If it looks like it’s snowing in July when somebody sees your shoulders, then it is time to take control of the situation and get rid of your men’s dandruff.
It doesn’t matter if the rest of your grooming routine is on point. People will, rightly or wrongly, think that you don’t take care of yourself.
Go out and get yourself the best dandruff shampoo for men that works for your specific conditions and get those flakes gone. You’ll also be rewarded with an itchy scalp that finally goes away.
Finding a shampoo that helps with dandruff is not difficult, since we did the work for you already.
Just below you will find a table that compares the best dandruff shampoo for men that I will review in this article. You can see at a glance how they stack up against each other.
For the full reviews of the best dandruff shampoo for men, just keep scrolling.
- Free & Clear Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo Sensitive Skin
- Best For:
Seborrheic Dermatitis or severe dandruff caused by fungus that needs maximum strength medication.
- Active Ingredients:
Zinc Pyrithione 2%
Free of dyes, fragrance, masking fragrance, lanolin, protein, parabens, formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers.
- Redken Dandruff Control Scalp Relief Shampoo
- Best For:
When you are suffering from dandruff that gets worse during the cold, dry winter.
- Active Ingredients:
Kills the fungus that causes dandruff and moisturizes hair and scalp.
- Maple Holistics Natural Dandruff Treatment
- Best For:
Sensitive skin that doesn’t do well with medicated dandruff shampoos as it heals naturally.
- Active Ingredients:
Cypress Oil, Rosemary Oil, Jojoba Oil
Heals the scalp and prevents future dandruff while moisturizing hair and scalp.
- American Crew Anti-Dandruff Plus Sebum Control Shampoo
- Best For:
When you need an everyday dandruff shampoo that won’t damage your scalp.
- Active Ingredients:
Zinc Pyrithione, Rosemary
Gentle on your skin and nourishes your hair while defeating dandruff.
- Maple Holistics Anti-Fungal & Anti-Bacterial Dandruff Shampoo
- Best For:
A natural way to cleanse your scalp of bacteria and nourish your hair and skin.
- Active Ingredients:
Tea Tree Oil, Argan Oil, Keratin
All natural formula clarifying shampoo that is paraben and sulfate free.
What to look for in a men’s dandruff shampoo
Before you order your anti dandruff shampoo, you need to understand exactly what your dandruff is.
This is a skin condition caused by a fungus that will give you stubborn and severe dandruff that you just can’t get rid of.
How do you know if you have seborrheic dermatitis and not just regular dandruff?
If you have it, you likely will also have red inflamed spots on your head. Have somebody look under your hair for these red patches and also some areas with scaly skin.
It’s also quite painful. If your scalp is itchy, but it hurts to scratch, then this is a sure sign as well.
You may even have it on other parts of your face, like your eyelashes, behind your ears and the sides of your nose.
If you suspect that this is what you have, then you need an antibacterial or antifungal shampoo for dandruff.
Your dandruff might not be a medical condition and just caused by dry skin.
If you have dandruff and your scalp feels tight and itchy, then you likely just need to moisturize your scalp.
Your best bet is to go for a mild dandruff shampoo to stop the dandruff and then go for a moisturizing shampoo for your daily washing.
Using a dandruff shampoo for severe dandruff might actually have the opposite effect if you don’t need one that is very strong.
Start with something natural, gentle on sensitive skin and has moisturizing ingredients.
Dead Skin Build Up
Your scalp sheds skin cells as they die, so it is possible that your scalp needs to be cleaned out to stop the build up from occuring.
This is usually caused by using too much hair product that doesn’t nourish the scalp and clogs pores.
If this is the case then the first thing to do is to use a clarifying dandruff shampoo. These usually contain salicylic acid, which is found in many acne creams.
They will clean up the gunk on your scalp and pores and basically reset everything. Unfortunately, they also will dry your hair.
So, the second thing to do is get rid of any of your hair products that contain things like petroleum based ingredients that clog your skin. And go easy on your hair gel and pomade, too.
