According to a study by Head & Shoulders, 50% of people will experience dandruff in their lifetime (source).
As you are likely aware, dandruff can be one of the most frustrating and confidence-busting skin problems.
When going to make a first impression on a date or job interview, hanging out with friends, or whatever the social scenario may be, the last thing you need to be worrying about is your dandruff.
However, picking the right dandruff shampoo to stop this problem is tough.
The best dandruff shampoo for men should not only rid your hair of any embarrassing flakes but should also be reliable, not dry out your scalp, make your hair look and feel better, all while preventing dandruff from happening ever again.
Here’s our list of some of the hardest working shampoos that get rid of stubborn dandruff:
3 Tips on Finding the Perfect Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
1. Hair Type
The active ingredient found within anti-dandruff shampoos will be effective on all types of hair. However, when researching, you will often find that companies may make their shampoo for thin, thick, and curly hair types. These types of shampoos have added ingredients, such as volumizers for thinner hair, for better results.
So double-check the bottle to see if the company makes a specially formulated shampoo for your hair type.
2. Causes of Dandruff
Per the Mayo Clinic, dandruff can be caused by one of the five following reasons:
- Irritated & Oily Skin (Seborrheic Dermatitis): The most common cause of dandruff will be from irritated or oily skin. A gentle shampoo with a light formula can be helpful here. An anti-dandruff shampoo with coal tar may also be effective.
- Lack of Hygiene: Infrequent bathing can cause excessive buildup of both oils and dead skin cells. Eventually, the excess buildup will flake and give the appearance of dandruff. A specially formulated anti-dandruff shampoo isn’t required here – just better diligence with showering.
- Malassezia (Fungus): This form of dandruff is unique in that it doesn’t necessarily have to do with hygiene or skin irritation. Instead, this is a fungus that grows on your scalp resulting in a rapid increase in skin cell production. An antifungal ingredient, such as zinc pyrithione, can help to resolve this common issue.
- Dry Skin: This is a common problem if you live in an arid or desert-like climate. Rather than using an anti-dandruff shampoo, go with a moisturizing shampoo instead. This will help to restore the moisture barrier on your scalp.
- Contact Dermatitis: If you recently changed your shampoo, conditioner, dye, or hair product and began to experience dandruff, then you may be experiencing contact dermatitis. Should this be the case, remove the product you recently introduced to see if the flakes stop.
Note: If you are still unsure what type of dandruff you have, be sure to contact your physician or dermatologist to get a qualified opinion.
When it comes to comparing anti-dandruff shampoos, you’ll find a few active ingredients these formulas depend upon. Here’s what they are:
- Zinc Pyrithione (or Pyrithione Zinc): This compound works to break up the fungus and bacteria. This ingredient is effective for fighting seborrheic dermatitis and Malassezia.
- Selenium Sulfide: This is an antifungal agent found in several anti-dandruff shampoos. The maximum concentration that you can purchase in an over-the-counter shampoo with Selenium Sulfide is 1%. Greater concentrations are available with a prescription.
- Ketoconazole: This antifungal ingredient is used to treat jock itch, athletes’ foot, and ringworms. Ketoconazole is less common but sometimes used as an agent in anti-dandruff shampoos.
- Coal Tar: Classified as a keratoplastic, this ingredient slows down the growth of skin cells on your head. With a slowdown of cell growth, the appearance of dandruff should be quickly diminished. Should you have overly oily skin and not a fungal infection, coal tar could be more effective in treating dandruff.
Summary of the Best Dandruff Shampoos for Men
Here is a quick summary of men’s dandruff shampoos that we have discussed in this article. Be sure to check out the individual product pages for more information and reviews.
|Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo||Medicated, ketoconazole-based formula, effective for severe dandruff|
|Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Dandruff Shampoo||Affordable, versatile, coal tar-based formula|
|Dandrene Anti-Dandruff Shampoo||Unisex, unique active ingredients, Nanosome delivery system|
|K + S Salon Anti-Dandruff Shampoo||Mild formula, natural ingredients, great for first-time users|
|American Crew Anti-Dandruff Shampoo||Salon-quality, includes essential oils, good for mild dandruff|
|JASON Natural Dandruff Relief Shampoo||Natural ingredients, sulfur-based, good for color-treated hair|
|Head & Shoulders Anti-Dandruff Shampoo||Gentle, everyday use, includes conditioner, affordable|
|Maple Holistics Natural Dandruff Treatment||Hypoallergenic, natural ingredients, good for sensitive scalps|
|Selsun Blue Dandruff Shampoo||Classic brand, antifungal properties, effective for seborrheic dermatitis|
Remember to consider your hair type, the cause of your dandruff, and the active ingredients in the shampoo when choosing the best dandruff shampoo for you.
