Best Dandruff Shampoo For Colored Hair

Woman sitting on stairs outside after using the best dandruff shampoo on her colored hair.

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Our #1 Rated
Sage Shampoo

Maple Holistics

Sage Shampoo

5 out of 5

In the Dandruff Shampoo for Colored Hair category

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  • Therapeutic Dandruff Solution: Pure anti dandruff shampoo balances flaky scalp by gently cleansing to remove follicle...
  • Revive Dull Dry Hair: Intensify shine and luster with Moroccan Argan Oil Jojoba and Peach Kernel to replenish moisture and...
  • Improve Hair Texture: Our extra strength anti itch dry scalp treatment nourishes to reduce frizz and static in curly hair for...
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Our #1 Rated

5 out of 5

In the Dandruff Shampoo for Colored Hair category


Our #2 Rated
Dandruff Shampoo with Zinc Sulfate

Honeydew

Dandruff Shampoo with Zinc Sulfate

5 out of 5

In the Dandruff Shampoo for Colored Hair category

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  • MAXIMUM STRENGTH DANDRUFF RELIEF Shiny beautiful hair comes from a healthy scalp. Flakes and scales caused by dandruff and...
  • CLEANS AND CLARIFIES This healing zinc anti-dandruff shampoo with rosemary extract and mulberry root relieves the hair and...
  • ALL NATURAL INGREDIENTS This bestselling dandruff eliminating treatment shampoo makes use of nature’s powerful ingredients...
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Our #2 Rated

5 out of 5

In the Dandruff Shampoo for Colored Hair category


Our #3 Rated
Dandruff Control Shampoo

Redken

Dandruff Control Shampoo

4 out of 5

In the Dandruff Shampoo for Colored Hair category

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  • Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo is a specialized treatment that helps fight and control dandruff
  • Can be used daily. Redken Scalp Relief Shampoo is for dry, flaking scalp and hair
  • Scalp Relief will help fight scalp itching, irritation
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Our #3 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Dandruff Shampoo for Colored Hair category


Our #4 Rated
EverFresh Antidandruff Shampoo

L'Oréal Paris

EverFresh Antidandruff Shampoo

4 out of 5

In the Dandruff Shampoo for Colored Hair category

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  • SULFATE-FREE DANDRUFF SHAMPOO: EverFresh Antidandruff shampoo formulated with 1% pyrithione zinc restores scalp balance and...
  • RESTORE SCALP BALANCE WITH EVERFRESH: Clinically tested to control dandruff, this flake-fighting shampoo is sulfate-free,...
  • THE EVERFRESH ANTI-DANDRUFF SYSTEM: For best results, use EverFresh Anti-Dandruff shampoo and conditioner in tandem, for a...
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Our #4 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Dandruff Shampoo for Colored Hair category


Our #5 Rated
Nourishing AntiDandruff Shampoo

Head and Shoulders

Nourishing AntiDandruff Shampoo

4 out of 5

In the Dandruff Shampoo for Colored Hair category

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  • Head & shoulders nourishing hair & scalp care dandruff shampoo cares for hair with naturally derived ingredients
  • Cleans hair in a rich lather that leaves behind a fresh lavender scent
  • Have it all! up to 100% flake free and beautiful hair (1). Guaranteed (4)
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #5 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Dandruff Shampoo for Colored Hair category


Dandruff is a problem that affects almost half the world’s population. (source) Regardless of age, race or gender you will probably suffer from dandruff at some stage in your life. Fortunately dandruff is quite easy to control with a medicated shampoo at home.

If you have colored hair things get a little more complicated; you’ll have to be more careful when choosing a dandruff shampoo as many contain harsh chemicals that damage already weakened locks and strip away the color. Although for many years it was recommended that people who dye their hair should only use natural or herbal dandruff shampoos, nowadays there are many shampoos specially formulated to treat dandruff in colored hair. Who knows, the dandruff may even be caused by the coloring agent or product that you have used?

In this article we’ll take a look at some of the things to look out for when treating dandruff in colored hair and at the end I’ll share my top picks for the best dandruff shampoo for colored hair.

Can Hair Dye Cause Dandruff?

The link between using hair dye and the occurrence of dandruff has often been written about, but can hair dye cause dandruff?

While it is true that many of the chemicals found in dyes can leave your hair dry and brittle, hair dye can also cause the scalp to itch and flake – a set of symptoms which seem very similar to dandruff. However, it’s usually not dandruff, just residue of dry skin or product.

Dandruff like conditions can be caused by many factors, but the dandruff we’ve all come to dread is due to a single factor: a fungus called Malassezia. This microbe lives on your scalp and feeds off the natural oils present. In most cases it doesn’t cause any symptoms but in people who are sensitive to it, the scalp often starts to show signs of dandruff.

