Approximately 5 percent of the global population suffers from Pityriasis, better known as dandruff. While this uncomfortable and unsightly scalp disorder has no current cure, it can be successfully managed. Simply by following some common sense remedies, you can help to combat the factors that contribute to making your dandruff experience an ongoing nightmare. These factors include: How often you brush your hair, the foods you eat, and the type of dandruff fighting shampoo you use. So, if you suffer from dandruff, read on, as we’ve compiled a list of the best shampoos for dry scalps available on the market today.
But wait, do the anti-dandruff shampoos you see in your local store actually work? In 2004 a team of three medical professionals, G. Ravichandran, V. Shivaram Bharadwaj, and S.A. Kolhapure set out to find out the answer. After conducting research on 35 patients, it was concluded that yes, anti-dandruff shampoo does work to help control dandruff, due to the “synergistic anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and local immuno-stimulatory actions of its ingredients.” When searching for an anti-dandruff shampoo, look for a shampoo that has just one of these as an active ingredient:
- Salicylic acid
- Selenium sulfide
- Coal tar
- Tea tree oil
- Zinc pyrithione
If you or a loved one suffers from dandruff, it is recommended that you look into the benefits of altering your diet to contain more B vitamins, healthy fats and zinc. Also, it’s not recommended that those with dry, flaky scalps have perms, relaxers or get their hair colored. Finally, abstain from shampoos with sulfates, as well as overuse of styling products. If you work with your diet, personal hair care routine, and add a great dandruff fighting shampoo to your overall hair care regime, there’s a good chance you’ll have your dandruff issue under control.
Best Shampoo for Dry Scalp and Dandruff Review
Finding the perfect dandruff fighting shampoo for you is not as easy as it sounds. No one anti-dandruff shampoo will work for everyone. After all, not everyone has the same hair or skin type. This is something to keep in mind when shopping for the perfect dry scalp and dandruff shampoo for you. Someone with curly hair and dry scalp may find one shampoo irritating and drying, while someone who has more oily hair, may find that it works perfectly well for them. For example, both ketoconazole and zinc pyrithione only assist when dandruff is caused by fungi. If it is not caused by fungi, then shampoos with those ingredients will not work on you.
For those of you who are searching for an affordable, first-rate dry scalp anti-dandruff shampoo that’s fine to use on a daily basis, then Neutrogena’s T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo is an excellent choice. Get the help you need when it comes to seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff or psoriasis. Clinical tests have proven that the 1 percent coal tar extract present in T/Gel Shampoo will continue to give you the relief you need hours after your shampoo.
While other anti-dandruff shampoos have coal tar, it’s Neutrogena’s very own, patented “Neutar” which sets it apart from the competition. It’s this 4 percent Neutar in T/Gel which gives the shampoo its staying power, allowing the effects of the shampoo to last for days after an application. Dermatologists recommend Neutrogena T/Gel to keep your scalp healthy and in top condition. With regards to the shampoo, your hair will maintain a glossy shine, and manageable.
- Formulated with 4 percent Neutar and 1 percent coal tar
- Can be used daily if necessary
- Moisturizes hair and scalp
- Works on dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis
- Some may find the smell unpleasant
- May leave a soap residue if not rinsed well enough
Formulated with nature’s own herbal oils, such as aloe leaf, jojoba, argan, tea tree, borage, eucalyptus, peppermint and rosemary, ArtNaturals Scalp 18 is designed to help relieve the symptoms of a dry, flaky and itchy scalp. The addition of 2 percent coal tar as the active ingredient ensures that those who suffer from psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema or dandruff will receive extended relief, while Argan oil soothes your tender scalp.
If all that isn’t enough, Scalp 18 will also work to unclog hair follicles, while hydrating your scalp and hair, leaving you with clean, shiny, and manageable hair. For those who enjoy a nice, foamy lather as you shampoo, then you won’t be disappointed, as ArtNaturals Scalp 18 does just that. Cruelty-free and sulfate-free, ArtNaturals is just what you need to, according to the manufacturer, “break out that black T-shirt”.
