Dandruff sucks. Not just because of the annoying itchiness and flakes, but because dandruff has such a stupid stigma attached to it. It’s just dandruff! It’s not your fault! It’s not a gross thing! Dandruff is caused by an overgrowth of a certain type of yeast that’s already naturally present on your scalp.
Basically, anyone can get it at any time, and you’re not doing anything wrong. Still, if you really hate the idea of submitting to a harsh, clinical-level shampoo to treat your flakes, we’ve got you covered. Ahead, the five best-smelling, most-effective formulas you’ll actually want in your shower.
Oribe Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, $44
Sure, we’d use this ice-pink shampoo solely for its bottle, but we’re digging what’s in the formula more: salicylic acid, which gently exfoliates dandruff and calms inflammation, and a mix of fruit and sugar extracts to sooth irritation.
L'Oréal Paris EverFresh Antidandruff Shampoo, $7
Just because it’s drugstore, doesn’t mean it’s not as kickass as its pricier counterparts. This sulfate-free (lookin’ at you, curly-haired kids) shampoo uses 1 percent pyrithione zinc, the holy grail of anti-dandruff ingredients, to cut itching and flaking after just a few uses.
Sachajuan Normalizing Shampoo, $26
This shampoo is filled with piroctone olamine, an antimicrobial agent that specifically targets flakes without stripping the hell out of your hair. Equally important fact: This bottle is a minimalist's dream.
Christophe Robin Purifying Shampoo, $38
This low-lather shampoo is formulated with a mix of moisturizing cherry blossom extracts and clarifying jujube bark extract (which also has natural antibacterial properties that help stave off dandruff), making it a wizard at soothing itching and irritation.
Philip Kingsley Flaky Scalp Shampoo, $40
Most anti-dandruff shampoos feel like they’re formulated with nuclear war–level chemicals that effectively destroy your hair. But this super-gentle clarifying shampoo uses lauryl benatine (a mild cleanser) and piroctone olamine (a bacteria-killer) to get rid of flakes. Oh, and did we mention it’s totally safe for color-treated hair?