8 Best Anti-Dandruff Shampoos for Black Hair

Getting rid of dandruff can be quite an arduous task, especially if you aren’t sure where to even start. There are plenty of different anti-dandruff shampoos for black hair that are effective and there are also several home remedies that you can try.

The challenge of having black hair is that dandruff is easily visible. As dandruff comes in the form of white skin flakes, it tends to contrast well against black hair. While dandruff may not be as visible on the scalp for people who have lighter hair color, they are still affected in the same way. Here are some key takeaways of dandruff on black hair:

  • Dandruff is more visible on black hair
  • Having black hair does not cause more dandruff
  • Thoroughly washing your hair with anti-dandruff shampoo
  • Focus on active ingredients with natural additives
  • Can be combined with home remedies

If you have black hair, you should focus on effective anti-dandruff shampoos with active ingredients, as well as natural additives. These ingredients help to remove the excess sebum on your scalp, which in turn should remove the dandruff. To understand more on dandruff, please feel free to read the full guide on getting rid of dandruff. Let’s take a look at the best anti-dandruff shampoos for black hair.

Dandruff Shampoo for Black Hair Reviews

Most of these dandruff shampoos featured in this list are great for black hair. Not only do most of them contain an active ingredient, but some also contain natural oils, with help to soothe the scalp and reduce inflammation.

1. Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

The Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is known to be the best anti-dandruff shampoo for black hair, due to its high effectiveness. Containing just one active ingredient – ketoconazole, this shampoo reduces itching, flaking and scaling.

Ketoconazole makes up 1% of the formula, but is known to be one of the most effective active ingredients in dandruff shampoos. The Ingredients making up the remaining 99% are benzyl alcohol, citric acid, sodium chloride and cocamide MEA among others. 

What I like most about these ingredients is that ketoconazole is known to be anti-fungal and highly effective. It really works wonders for me and I’ve also created a separate review of the Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo that teaches you more on how the shampoo works and how to use it effectively.

You should start to notice improvements on your hair within a couple of days already. While it initially may leave your hair a little dry, it helps to get rid of the excess sebum. This helps to reduce dandruff and eventually removes the itching.

It’s effectiveness makes the shampoo great for black hair. However, as it tends to leave hair dry, it’s best to use a conditioner afterwards to replenish any lost moisture. Overall, Nizoral is a great dandruff shampoo for black hair.


When it comes to application, the first thing you should note is that Nizoral is formulated for people aged 12 years and above. To use, start by wetting your hair thoroughly. Next, apply an appropriate amount of the shampoo on your hair. Rinse it out. Repeat the process once more. It’s best to use this shampoo 2 – 3 times a week, depending on the severity of your dandruff.

What’s Great:

  • Can be used a few times a week
  • Ketoconazole as active ingredient
  • Very effective against dandruff
  • Also reduces itching

What’s Not So Great:

  • Can leave the hair a little dry

2. Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo

The Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo is another great anti-dandruff shampoo for black hair. The active ingredient in this is coal tar, a medicinal substance that’s been proven to be an effective treatment for dandruff [1]. Other notable ingredients include sodium laureth, polysorbate, cocamide MEA and sodium hydroxide.

One thing you’ll love about this shampoo is that it’s very gentle. It means that you can even use it every day without worrying that it will start irritating your scalp. However, if you’re planning to use it daily, then remember to apply a conditioner as well to avoid leaving your hair dry.

Apart from providing relief from dandruff, It also helps to treat seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis. All three of these skin conditions can cause itching and inflammation on the scalp. Neutrogena is known to apply a soothing effect and the coal tar active ingredient is known to cause the dead skin cells to shed.  


For the best outcome, you should use the shampoo twice in a week, or as recommended by your dermatologist. Before application, first wet your hair. Then, massage the shampoo gently on your scalp. Let it sit on your hair and scalp for a couple of minutes before rinsing it out. Once, you’ve rinsed, repeat this process one more time.