Hair dyes on their own may not cause dandruff, but malassezia certainly does! However if you are already susceptible to dandruff problems, using a hair dye can make it flare up.

That’s not just true of hair dyes though, many other hair care and styling products can irritate the scalp too. If you are suffering from an itchy scalp, it’s worth checking all the hair products you use to pinpoint the ones that may be triggering any scalp issues.

How Hair Dyes Can Aggravate Dandruff Problems

Many commercially available hair dyes contain chemicals that reduce protective lipids or oils on your scalp, leaving it more vulnerable to attack from irritants like malassezia. This makes you more likely to develop dandruff.

Other strong chemicals found in hair dyes are irritant themselves, and even moreso if you already have a dandruff problem. Symptoms of dermatitis like stinging and itchy scalp, swollen patches and skin redness= may be caused by these strong chemicals.

Other chemicals often found in hair dyes, like paraphenylenediamine (PPDA) are known sensitizers to which repeated exposure can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Dandruff like symptoms are often a result of these reactions. That said, there is a difference between a dry scalp and dandruff. (source)

The Difference Between Dry Scalp and Dandruff

Dry scalp usually occurs as a result of loss of moisture from the skin and may be caused by the application of soap, hair products (including dyes) which leave build up, cold weather or diet. Like dandruff the first signs of dry scalp are white flakes and itching.

Dandruff is greasy and yellowish white in color; flakes tend to be larger than dry scalp flakes. They also stick to the scalp more, and don’t fall off as easily but in large clumps. These large dandruff flakes are usually accompanied by itching and the scalp may have an odor.

Most of the dandruff-like symptoms you can expect to experience after coloring your hair are more likely to be from dry scalp. Whereas dry scalp can be cured with simple treatments like apple cider vinegar or nourishing conditioners that aim to balance the pH of the scalp, dandruff can only be controlled, not entirely cured.

What to Look for in the Best Dandruff Shampoo for Colored Hair

Many over the counter dandruff shampoos contain antimicrobials like selenium sulfide, sulfur, zinc pyridinethione and ketoconazole as the active ingredients.

Selenium sulfide and sulfur can be too harsh for use on colored hair and shampoos containing these chemicals should be avoided. Sulfites scrub or remove the artificial pigments that are used to color hair. (source)

Coal tar and piroctone olamine in addition to sulfites can stain lighter hair and cause discoloration of dyed hair. Harsh soaps found in most conventional shampoos also dry out the hair and cause colors to fade.

Although there hasn’t been enough scientific research into the effects of these chemicals on color treated hair, a general rule of thumb is that the more gentle the ingredients, the less your color will fade.

There aren’t many dandruff shampoos that are labeled color safe, but you can instead look for the words “sulfate free” often emblazoned in large font on the label of many products. You can check the packaging for other harsh ingredients like parabens, alcohol or any of the previously mentioned antimicrobials. Another alternative is to look at all natural shampoo formulas which use naturally derived plant oils and herbs that are known for their anti dandruff properties.

Our 5 Best Dandruff Shampoos for Colored Hair

We have looked at the top selling dandruff shampoos on the market in an attempt to find the best dandruff shampoo for colored hair. Any one of the top five we have selected should help get rid of that unwanted dandruff while maintaining the shine and color of your locks.

Our #1 Rated
Our pick our #1 rated

Maple Holistics

Sage Shampoo

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This anti dandruff shampoo from Maple Holistic is packed with essential oils to help combat dandruff in a more natural way. No sulfates are used in this shampoo and with no other harsh ingredients that are often found in dandruff shampoos, this product is safe for color treated hair.

The cleaning and restorative powers of this shampoo come from all natural ingredients that utilize the natural healing properties of plant oils. Sage oil’s anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties combat dermatitis. Rosemary oil and tea tree oil both have antifungal, antimicrobial and antiseptic skin healing properties that can control dandruff, dermatitis and eczema while eliminating any yeast infections on the scalp. Jojoba oil helps to balance the natural oil production of glands on the scalp and dissolves dead skin cells that may accumulate.

Pros
Pro All natural powerful formula without the need for harsh chemicals.
Pro Uses natural properties of herbs
Pro minerals and oils to control dandruff and stimulate the scalp.
Pro Jojoba and Argan oils leave the hair with a natural shine.
Pro Cruelty free shampoo. Not tested on animals
Pro Vegan friendly.
Pro Spicy aroma can turn shower time into a therapeutic experience.
Cons
Con You either love or hate the smell of sage
Con unfortunately some customers hate it and find it too overpowering for their use.
Con Can be expensive when compared to many other dandruff shampoos.
 
