Dealing with those annoying flakes in your hair can be a real hassle. No matter how clean you keep your hair, dandruff always seems to find its way back, like someone sprinkled crumbs on your head. If you’re tired of scratching your scalp and brushing off those pesky white specks from your shoulders, it’s time to give a dandruff shampoo a try.

But before we get into the top dandruff shampoos, let’s first understand what your itchy scalp is trying to tell you and how these shampoos work to relieve the itch.

What causes dandruff?

best dandruff shampoos - dandruff on scalp

Our scalp, just like the rest of our skin, contains a protective barrier to prevent water loss and keep our scalp hydrated. Factors such as stress, diet, overuse of certain hair products, and even changes in temperature and low humidity can disturb this barrier. When this happens, your scalp suffers from water loss, which can cause inflammation and the appearance of white flakes.

It’s a little bit complicated, but basically, there are multiple factors at play. And here are a few common culprits:

  • Not shampooing enough, which causes skin cells to accumulate, causing flakes and itching
  • Shampoos, conditioners, and styling products that may cause contact dermatitis, which makes your scalp red and itchy
  • Having irritated and oily skin, a condition that’s also known as seborrheic dermatitis, a more severe form of dandruff
  • A type of yeast called Malassezia, which can aggravate your scalp and cause excess skin cell growth
  • Existing skin conditions like eczema and scalp psoriasis can lead to dandruff-like flaking

If you suspect that the cause of your dandruff falls on the serious end, like having seborrheic dermatitis or the presence of Malassezia, then you should visit a dermatologist for a proper assessment. In the meantime, a dandruff shampoo can help soothe your scalp and take care of the itch.

How dandruff shampoos work?

dandruff shampoos washing hair

The best dandruff shampoos usually contain an anti-fungal or keratolytic agent. Anti-fungal agents attack the microorganisms on the scalp, known as Malassezia. By treating the scalp with anti-fungal ingredients such as zinc pyrithione, piroctone olamine (a.k.a. Octopirox), or climbazole, the level of Malassezia on the scalp can be reduced or removed. This helps to restore and heal your scalp.

Meanwhile, keratolytic agents address the symptoms of dandruff. The most common keratolytic agent is salicylic acid, which essentially breaks up clumps of dry skin and exfoliates your scalp. These two agents are often combined for that one-two punch.

When you’re purchasing dandruff shampoos, it’s best to look at the ingredients list and check if these agents are present. This way, you’ll know that your shampoo has what it takes to fight dandruff and prevent its recurrence.

Well, we’ve got some good news. Daily Vanity has done the legwork for you and rounded up 20 of the best dandruff shampoos in Malaysia. From new drugstore favourites to luxurious treatments, your next dandruff-fighting shampoo is just a click away.

Best dandruff shampoos in Malaysia under RM50

Kerasys Anti Dandruff & Sebum Control Shampoo

best dandruff shampoos kerasys

For a deep cleanse that banishes dandruff and keeps your scalp’s sebum production in check, switch to Kerasys’ Anti Dandruff & Sebum Control Shampoo. It decongests clogged follicles while it replenishes moisture so that your scalp produces less sebum with continued use.

The formula also contains menthol and peppermint extracts, which are both antimicrobial ingredients to prevent the growth of fungus. The minty scent also makes it a cooling and refreshing shampoo to use in the heat.

Kerasys Anti Dandruff & Sebum Control Shampoo retails for RM49.90 at Watsons. A discount is offered at the time of writing. Tap in for the updated price.

Selsun Blue Medicated Anti Dandruff Shampoo

best dandruff shampoos selsun blue

Dermatologists and reviewers can all agree that this sudser from Selsun Blue is a standout. The Dandruff Treatment Shampoo contains 1% selenium sulfide, which is also one of the most effective ingredients on the market. On top of that, it’s formulated with menthol to soothe an itchy scalp, gradually reducing the flakes in your hair.

The shampoo is also infused with honey to soften and detangle your strands. For maximum results, leave the shampoo in your hair for about three minutes after massaging it on your scalp. Even when you’re dandruff-free, you can keep it in check by using the shampoo at least twice a week. No wonder this is considered one of the best dandruff shampoos in the market!

