Sulfate Free Dandruff Shampoos that are Worth Buying

Scalp flaking happens due to increased skin cells turnover and can be triggered by several conditions:

  1. Small, fine flakes from the dry scalp can be caused by winter skin dryness. Many people get a dry, itchy scalp during cold winter months.
  2. Dandruff can be caused by the fungus called Malassezia which irritates your scalp and causes flaking.
  3. Skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema tend to aggravate dandruff conditions.

Anti-dandruff prescription shampoos have been for years the first choice for people suffering from dandruff. There are also many over the counter chemicals based shampoos formulated to combat this scalp issue. Ideally, the perfect dandruff shampoo should eliminate dandruff without using harsh chemicals that may have harmful effects on your skin and your overall health.

Unfortunately, some dandruff shampoos contain highly toxic ingredients that can cause health problems if absorbed through the skin, inhaled, or accidentally ingested. These toxic chemicals can accumulate inside the body, causing health problems in some users. Dandruff-fighting fungicides can also have an impact on the environment. The common anti-dandruff agents in hair shampoos include coal tar, selenium sulfide, ketoconazole, and zinc pyrithione. 

Coal tar is known as a human respiratory toxicant, allergen, and possible human carcinogen. 

Selenium sulfide is another toxic chemical that is commonly found in anti-dandruff shampoos. Studies have shown that this anti-fungal chemical is anticipated to be a human carcinogen. 

Ketoconazole is the human endocrine disruptor based on the classification and labeling of dangerous cosmetics in the European Union.

Zinc pyrithione is suspected to be an environmentally hazardous chemical because of its persistence and bioaccumulative properties.

Make sure to look for sulfate-free dandruff shampoos made with natural ingredients whatever possible. Natural dandruff shampoos are formulated with plant extracts and essential oils to provide relief from dandruff without any adverse effect. You can feel confident that you are not harming your skin and your health.

What are the Best Brands to Start with?

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1. Maple Holistics Sage Shampoo for Dandruff with Jojoba, Argan Oil, and Organic Tea Tree Oil is formulated to treat moderate to severe dandruff. Sage is dermatologist-recommended for its’ ability to combat dermatitis. Spikenard and Sage work together to promote hair growth. Jojoba and Argan Oils add shine to hair, balance sebum production, and nourish the scalp. Like most natural shampoos, it doesn’t create a rich leather. This shampoo has a strong herbal aroma, but the smell doesn’t linger in the hair. Like all Maple Holistics products, it is not tested on animals.

2. ORIBE Serene Scalp Anti-dandruff Shampoo is a gentle dandruff shampoo that contains 2% salicylic acid. Salicylic Acid gently exfoliates the scalp to remove sebum build-up and dead skin cells. This shampoo is supposed to relieve and prevent dandruff and soothe the dry and irritated scalp.

Scalp soothing and healing ingredients include Bilberry Fruit & Sugar Maple Extracts,  Caffeine, Sugarcane Extract, and Orange & Lemon Fruit Extracts.

This anti-dandruff shampoo is formulated without sulfates, parabens, and sodium chloride and is safe for colored and chemically straightened hair.

Leave-on Treatment: ORIBE Serene Scalp Soothing Leave-on Treatment is formulated to reduce scalp irritation and nourish dry and itchy scalps. This fast-absorbing, leave-in treatment rejuvenates hair follicles and exfoliates the scalp while removing loose dandruff flakes.

The product is very easy to apply either on damp or dry hair. It is vegan and safe for color and keratin-treated hair.

3. Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo for Dandruff is formulated with natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial ingredients to reduce dandruff, soothe itchy scalps, and control hair loss and acne breakouts. This shampoo doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals, which is important if you have sensitive skin. It has a light and soothing scent. This product is color-safe and free of parabens, harsh sulfates, and animal testing.

4. Davines Purifying Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is formulated with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial ingredients to fight microbial attacks and clear up dandruff.

It works either for dry or greasy dandruff and soothes itchy scalps.

This potent clarifying and detoxifying shampoo helps to cleanse and balance the scalp to keep the follicles in good condition and promote healthy hair growth.

It does contain selenium sulfide (0.6%) – a chemical that is not recommended for longer contact with the skin, but this ingredient increases the ability of this shampoo to efficiently fight persistent dandruff.

The smell is quite strong but still less irritating than with most medicated anti-dandruff shampoos.

The downside of this shampoo is its pure ability to create leather which makes it hard to spread. To produce more foam, you can add a bit of your regular shampoo.