Then get yourself a good moisturizing shampoo on Amazon.com since you don’t want to use a clarifying dandruff shampoo once the flakes clear up.
Look for these ingredients
You’ll find this ingredient in medicated OTC dandruff shampoos. The strongest you will find in an over the counter shampoo is 1%. This will kill fungus that causes dandruff from Seborrheic Dermatitis.
These can be a bit harsh so make sure you follow the directions of the particular brand to a T. Don’t be tempted to leave it on longer than the specified time thinking it will clear up your dandruff sooner. It won’t and you’re going to damage your scalp by doing so.
This is also an antifungal ingredient to treat dandruff from Seborrheic Dermatitis. The strongest without a prescription comes in at 2%
Zinc Pyrithione vs Selenium sulfide: which is better? It’s really a push as both treat the cause rather than just the symptom of the dandruff.
The biggest difference is that the Zinc Pyrithione is not quite as harsh as the Selenium Sulfide and can be used longer.
This is another antifungal ingredient found in OTC dandruff shampoos. So it basically does the same thing as the other two mentioned.
This is also used to treat psoriasis, so if you have flakes due to psoriasis and not just from dry scalp or seborrheic dermatitis, then this is the ingredient to look out for.
There is also a bit of evidence that if you have hair loss due to psoriasis or other skin conditions on the scalp, that it may actually help your hair grow back.
If you don’t have those conditions, don’t bother using shampoo to try to regrow your hair as it probably won’t work in that case.
It is commonly found in athlete’s foot and jock itch treatments.
You may have seen some pine tar soaps out there now that they are getting popular again.
These work well to prevent irritation on the scalp, but can also cause it to get dry so it is important to find the best dandruff shampoo for men with coal tar that also moisturizes.
It works well in reducing scaling, itching, and inflammation from psoriasis and other scalp conditions. If your dandruff is caused by a skin condition and not just from dry skin, then this is a logical natural choice to clear that up and also get some relief from the discomfort.
Tea Tree Oil
This is a natural ingredient that acts as an antibacterial agent and an antiseptic. It is usually gentle on skin, but some people do find that they get irritation from this oil. If your scalp is very sensitive you may need to go without.
Of course if your scalp is sensitive then many of the best dandruff shampoo for men will be uncomfortable.
It is a great natural way to help reduce the itchiness, greasiness and inflammation that happens when you have a severe case of dandruff.
In a recent study, tea tree oil shampoo users had a 41 percent reduction in dandruff severity compared to a placebo.
What’s the Best Men’s Dandruff Shampoo?
Best OTC Medicated Anti Dandruff Shampoo
Free & Clear Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo Sensitive Skin
Free of dyes, fragrances, lanolin, protein, parabens, formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers, it goes easy on your scalp.
Many of those ingredients can actually be the cause of dandruff and dry scalp in a lot of cases.
If your dandruff is caused by seborrheic dermatitis, then the 2% strength zinc pyrithione will get rid of the fungus that causes it.
At the same time, it is gentle on the skin with its lack of other harsh chemicals. And it is still one of the strongest medicated dandruff shampoos that will treat severe dandruff without needing to go to a dermatologist. It is pH balanced so it matches up well with your skin’s natural pH level.
In fact, this has been thoroughly tested by dermatologists and given the all clear by them to safely get rid of stubborn dandruff.
It’s best to only use this twice a week at most until the dandruff is gone. You will notice a reduction or even elimination of the dandruff in less than a few weeks of use.
When the dandruff is gone and you put the shampoo away, you can keep the dandruff away by making sure to keep your scalp in good shape. Namely, pay attention to the hair products that you use and switch to all natural ones when you can. Go easy on hair styling products and keep your scalp hydrated.
You’ll find that it lathers up surprisingly well. Just make sure to leave it in your hair for about 5 minutes before rinsing.