What’s Great:

  • Very gentle on the hair
  • Uses coal tar as active ingredient
  • Well established brand
  • Extra strength version available

What’s Not So Great:

  • Can leave hair a little dry
  • May not be as effective for some

3. Cedarwood Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

The Cedarwood Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is an excellent anti-dandruff shampoo for black hair. Not only does it treat dandruff, it also provides a moisture boost. The primary ingredient, cedarwood oil, works magic on your hair and scalp. It reduces flakes while also helping to relieve itchiness and irritation. This unisex hair treatment works by penetrating deep into your scalp.

This anti-dandruff shampoo is also good at promoting hair growth and volume. With the incorporation of other essential oils, this shampoo transforms thin-looking hair into thick, voluminous hair. The other essential oils included in this formula are tea tree oil and jojoba oil, which help to equalize the natural oils and pH balance on your scalp. 

One of the things I like about this shampoo is its fragrance. Since it’s made mostly from cedarwood essential oil, it has a nice woody scent to it. This aroma has a calming and relaxing effect on your body, as well. Another highlight of the Cedarwood shampoo is its natural composition. 

It’s formulated using only essential oils, which provide numerous perks for your hair and scalp and help to get rid of dandruff naturally. That means that it doesn’t contain sulfates, parabens, silicones, among other additives, which would potentially trigger adverse reactions.


To use this Cedarwood shampoo, first rinse your hair. Next, massage the shampoo onto your hair and scalp until a rich lather forms. Be sure to apply a decent amount of the shampoo and work it thoroughly so that all parts of your hair are treated. Allow the product to sit for 2 to 3 minutes, then rinse it out.

What’s Great:

  • Made with natural cedarwood oil
  • Contains no sulfates and parabens
  • All natural ingredients
  • Soothing woody scent

What’s Not So Great:

  • Requires longer usage to see effectiveness

4. Jason Dandruff Relief Treatment Shampoo

The Jason Dandruff Relief Treatment Shampoo is also an option for black hair and uses sulfur and salicylic acid as an active ingredient. Categorized as a skin condition, it causes scaly patches to form on your scalp. Thankfully, this dandruff treatment shampoo has just the right ingredients to combat this condition. 

As stated, the active ingredients in this are sulfur and salicylic acid, both of which are approved by the FDA for the treatment of scalp dermatitis. This shampoo contains other beneficial ingredients, such as olive, jojoba and rosemary essential oils. These natural oils help to soften hair and also add some luster and shine. They also help to soothe the scalp and relieve inflammation caused by dandruff.

Another great feature of the Kason Dandruff shampoo is that it contains no parabens and sulfates. Moreover, the Jojoba oil, hydrates and promotes hair growth. Finally, rosemary oil is good for rebalancing and conditioning your scalp; hence, preventing dandruff from recurring.


Using this shampoo is pretty easy. All you need to do is to wet your hair, lather, then massage it on your scalp. Rinse out the shampoo and repeat as often as you’d like. For the best outcome, Jason recommends using this hair product three or more times every week. But, you have to be cautious when it comes to storage. The ideal storage spot should have a temperature of between 40°F and 100°F (4 to 38°C).

What’s Great:

  • Contains no parabens and sulfates
  • Contains essential oils
  • Great for shiny black hair
  • Moisturizes hair and scalp

What’s Not So Great:

  • May not be suitable for people with severe dandruff

5. Maple Holistics Sage Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Are you looking for a shampoo for your black hair that will not only treat dandruff but also improve your hair texture? If you are, Maple Holistics Sage Anti-Dandruff Shampoo may be your go-to solution. The main ingredient in this shampoo is sage oil. It’s used alongside a number of ingredients, mainly essential oils, to provide maximum benefits. These include jojoba oil, rosemary oil, peach kernel oil and botanical keratin.

This blend of essential oils is what gently cleanses your scalp by removing any excess sebum clogging your hair follicles. It also enhances your hair texture by reducing frizz and static, particularly in curly hair. This anti-dandruff shampoo is suitable for men and women with black hair. 

