While dandruff is a pretty common phenomenon, it doesn’t stop it from being annoying and embarrassing. Many of us have had to deal with dandruff at some point in our lives, there are those that have had to deal with pretty serious skin conditions that result in these annoying flakes. And when it is happening to your children, that just adds another layer of frustration so you need the best dandruff shampoo for kids.
The challenge with a child is how you can consistently keep up with a treatment to help get rid of the issue. Many times, the flaking that is associated with dandruff is the result of seborrheic dermatitis. Causing yellow skin and patches on their scalp and other body parts, the cause of this type of dermatitis is unknown, but there is a theory that overproduction of yeast and oil.
Often home remedies can be successful over time giving you good results. However, a good over the counter anti-dandruff shampoo is helpful in getting faster results. If you have a child suffering from dandruff, you want to make sure you get a shampoo that is gentle enough for their sensitive skin, but also tough enough to handle the most irritated and flakiest scalp.
First all, remember that dandruff is not caused by poor hygiene. There are several possibilities as to why your child has dandruff including dry skin, psoriasis, and eczema. It can also be caused by too little or too much shampooing or even by the type of shampoo that you are using on your child.
Signs of dandruff include flakes in your child’s hair and on their shoulders. Other signs include a mild redness on their scalp, flaky skin that seems to become worse in colder weather, dry skin patches on their face including their eyebrows, neck, and forehead as well as constant itching.
Keep in mind that dandruff is genetic. So, if either you or your spouse have dandruff, your children have a high probability of suffering from it as well.
Dandruff Shampoo Types
Since there are several different types of anti-dandruff shampoo, it may require that you spend time experimenting to see which one will work best for your little one. Here are the different types of dandruff shampoo that you will see:
• Ketoconazole shampoo – Ketoconazole shampoo is an antifungal shampoo. You can also get this type of shampoo in a stronger version with a prescription.
• Salicylic acid shampoo – Salicylic acid shampoo works by removing the flakes. However, it can also dry out your scalp, which may cause more flaking.
• Selenium sulfide shampoo – This antifungal shampoo fights fungus that can cause dandruff.
• Pyrithione zinc shampoo – This is another type of antifungal shampoo.
• Tar-based shampoo – This type of shampoo helps to reduce flaking by slowing down the rate skin cells die.
Since everyone is different, it is impossible to find one best dandruff shampoo for kids that will work for everyone. Do not get discouraged if the first shampoo you use does not work. If you are still unable to find a shampoo to get rid of your child’s dandruff and itchy scalp, consult with your child’s doctor.
Best Dandruff Shampoo for Kids
#1 SULFUR8 KIDS MEDICATED SHAMPOO
- Shampoo cleans to reveal natural shine
- Rich lather soaks into your hair
- Use daily
If your child is suffering from flaky, dry, and itchy skin, you may need to consider a product like Sulfur8 Kids Medicated Shampoo. While this product is gentle enough to use daily, it will also help to moisturize your child’s scalp. This is a safe to use product on children as young as two-years-old, so it’s one of the best dandruff shampoo for kids.
The top ingredients in Sulfur8 Kids Medicated Shampoo is pyrithione zinc and sulfur. Sulfur is often used to treat different types of skin conditions like seborrhea, dry skin, rashes, psoriasis, and eczema. Kids are not often fond of the sulfur smell, but it doesn’t last too long.
This effective shampoo is safe for any type of hair texture. Sulfur8 Shampoo not only helps with flakes and dry skin, but it also cleans, moisturizes, and softens your child’s hair. Providing immediate relief for an itchy scalp and dandruff, this product can help to eliminate recurrences while controlling flaking and itching.
This is an affordable product that is safe to use
It has a special formula for kids that you can use every day
It is very effective when treating different types of dandruff
It doesn’t smell great
#2 HONEYDEW ANTI DANDRUFF SHAMPOO
- NATURAL DANDRUFF SHAMPOO FOR KIDS This therapeutic shampoo for kids helps reduce dandruff flakes for healthy hair and scalp. Our shampoo protects dry and damaged hair and is great for all hair types including straight frizzy and curly hair.
- SAFE FOR DAILY USE Our shampoo is designed especially for children. This gentle shampoo protects your child’s delicate scalp from dandruff and is safe to be used on a daily basis. Can also be used with all conditioners.
- GENTLE SHAMPOO WITH NATURAL INGREDIENTS This shampoo contains a blend of nourishing natural ingredients including Jojoba Oil Tea Tree and Lavender essential oils. Shampoo does not contain artificial fragrances colors or harsh chemicals.
If you are looking for a good anti-dandruff shampoo for kids, check out Honeydew Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. This is an effective dandruff shampoo that also works on cradle cap in infants. With a mixture of natural ingredients that include lavender, tea tree, and jojoba oil, this shampoo smells great and works for kids of any age.