5. SheaMoisture African Black Soap Dandruff Control Shampoo is formulated with natural and certified organic ingredients to deeply cleanse hair and scalp, remove product build-up, and soothe the dry, itchy, and flaking scalp. African Black Soap, Bamboo Charcoal, Tea Tree Oil, and Willow Bark Extract help calm and clear the symptoms of dandruff and mild scalp dermatitis without the use of harsh chemicals. It revitalizes hair, leaving it to feel fresh and clean.

6. If you travel a lot, you will need a compact anti-dandruff treatment to pack it in your carry-on bag. Peppermint Shampoo Bar Soap perfectly meets your needs while protecting your luggage from spills.

7. Another travel-safe dandruff shampoo is Solid Shampoo Bar for Dandruff or Touchy Scalps by Ethique. This eco-friendly solid shampoo bar is formulated with natural oils to combat dandruff and relieve problems with the irritated scalp.

Seven Reasons to Use a Sulfate-free Dandruff Shampoo 

  1. Having a very dry scalp can cause flaking that provides a prime environment for fungi to grow. Sulfate-based products strip the scalp of its natural oils that protect you from fungal infections. Natural anti-dandruff shampoos are much less drying than sulfate-containing shampoos. Your scalp and hair are clean without feeling stripped. They do a good job of keeping dandruff under control without harming your scalp and hair. Although most natural anti-dandruff shampoos are mild enough for daily use, keep in mind that every other day would be a reasonable frequency of hair washing.
  2. Sulfate-free naturally based dandruff shampoos are gentle enough to be used on very sensitive skin. This is important if you are allergic to preservatives and certain chemicals in skincare products. Many popular dandruff shampoos contain irritating ingredients that can cause scalp flaking or inflammation. Artificial fragrance and harsh chemical ingredients often trigger or exacerbate dandruff. Natural dandruff shampoos not only reduce dandruff, but they heal your scalp.
  3. Some active ingredients in medicated antidandruff shampoos can affect the vibrancy of your hair color. Sulfate-free shampoos are gentle on your colored hair. After dying your hair, you can use sulfate-free shampoo for dandruff with no problem.
  4. If you recently have received Keratin treatment, you need to use only sulfate-free products including sulfate-free dandruff shampoos. Natural dandruff shampoos are the only keratin safe shampoos you can use to keep your dandruff symptoms under control.
  5. Scalp inflammation can inhibit healthy hair growth, contributing to thinning hair or hair loss. Gentle sulfate-free shampoos help reduce the severity of hair thinning associated with scalp inflammation.
  6. Natural dandruff shampoos don’t leave your head with an unpleasant medicated scent that most anti-dandruff shampoos do. Instead, they have a relaxing and refreshing herbal fragrance that doesn’t linger on your hair.
  7. Sulfate-free shampoos are not harmful to the environment. When washed away there are no toxic chemicals entering the water system.

What Results to Expect?

A natural anti-dandruff shampoo won’t cure severe dandruff completely-however, it can significantly reduce symptoms and keep your condition bearable. A sulfate-free dandruff shampoo can definitely give you relief from itchiness and leave your scalp moisturized and nourished. It also makes your hair much better looking and more manageable.

Although they don’t create many suds they are effective in cleaning your hair.
Natural dandruff shampoos also help with scalp acne, skin blemishes, eczema, psoriasis, and hair loss.

Get Maximum Results from Using a Natural Dandruff Shampoo?

  1. Be sure to leave the product in your hair for at least a couple of minutes to allow your scalp to absorb all the therapeutic benefits. Massage gently for a couple of minutes to rub the product into your scalp. Rinse and repeat the process because the first shampoo gets the scalp clean, while the second shampoo nourishes it.
  2. Do not give up if you don’t see the results from the first use. Dandruff is going away with each wash. It can take a few shampoos to see a noticeable difference.
  3. Rinse your hair with cool or lukewarm water. The cool water rinse helps reduce irritation. Your scalp can get itchy and dry if you wash your hair with hot water.
  4. Applying a vinegar rinse once a week helps reduce flaking and leaves your hair shiny.
  5. Add a few drops of jojoba oil to your favorite shampoo or conditioner to help dissolve the dandruff scales and keep the pores clean.
  6. It is recommended to use a good conditioner because shampoo can be a little drying on the hair, and combing out can be a challenge. Maple Holistics Tea Tree Oil Conditioner is a good accompaniment to any dandruff shampoo.

If you have been using the same shampoo for several months, your scalp may become a little immune and the current shampoo may start to lose its effectiveness. Once you figure that the effectiveness of the product is decreasing, you should rotate brands. Switch to a different brand every few months. Such a combination of multiple shampoos can provide you with long-term results.  

Woman buying anti-dandruff shampoo
Medical Disclaimer

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