It can also be used on different hair types. Whether you have oily hair, dry hair, straight hair or curly hair, you can treat dandruff using this hair product. Even if you have an overly-sensitive scalp, you’ll find this shampoo to be gentle on your skin.

Since the Maple Holistics Sage anti-dandruff shampoo does not contain any sulfates, parabens, silicones or other additives, you don’t have to worry about it irritating your scalp or triggering other allergic reactions.


For the best outcome, the manufacturer recommends massaging a tiny amount of the shampoo on wet hair. As you massage, start from the scalp down to the tips. Give the shampoo time to lather before rinsing it out. You can complete your hair routine by applying a natural conditioner.

What’s Great:

  • Contains plenty of natural oils
  • Main ingredient is sage oil
  • contains no parabens or sulfates

What’s Not So Great:

  • Mild effect is soothing but may not be too effective for severe dandruff

6. Cherioll Tea Tree Oil Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

If you have very brittle black colored hair, Cherioll Tea Tree Oil Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is the ideal shampoo. It’s formulated using botanical extracts, which though powerful, are also very gentle. The active ingredient is tea tree oil, which not only helps to fight dandruff, but also sooth itchy or irritated scalp.

There are a couple of other ingredients, but the most noteworthy are Jojoba oil, Aloe vera extract, green tea extract and coconut oil. Jojoba oil is full of vitamins and minerals, which are great for nourishing your hair. Aloe vera is good for repairing and strengthening hair strands while green tea extract boosts hair growth by stimulating your hair follicles.

The lotion-like consistency of this shampoo is another aspect that makes it stand out. This creates an ultra-rich lather, which easily penetrates into your hair roots. Moreover, Cherioll can be used on all black hair types: straight, wavy, dyed and more.


When it comes to application, you should begin by wetting your hair. Massage the shampoo into your hair and scalp for about 2 minutes. Leave it on your hair for another 4 minutes, giving the active ingredients ample time to work your hair. Finally, rinse it out. Use this treatment 3 to 5 times every week, until you get the results you’re after.

What’s Great:

  • Made of natural ingredients
  • Leaves a soothing effect on your scalp
  • Moisturizes your hair and scalp
  • Doesn’t leave the hair dry

What’s Not So Great:

  • Requires to be used with other types of dandruff shampoos for severe cases

7. Baebody Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

When it comes to natural dandruff shampoos for black hair, Baebody Tea Tree Oil Shampoo is another great option for various good reasons. Some shampoos use chemical exfoliants, which cause adverse effects on one’s scalp or hair. But this one uses naturally-derived tea tree oil as its active ingredient. 

Tea tree oil helps to treat dandruff in two ways. For one, it has antimicrobial properties, which allows it to target the dandruff-causing microbes. Secondly, it prevents accumulation of chemicals, oils and dead skin, which result in dandruff.

Moreover, tea tree oil isn’t the only useful ingredient in this shampoo. It also contains argan oil, almond oil, jojoba oil and keratin. Argan oil is good at fighting frizz and boosting hair growth, almond oil nourishes and softens hair while jojoba oil reduces redness caused by drying.

Another reason why the Baebody Tea Tree Oil Shampoo is such a revered option is because of its moisturizing properties. While other shampoos leave your hair dry, this one provides a lasting moisturizing effect.


Now, the best way to use Baebody shampoo is to start by wetting your hair. Next, work the shampoo into your hair and scalp. After massaging, rinse it out and ensure you squeeze out any excess water. It’s also advisable to follow this up with a conditioner. When applying a conditioner, work your way from the mid-length to the ends, then rinse it out thoroughly.

What’s Great:

  • Removes oily and dead skin from the scalp
  • Made of purely natural ingredients
  • Contains plenty of natural oils that prevent dandruff

What’s Not So Great:

  • While it’s soothing, it may not be as strong as other anti-dandruff shampoos

8. Majestic Pure Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

If you’re looking for a natural anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner combo, the Majestic Pure Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner set may be just what you need. The good thing is, that both the shampoo and conditioner are   formulated using natural ingredients. These ingredients are mainly raw apple cider vinegar, avocado oil and coconut oil. 

