Best Shampoo For itchy Scalp And Dandruff

Last Updated on March 22, 2021 by Righteous Daddy (Rehan)

Disclosure: My content contains affiliate links, meaning “As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”

Itchy and flaky scalps can be immensely frustrating at times. I know how bothersome it is to dust off dandruff from your clothes frequently. No matter if it’s seasonal or year-long dandruff, the solution to your problem is an anti-dandruff shampoo. But does all anti-dandruff shampoos work? No! How do you know which one would be effective? Well, your search is over now, for I have brought you three of my favorite anti-dandruff shampoos that are guaranteed to work.

List of best shampoos for itchy scalp and dandruff

If you don’t have the time to read the complete article I have made the following list for you.

Shampoo Suitable For BUY
Head and Shoulders Royal Oils Moisture Boost Shampoo Dry and itchy scalp Check Price On Amazon
Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo dandruff Check Price On Amazon
Dove DermaCare Scalp Anti Dandruff Shampoo dandruff Check Price On Amazon



Head and Shoulders Royal Oils Moisture Boost Shampoo

best shampoo for itchy scalp and dandruff by head & shoulder

This is the very first shampoo on my list.


Head and Shoulders Royal Oils Moisture Boost Shampoo soothes dry and itchy scalp. It is free from parabens and dyes. Moreover, it provides hydration to the scalp and hair by removing the buildups. It helps to seal in the scalp’s moisture. It makes hair soft and light in weight.

What does it do?

This shampoo performs the following tasks on the hair and the scalp:

  1. It balances and restores the scalp’s health.
  2. Its creamy lather cleanses and hydrates the hair & scalp.
  3. It soothes dry and itchy scalp.
  4. It provides a fresh coconut scent to the hair.


To save your time and effort, I have listed down all of the ingredients used in Head and Shoulders Royal Oils Moisture Boost Shampoo along with their purpose of use.

Active Ingredient
  1. Pyrithione Zinc 1%: It is antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial – it kills fungus, bacteria, and microorganisms that tend to cause itchy and dry scalp.
Inactive Ingredients
  1. Water: It is water that makes the shampoo clean the scalp thoroughly. Active ingredients are also suspended in the water.
  2. Sodium Laureth Sulfate: It is considered a shampooing staple. It helps in creating a lathering effect to remove oil and dirt from the hair.
  3. Dimethicone: It is a silicone-based ingredient that not only gives a silky smooth texture to the hair and also retains moisture in them.
  4. Zinc Carbonate: You would be surprised to know that only the Head & Shoulders contain zinc carbonate. This ingredient is added due to its moisturizing effect. Also, it fights flakes.
  5. Glycol Distearate: It is the diester of ethylene glycol and stearic acid. It is used as an emulsifier.
  6. Cocamide MEA: It is a mixture of ethanolamines of fatty acids obtained from coconut oil. It functions as a surfactant, foam booster, and an aqueous viscosity-increasing agent.
  7. Cocamidopropyl Betaine: It is used as a foam booster.
  8. Sodium Xylene Sulfonate: It is used as a surfactant, Clariant, and wetting agent.
  9. Fragrance: It gives the shampoo a pleasant smell.

Note: Fragrances are known to be carcinogenic and are linked to hormone disruption.

  1. Sodium Chloride: It is used as a thickener.
  2. Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil: It is a pale-yellow, semisolid, edible oil. Cocos Nucifera is rich in lauric acid that penetrates the hair shaft because of its lower molecular weight. It soothes the scalp, retains moisture, and prevents the breakage of hair.
  3. Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride: It is a water-soluble quaternary ammonium derivative of guar gum. It provides conditioning properties to the shampoo.
  4. Sodium Benzoate: It acts as a corrosion inhibitor, fragrance ingredient, and preservative. It also has some effectiveness against bacteria.
  5. Polyquaternium-10: It is used as a conditioner, thickener, and emollient.
  6. Stearyl Alcohol: It is used to form emulsions.
  7. Magnesium Carbonate Hydroxide: It is used to stabilize zinc carbonate.
  8. Cetyl Alcohol: It is an oily additive that makes the spread of product throughout the hair possible.
  9. Methylchloroisothiazolinone: It is a preservative that acts against bacteria, yeast, and fungus.
  10. Methylisothiazolinone: It is a preservative that inhibits the growth of bacteria.

These are all the ingredients used in this shampoo.

How to use it?

To use and apply this shampoo accurately, follow the enlisted ways:

  1. Wet your hair
  2. Massage shampoo onto the scalp with your fingers
  3. Rinse
  4. Repeat if you desire

Important Instructions

  1. Use at least twice a week for best results
  2. Avoid shampoo’s contact with eyes
  3. Keep it out of reach of children


I found the following defect in this shampoo:

  1. Dries Out Hair: This shampoo has a drying effect on your hair.

Besides this, there is nothing wrong with this shampoo.

