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Which dandruff shampoos for kids are best?

Dandruff is a common scalp issue, even for kids, but it can leave many children feeling self-conscious. That said, dandruff is not typically a severe problem, meaning you can treat the issue at home with the proper products, including anti-dandruff shampoo. The Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is a stellar dandruff shampoo for kids.

What to know before you buy a dandruff shampoo for kids

What dandruff is

Dandruff is a pretty simple hair and scalp issue to spot. The white flakes on the scalp regularly find their way onto your shoulders and hair. Your scalp might also be itchy and dry, but you typically don’t need to see a physician unless your scalp is swollen and red. There are a number of things that can lead to dandruff, including infrequent shampooing, contact dermatitis, fungus or malassezia and seborrheic dermatitis.

Seborrheic dermatitis is an issue that leads to red, greasy skin covered with white, flaky scales. The issue can impact the scalp and other body areas with a lot of oil glands. Malassezia is a fungus that appears on your skin and can lead to irritation that causes the growth of flaky scales. Contact dermatitis is a condition involving scaling, itchiness and redness on the scalp, caused by a reaction to your hair care product ingredients.

Who gets dandruff

Anyone can get dandruff, but some people are more likely to get it, including people with oily hair, middle-aged adults, young adults, men and people with particular diseases, including HIV and Parkinson’s disease. But some kids also get dandruff.

Use anti-dandruff shampoo daily

If your child has a very bad case of dandruff, use an anti-dandruff shampoo on them on a daily basis to get rid of all the product buildup and oils that can lead to dandruff. Using the shampoo daily allows your child’s scalp to get a consistent supply of the active ingredients that help treat the problem.

What to look for in a quality dandruff shampoo for kids

Active ingredients

Dandruff shampoos use a wide range of active ingredients to treat dandruff and keep it from coming back. The most common active ingredients include salicylic acid, coal tar, zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, tea tree oil and ketoconazole.


The potent ingredients in many dandruff shampoos can give the products unpleasant medicinal smells, which is why many people like shampoo formulas with added fragrances.


Pair your kid’s anti-dandruff shampoo with an anti-dandruff conditioner to ensure their hair is well moisturized while receiving enough of the ingredients they need to treat the issue.

How much you can expect to spend on a dandruff shampoo for kids

Anti-dandruff shampoos for kids range in price from about $3-$60, depending on the ingredients, quality and features of the shampoo.

Dandruff shampoo for kids FAQ

Can you safely use anti-dandruff shampoo every day?

A. It’s safe in most cases to use an anti-dandruff shampoo on a daily basis until you have the issue under control. That said, there are a few anti-dandruff shampoo formulas that are very potent, including ones that contain ketoconazole, which don’t work well for daily use. It’s suggested you only use these shampoo formulas about two to three times per week. You should read the instructions from the manufacturer on the anti-dandruff shampoo to figure out the best use.

How long does it take to get results from anti-dandruff shampoo?

A. The amount of time it takes to see results varies based on how regularly you use the shampoo, the strength of the shampoo and the severity of your dandruff. You can typically expect to have your dandruff under control in four to six  weeks. Consult a dermatologist if you are still seeing persistent dandruff after regularly using the shampoo for about a month or so.

Can kids use anti-dandruff shampoo?

A. Most anti-dandruff shampoos are safe for kids 12 and older to use, but it depends on the shampoo’s formula. Kids younger than 12 years of age can safely use some anti-dandruff shampoo formulas, so you should read the instructions from the manufacturers to see the guidelines for usage.

If you are unsure at all, ask your kid’s doctor if there are any specific anti-dandruff shampoos that are safe to use.

What are the best dandruff shampoos for kids to buy?

Top dandruff shampoo for kids

Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

What you need to know: This premium anti-dandruff shampoo sets the gold standard for this category of shampoo and is the top option for severe cases of dandruff.

What you’ll love: This product eliminates burning and itching and works well for the most severe cases of dandruff. Many people start noticing excellent results after the first use.

What you should consider: This shampoo is pricey compared to other products on the list.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top dandruff shampoo for kids for the money

Honeydew Kids Cleansing Kids Shampoo for Dry Scalp

Honeydew Kids Cleansing Kids Shampoo for Dry Scalp

What you need to know: This cleansing shampoo for kids helps treat scalps and remove dandruff with rosemary and tea-tree essential oils.

What you’ll love: This clarifying shampoo for buildup helps fight scalp issues and hair concerns from the root by nourishing and cleansing the hair follicles. The shampoo is backed by a quality assurance guarantee.

What you should consider: Some users have said this product would be better if it had a more fragrant scent.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo for Children

Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo for Children

What you need to know: This medicated shampoo for kids treats scalp issues, including seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.

What you’ll love: This product is the first over-the-counter body wash and shampoo created particularly for kids of all ages with the active ingredient pyrithione zinc, which is effective and safe for treating seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. It has licorice root extract to soothe redness in neck folds, under armpits and behind ears.

What you should consider: This product doesn’t work well for people who relax their hair.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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