6 Best Dandruff Shampoos for Black Hair

Best Dandruff Shampoo for Black Men
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Just want to find out what the best dandruff shampoo for black hair is? No worries. We picked Jack Black’s Double-Header Shampoo and Conditioner as the best.

Our Top Pick
Jack Black - Double-Header Shampoo + Conditioner
Pros:
  • Shampoo & conditioner soften and strengthen hair.
  • Sulfate-free.
  • Prevents product buildup.
  • Detangles hair and soothes scalp.
Cons:
  • Expensive (but so worth it).
  • Doesn't lather very well (because it's natural).
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Natural, afro-textured hair requires a little special care when it starts showing signs of dandruff, and fortunately, several quality shampoos can help keep your strands shiny and dandruff-free.

I’ve dealt with occasional occurrences of dandruff-filled hair for years and decided to fight back. Check out what I discovered while trying to find the best dandruff shampoo for black hair!

Our picks for the best dandruff shampoo for black men include:

  1. Jack Black Double-Header Shampoo and Conditioner
  2. The Roots Naturelle Virgin Hair Fertilizer Shampoo
  3. Maple Holistics Tea Tree Shampoo
  4. HONEYDEW Maximum Strength Dandruff Shampoo
  5. JASON Dandruff Relief Treatment Shampoo
  6. Shea Moisture African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Deep Cleansing Shampoo

What Is Dandruff?

Dandruff is a widespread condition that results in skin on the scalp drying up and falling off in tiny flakes. There are several possible reasons why anyone might develop dandruff, and pretty much none of them are related to hygiene.

So, you could bathe frequently and take excellent care of your hair, but if you’re predisposed to suffering from dry skin, using the wrong products, or taking excessively hot showers, you may find yourself scratching and itchy, flakey scalp.

What Causes Dandruff?

Image for a post on the best dandruff shampoo for black hair in graphic form
VectorManZone/Shutterstock

There are several possible causes of dandruff. Some of the most common include:

  • Dry skin
  • Harmful shampoos are skincare products
  • Eczema or psoriasis
  • Fungal infection
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Poor diet
  • Anxiety
  • Seborrheic dermatitis

However, you can quickly eliminate several potential causes by consulting with your physician, treating fungal infections, improving your diet, and taking plenty of time to relax and unwind. But perhaps the most direct and easy solution to dandruff is a gentle, restorative shampoo. 

Dandruff Treatment and Prevention Methods

Primary dandruff treatment starts with smart decision making. Eating a proper diet that’s rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals can ensure that your hair is naturally luscious, soft, and clean. Consistent shampooing and conditioning are also vital.

Dreads, in particular, can generate a ton of dandruff if washed infrequently, or if washed with too much skin-drying soap. The best solution is to wash frequently but use a shampoo with natural oil that won’t irritate the scalp.

The 6 Best Dandruff Shampoos for Black Hair

Keep reading to see my top picks for the best dandruff shampoos for African American hair, why I love each one, a few pros and cons to each, and how to pick the right one for you.

1. Jack Black – Double-Header Shampoo + Conditioner

Our Top Pick
Jack Black - Double-Header Shampoo + Conditioner
Pros:
  • Shampoo & conditioner soften and strengthen hair.
  • Sulfate-free.
  • Prevents product buildup.
  • Detangles hair and soothes scalp.
Cons:
  • Expensive (but so worth it).
  • Doesn't lather very well (because it's natural).
Check Latest Price
We may earn a commission when you click this link, at no extra cost to you.

First up is our favorite dandruff shampoo. Yes, it’s expensive. But you do want the best… right? Why settle for an inferior product when you can pay a little extra for a product that’s going to work well, make your hair smell good, and keep your scalp refreshed?

Remember that, in most cases, dandruff is the result of a dry scalp. And the best way to fix this problem is to use a shampoo that cleans your hair while replenishing (and keeping the existing oils in) your scalp.

This keeps your skin nice and moist, never giving it a chance to flake off. It’s free of sulfates, which are known to dry out scalps (they remove the natural oil from your hair and scalp, after all). All of this results in a scalp and hair that’s more nourished, shinier, and healthier overall.

With a crazy high 4.6-star average on Amazon, we’re not the only ones raving about this shampoo. Do your hair a favor and buy this shampoo. It’s spendy, but a bottle goes a long way, and it’s oh-so worth it.

2. Maple Holistics Tea Tree Shampoo

Maple Holistics
Maple Holistics Tea Tree Shampoo
Pros:
  • Unique combination of essential oils.
  • Free of harsh chemicals, sulfates, and parabens.
  • It comes in a decently-sized 16oz container.
  • Delightful, soothing scent.
Cons:
  • May not be strong enough for extreme dandruff.
  • More expensive than others on this list.
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Maple Holistics Tea Tree Shampoo contains a combination of essential oils, from tea tree to lavender. The result is a clarifying shampoo with a unique, floral scent that’s present but not overwhelming.

This product is specifically designed to tackle dandruff without relying on an overabundance of synthetic chemicals. It contains over 98 natural compounds, zero sulfates or parabens, and even a little rosemary and argan oil.