1. Best Medicated Dandruff Shampoo: Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
This highly sought-after anti-dandruff shampoo is currently the #1 Best Seller with over 2,000 reviews.
Unlike other shampoos that rely on selenium sulfide or pyrithione zinc to rid dandruff, Nizoral relies on ketoconazole – which is a synthetic chemical compound.
While this isn’t an everyday shampoo like Head & Shoulders, you should only use Nizoral about once every few days (no more than twice a week).
What’s more is that Nizoral is relatively gentle on your scalp and hair, especially when compared to some of the more harsh dandruff shampoos on the market. This means that you shouldn’t experience any breakage of your hair follicles, nor should you have any issues if you color your hair regularly.
Generally speaking, Nizoral is more of a clean or neutral fragrance that shouldn’t be too off-putting.
What customers are saying: Customers appreciate the effectiveness of this dandruff shampoo, mentioning that it works better than other popular brands and provides itch relief. They also mention that it works well in conjunction with other hair care products, such as beard oil and conditioner.
- Proven active ingredients will eliminate dandruff
- Neutral scent isn’t off-putting or pungent
- Provides great value given the results
- Can’t be used daily
What You Need To Know
Relying on ketoconazole this anti-fungal shampoo will get rid of the most stubborn dandruff. If you are looking for a medicated shampoo that will get rid of your dandruff, then consider this one.
2. Best Cheap Dandruff Shampoo: Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Dandruff Shampoo
One of the most versatile products on this list is without a doubt is Neutrogena T/Gel.
Simply put, this stuff can work to rid even the most stubborn cases of dandruff. From seborrheic dermatitis to psoriasis, this shampoo does a near-perfect job at cleaning up your hairline.
It’s with good reason that this product is the #1 Dermatologist recommended brand in the USA – it works, and it works well.
Unlike other brands that rely on pyrithione zinc or ketoconazole, Neutrogena relies on Coal Tar.
As good as Neutrogena T/Gel may be, the one complaint that men have about this product is the scent. While hard to pin it down to a familiar scent – the best way we can describe it is ‘chemically’.
Therefore, when using T/Gel don’t expect to smell like a lumberjack or fresh after using this product. This product was made to rid dandruff – nothing more.
If your dandruff is stubborn, we recommend also considering the Extra Strength Neutrogena T/Gel (Coal Tar: 1.0%).
What customers are saying: Many customers appreciate the effectiveness of this dandruff shampoo in treating their scalp issues, including psoriasis. However, some have experienced negative outcomes such as worsened dryness and itchiness, and many are not fond of the product’s unpleasant smell.
- #1 Dermatologist recommended brand
- Strong results at an affordable price point
- Extra strength can target fungus-based dandruff
- Smell is strong and off-putting
What You Need To Know
Neutrogena T/Gel has been around for years. While it’s not a daily shampoo, it packs tremendous value given the size. If you are looking for a shampoo that gets results while being affordable, then go with this one.
3. Best For Unisex Use: Dandrene Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
This unique exfoliating anti-dandruff shampoo was specially formulated to treat flakes, itchiness, dryness, and redness.
The comprehensive solution in Dandrene relies on three key ingredients:
- Zinc Pyrithione
- Glycolic Acid
These ingredients work together to not only fight dandruff but to also regulate oily hair and skin while removing flakes.
But what really sets this shampoo apart from the others on our list is the reliance on the Nansome delivery system.
Delivering active ingredients in encapsulated micro-spheres, the Nansome technology releases the active ingredients throughout the day – providing for much more effective results.
