Anti-dandruff shampoo has had a sophisticated makeover – here’s why that’s important

Anti-dandruff shampoo has had a sophisticated makeover – here’s why that’s important

January 20, 2023

Written by Lucy Partington

Freelance beauty editor Lucy Partington is obsessed with all things skincare, collecting eyeshadow palettes that she’ll probably never use, and is constantly on the hunt for the ultimate glowy foundation.

A bathroom staple for many, no longer is the choice of anti-dandruff shampoo severely limited – instead, it’s coming in hot from cool, sophisticated haircare brands. 

Anyone who suffers, or has suffered, with dandruff, an itchy scalp or any other common issues associated with it, will be well aware of the associated stress. Not only can wearing black be a slight issue, especially on bad days, but there’s also a struggle with the sorts of targeted products available.

You know the ones we mean. The clear, functional-looking bottles filled with gloopy brown liquid, or the white bottle formulas that look like they’re fresh out of a lab. In short, having dandruff has long been seen as an embarrassing problem that nobody ever liked to talk about, and having specialist shampoos out on display in your bathroom was an absolute no go. 

Until now, that is. The ‘skinification’ of haircare – and scalp care – is a trend that’s been bubbling away for some time. And it’s long overdue, especially when you consider that dandruff is the most common hair concern in the UK. Over the past few years we’ve seen a meteoric rise in the number of scalp scrubs, scalp serums, oils and pre-shampoo treatments to name a few. 

“Haircare is learning from skincare, with cool independent brands flipping the script on previously ‘shameful’ or ‘embarrassing’ concerns,” says Lisa Payne, head of beauty at Stylus. “It’s now incredibly important for brands wanting to resonate with young, clued-up beauty audiences to be real, authentic and to celebrate all visions of beauty, and not to shy away from, or gloss over, what is the reality for so many people.”

Professional hair brand Kérastase says that two billion women on the planet are dealing with dandruff, so having brands acknowledge that by creating products people actually want to use is a huge step. It’s also important that these brands are launching formulas they say will have a long-term positive effect on the hair and scalp. It’s no secret that some medicated shampoos can be incredibly drying, simply because they’re packed with harsh chemicals.

However, a spate of new product launches means that people will no longer have to choose between products they enjoy using and that make their hair look and feel good, or simply just treating dandruff.

Here, we’ve rounded up the crème de la crème – and we’re confident you’ll feel happy about having these bottles out on display alongside everything else in your bathroom, too. 

  • Kérastase Symbiose Moisturising Anti-Dandruff Cellular Shampoo

    Anti-dandruff shampoo: Kérastase Symbiose Moisturising Anti-Dandruff Cellular Shampoo

    Part of a new hair franchise from Kérastase, this shampoo harnesses the power of salicylic acid to buff away dead skin cells, while piroctone olamine (an active ingredient known to target dandruff) targets dry scalps. Plus, like all of the brand’s products, it smells great.

    Shop Kérastase Symbiose Moisturising Anti-Dandruff Cellular Shampoo at LookFantastic, £27.15

    buy now

  • Ouai Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

    Anti-dandruff shampoo: Ouai Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

    The brainchild of LA-based celebrity hairdresser Jen Atkin, we’re big fans of Ouai’s foray into the world of anti-dandruff shampoo. With notes of spearmint, ginger and green fig, not only will this leave your hair smelling sensational but salicylic acid works to exfoliate dryness and excess dandruff-causing build-up.

    Shop Ouai Anti-Dandruff Shampoo at Cult Beauty, £32

    buy now

  • Typology Anti-Dandruff Treatment Shampoo

    Anti-dandruff shampoo: Ouai Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

    A chic French brand, Typology’s shampoo uses 1% pirocotone olamine alongside jujube extract to control flakes, calm irritation and soften the scalp – and the sleek packaging is a far cry from the usual sort of anti-dandruff treatments we’re used to seeing.

    Shop Typology Anti-Dandruff Treatment Shampoo at Typology, £16.80

    buy now

Main image: Getty

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