Don’t be a flake: Try our top anti-dandruff shampoos

Don’t be a flake: Try our top anti-dandruff shampoos
Soothe your scalp and banish dandruff for good with these shampoos available from Marks & スペンサー, スーパードラッグ, オランダ & Barrett and more.

A common scalp complaint which varies in severity, dandruff can be caused by anything from hormonal changes to stress, ダイエット, and even not washing your hair often enough.

Occurring when the scalp’s microbiome becomes imbalanced, this triggers oily, itchy skin and scaly flakiness. You may see white flakes on your scalp and shoulders or notice subtle scaliness.

It’s brought on by a type of yeast called malassezia, which causes skin cells to divide too quickly, in turn resulting in flakes and itchiness. Malassezia loves an oily environment and is likely to overgrow if you shampoo infrequently or have a naturally oily scalp, says consultant trichologist Anabel Kingsley. She recommends never leaving your hair more than three days in between washes and adds, “The oils that secrete from the scalp if not cleansed away frequently provide a breeding ground for dandruff.”

That myth in which too much shampooing strips away a protective barrier is clearly not true then. And turns out, dandruff isn’t symptomatic of dry scalp skin either.

So if you have a sore, flaky, or itchy scalp, look to our tried and tested round-up of anti-dandruff shampoos, where we’ve found the best solutions.


Our tester’s scalp is sensitive to irritation, so each shampoo making the cut would need to be calming, cleansing and not too drying on strands. Designed to clear up flaky residue as well as treat an itchy scalp, read on for our top pick.

The best anti-dandruff shampoos for 2021 です:

  • 全体的に最高 – Philip Kingsley flaky/itchy scalp anti-dandruff shampoo: £25.50, Feelunique.com
  • Best all-in-one – Mane ‘n Tail daily control 2-in-1 anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner: £5.95, Beautybay.com
  • Best sulphate- and silicone-free – Percy & Reed I’m no flake anti-dandruff shampoo: £20, Marksandspencer.com
  • Best tried and true classic – Head & Shoulders daily protect shampoo: £5.99, Superdrug.com
  • Best for sensitive scalps – Revlon re-start balance anti-dandruff micellar shampoo: £8.22, Beautytheshop.com
  • Best organic option – Dr Organic coffee mint anti-dandruff shampoo: £7.99, Hollandandbarrett.com
  • Best for normal to oily hair – Green People irritated scalp shampoo: £14, Greenpeople.co.uk
  • Best for occasional flakes – L’Oreal professionnel serie expert instant clear shampoo: £10.05, Lookfantastic.com

Philip Kingsley flaky/itchy scalp anti-dandruff shampoo

ベスト: 全体

A jelly consistency, this shampoo creates a lightweight frothiness that’s a dream to lather into the scalp. The apple scented product soothed our scalp significantly and thoroughly cleansed hair from root to tip. It’s infused with anti-microbial properties, which is the stuff that stops itching and removes any flakes or scaly build-up. A luxurious anti-dandruff shampoo that won’t strip colour either, we found hair felt and looked shiny after first wash. Impressively moisturising, the result is softened strands and a noticeably clearer scalp.

Mane ‘n Tail daily control 2-in-1 anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner

ベスト: All-in-one

This all-in-one daily formula contains natural herbs, an olive oil complex and active ingredient zinc pyrithione which works to relieve itchiness and irritation. These ethically sourced ingredients create an invigorating scent with almond and floral elements, あまりにも. Made without any parabens, alcohols or dyes, the plant-based formula felt both nourishing and comforting on our tester’s scalp. Suitable for all hair types, we found the built-in conditioner was a bonus and brought amazing increased volume.

パーシー & Reed I’m no flake anti-dandruff shampoo

ベスト: Sulphate- and silicone-free

A sulphate and silicone free formula, ingredients such as aloe vera and chamomile ensure this shampoo is really gentle on the scalp. その間, piroctone olamine targets dandruff flakes. Hair looks smooth, and healthy after use, with no tangles (as often associated with harsh anti-dandruff remedies) thanks to nourishing pro-vitamin B5. The addition of bergamot makes for an uplifting scent, and it’s vegan-friendly and gluten-free too. We also love how the balmy consistency transforms into a foam that’s kind to our scalp. Bonus points are awarded for the tube’s fun name and illustration, a finishing touch Percy & Reed always excels at.

Head & Shoulders daily protect shampoo

ベスト: Tried and true classic

A new addition to the most famous anti-dandruff brand’s range, daily protect is a shampoo designed for regular use. The active ingredient piroctone olamine works against dandruff-causing microbes, addressing flakes and stopping them before they start too. Rebalancing our locks, these anti-microbial properties left our tester’s scalp clean and clear. Strands were more hydrated after using daily protect than with previous Head & Shoulders shampoos. The citrus scent is energising too.

Revlon re-start balance anti-dandruff micellar shampoo

ベスト: For sensitive scalps

Specifically formulated to look after the scalp using micellar ingredients designed to cleanse, this shampoo focuses on nourishment for all skin types. So much so that it includes kaolin, which is also used in clay face masks, to absorb oils. Designed with sensitivity in mind, the gel-effect product becomes a creamy foam which our tester noted to be calming on scalp skin too. The inclusion of strengthening biopeptides meant we saw strands which felt less knotty when styling and brushing through.

Dr Organic coffee mint anti-dandruff shampoo

ベスト: Organic option

A blend of organic coffee bean extract, purifying ginger and peppermint oil, this cooling formula targets scalp irritation while clearing dandruff flakes. The clear gel foams up before releasing a minty scent, which is subtle rather than overpowering. The coffee, plus accompanying patchouli and cedarwood aromas, came through when we rinsed. We were particularly impressed with how deeply cleansing this shampoo is, for both the scalp and hair. The organic coffee element is a thumbs up for both natural beauty and morning cuppa fans.

Green People irritated scalp shampoo

ベスト: For normal to oily hair

A stimulating shampoo for normal to oily hair, pineapple enzymes and Fair trade rosemary oil are included here to lift away dead skin. Our tester has used this shampoo during hormonal fluctuations when her scalp was incredibly sensitive and sore, reporting its formula to be extremely comforting. The SLS, silicone and gluten-free formula is gently cleansing, which left us with softened hair too. We’d recommend this for alleviating irritated scalp skin and mild dandruff, rather than full-on flakes.

L’Oreal professionnel serie expert instant clear shampoo

ベスト: For occasional flakes

Active ingredient zinc pyrithione helps this clarifying shampoo tackle dandruff. Designed for use on towel dried hair, we follow the instructions, working the product into a mild lather. Purifying and cleansing, the results were impressive and it’s kind on the scalp. This shampoo is best for occasional flakes or maintaining a barrier to prevent dandruff. Our hair felt noticeably light with no remaining build-up.

評決: Anti-dandruff shampoos

Our standout product is フィリップキングスリー, with hair left bouncy, スムーズ, and moisturised, and the scalp crystal clear. Mane ‘n Tail deserves a mention too, for the volumising results and gentle root-to-tip cleansing, 一方 パーシー & リード consistently delivers on effective products and brilliant branding.


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