Selsun Blue Medicated Anti Dandruff Shampoo retails for RM28.90 at Watsons. A discount is offered at the time of writing. Tap in to see updated price.

Clear Extra Strength Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

dandruff shampoos clear

If your regular dandruff shampoo needs a little boost, opt for the Clear Extra Strength Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. It’s a triple-acting shampoo that works to clear flakes on your scalp and strengthen it, so it remains healthy and more resistant to dandruff.

The shampoo also uses a clever Extra Lipid Booster technology to deliver moisture and nutrients deep within your scalp’s layers. This helps to repair and strengthen your scalp’s protective barrier, making it more resilient to damage.

Clear Extra Strength Anti-Dandruff Shampoo retails for RM19.50 at Watsons. There’s a discount offered at the time of writing. Tap in to see updated price.

Regan Extra Hair Reactive & Hair Fall Control Shampoo

dandruff shampoos regan

Hardened sebum can difficult to remove, which is why Regan’s Extra Hair Reactive & Hair Fall Control Shampoo dislodges it fast to prevent clogged follicles. Made with capyric acid, this shampoo cleanses and treats your scalp with its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It’s also infused with conditioner, so you’ll be left with a clearer scalp and softer, more manageable hair.

Regan Extra Hair Reactive & Hair Fall Control Shampoo retails for RM27.92 at Watsons

Himalaya Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

dandruff shampoos himalaya

While most dandruff shampoos are at the very least a little bit drying, Himalaya’s Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is actually pretty moisturising. It uses tea tree oil to reduce dandruff while it controls itching to minimise discomfort. The natural ingredient also relieves the scalp when you massage it in.

This dandruff shampoo also contains moisturising ingredients like aloe vera and Indian sarsaparilla, which help to deliver nourishment to your scalp and hair.

Himalaya Anti Dandruff Shampoo retails for RM33.80 at Watsons

Pantene Anti Dandruff Shampoo

dandruff shampoos pantene

An affordable yet effective formula, Pantene’s Anti Dandruff Shampoo keeps dandruff at bay and it’s safe to use daily. Its rich, milky texture soothes scalp irritation and relieves itch fast. With regular use, you’ll notice a less greasy scalp too, all thanks to its balancing formula. It isn’t too harsh on your strands and it never strips your scalp of moisture.

Pantene Anti Dandruff Shampoo retails for RM34.55 at Lazada

L’Oreal Elseve Fall Resist Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

dandruff shampoos loreal elseve

A good multitasking product always catches our attention, which is why L’Oreal Elseve’s Fall Resist Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is a drugstore bestseller. It’s formulated with zinc pyrithione, an anti-fungal agent we’ve mentioned, and arginine essence, a nutrient-rich ingredient that encourages healthy hair growth.

It strengthens your hair follicles and reconstructs your hair shaft, all while banishing dandruff from your scalp. Your hair will look less brittle and dry, and your scalp will feel refreshed and clean over time.

L’Oreal Elseve Fall Resist Anti Dandruff Shampoo retails for RM16.90 at Watsons. A discount is offered at the time of writing. Tap in to see updated price.

Sunsilk Shampoo Anti-Dandruff

dandruff shampoos sunsilk

You’ll fall in love with Sunsilk’s Anti-Dandruff Shampoo not just because of its dandruff-zapping abilities, but also its citrusy fragrance. That’s all thanks to its engineered ZPT Citrus complex, which contains a blend of zinc pyrithione, sunflower oil, and lime extracts. Apart from fighting dandruff, this shampoo suds up to refresh and nourish your scalp and strands.

Sunsilk Shampoo Anti-Dandruff retails for RM13.55 at Watsons. A discount is offered at the time of writing. Tap in to see updated price.

Nunature Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

dandruff shampoos nunature

If you’re looking for an effective scalp-soother, try Nunature’s Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. Infused with Indian kino tree extract, silk amino acid, soy protein, hydrolyzed yeast protein, and black pepper extract, the formula calms itchiness and irritation. This balancing shampoo can also control sebum production and strengthen your hair strands with regular use.

Nunature Anti-Dandruff Shampoo retails for RM43.90 at Watsons. A discount is offered at the time of writing. Tap in to see updated price.