To demonstrate how effective this shampoo was at stopping dandruff, some of the reviews we saw during our research claimed that Dandrene was ‘the only shampoo that helps with my dandruff’ to a much more emphatic ‘the greatest anti-dandruff shampoo I have encountered’.
In order to get the best results, we do recommend that you couple this with their dandruff conditioner as well.
While the price of Dandrene is a bit higher compared to others on our list (but still within the acceptable price range), we think it is well worth the investment as this is simply the best dandruff shampoo available.
What customers are saying: While several customers found the dandruff shampoo effective and saw improvements after the first use, others report experiencing side effects like scalp irritation and dry hair. Additionally, some customers disagree with the strong smell and question the authenticity of the product.
- Unique mixture of active ingredients that are proven to work
- Proprietary Nansome delivery system provides science-backed results
- Works on all hair types
- None, the best anti-dandruff shampoo currently available
What You Need To Know
The unique technology blended with the active ingredients makes this an effective shampoo at stopping dandruff quickly.
4. Best Shampoo For Dry Scalp And Dandruff: K + S Salon Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
If this is your first foray into the world of anti-dandruff shampoos and you don’t want to start with a product that may be too powerful or abrasive, then this shampoo by K + S will make an excellent choice.
After making the list of being one of the top conditioners for men, their shampoo is also second to none.
Relying on a very heavy natural and organic base (primarily tea tree oil given its natural anti-fungal properties), this shampoo is great for those looking to try something that strikes a balance between designer and medical brands.
This shampoo would likely be apt for those not necessarily with Malassezia, although the tea tree oil should help in fighting it, but rather those with just a seasonally dry scalp looking for a bit more moisture to stop repeated itching.
Overall this product will leave a fresh and invigorating scent that will make you look forward to your next shower.
What customers are saying: Customers have mixed experiences with this shampoo, with some finding it effective in treating dandruff and enjoying its mint scent. However, others report negative effects such as drying out their scalp or encountering harmful ingredients, and some consider it overpriced.
- Made in the USA
- Natural ingredients also combat hair loss
- Rich moisturizers to help fight a dry scalp
- Not as effective as a medicated dandruff shampoo
What You Need To Know
If you have mild dandruff and want to skip out on some of the more medicated-focus brands then this shampoo is a great alternative.
5. Best Salon Shampoo For Dandruff: American Crew Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
If you want an uncompromising salon-quality shampoo that also doubles down as a dandruff deterrent, then this shampoo by American Crew is likely calling your name.
Containing the same active ingredient in the Dove Men+Care and Head & Shoulders shampoos, this product by American Crew relies on Pyrithione Zinc.
This means that the soap will perform on par with the other big brands with its antifungal fighting properties and removing dead skin cells.
What really sets this shampoo apart from the rest is that it includes a wide array of essential oils as well.
One in particular worth noting is the inclusion of Rosemary. If your scalp is oily due to the overproduction of sebum oil on your sebaceous glands, the rosemary included within will help to reduce production, and hopefully, keep your dandruff in check.
Just don’t forget, this is a shampoo only, so be sure to pick up the conditioner alongside your purchase.
- Trusted brand that makes their shampoos in the USA
- Contains extra essential oils for added hair benefits
- One of the best smelling shampoos as well
- May not be as effective as other brands (but still good)
What You Need To Know
If you want to still have a great-looking hairstyle, then this shampoo by American Crew is a perfect match. Salon quality ingredients with a touch of dandruff control make this good for treating mild dandruff.
6. Best Dandruff Shampoo For Color Treated Hair: JASON Natural Dandruff Relief Shampoo
Created on Long Island by the Hain Celestial Group, JASON is another product added to their lineup that relies on natural ingredients to get the job done.
Within this product, you aren’t going to find coal tar, nor will you see pyrithione zinc or essential oils, instead you will find Sulfur alongside Salicylic Acid (both at 2% concentration) that will work to keep your dandruff in check.
Now, this shampoo is not for the faint of heart. While it may contain a very natural profile of ingredients, many have reported that the scent is akin to sulfur upon use.
While some men may be able to handle this, others may find it a bit too much. However, if you find yourself reaching for a hair clay or pomade, then it likely won’t be a problem as your hair product will likely mask the off-putting scent.