 
 
 

Our #2 Rated
Our pick our #2 rated

Honeydew

Dandruff Shampoo with Zinc Sulfate

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This formula from Honeydew offers maximum strength dandruff relief and is often recommended for more severe cases of dandruff or itchy scalp. Zinc is the active dandruff fighting ingredient with no nasty sulfates present to scrub color from hair. Powerful botanical extracts like green tea extract, tea tree oil, jojoba and biotin work together to gently but intensely clean and stimulate the scalp.

Rosemary extract and mulberry root help to relieve itchy scalp, reduce flaking and combat both greasy hair or dry dull hair. In addition to being color safe, some of the botanicals in this anti-dandruff hair treatment can prevent thinning hair or hair loss.

Pros
Pro Main active ingredient zinc does not damage colored hair.
Pro Hypoallergenic
Pro sulfate free and paraben free. One of the safest and most natural anti dandruff shampoos available.
Pro Natural plant derivatives clarify and soothes the hair.
Pro Very reasonable price for strong acting yet gentle anti dandruff treatment.
Cons
Con Very strong smell; users have described the fragrance as anywhere from earthy to manly or even smelling like babies.
Con Some customers complained this shampoo leaves the hair very dry.
 
 
 

Our #3 Rated
Our pick our #3 rated

Redken

Dandruff Control Shampoo

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This shampoo from Redken is dermatologist-tested and uses pyrithione zinc as its main active ingredient to fight dandruff. Glycerin in the formula helps hydrate the scalp and lavender extract is used to clarify and soothe the scalp.

A gentle shampoo which contains no sulfates or parabens, this shampoo is safe for daily use on color treated hair. For more intensive care of the scalp, this product can be applied and left for 5 – 10 minutes without any damaging effects to hair color. The Redken shampoo is used by many professionals for the soft shine it brings to hair, color treated or not.

Pros
Pro Free of harsh chemicals that can damage color.
Pro Zinc pyrithione has strong dandruff fighting properties
Pro Dermatologist tested.
Pro Suitable for use on more sensitive scalps.
Cons
Con Some customers have complained of a strong odor.
Con Can leave hair tangled.
 
 

Our #4 Rated
Our pick our #4 rated

L'Oréal Paris

EverFresh Antidandruff Shampoo

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This product from L’Oreal is their first ever sulfate free scalp care system. This shampoo is formulated with 1% pyrithione zinc which helps stop scalp itching and flaking associated with dandruff, while restoring the pH balance. This is a very gentle formula, free from harsh sulfates, salts and surfactants that can damage the hair and dull the color.

This shampoo is clinically tested to ensure dandruff control with no visible flakes after regular use. The sulfate, paraben and dye free formula means your hair will retain its color no matter how often you wash it. L’Oreal recommends using the EverFresh sulfate free scrub before washing, as this can loosen flakes and help the shampoo to perform better.

Pros
Pro Sulfate free
Pro Natural botanicals gently cleanse the hair.
Cons
Con Some customers have complained that this product can leave the hair feeling very dried out.
Con Scent can be overpowering.

Our #5 Rated
Our pick our #5 rated

Head and Shoulders

Nourishing AntiDandruff Shampoo

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No look at dandruff shampoos would be complete without at least one product from the old reliable – Head and Shoulders. This product claims to be pH balanced and gentle enough for daily use, even on colored or chemically treated hair.

This product cleans and conditions the hair while leaving your scalp flake free. It’s available in several different fragrances and formulas with an accompanying conditioner in the range too. Compared to most other anti dandruff shampoos, the Head and Shoulders range is quite inexpensive and offers good value for money.

Pros
Pro Trusted brand name
Pro Nourishes hair that may have been damaged by color treatments.
Pro Pleasant fragrance with naturally derived ingredients like lavender.
Pro Inexpensive.
Cons
Con Despite claiming to be made from natural ingredients
Con a look at the contents reveals sulfates are present.
Con Not the most natural of shampoos.
Con The chemicals used should be okay for lighter colored hairs but may over time leave darker colors faded.

Our Choice for the Best Dandruff Shampoo for Colored Hair

You shouldn’t have to choose between caring for your hair and scalp and protecting your color. There are many anti dandruff shampoos which are designed to be color safe. The best dandruff shampoo for colored hair can help keep your color intact while repairing damage like dryness, brittle hairs and split ends yet still combating dandruff.

Products containing fewer chemicals and more naturally derived ingredients are often just as effective as conventional formulations when it comes to combating the issue of dandruff without damaging your color. For this reason, in our opinion, the best dandruff shampoo for colored hair is Maple Holistics Sage Shampoo with its natural active ingredients.

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