You may also want to try other hair products that don’t contain irritating chemicals on Amazon.com once your dandruff is gone. This way you should be able to keep dandruff from coming back and make sure you are getting the best dandruff shampoo for men.
Best Shampoo for Winter Dandruff
Redken Dandruff Control Scalp Relief Shampoo
This is another zinc pyrithione based shampoo that gets rid of dandruff, but this one will also hydrate your hair.
When cold winters have your scalp dry and you’re wearing hats that can end up causing you to get fungus on your scalp causing seborrheic dermatitis, then this is the perfect dandruff shampoo for winter.
Thanks to the addition of glycerin and other moisturizers, your scalp and hair will be hydrated for a soft and healthy feel, beating the dry winter air that wants to dry out your scalp. Some medicated shampoos can dry out your hair even though they are good at getting rid of your dandruff.
This will beat the fungus that causes dandruff and then hydrate the scalp to keep it from getting itchy and the flakes from returning.
Rather than leaving your hair dull looking, it will have a healthy shine that people will notice. But, now they will notice your hair for the right reasons and not because you have flakes.
It’s nice to be able to use this and still feel like your hair is in good shape.
If you’ve ever used one of the best dandruff shampoo for men nowadays, then I know the next question you have. How does it smell?
While it does have a slight medicinal scent due to the zinc pyrithione, it is very faint. Instead it has a pleasant smell of a typical shampoo. Which is a relief from your other dandruff shampoos that just smell awful!
You can offset the smell of the shampoo if it does actually bother you by using a conditioner that you like, or simply adding some styling product with a smell you like. I will reiterate again, though, to not go heavy with the styling products and keep them natural.
Best Natural Dandruff Shampoo
Maple Holistics Natural Dandruff Treatment
This is an all natural herbal dandruff shampoo that actually works. It is specifically designed as an anti dandruff shampoo for oily scalp, but it works for any hair or skin type effectively.
If your dandruff is not caused by fungus, but, rather from scalp dead skin build up, then this will clean away the dead skin and then regulate the sebum production on your scalp to keep the build up from happening again. Your pores will get cleaned and then become smaller over time.
This acts as a clarifying shampoo just without the salicylic acid. Instead, it uses natural essential oils like lemon oil and cypress oil. These ingredients regulate the scalp and slow down the sebum production that causes the buildup of dead skin cells.
Besides getting rid of mild dandruff, it also will fortify your hair with keratin and then hydrate your hair with jojoba oil. This is important as most clarifying shampoos can really dry out your hair and scalp as they strip away your natural oils.
Luckily, this shampoo restores the oils lost when washing and lets your hair get back to normal on its own.
Since this is a moisturizing dandruff shampoo, I think it is also the best dandruff shampoo for men with curly hair can use, since it will keep your curls looking full and healthy and not dull and frizzy.
Maple Holistics offers another effective herbal dandruff shampoo called Sage on Amazon.com. if you have dry scalp then give that one a try since it uses sage oil to get rid of your dandruff while being gentle on your skin.
Best Daily Shampoo for Dandruff
American Crew Anti-Dandruff Plus Sebum Control Shampoo
American Crew is a great go to brand for shampoos and other hair grooming products so it is no surprise that they formulated a zinc pyrithione based shampoo for men’s dandruff. This one is also considered as one of the best dandruff shampoo for men.
It gets rid of your dandruff by killing the fungus that caused it and then regulates your sebum production. This will eliminate the build up of dead skin cells that also cause flakes and itchy scalp.
Your scalp will feel revitalized by the addition of rosemary oil, and the glycerin will hydrate your scalp and hair.
To hedge the bets that the dandruff is completely gone, there is the addition of sage extract which is a natural way to get rid of dandruff. It also is an anti inflammatory which will give some relief against itchiness.
It is good on any skin or hair type and won’t irritate sensitive skin except in cases where people have problems with certain chemicals found in some shampoos.