This anti-dandruff shampoo does not use harsh chemicals, sulfate, or parabens, and it is not tested on animals. The use of tea tree allows the shampoo to kill fungus that causes dandruff, which also makes it effective in lice prevention as well, which is perfect for kids in school. The use of essential oils helps to improve both hair and skin over time while nourishing and soothing your little one’s scalp with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Honeydew Anti-Dandruff Shampoo uses emollients oils that stop dryness and also make it easy to detangle and comb your little one’s hair. Not only will your child’s scalp feel better, but their hair will be clean, soft, and manageable. The use of lavender oil helps to soothe both your child’s scalp and also provide relaxing aromatherapy properties.
This best dandruff shampoo for kids is a very gentle anti-dandruff shampoo that helps to lessen scalp irritation and prevent flakes and dandruff. The use of Jojoba Oil prevents hair from becoming weighed down with moisturizer and promotes healthy and hydrated hair growth. While this shampoo claims to be tear-free, it does burn if it gets into a child’s eye.
This is a paraben and sulfate-free product that is safe for kid
It uses natural ingredients that help to soothe scalps and prevent lice
You can use it on a baby with cradle cap as well as older kids
It isn’t tear-free as it advertises
#3 PURIYA ANTI DANDRUFF SHAMPOO
- AWARD WINNING. TRY IT NOW ~ Awarded the “Family Tested Family Approved” seal of approval by an independent organization that sends products to parents and families across North America to determine which products they love and use in their own homes. Try it now! If you don’t feel that Puriya Scalp Therapy Shampoo has worked for your dry scalp and dry, brittle or damaged hair, please see Image #6 on how to contact Puriya for your Manufacturer's Guarantee
- CLARIFY YOUR DRY SCALP ~ The best proprietary herbal blend of Tea Tree Oil, Arnica, Sage and Rosemary effectively helps to hydrate your dry scalp. An improvement is noticeable after only a few applications. You may finally wear dark clothes again!
- DEEPLY HYDRATES SCALP AND HAIR ~ This shampoo hydrates even the driest scalp and most brittle, damaged hair. Hydrate your hair and lock in moisture while rejuvenating your scalp. Continued use will help return your scalp to its healthy best.
Using a mix of rosemary, sage, arnica, and tea tree, Puriya Scalp Therapy Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is an effective way to heal and moisturize an itchy, dry scalp. Perfect for kids of any age, this shampoo uses natural ingredients that will be gentle on a child’s scalp as well as effective in getting rid of dandruff that can be caused by psoriasis, eczema, and seborrhea. With no paraben, sulfates, or harmful chemicals, this anti-dandruff shampoo works by nourishing scalps naturally to prevent dryness and itching.
Puriya is gentle and PH-balanced making it safe to use every day. With regular use, this anti-dandruff shampoo can actually help to rejuvenate your child’s hair and scalp. With plant-based moisturizers, this powerful shampoo is effective and reducing dryness while also removing excess oil, build-up and any other impurities that keep your little one’s hair from looking healthy.
With this 100% proprietary botanical mix of high-quality ingredients, Puriya will repair, strengthen, and purify hair without using harmful chemicals. This product uses both globally and domestically sourced components and ingredients to create an anti-dandruff shampoo that everyone in the family can use.
It is super gentle on your kid’s head
The shampoo uses a good blend of oils to moisture your scalp
There are no chemicals or sulfates used, so it’s good for any age
It is on the expensive side
#4 HEAD & SHOULDERS PURELY GENTLE
- Dermatologist-tested, gentle shampoo that helps soothe a sensitive scalp with aloe vera
Obviously, Head and Shoulders needs to be on this list somewhere. The Head & Shoulders Purely Gentle features aloe and is perfect for a little one’s scalp that is extra sensitive. Using soothing aloe, this anti-dandruff shampoo helps your child stay flake-free.
Safe enough to use each day, this is a hypoallergenic shampoo that includes a conditioner that is dermatologist recommended. With the Fresh Scent technology, this is an anti-dandruff shampoo that actually smells pretty good. Not only can it help get rid of flakes, but it can give you some pretty healthy-looking hair.
This clinically proven shampoo is effective and soothing while also being tough on dandruff. With regular use, Head and Shoulders Purely Gentle will nourish your scalp down through three surface layers to stop dryness. Not only is this shampoo safe to use on children, it also is safe to use on textured, color treated, or curly hair.
This is an affordable shampoo that is easy to find in the store
It uses aloe, so it is very soothing on a child’s head
It smells great and works for many different skin conditions
It doesn’t have enough conditioner in it and leaves your hair feeling dry.
#5 JASON DANDRUFF RELIEF SHAMPOO
- Helps prevent seborrheic dermatitis
- Controls recurrence of flaking, scaling and itching associated with dandruff
- For best results, use at least three times each week. Wet hair and lather, massage onto scalp. Rinse and repeat if desired
Combining both salicylic acid and sulfur into one powerful dandruff treatment, the Jason Dandruff Relief Shampoo is a great choice when your child is suffering from moderate skin conditions like psoriasis and seborrhea. Using Jojoba Oil and olive oil, this shampoo will nourish and moisture your little one’s hair while also using rosemary oil to stop a recurrence in flakes. It does not produce a rich lather, but has more of a thick white cream consistency, which can feel great for those suffering from an itchy scalp.