This ensures that even color-treated strands receive the care they deserve. It comes in a long-lasting 16oz container and is bound to help relieve your dry, itchy scalp. The relaxing scent of lavender is also quite attractive and soothing.

Overall, this shampoo is a solid choice. However, for those suffering from extreme dandruff, Maple Holistics Tea Tree Shampoo might not be the best option. While it’s useful for mild cases, there are a few rare cases where users have experienced no change in scalp dryness during prolonged usage.

If you’re aware that your condition is moderate or intense, you’ll likely want to invest in a shampoo that contains zinc pyrithione. Sadly, this shampoo does not include this super effective ingredient.

3. HONEYDEW Maximum Strength Dandruff Shampoo

Maple Holistics
HONEYDEW Maximum Strength Dandruff Shampoo
Pros:
  • Unique blend of natural and synthetic components.
  • This shampoo dDin your hair.
  • Leaves hair feeling soft and relaxed.
Cons:
  • One of the most expensive shampoos per ounce.
  • Small container for the price.
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Anyone seeking a mix of chemical potency and all-natural relief may want to give HONEYDEW Maximum Strength Dandruff Shampoo a second glance. It contains zinc pyrithione, tea tree oil, biotin, and argan oil!

This combination of natural and medical relief ensures that HONEYDEW Maximum Strength Dandruff Shampoo is one of the most potent solutions on the market. However, it is also one of the most expensive.

Also, this shampoo arrives in a relatively small 8oz bottle that’s easy to go through quickly. However, this shampoo is a color-safe option that’s appropriate for all hair types.

No matter what kind of skin type you have, whether it’s naturally oily or dry, HONEYDEW Maximum Strength Dandruff Shampoo can help lessen the itching and discomfort that come with severe dandruff problems.

Anyone with seborrheic dermatitis may want to give this shampoo a try, due to its strength. The fact that it contains no harsh chemicals and as few synthetic ingredients as possible, it’s also an excellent alternative for those using a smelly, chemical-heavy dandruff shampoo.

Unlike some cleansing shampoos that leave your hair feeling stripped of oils, this shampoo helps to remove body oils, sweat, and dirt while replacing those oils with natural alternatives. The result is soft, shiny hair that feels completely natural and flake-free.

4. The Roots Naturelle Virgin Hair Fertilizer Shampoo

The Roots
The Roots Naturelle Virgin Hair Fertilizer Shampoo
Pros:
  • Contains both aloe vera and honey extract.
  • Can strengthen chemically-damaged, limp hair.
  • It nourishes curls and moisturizes as it cleanses.
  • It is specifically designed for African American hair. 
Cons:
  • No ingredient list available.
  • It has a water-like consistency.
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There are a lot of fantastic things to say about The Roots Naturelle Virgin Hair Fertilizer Shampoo. But, firstly, I must share its most significant flaw: the manufacturers did not release a list of ingredients with this product.

The Roots Naturelle Virgin Hair Fertilizer Shampoo contains aloe vera, jojoba seed oil, honey extract, and tea tree oil. But the remainder of the ingredient list is a mystery, which could prove dangerous for individuals with severe allergies.

That said, this shampoo is specifically designed to revitalize and nurture African American hair. It can leave curls and dreads feeling soft and smooth.

It also has a very natural, light, and slightly sweet scent. Though this shampoo might not help those with severe cases of dandruff, it handles mild cases very well. Overall, it’s a fantastic choice.

5. JASON Dandruff Relief Treatment Shampoo

Jason
JASON Dandruff Relief Treatment Shampoo
Pros:
  • Works well for severe cases of dandruff.
  • Thinner formula washes out of tight hair efficiently.
  • Includes a prominent amount of salicylic acid.
Cons:
  • Most chemically-reliant of all on this list.
  • Smell of the shampoo is strong and can be off-putting.
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Though JASON Dandruff Relief Treatment Shampoo is free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and petroleum, it is one of the most chemically-heavy and potentially dangerous of all the shampoos listed here.

Fortunately, it’s also one of the most effective for extreme cases of dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis. The 12oz bottle is 2.2% salicylic acid and 2.4% sulfur. While these ingredients work well to combat skin irritation and inflammation, they don’t smell great.

One of the worst aspects of this shampoo is its smell, which is quite similar to bitter rotten eggs. That said, it’s challenging to find a more powerful, effective, and medicated shampoo for dandruff issues.

It also happens to be one of the most affordable options. If you decide to go for this option, be sure to keep the shampoo fluid out of your eyes while washing.

Extreme eye irritation is a potential side effect of accidentally exposing this shampoo to your eyes, so please be careful. With great power comes great potential danger, at least when it comes to dandruff shampoos!

6. Shea Moisture African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Deep Cleansing Shampoo

Shea Moisture
Shea Moisture African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Deep Cleansing Shampoo
Pros:
  • The most cost-effective option on this list.
  • Charcoal helps remove excess oil in the hair.
  • This shampoo smells fantastic and earthy.
  • Blend of ingredients to target various dandruff causes.
Cons:
  • No biotin, salicylic acid, or zinc pyrithione.
  • Might worsen dandruff in those with naturally dry hair.
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Shea Moisture offers a dandruff shampoo that smells fantastic, looks out-of-this-world, and is incredibly affordable.

