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Much like realizing your dress is tucked into your tights, walking around with white flakes dusting your new black blouse can quickly kill confidence. And while Head & Shoulders or Selsun Blue might work wonders for your friend Mark, you’re nervous because you don’t want any harsh sulfates stripping your balayage. Which brings us to this list of the 12 best dandruff shampoos—eagerly waiting to restore balance to your scalp and make your shower ledge look slightly less embarrassing.

RELATED: The 11 Best Natural Dandruff Shampoos


1. Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo

Best for All Hair Types

The formula includes vegetable-derived micro-exfoliators to physically remove dead skin cells and product buildup from the scalp. It not only sounds cool, it feels cool, too, thanks to the soothing tea tree oil, which pulls double duty to eliminate flakes. And because it's made with all natural ingredients, it's totally safe for all hair types.

Buy It ($42)


2. L’Oreal Paris EverFresh Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Best Budget

L’Oreal’s line of EverFresh products are all sulfate-free. So no matter which you choose, you can rest assured that your color will stay intact (and the $7 price tag is a nice bonus too). A helpful tip: Test out the Microexfoliating Scrub first. It helps to gently loosen flakes so the shampoo can better do its job.

$7 at Amazon


3. Leonor Greyl Gentle Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Best Splurge

When gently massaged into the follicles of your hair, this formula produces a delicate lather to restore moisture (the one downside of sulfate-free products). The signature ingredient, bee propolis, has antiseptic properties to help prevent further scalp conditions.

Buy It ($48)


4. Christophe Robin Purifying Shampoo

Best for Oily Scalp

Using a blend of jujube bark and cherry-flower extracts, this little ditty works particularly well on greasy roots and dry ends, and is free from sodium laureth sulfate, parabens and silicone. You’ll find you see visible results within, like, three days.

Buy It ($38)


5. Philip B. Anti-Flake Relief Shampoo Coal Tar Free

Best for Scalp Relief

Safe for color or keratin treatments, this shampoo pulls out the big guns. It uses a laundry list of active plant concentrates (they’re strong yet gentle) to not only normalize an itchy scalp but also prevent bacteria growth that can further aggravate the situation.

Buy It ($42)


6. Matrix Biolage Scalpsync Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Best Gentle Formula

Matrix's Biolage line has always been a gentler and more natural alternative to harsh shampoos. It uses zinc pyrithione for dandruff fighting and mint leaf for anti-bacterial and calming properties. P.S. It smells amazing.

Buy It ($20)


7. Kenra Professional Dandruff Shampoo

Best for Color Maintenance

If you’re constantly dying your hair, this product is meant to be left on your scalp for a few minutes before washing off. This allows the zinc pyrithione to start working and the jasmine oil to start soothing, so you can keep your color.

Buy It ($17)


8. Philip Kingsley Flaky Scalp Mask

Best Treatment

OK, so it's not a shampoo (although, we do recommend coupling with the Philip Kingsley Flaky Scalp Shampoo), but we tested this product and saw such outstanding results that we had to include it in our list. Also, is it just us or is there something oddly satisfying about exfoliating your scalp?

Buy It ($30 for two)


9. Bondi Boost Dandruff Shampoo

Best Natural

The vegan shampoo vows to combat dandruff with natural ingredients. But check the label (and the raving reviews) you'll find peppermint oil, aloe vera and green tea extract can also relieve people with psoriasis. (And pairing it with their repair conditioner can soothe the scalp even more.)

Buy It ($24)


10. Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo

Best for Itching

The key ingredient—pyrithione zinc—is going to make sure dandruff is a distant memory. Whether you have oily, greasy or dry hair, this $23 pick cleanses and soften hair after a wash.

Buy It ($23)


11. Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo

Best for Exfoliating

When tea tree, peppermint oil and lavender are involved, expect the tingling sensation your scalp needs. The cooling means the shampoo is going to work to clean up any product buildups, flakes or over irritation. Plus, it makes your color pop with shine and strength.

Buy It ($15)


12. Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Best Overall

With over 32,000+ 5-star reviews, this anti-dandruff shampoo is a fan-favorite. The ketoconazole is the star for relieving any irritation or flakes. Say goodbye to outbreaks and hello to a gentle cleanse for your color-treated strands.

$15 at Amazon

RELATED: What is a Scalp Detox and Do I Actually Need One?

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