The scent is slightly of rosemary from the essential oil, but there isn’t a discernible fragrance aside from that. It does have a slight medicinal scent due to the zinc.
If you are going to use this as a daily dandruff shampoo then it is important to use a conditioner for dandruff along with it. Rugged and Dapper make one of my favorite conditioners so this is one I recommend to keep your hair hydrated for the whole day after using an anti flake shampoo.
Once your dandruff is gone, I would switch to a more natural shampoo. I like American Crew products, but these days it is so easy to find more natural ones that I have a hard time recommending them over others.
When you’re dealing with a specific problem like dandruff, then you do need to pull out the big guns to just get rid of it quickly and easily.
Then when you are essentially starting over, preventive maintenance is best to keep it coming back, in which case you no longer need to use this as a daily shampoo.
Best Antibacterial Shampoo for Dandruff
Maple Holistics Anti-Fungal & Anti-Bacterial Dandruff Shampoo
For the third time Maple Holistics is making an appearance on this list. Can you tell I really like these products?
This time it is here because it is the best dandruff shampoo for men that also happens to be all natural.
Primarily using tea tree oil, it will cleanse the scalp of bacteria and fungus that could be the cause of your dandruff.
Other essential oils will also keep your scalp from getting itchy. If you have a tight scalp that often feels uncomfortable, then this will hydrate it while getting rid of flakes.
Your hair will also get nourished by using ingredients like, Keratin, jojoba oil, vegetable glycerin and argan oil.
You could easily use this is a daily dandruff and clarifying shampoo since it does so much to keep your hair healthy and frizz free.
As a bonus, it also can slow your hair from thinning and promote growth by nourishing the hair down to the follicles.
As far as scent goes, it’s hard to pin down the fragrance precisely. It just smells very fresh and invigorating leaving your hair looking and smelling very clean. It definitely does not have a typical dandruff shampoo smell since it doesn’t have any of the chemicals they use.
FAQ About Dandruff Shampoos
Q: Should i wash my hair everyday if i have dandruff?
A: If you are using a medicated dandruff shampoo it is very important to follow the directions and only use it as often as indicated.
If you are using a natural dandruff shampoo you can get away with using it everyday. Though, it is now widely considered a good idea to not wash your hair everyday in general. With or without dandruff.
You may end up drying out your scalp by shampooing your hair everyday and making your dandruff worse. If you want to wash often, then make sure you use a moisturizing shampoo.
Q: Can i get a haircut if i have dandruff?
A: As a barber, I understand that guys have skin issues through no fault of their own. A barbershop is a judgement free zone, so if you come in with dandruff, your barber will not be offended or refuse to cut your hair.
What he can do, and definitely should, is provide some advice on how to get rid of it and heal your scalp.
If you have lice or something infectious, then the barber shouldn’t cut your hair as it could spread the infection.
Remember that a good barber is not just there to give you a haircut. He should be helping you with your problem like dandruff. If he refuses to cut your hair because you have flakes, then it’s time to find a new barber.
Q: Can dry shampoo cause dandruff?
A: There are clarifying shampoos that strip your scalp of moisture, especially if they have salicylic acid as an ingredient. When your scalp is stripped of its oils, then it can cause dry skin and that can end up leading to flakes or mild dandruff. Though that isn’t really dandruff as it is really just dry, dead skin cells.
Just make sure to use a good conditioner after that will moisturize your hair and keep your scalp from drying out.
Q: Is having dandruff bad for you?
A: Having dandruff is not bad for your health, but if it is seborrheic dermatitis it could be a sign that your health is not at its peak.
It is caused by fungus, which happens even when you are doing everything right, but it may be a sign that it is time to start eating right and drinking enough water.
Regular Shampoo vs Dandruff Shampoo
You use a regular or dandruff shampoo both to clean your hair and scalp. The ironic thing is that sometimes it’s actually your regular shampoo that is giving you dandruff.
Many mass produced shampoos contain ingredients that dry your scalp and can lead to flakes.