JASON is a company that is committed to selling products for sensitive skin conditions that does not include irritating additives that can aggravate allergies. Other ingredients include tea tree oil, grapefruit extract, and Aloe Vera that helps to soothe, moisture, and heal itchy scalps. Plus, the mix of salicylic acid and sulfur help to treat dermatitis and mild psoriasis eliminating itchiness and flakes.
Jason Dandruff Relief Shampoo is gentle enough for children that have very sensitive scalps. It has almost a menthol smell that is pretty strong, which is great if you need to clear out your sinuses. Since it isn’t the best smelling shampoo out there, and you may want to use another shampoo after it to disguise the smell.
It is really gentle on a child’s sensitive head
It works for many mild skin conditions
It has a nice mix of salicylic acid, sulfur, and natural oils
It does not smell good
#6 HAPPY CAPPY MEDICATED SHAMPOO
- Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo and Body Wash, known as "A Pediatrician’s Solution," fights flaking, redness, itching, scaling, and irritation on the scalp and skin for children of all ages. These bothersome symptoms are known as dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. 1 in 3 children under the age of 5 are affected by this condition.
- Many people refer to seborrheic dermatitis as “cradle cap.” Pediatricians regularly recommend adult dandruff shampoos for this condition because they contain an active ingredient to control seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. Until now there was no children’s seborrheic dermatitis shampoo and body wash.
- Happy Cappy is the first OTC (Over The Counter) shampoo and body wash made specifically for children of all ages with active ingredient, pyrithione zinc, which has been proven safe and effective for many decades for relief of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. It also contains the natural ingredient Licorice Root Extract to help soothe redness behind ears, under armpits, and in neck folds.
Using pyrithione zinc and licorice root, Happy Cappy Shampoo is a medicated anti-dandruff shampoo that relieves flakey, dry, and red skin. It also works as a body wash to help other areas of the body like your ears and neck where dandruff can appear. Dermatologist tested, Happy Cappy does not include harmful chemicals, fragrance, parabens, dyes, or sulfates.
This is a hypoallergenic shampoo that uses vitamins to stop your hair from becoming dry. Happy Cappy Shampoo fights irritation, scaling, itching, redness, and flaking on a child’s skin and scalp. Pediatrician approved, this is a good shampoo for any age child.
Soothing redness under your child’s arms, neck fold, and ears, Happy Cappy has a gentle formula that gets rid of flaking around the eyebrows while still keeping your little one’s hair and skin smooth and soft. This is also recommended by pediatricians to treat seborrheic dermatitis or cradle cap.
This is an FDA approved dandruff shampoo that is effective and safe. Dye, BPA, and fragrance-free, this is a clinically tested product created by a pediatrician that also contains Provitamin B5 that will moisturize skin and hair. With a rich lather, Happy Cappy does not have a bad odor, but is effective at preventing the recurrent of itching and flaking that is associated with dandruff.
It was designed by a pediatrician and then test by a dermatologist
This shampoo does not use harsh chemicals
It works for any age, including infants with cradle cap.
It isn’t as effective on more severe cases or on eczema.
#7 NIZORAL A-D ANTI DANDRUFF SHAMPOO
- CLINICALLY PROVEN: Dandruff stays off your head & shoulders with this dandruff treatment shampoo that helps relieve itchy & flaky scalps. When using your regular shampoo and conditioner use twice a week between washes. Works on all hair types & gray hair.
- KETOCONAZOLE: This dandruff relief shampoo is made with ketoconazole 1%, an effective ingredient that binds to your hair's natural protein to kill dandruff. Your scalp remains flake-free with the shampoo's thick lather & leaves hair manageable & shiny.
- ITCHY SCALP: Dandruff is caused when scalp-cells regenerate at an accelerated rate faster than scalps can handle. With hormones, diet, stress & genes, dandruff can be fought with the clinically proven anti-dandruff shampoo Nizoral, with ketoconazole 1%.
Last in our list of best dandruff shampoo for kids is Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is designed for children 12 and over that suffer from severe dandruff that will not go away. Using ketoconazole, this anti-dandruff shampoo is a powerful tool when fighting flakes associated with dandruff. Creating a rich lather, this shampoo has a pretty good smell and is effective at treating dandruff that is caused by fungus.
Since it is so powerful, it only needs to be used twice a week. Nizoral is clinically proven to control itching, scaling, and flaking. It starts working from the first use and gets to the root of the problem by killing the fungus that is causing the dandruff.
This is the only dandruff shampoo that you can buy over the counter that uses Ketoconazole 1%, which is a powerful and clinically proven dandruff fighting ingredient. Not only can use it on children safely, but you can also use it on gray, color-treated, and chemically processed hair leaving it clean, soft, and smelling fresh.
It works really well on dandruff that has been caused by fungus
You only need to use it twice a week
It smells good and gives you a good lather
It can be too strong for a child under 12-years old