The 7 best sulphate-free anti-dandruff shampoos
Whether you want to reduce dandruff or treat your scalp with a deep soothing treatment, a sulfate-free shampoo can be a great addition to your hair care routine. The best sulfate-free dandruff shampoos will gently remove dandruff and tackle the root causes of your dandruff without irritating your scalp.
Sulphates are common chemicals found in products like detergents, soap and shampoo, and are responsible for creating a bubbly lather to help cleanse your skin or hair. Although sulfates are not harmful to most people, they can cause reactions like dermatitis in people who are sensitive to sulfates. To learn more about the best dandruff shampoos, I heard from two dermatologists: Dr Michele Green, who runs a practice in New York, and Dr Kathleen Viscusi specialists in dermatology and surgery from northern Atlanta. In order to find the best sulfate-free dandruff shampoo for your hair care routine, you will need to determine the root cause of your dandruff (pun intended). Of course, the best way to do this is to see your dermatologist.
“While the causes are still being investigated, common culprits include dry skin, allergies, genetic predispositions, psoriasis, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis (a chronic inflammatory skin condition) and more!” Dr. Viscusi notes – and different types of dandruff will likely require different shampoos.
Both dermatologists recommend regular washing, as soon as you start to notice dander, as a good first step in taking care of your scalp. Knowing more about the unique conditions of your scalp will also have an impact on the type of shampoo you choose.
â€œAlthough too much oil can cause dandruff, a dry scalp can also be prone to dandruff,â€ advises Dr. Green. â€œA dry scalp is an incredibly common cause of dandruff, which can be exacerbated during colder seasons. If this is the main cause of your dandruff, it’s important to use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners to maintain proper hydration balance and prevent itching and flaking.
Whenever you are looking for an anti-dandruff shampoo, the ingredients are essential. zinc pyrithione is one of the most common active ingredients, just like tea tree oil.
â€œTea tree oil is a naturally antifungal and antibacterial ingredient that can help manage dandruff. Tea tree oil has the power to kill yeast and in turn limit dandruff caused by yeast overgrowth, â€notes Dr. Green.
With that in mind, these are the best sulfate free dandruff shampoos you can buy right now, all available on Amazon.
1. The choice of experts
The two experts consulted named this anti-dandruff shampoo from L’OrÃ©al Paris as one of their top picks. It contains 1% zinc pyrithione to balance your scalp without your hair feeling bare or too dry. This formula is free of sulfates, salts and parabens, so it’s gentle and safe for color-treated hair. Since it is sold in sets of two, you also won’t have to buy it back too often.
One reviewer wrote: I really like this shampoo! Decreased my dandruff without removing the Brazilian rash from my hair. I’ve even had people compliment me on my hair trying to [figure out] What is different. The only change is this shampoo! It smells good too!
2. The super hydrating anti-dandruff shampoo
This moisturizing anti-dandruff shampoo by Jupiter is designed to deeply nourish your hair and gently hydrate your scalp to help reduce dandruff resulting from a dry scalp. The formula includes 1% zinc pyrithione along with colloidal oatmeal and vitamin E, and the color-safe and sulfate-free treatment has a lovely scent of mint, vanilla, and rosemary. It not only helps moisturize dry and irritated scalps, but also leaves your hair feeling soft without weighing it down. Jupiter’s shampoo is also cruelty-free and vegan, and it earns points for super-aesthetic packaging.
One reviewer wrote: â€œI’ll say this at the top, in case you skim over the reviews – it’s rightfully an amazing shampoo. Honestly, even if I didn’t have dandruff, I would still use this shampoo […] I never thought I would be so excited about a shampoo, but, here I am, writing a review on Amazon because it’s * so good. * It’s super soft – it didn’t dry out my hair (actually my hair felt really fantastic and healthy), and it didn’t fade or fade my hair color (highlights neon green, for info). It smells incredibly nice like those super fancy salon shampoos.