Things like sodium lauryl sulfate and other clarifying agents in the shampoo strip away the skin’s natural oil called sebum. This sebum is necessary to keep the skin and hair hydrated and protected. Without it, your skin can end up irritated and prone to problems.
Now, dandruff shampoo can contain some scary sounding ingredients but many are there to treat your dandruff problem which is for your benefit. In regular cheap or harsh shampoos many ingredients are there for the company to save money at the expense of your scalp.
Many of the ingredients in dandruff shampoos are there to balance the pH level of your skin. This is the biggest factor in getting dandruff. They also contain ingredients that will scrub away the dead skin in the pores which leads to dandruff.
Anti dandruff shampoos can also have some harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin so choose well from the list of the shampoos above if you have sensitive skin.
How to prevent dandruff from coming back
Once you’ve gotten rid of your dandruff, it’s time to put the dandruff shampoo aside. It isn’t meant to be a long term fix, so now is the time for prevention.
Here are a few things that you can do to keep your dandruff from coming back so you don’t have to keep using a harsh anti dandruff shampoo.
Go easy on the styling products
One of the worst things you can do to your hair and scalp is to overdo the pomade and other styling products.
Many styling products, especially the cheap ones that have petrolatum as an ingredient end up building up on your scalp. Even when you wash well, some product builds up in your pores and traps the dead skin there. Eventually this dead skin sheds as dandruff flakes.
Many of these products also contain alcohol so they end up drying your skin out which also leads to dandruff.
If you are using any styling products, look for the most natural one you can find. Then use it sparingly. You shouldn’t ever be gooping it onto your hair.
Then, make sure you are using a shampoo that will clean it all off without drying out your skin. Try a professional shampoo to hydrate and nourish your hair.
Don’t shampoo every day
You may think you are doing the right thing by shampooing every day to keep your hair clean, but it’s actually doing the opposite and opening you up to chronic dandruff.
You are stripping your skin of its natural oils even when you use a natural shampoo.
Only wash your hair a couple of times per week. This gives your skin a chance to re calibrate its pH balance and repair itself naturally.
When you do use a shampoo make sure it doesn’t have any clarifying agents as they tend to dry your skin. Look out for castor oil and sodium lauryl sulfate.
Look for shampoos that have argan oil and rosemary oil. Argan is great for repairing and is ultra hydrating to bring the moisture back to your scalp and hair. It is something of a wonder ingredient as it does so much for hair and skin in one package.
Rosemary oil is great at preventing dandruff thanks to its ability to stimulate the scalp as well as calming irritated and dry skin.
Change your diet
Getting dandruff can be from some deficiencies in your diet, particularly Omega 3 fatty acids. We already know that the pH of your scalp can be out of balance and that can cause the flakes.
So, it stands to reason that you can control your skin’s pH balance from the inside out. Eating the right foods will help your skin keep its balance and hopefully prevent the dandruff from returning.
Eating foods like fatty fish such as salmon and sardines is a great start. Zinc is also ideal for your skin and hair health. In fact diets rich in zinc may also be responsible for growing your hair faster.
For zinc gets lots of oysters and other shellfish, wheat germ, nuts and bran.
You also need to get plenty of Vitamin B which means liver, eggs and dairy and dark leafy vegetables like spinach.
When you do this in conjunction with good hair products that can stimulate the scalp you will bring a boost of nutrients to your scalp that will keep the conditions that create dandruff from forming.
When you take a holistic approach and treat a problem from different angles your chance of success is much greater.
Final Thoughts About Dandruff Shampoos
Treating your dandruff is easy so having a few flakes shouldn’t cause you really any stress.
Stress can actually lead to dandruff so its best to not get worked up about it and just get yourself one of the best dandruff shampoo for men from this list and nip it in the bud as soon as you start to notice that you have it.
Do you have dandruff or have you had it before and found a way to deal with it effectively?
Let us know in the comment section below!