Let’s have a quick analysis of the things I liked and disliked in Head and Shoulders Royal Oils Moisture Boost Shampoo.

Things I Liked

Things I Disliked

  • Creamy lather

  • Good scent

  • Soften hair

  • Dries out hair


In conclusion, Head and Shoulders Royal Oils Moisture Boost Shampoo is absolutely worth purchasing. It has a decent, not-too-overpowering scent. It has creamy lather, makes hair incredibly soft, and relieves dry, itchy scalp. It does wonders on hair in just a few days of use.

FYI: I have also reviewed and listed the best shampoos for combination hair.

Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo

best shampoo to cure dandruff

This is the second shampoo on my list.


Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo provides maximum relief to itchy and flaky scalp. It contains salicylic acid, which is proven effective in breaking down the scalp’s buildups.

What does it do?

  • Provides maximum relief to itchy and flaky scalp
  • Breaks down flaky scalp buildup
  • Controls the symptoms of dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis.


Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo contains the following ingredients:

Active Ingredient
  1. Salicylic Acid 2%: It is a beta-hydroxy acid. It works by breaking down dead skin cells. It is scientifically proven to treat scalp problems such as seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.
Inactive Ingredients
  1. Water: A shampoo constitutes 80-90% of water. Water is the primary ingredient in all shampoos. It acts as a solvent – dissolves conditioning agents. Also, it functions as an emulsifier.
  2. Sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate: It is a combination of long-chain sulfonate salts. This ingredient works as an anionic surfactant.
  3. Cocamidopropyl betaine: It is a medium-strength surfactant used as a foam booster, emulsifying agent, and thickener.
  4. Sodium chloride: Sodium Chloride, or most commonly NaCl, is used as a viscosity enhancer in shampoos. It gives the shampoo a creamy texture.
  5. Fragrance: Fragrance is used to provide the shampoo a nice smell.
  6. Polysorbate 20: It is a gently, oily, liquid cosmetic additive. It functions as a nonionic surfactant and wetting agent. It enhances the spreadability of the shampoo.
  7. PEG-80 sorbitan laurate: It functions as an emulsifier. More above, it cleanses the scalp and hair by allowing water to mix with oil and dirt so they could be rinsed away.
  8. C12-15 alkyl lactate: It is used as an emollient, solvent, and moisturizer.
  9. Benzalkonium chloride: It is added in shampoo, for it inhibits the growth and reproduction of microorganisms.
  10. Disodium EDTA: Disodium ETDA enhances the foaming and lather formation and prevents the shampoo from going rancid.
  11. Cocamidopropyl PG-dimonium chloride phosphate: It functions as an extremely mild surfactant.
  12. Propylene glycol: It acts as a solvent, a humectant, and also has some antimicrobial properties.
  13. Aloe barbadensis leaf extract: The primary nutrients of Aloe are: 8 essential and 12 non-essential amino acids; 8 enzymes; 2 hormones; salicylic acid; 12 anthraquinones; and several important vitamins. The aloe extract eradicates the scalp’s problems and acts as a conditioning agent. Its chemical composition is similar to keratin, which is responsible for hair growth. It is the building block of hair and scalp. It strengthens the hair. Moreover, it treats Psoriasis and Seborrhea effectively.
  14. Anthemis nobilis flower extract: It is the extract of flowers of the Roman Chamomile. The extract acts as a masking, skin conditioning, and perfuming agent.
  15. Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) flower extract: It is known to treat dandruff effectively. Besides boosting hair growth, it strengthens the hair roots.
  16. Sodium hydroxide: It controls the pH of the shampoo.
  17. Citric acid: Citric Acid is known to improve the scalp’s condition by balancing its pH.
  18. Yellow 5 & Red 40: These are synthetic pigments.

These are all the ingredients used in this shampoo.

How to use it?

To use this shampoo properly, read the following instructions:

  1. Wet hair thoroughly
  2. Apply a decent amount of shampoo into the scalp
  3. Leave lather on scalp for few minutes
  4. Rinse the hair

Important Instructions

  1. Avoid contact with eyes
  2. Keep it out of reach of children
  3. Store away from direct sunlight


Upon research, I found the following downside of this shampoo.

  1. For Occasional Use: Although the shampoo’s bottle says, “Gentle enough for everyday use,” but If you use this shampoo regularly or twice a week, it will either strip off the hair color or your hair would become too dry. This shampoo is meant for occasional use.

Let’s have a quick review of the things I liked and disliked in Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo.

Things I Liked

Things I Disliked

  • Contains salicylic acid

  • Free from preservatives

  • Treats dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis

  • For occasional use only


It is undeniable that Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo does wonders on hair and scalp after few uses. It is free from preservatives. It contains salicylic acid that is clinically proven to treat and prevent scalp diseases. Above all, it provided maximum relief to the itchy and flaky scalp.