3. The best budget shampoo
This sulfate free shampoo from OGX contains tea tree oil, milk protein and peppermint oil for a formula that not only smells great, but also helps hydrate and nourish your scalp. While this shampoo is not medicated for treating dandruff, reviewers have noted that adding this shampoo to their hair care routine helps reduce dandruff and itchy dry scalp. People taking a morning shower will also love the refreshing scent of mint and tea tree oil. If you want to complement your hair care routine, OGX also offers a sulfate free product. mint and tea tree conditioner.
One reviewer wrote: â€œI tend to use this shampoo with her conditioner every winter because of the dry scalp and dandruff. It works amazingly well, treats my dry scalp and doesn’t make my hair fall out (sulfate free, yes!) It doesn’t smell of flowers or anything, but for its use it’s perfect. I would describe the sweet peppermint smell. Great buy. I recommand it.”
4. The best apple cider vinegar shampoo
This apple cider vinegar shampoo is ideal for those who want to treat their dandruff, but don’t like the smell or effects of tea tree oil. It uses apple cider vinegar to deeply cleanse your scalp without stripping it of its natural oils. It is also sold in a set with a matching conditioner, which contains moisturizing ingredients like coconut and avocado oils.
One reviewer wrote: “I never leave a review but I will for this product because it is just amazing. I have suffered from dandruff for years and after applying both shampoo and conditioner my scalp stays fresh and dandruff free . My hair is also much healthier and thicker. I combine this product with jojoba oil to give me the ultimate combination of nutrient dense hair. Absolutely awesome. Packaged with absolutely amazing ingredients. Sulphate free. Smells great. . Feels good. Worth the money you pay. You can’t go wrong with this product!
5. The best for natural hair
This sulfate free shampoo for natural hair is specially formulated to hydrate natural hair and help reduce dandruff and itchiness. The coconut and amla oil in this shampoo helps hydrate and hydrate your hair and scalp to reduce dandruff, while keeping your hair clean and soft. The shampoo also contains vitamin B5, which can help reduce breakage while adding an extra layer of hydration. Reviewers have written that this shampoo works wonders when it comes to deeply hydrating type 4 hair, as well as other curly textures.
One reviewer wrote: â€œI love how this shampoo leaves my hair so soft after use, even before I condition it. it doesn’t feel [stripped] and brittle as some shampoos leave your hair to the touch. The cleanliness I get is amazing. My scalp and locks of hair are still free of flakes or buildup. I am going natural and I think I have found my shampoo forever!
6. Best for oily scalps
This deep cleansing shampoo from Maple Holistics is ideal for those with dandruff due to an oily scalp. The shampoo contains tea tree oil to help cleanse your hair while keeping your scalp hydrated, and the lavender and rosemary oils give it a soft, soothing scent. Reviewers have vouched for this product to be their holy grail for reducing dandruff.
One reviewer wrote: â€œI have long searched for the best product for my problematic scalp. By a cruel twist of fate, he manages to be both oily and dry. Last year I exclusively used this tea tree oil shampoo in tandem with the holistic maple “degreasing shampoo” and saw marked improvement in my scalp eczema and skin condition. cleanliness of my hair. With this combo I can go 3 days without washing my hair and my dandruff is almost gone. My hair looks healthy, shiny, and Instagram worthy.
7. The best shampoo bar
This all natural shampoo bar can not only help fight dandruff, but also reduce your carbon footprint. The bar contains ingredients like eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree oils to help cleanse your scalp without stripping it of its natural oils, and it will leave your hair feeling fresh and clean. This shampoo bar also contains ingredients like kaolin clay and sea salt which will gently exfoliate your scalp to help remove buildup without further irritating or damaging sensitive skin. The solid bar travels well and can also be used to wash your body or face if you are a minimalist.
One reviewer wrote: “After years of hardship [with] shampoo bottles in the shower, I’m so glad I had this little bar that I can easily slip on a shelf in the shower stall. It foams well and cleans my hair well. It fixes my dandruff problem and I find my scalp in better condition than when I used other products.
Dr Michele Green, Certified cosmetic dermatologist
Dr Kathleen Viscusi, Certified dermatologist