Scent aside, this dandruff shampoo is good for those with color-treated hair.
In addition, this shampoo also doesn’t have parabens, SLS, petrolatum, or coloring and phthalates.
If you are looking for a natural shampoo that’s both affordable and made in the USA, then check this one out.
What customers are saying: Customers report that this dandruff shampoo effectively treats various scalp issues, even when other treatments have failed. However, some users note the product has a strong sulfur smell, which may be difficult to remove, and that the formula can be too thick to apply easily.
- Sulfate-free make it great if you dye your hair
- Treats mild dandruff with FDA approved ingredients
- High reliance on natural ingredients makes it less effective
What You Need To Know
If you have color-treated hair and dandruff, then this shampoo is a perfect pick. While the high reliance on natural ingredients makes it less effective than medicated shampoos, it can still get the job done.
7. Best Daily Dandruff Shampoo: Head & Shoulders Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
The hallmark brand of anti-dandruff shampoos is without a doubt going to be Head & Shoulders.
With its reliance on Pyrithione Zinc, this shampoo will help to break up and destroy the fungus that causes dandruff.
Beyond just simply warding off dandruff, this shampoo by Head & Shoulders also contains a conditioner.
When using this product, you should expect to have not only dandruff-free hair but also intact hair cuticles afterward through its conditioning agent.
Lastly, this bottle does evoke a scent of Old Spice – how’s that for manly?
What customers are saying: Customers appreciate the ease of use, pump design, and soft hair results provided by this 2-in-1 dandruff shampoo. However, some customers experienced issues with dryness, thinning hair, and a waxy buildup that took time to resolve. Despite these concerns, others found it to be gentle on sensitive scalps and effective in eliminating dandruff.
- Gentle enough to be used every day
- Extremely affordable
- Smells great
- Not as strong as others on our list
What You Need To Know
Great for treating mild cases of dandruff, Head & Shoulders is the perfect anti-dandruff shampoo to use daily.
8. Maple Holistics Natural Dandruff Treatment
This incredibly popular dandruff shampoo by Maple Holistics is a great solution for those with a severely sensitive scalp.
With its hypoallergenic formula, this shampoo will gently cleanse your flaky scalp that is causing dandruff.
Now if you have psoriasis, this may not be the best choice, instead this shampoo is aimed at men who are experiencing dandruff simply due to overly oily hair.
This shampoo is a degreaser of sorts that will adequately strip all the excess sebum oil from both your skin and hair follicles.
But you will notice that on the side of the bottle, there is a heavy reliance on carrier oils like jojoba oil. This oil will help to regulate sebum production and make dandruff quietly subside while also promoting healthy hair growth.
If you are looking for an all-natural yet hypoallergenic solution, then this is worth your consideration.
What customers are saying: Customers appreciate this shampoo for effectively controlling oily hair without drying it out. They find that it has a pleasant smell and works well as a degreaser, with some even noticing added volume in their hair after use.
- Provides great sebum control through jojoba oil
- Natural solution compliments your skin
- May not work as well compared to medicated treatments
What You Need To Know
Great all-natural anti-dandruff control shampoo that will gently cleanse your scalp. Will add moisture to both hair and skin.
9. Selsun Blue Dandruff Shampoo
Selsun Blue has been around for years. Along with Head & Shoulders, it’s one of the first brands that many men think of when they are considering any of the best dandruff shampoos.
In its royal blue 11oz. container you will find some great antifungal properties in their shampoo.
Not only will this dandruff shampoo do a great job at warding off seborrheic dermatitis, but it will further help to reduce the recurrence of it as well.
Unlike the Dove Men+Care shampoo that also includes a conditioning agent, Selsun Blue is absent of this secondary feature. Therefore, you will want to make sure you pick up a quality conditioner as well.
What customers are saying: Customers appreciate the effectiveness of this dandruff shampoo in addressing scalp itchiness, head acne, and oily neck and scalp. Its strong scent can be unappealing to some but many enjoy the cooling sensation provided by the mint. To counteract the shampoo’s tendency to harden hair, some users recommend combining it with a conditioner.