Dove DermaCare Scalp Anti Dandruff Shampoo

anti dandruff shampoo by dove

This is the third and final shampoo on my list.


Dove DermaCare Scalp Anti Dandruff Shampoo works as a treatment for dry scalp. It cleanses and nourishes the scalp to reduce its dryness and itchiness. It contains a pH-balanced dry scalp shampoo formula. Besides fighting against flakes, this shampoo also prevents frizz. It is safe to use on color-treated hair. It s designed for both men and women.

What does it do?

  1. Hydrates and soothes the itchy scalp
  2. Cleanses and nourishes the scalp
  3. Reduces scalp redness
  4. Provides relief to itchiness
  5. Provides fragrance of coconut and shea butter
  6. Smooths strands and prevents frizz


Below enlisted are the ingredients used in Dove DermaCare Scalp Anti Dandruff Shampoo.

Active Ingredients
  1. Pyrithione Zinc (1.0%): It has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties, due to which it is added in anti-dandruff shampoos. It inhibits the growth of yeast which is the main factor that leads to dandruff. Besides dandruff, Pyrithione Zinc is also effective in treating seborrheic dermatitis and scalp psoriasis.
Inactive Ingredients
  1. Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter: Shea is rich in vitamin E and catechins. It acts as an emollient. Moreover, it softens skin, conditions hair, and moisturizes cuticles.
  2. Tocopheryl Acetate: It serves as an anti-oxidant.
  3. Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil: Sunflower oil is rich in vitamin E, oleic acid, linoleic acid, and sesamol. The oil acts as an antioxidant and neutralizes free radicals known to damage hair and the scalp. It promotes hair growth. More above all, sunflower oil has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce dandruff and relieves an itchy scalp.
  4. Dimethiconol: It serves as a conditioning agent for dry hair.
  5. Carbomer: Carbomer is a series of polymers primarily made from acrylic acid. It is used as a thickening agent – to control the viscosity and flow of the product.
  6. DMDM Hydantoin: It functions as a preservative.
  7. Glycerin: It acts as a natural humectant – it attracts and holds the moisture to the hair and scalp.
  8. Zinc Sulfate: It is a colorless crystalline compound. It functions as a cosmetic astringent, a cosmetic biocide, and as an oral care agent.
  9. TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate: It functions as a surfactant – cleanses the hair by allowing water to mix with oil and dirt so they can be rinsed away.
  10. Poloxamer 407: It is a nonionic surfactant. It dissolves oily ingredients in water.
  11. Laureth-23: It functions as a surfactant, emulsifier, and solubilizer.
  12. Laureth-4: It works as a surfactant and an emulsifier.
  13. PPG-9: PPG-9 or polypropylene glycol works as a thickener and stabilizer.
  14. Butylene Glycol: It works to condition the hair by coating the surface of the cells.
  15. Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate: It is a water-based preservative.
  16. PEG-4: It is used as a fragrance ingredient and viscosity decreasing agent.
  17. Xanthan Gum: It is a natural thickening ingredient.

Other Ingredients Used: Water (Aqua), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Dimethicone, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Citric Acid, Glycerin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, and Disodium EDTA.
Note: Since I have explained all of these ingredients above in detail, I thought not to waste your time by expounding them again.


To my surprise, I didn’t find anything disappointing in Dove DermaCare Scalp Anti Dandruff Shampoo.

Let’s have a quick review of the things I liked and disliked in this shampoo.

Things I Liked

Things I Disliked

  • Hydrates the scalp

  • Both for men and women

  • Prevents frizz

  • None


You will be surprised, just like me, after knowing that this shampoo works great and has nothing to disappoint you. Just after few washes, you will see noticeable results. The shampoo is for both men and women. Besides combating flakes, it also prevents frizziness.

How to Choose the Best Shampoo for Itchy Scalp and Dandruff?

There is one factor that you must keep in mind while choosing the best shampoo for itchy scalp and dandruff.

  1. Ingredients

Ingredients like salicylic acid and Pyrithione Zinc are known to be very effective in combating dandruff. Choose a shampoo that contains either of the two ingredients.

If you have color-treated hair, you must avoid harsh ingredients which can cause damage to your hair color.

Final Conclusion

I can understand how frustrating and embarrassing dandruff can sometimes be. That is why I have brought this article containing the best anti-dandruff shampoos. I hope this article will make it easier for you to decide on one right anti-dandruff shampoo—thank you for reading the whole article.

Righteous Daddy (Rehan)
Righteous Daddy (Rehan)

My name is Rehan, and I am the dad of one cute little boy. And I have got a very supportive and lovely wife. For a living, I write content. The best thing about me is that I love reviewing consumer products. And I founded this blog to share the list of best products, unbiased reviews of items, buying guides, how-to articles, and information.

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