What To Look for in a Dandruff Shampoo If You Have Curly Hair — Plus, the Best Options for Every Budget

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An itchy scalp and flakes can be quite annoying to deal with. But finding relief in a dandruff shampoo may lead to dry, rough hair. That’s especially true when you’ve got a head full of curly hair to work with. Fortunately, there are anti-dandruff products out there that won’t completely dry your hair out after use. We talked to an expert to figure out, what you should be looking for in a dandruff shampoo when you have curly hair.

Paul Labrecque, master stylist and colorist with the Paul Labrecque Salon and Skincare Spa, told SheKnows that curly hair grows out much more fragile than other hair types. “The curlier your hair is, the more naturally fragile it will be,” Labrecque said. “This means, conditioning formulas are crucial for these hair types.”

Some ingredients you may want to look for while shopping for the best dandruff shampoo for your curly hair are amino acids, zinc, and soothing spearmint leaf oil. According to Labrecque, these ingredients will help regulate an inflamed scalp. His fave? Biologique Recherche’s Shampooing Traitant Sébo-Rééquilibrant.

While you may want to be a little picky about which dandruff shampoos you’re using on your curly hair, there are some really solid options out there for everyone’s budget. We searched far and wide to find some of the best anti-dandruff shampoos for curly hair out there. Check those out below.

Head & Shoulders Royal Oils Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Head & Shoulders

This anti-dandruff shampoo from Head & Shoulders’ Royal Oils line was specifically formulated for “curly and coily crowns.” Per the brand, it’s infused with coconut oil and apple cider vinegar, and works to balance and restore scalp health. According to one shopper review, it’s “absolutely” well worth it.

“This is the only shampoo I can use,” they wrote. “I’ve used so many different Head & Shoulders, so many different brands, and everything makes my hair flakey, dry, itchy, etc. My hair is so thick and coarse. This is the best stuff for my hair. I can’t find it anywhere but here on Amazon! It’s been a game-changer.” Plus, it’s under $10!

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Native Eucalyptus & Mint Scalp Detox 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner


Two-in-one shampoo and conditioners may get a bad rap for not being as effective as using individual products. However, this option from Native may change your mind. It’s paraben-free, sulfate-free, and “thoughtfully made” with 10 ingredients or less.

One shopper who’s tried this 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner wrote, “I’ve tried other sulfate-free products but this one works best! The ones I used before were just drying out my hair and scalp, they just used ton of ingredients. I like the fact Native uses a lot less ingredients and are clean ones! My curly hair and scalp doesn’t feel stripped, and does feel very clean and moisturized. A little goes a long way and smells amazing.”

Tea Tree Special Shampoo

Tea Tree Special Shampoo

If you’ve ever searched on Amazon for a deeply cleansing shampoo, there’s a good chance you’ve come across Tea Tree’s Special Shampoo. It’s described as a shampoo that “tingles, invigorates, and leaves locks healthy and full of luster.” It’s color-safe, vegan, and paraben-free. It’s also made with a soothing blend of tea tree, peppermint, and lavender.

The shampoo is a best-seller on Amazon with over 42,000 five-star reviews, and one shopper even called it a “deep-cleansing game changer.” Another shopper with curly hair said this shampoo is their “favorite” for frizz control. They wrote, “I have super curly hair and haven’t found a shampoo or conditioner that works right for my hair. I took a shower at a friends’ house and she had this shampoo + conditioner and my hair felt and looked SO healthy! I loved how it helped with my frizz, so I bought for myself and each time I get compliments.”

Curlsmith Wash & Scrub Detox Shampoo


Good hair starts with a healthy scalp. So, a deeply cleansing or detox shampoo can be just the thing you need to help prevent dandruff. Case in point: Curlsmith’s Wash & Scrub Detox Shampoo. It was made to “gently but effectively” cleanse your scalp from dirt and product buildup, to help your hair feel extra clean.

According to one shopper, this shampoo helped give their curls a much-needed refresh. They wrote, “I have natural curly hair and lately they were not curled like they used to, probably due to a build up of products. This shampoo was a nice refreshing cleanser that gave back life and volume to my curls! Seriously, after months of struggling I got my curls healthy again.”

Briogeo Scalp Revival™ Dandruff Relief Charcoal Shampoo


Briogeo’s Scalp Revival shampoo is described as a product that “harnesses the power of salicylic and lactic acids to address scalp flaking and irritation,” all without stripping your hair of moisture or nutrients. According to one Sephora shopper, this anti-dandruff shampoo has done “amazing” things for their hair. “It’s helped bring my hair back to life,” they wrote. “Definitely recommend to my curly hair friends! It’s truly the absolute best.”

Before you go, check out our slideshow below:

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