- Formulated with 2 percent coal tar
- Includes an assortment of herbal oils
- Unclogs hair follicles
- Cruelty and sulfate-free
- Some users may experience dry scalp or hair
- The smell may be too much for some
Maple Holistics has created a fabulous shampoo for those with dry, flaky scalp issues: Maple Holistics Sage Shampoo. Known for being hypoallergenic, free from harsh chemicals, while being gentle on the hair and scalp, this paraben and sulfate-free anti-dandruff shampoo will do away with your unsightly dandruff.
Formulated to be used by those who suffer from mild to moderate dandruff, this cruelty-free, vegan anti-dandruff shampoo is even gentle enough for color treated hair. Ingredients include botanical keratin, peach kernel, jojoba oil and sage.
Sage creates the magic here, as this herb is known for its astringent properties, which helps in reducing the stress by dermatitis. Maple Holistics has crafted a great shampoo which can be used daily if need be, for clearing up your dry scalp without leaving it feel dry and uncomfortable.
- Can be used daily
- Free from sulfates, parabens and harsh chemicals
- Formulated with natural ingredients like sage, botanical keratin and jojoba
- Leaves the scalp dry and irritated for some users
- Only works on mild to moderate dandruff
Ketoconazole is a clinically tested ingredient which has been proven to be effective in fighting dandruff, and it’s the central ingredient in Nizoral’s A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. This shampoo is so gentle, that it works well on dry, color treated hair. Nizoral is also the preferred anti-dandruff shampoo for African American hair. Once you apply A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo to your hair, you’ll be amazed at the thick, rich lather and how easily it rinses off, leaving you feeling refreshed and clean.
Ketoconazole’s power lies in it’s ability to bind to your hair’s natural protein, and remain their even between washing, to help protect you against the fungus that causes dandruff in the first place. Nizoral is known as one of the toughest, non-prescription, over the counter anti-dandruff shampoos you can buy. This doctor recommended shampoo is formulated to battle the simplest dandruff case, to the most difficult. Being so powerful, it is not designed to be a daily shampoo, once or twice a week should do it. Also, since it’s made with Ketoconazole instead of coal tar, there will be no unpleasant ‘tar-like’ odor. Finally, Ketoconazole works on clearing up the fungi issue. If your dandruff is not caused by fungi, then this shampoo will not work as well for you.
- Formulated with ketoconazole
- One of the strongest OTC anti-dandruff fighting shampoos
- Ketoconazole is designed to remain on your strands in between shampoos
- Doctor recommended formula
- Only works with dandruff caused by fungi
- Prolonged use may dry out the scalp
Head and Shoulders has long been staple in the medicine cabinets of dandruff suffers everywhere for many years. Head and Shoulders Dry Scalp Care with Almond oil is no exception as it is formulated with Pyrithione Zinc 1% , maintains your scalp’s pH balance, and is gentle enough to use every day. It does this via a 3-in-1 Action formula which cleans, protects and moisturizes. Your hair will be gorgeous, manageable, shiny and your scalp, flake-free.
If you’re concerned about the possibility of a dry, itch scalp afterwards, don’t be. It’s the addition of almond oil which will help to moisturize your tender, sensitive scalp. This dermatologist anti-dandruff shampoo has been proven by clinical trials to relieve dandruff, even on color treated hair. One of the reasons this is such a popular dandruff fighting shampoo, is that it’s been designed to not only fight flakes, but also to create beautiful, soft and silky hair. See for yourself, why Head and Shoulders remains the go-to brand for many of the world’s dry scalp sufferers.
- Pyrithione zinc 1 percent
- 3-in-1 action formula
- Almond oil moisturizes your scalp
- Gentle enough to use daily
- May be too difficult to rinse off for some users
- Some users do not find it effective
When it comes to finding the absolute best shampoo for dry scalp on the market today, you can trust each and every brand in our review. All are manufactured by prominent and trustworthy companies, who stand by their products. That being said, a dandruff fighting shampoo only works well if chosen properly. The active ingredients of each shampoo are made to battle a certain type of dandruff. As stated, if your dandruff is not caused by fungi, than an ingredient such as pyrithione zinc might not have much of an impact. So, take care when you read the reviews left by others. If the shampoo did not work for them, there is a chance they purchased the shampoo with the incorrect active ingredient.