The 13oz bottle of Shea Moisture African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Deep Cleansing Shampoo conceals a rich, dark brown mixture of tea tree oil, bamboo charcoal, willow bark extract, and African black soap.

This shampoo also contains soothing aloe leaf juice, shea butter, and jojoba seed oil. The mixture smells amazing, and each ingredient feels well-chosen and capable of handling any mild or moderate case of dandruff.

Unfortunately, this option doesn’t contain any biotin or zinc pyrithione, so it might not be the most effective solution for extreme cases. However, those with sensitive skin will adore the clean, light feeling that this shampoo can provide.

If you’re one of the many people who suffer from oily, greasy strands on the regular, this shampoo might be the ideal solution for you. It lifts dirt and oil easily, leaving behind only a light, pleasant scent that goes away fairly quickly.

This benefit can become a flaw for those with very dry hair types, though, so if you suffer from naturally dry skin, brittle hair, and little oil, you may want to consider a different dandruff shampoo.

Choosing the Best Dandruff Shampoo for Black Hair

Guy showing us how to pick the best dandruff shampoo for black hair
Fizkes/Shutterstock

The best dandruff shampoo for African American hair should be made of high-quality, potent ingredients that soothe and restore each strand. It should also be affordable and smell good enough to use every day!

Look for Powerful Ingredients

One of the best ways to ensure that your shampoo is top-notch and capable of handling any dandruff issue is by checking to see that it contains at least one of the following ingredients.

Biotin

Biotin is essential to proper nail, hair, and skin health. It’s also called vitamin H. It’s a dietary supplement that is often taken for nail growth issues or hair loss problems. It’s soluble in water, making it an excellent option for shampoos!

Coal Tar

Coal tar, in its raw form, is a sticky black mess. However, it has some fantastic skin-regenerating properties! When applied to the scalp, coal tar can cause the epidermis to shed all of its dry skin and slow down future skin growth.  For these reasons, many people with dandruff could benefit from using a shampoo with coal tar components.

Zinc Pyrithione

For those with extreme cases of dandruff, a zinc pyrithione shampoo might be the best option. Zinc pyrithione inhibits both fungal and bacterial growth. Consequently, individuals who suffer from seborrhoeic dermatitis are most likely to find relief with this type of dandruff shampoo.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a natural alternative to chemical antifungals. It helps to rid the scalp of any fungal infections and may even lessen acne!

Shea Butter

Shea butter softens hair and skin while revitalizing them. It can tone uneven skin, moisturize, and even lessen inflammation. There’s almost nothing better at battling scalp dryness, and it’s a natural alternative to harsher, smellier chemical-based options. Shea butter is useful to have around long after you’ve cured your dandruff!

Choose Something That Smells Nice

Some dandruff shampoos are notorious for their robust and overpowering odor. This scent can be abrasively minty or chemical-like. If you’re sensitive to strong, potentially unwelcome shampoo odors, you’ll want to ensure that your preferred product is one that you enjoy smelling. It’s also crucial to be aware that many dandruff shampoos that produce a strong odor often wear off throughout the day, especially if adequately rinsed from the hair.

Be Mindful of Your Budget

Though this tip might seem like an obvious thing to consider, you may be surprised to find yourself spending hundreds of dollars every month on a pricey-yet-exquisite shampoo if you’re not mindful of your budget.

It’s fine to treat yourself from time to time when you can afford to do so, but it’s dangerous to become addicted to a fantastic shampoo that might accidentally bankrupt you!

Be sure to choose a product that comes in a suitable quantity for the price, and that won’t leave your bank account looking like a ghost town.

Our Top Pick for the Best Dandruff Shampoo for Black Hair

All of these shampoos bring something valuable to the table, but for me, there was one that stood out from the rest. Jack Black’s Double-Header Shampoo and Conditioner.

Our Top Pick
Jack Black - Double-Header Shampoo + Conditioner
Pros:
  • Shampoo & conditioner soften and strengthen hair.
  • Sulfate-free.
  • Prevents product buildup.
  • Detangles hair and soothes scalp.
Cons:
  • Expensive (but so worth it).
  • Doesn't lather very well (because it's natural).
Check Latest Price
We may earn a commission when you click this link, at no extra cost to you.

It handles mild cases of dandruff with ease and left even the curliest or most compact strands feeling soft, smooth, and renewed. This shampoo works best with an essential-oil or shea butter conditioner but also clarifies perfectly well on its own.

Also, it’s affordable and convenient, arriving in a 12oz container that lasts far longer than smaller, more expensive bottles. It also smells great and leaves your hair smelling naturally good.

For all of these reasons, it made a huge impression on me during my search for the best dandruff shampoos for black hair. The best dandruff shampoo for you will depend on your needs and preferences, but now you have an excellent place to start looking!

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