These elements work well together to cleanse and hydrate your scalp and hair. One thing I like about this shampoo and conditioner set is that it’s suitable for all types of hair. Whether you have dry hair, normal hair or oily hair, the combo treatment is great at removing dandruff the natural way. 

It’s also safe to use on color-treated hair. Now, one thing to note with natural ingredients is that they are completely safe to use, given that you aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients. However, for severe dandruff, you may be better off with a stronger active ingredient. 


To use the shampoo, first wet your hair. Next, apply the shampoo on your palms and work it into your roots. Allow it to sit on your hair and scalp for at least 2 minutes before rinsing it out. For the conditioner, be sure to apply on damp hair as well. You can then use your hands or a wide-toothed comb to spread it evenly on your hair. Let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

What’s Great:

  • Made with all natural ingredients
  • Comes in a shampoo and conditioner set
  • Easy to use and free of sulfates

What’s Not So Great:

  • Requires a stronger active ingredient for severe dandruff

Why Is Dandruff and Black Hair Different?

About 75% of the world’s population has black hair [2]. It’s by far the most common hair color, as it’s a dominant genetic trait and it’s also found in people of all ethnicities and races. Whether Caucasian, Asian, African, Hispanic, American Indian or any other races, black hair is a very common hair color.

As dandruff is most commonly white in color, flakes are especially visible in people that have black hair. It’s therefore important to ensure that you treat your hair thoroughly so that no flakes are visible. More importantly, you should ensure that your hair and scalp becomes less inflamed and that the naturally occurring sebum is removed.

This prevents the natural oils on your scalp from reacting with a type of lipophilic yeast, that is also known as Malassezia [3]. Malassezia reacts with the sebum on your scalp and produces oleic acid, which certain people are allergic too, causing their scalp to get dry and flaky – this is known as dandruff.

How to Use Dandruff Shampoo For Black Hair

With regards to using an anti-dandruff shampoo for black hair, it’s best to stick with the manufacturer’s recommended directions. In general, you would want to stick with a higher range of the mentioned recommended values. For example, if it states to leave it on for 3 to 5 minutes, try to leave it on for 5 minutes. Of course, you should only do this if you don’t react to the shampoo negatively.

You can also start at the lower range and work your way up, until you see that the shampoo is effective. If you aren’t experiencing any success, you should switch to a shampoo with a different active ingredient or consult a dermatologist. To reiterate, please stick to the manufacturer recommendation for directions. If you’re looking for a reference or quick overview, see below.

General Directions:

  1. Rise your hair thoroughly and remove access water
  2. Pour an adequate amount of shampoo onto your palm
  3. Rub it through your hair and lather it until it’s foamy and evenly distributed
  4. Leave it in for about 3 to 5 minutes (check the shampoo instructions for the recommended time)
  5. Wash the shampoo off with water thoroughly
  6. Repeat this process another time (only if recommended on the shampoo directions)
  7. Apply conditioner if required

Are There Any Home Remedies for Dandruff in Black Hair?

There are certain instances where dandruff shampoo doesn’t seem to have any effect. If that’s the case, you should either try an anti-dandruff shampoo with a different active ingredient or try to remove dandruff with home remedies.

The link above will take you straight to the natural oils that help to get rid of dandruff and they are great for people who have black hair. In summary, below are the natural oils that you could try. Some of the abovementioned reviews contain these natural oils, but you can also use these separately as part of a home remedy routine. 

  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Neem Oil
  • Oregano Oil


So, if you have black hair and have dandruff, you’ll need to be mindful that it can easily show. I recommend that you try different anti-dandruff shampoos for black hair and see which one is the most effective for you. Just bear in mind that you’ll need to pay special attention to thoroughly washing your hair and following the manufacturer’s directions on the shampoo bottle.

Don’t be afraid to try out some of the home remedies, which help to soothe the scalp through some of its antifungal properties. Keep trying, be persistent and I’m sure you’ll manage to get rid of your dandruff. Thanks for reading!

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