive, coconut, or almond oils can help prevent dandruff by keeping the scalp moisturized. Simply warm one of the above mentioned oils in a bowl and message onto your scalp. Wrap your hair in a towel and leave the oil in overnight. Rinse in the morning and see the remarkable effects.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Here is yet another use for the cure-all apple cider vinegar. After lathering your hair with shampoo, combine two cups of apple cider vinegar with two cups of cold water and rinse the shampoo from your hair. This will help keep the scalp from becoming too flaky.
- Baking Soda: Although less favorable than the previously mentioned methods, replacing your regular shampoo with baking soda for a few weeks has worked to decrease dandruff. While in the shower, vigorously rub a handful of baking soda into your scalp and thoroughly rinse.
What causes dandruff?
The exact cause of dandruff remains unknown but most experts agree that it is not caused by poor hygiene. We already know scalp skin cells being produced at a much faster rate than they die contributes to dandruff, but what are some other factors?
- Dry skin: This is THE most common contributor of dandruff. Dry skin flakes are typically smaller and less oily than those coming from other causes of dandruff and signs and symptoms are often seen elsewhere on the body, such as on your arms and legs. Dry skin dandruff often increases in number during the winter because of cold air combined with overheated rooms. In other words, dramatic changes in temperature contribute to dandruff.
- Seborrheic dermatitis: Or in laymen’s terms, irritated and oily skin. This is also a leading factor in dandruff. Seborrheic dermatitis not only affects the scalp but also other areas of the body rich in oil glands such as the eyebrows, sides of the nose, back of the ears, groin, breastbone, and at times the armpit. This condition is evident by having red, greasy skin covered in flaky yellow or white scales. Dandruff is considered a mild form of seborrhoeic dermatitis.
- Malassezia: As awful as it is to think about, malassezia is a yeast-like fungus that lives on the scalp of most adults and yet only causes irritation in some. This fungus feeds on the oils our hair follicles secrete which can irritate the scalp and cause more skin cells to grow. As the excess skin cells die and fall off of our scalp, they mix with the oil from our hair and scalp and are then seen as what we know as dandruff. Why, exactly, malassezia irritates some scalps and not others is still unknown.
- Not enough hair brushing: The regular combing and brushing of your hair aides the scalp in shedding the excess dead skin. You have a slightly higher risk of having dandruff if this is not done on a regular basis.
- Not enough shampooing: Although under debate, many experts agree that oils and skin cells from your scalp can build up if you do not wash your hair regularly, causing dandruff.
- Sensitivity to hair care products: On the flip side, shampooing too frequently or using too many styling products may also irritate your scalp and cause dandruff. Sensitivities to certain ingredients in dyes or hair care products, especially paraphenylenediamine, can cause an itchy, red scalp which is also known as contact dermatitis.
- Certain skin conditions: Those with skin disorders, such as psoriasis (a chronic autoimmune disease that mainly affects the skin and is marked by a speedy buildup of coarse, dry, dead skin cells that form thick scales) and eczema (a chronic, inflammatory skin condition where the skin becomes itchy, reddened, cracked, and dry), tend to get dandruff more frequently than other people. Unfortunately, this cause is out of your hands.
- Diet: Experts believe people who do not consume enough of foods that contain B vitamins, zinc, and some types of fats are more prone to dandruff. Diets which are too salty, sugary, or spicy that are accompanied by excessive alcohol use may also be to blame.
- Mental Stress: Some specialists believe there is a link between stress and many skin problems including dandruff. As a person becomes stressed their level of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, rises. This in turn increases oil production, which can then lead to dandruff.