Best dandruff shampoos in Malaysia between RM50 and RM100

Amway Satinique Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

dandruff shampoos amway satinique

If you have a sensitive scalp and damaged hair that requires some TLC, try Amway’s SATINIQUE Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. It gently cleanses your hair and scalp to keep flaking under control.

Using a complex of strengthening lipids, creatine, and 18-MEA, the shampoo works repair damaged strands, revitalising it from the inside out. The shampoo also contains avocado extracts and vitamin E to feed moisture and nutrients back to your scalp for a healthy balance.

Amway Satinique Anti-Dandruff Shampoo retails for RM56.99 at Shopee

Avalon Organics Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

dandruff shampoos avalon

Instead of using anti-fungal or keratolytic agents, Avalon Organics’ Anti-Dandruff Shampoo uses salicylic acid and tea tree to fight dandruff. The former ingredient exfoliates and unclogs hair follicles, while the latter reduces itchiness and dandruff.

On top of that, the shampoo has aloe vera and chamomile to soothe your scalp and relieve dryness. It’s just what you need for soft, healthy, dandruff-free hair.

Avalon Organics Anti-Dandruff Shampoo retails for ~RM58 at iHerb

RYO Hair Loss Expert Care Shampoo (Anti Dandruff)

RYO Hair Loss Expert Care Shampoo (Anti Dandruff)

Tackle two hair concerns at the same time with this anti-dandruff shampoo from Korean haircare brand RYO.

Its formula includes botanicals such as Ginseng, and is designed to addressed a series of scalp and hair concerns, including strengthening the hair roots while removing dandruff.

Those who have irritated scalp will appreciate that it offers a cooling effect that feels soothing.

RYO Hair Loss Expert Care Shampoo (Anti Dandruff) retails for RM59 at Watsons. A discount is offered at the time of writing. Tap in to see updated price.

Best dandruff shampoos in Malaysia above RM100

Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo

best dandruff shampoos redken

Colour-treated hair can cost a bomb, so we’d rather not play a game of chance when it comes to finding the right shampoo. Redken’s Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo is formulated with pyrithione zinc to treat dandruff without stripping your hair colour. This is also a great pick for those with the dry scalp as it can eliminate and control scalp irritation.

It’s also convenient to use. You can apply the shampoo on a dry scalp and let it sit for a bit before heading into the shower, or work it into damp hair and massage your scalp before rinsing it off.

Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo retails for ~RM135.88 at Zest Beauty

Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

dandruff shampoos nizoral

Flakes aren’t the only symptom of dandruff – itch can also be a major problem. To combat both issues at a time, try the Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. This derm-approved shampoo contains 1% of ketoconazole, an anti-fungal ingredient to fight dandruff-causing yeast.

The formula is effective yet gentle enough to use daily and on colour-treated or chemically-processed hair. It’s already a big hit within the dandruff community on Reddit, although it has a smaller dose of ketoconazole compared to a prescription treatment. One of the best dandruff shampoos in the market? That’s for sure.

Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo retails from RM145 at Shopee

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Scalp Scrub Shampoo

dandruff shampoos briogeo

Charcoal isn’t just good for barbecues. The black, chalky substance works wonders as a detoxifying agent too, which is why it’s the star ingredient in Briogeo’s shampoo. The Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Scalp Scrub Shampoo pairs activated charcoal with cooling menthol to cleanse the scalp to leave it feeling and smelling minty fresh all day.

The formula draws impurities from the scalp and the hair follicles to keep your scalp in tip-top condition. It also reduces itchiness to stop dandruff in its tracks. In fact, 100% of participants saw reduced flakiness and irritation in a clinical laboratory study. No wonder many consider this one of the best dandruff shampoos out there.

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Scalp Scrub Shampoo retails for RM210 at Sephora

Malin + Goetz Dandruff Shampoo

dandruff shampoos malin goetz

For an option that’s both luxurious and efficacious, grab a bottle of Malin & Goetz’s Dandruff Shampoo. It has zinc pyrithione to treat dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, while tea tree oil and eucalyptus extract work to soothe itchiness. It’ll make your bathroom smell like a spa too. What’s not to love about that?

Malin + Goetz Dandruff Shampoo retails for RM169 at OZ Cosmetics