We always have to deal with hair problems on a daily basis, and dandruff is one of them. Not contagious nor serious, these indelicate white flakes are embarrassing and can be hard to treat. Fortunately, natural, safe and cruelty-free hair products are available. Let’s discover the best cruelty-free and vegan shampoo for dandruff!

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Dandruff Causes

Dandruff is a benign and chronic condition: dead skin cells are naturally and continuously fall as new skin cells are formed. As a consequence, white / yellow flakes are shedding, ending up on your shoulders. Dandruff is not limited to hair on your head, and can also affect beard, mustache or even eyebrows.

Even if almost anyone can have dandruff, certain factors can put certain populations at risk:

  • Age: dandruff generally starts in young adulthood and stops in the middle age. But for some people, the problem can keep on appearing / disappearing during all their life.
  • Sex: more men suffers from dandruff than female, and some scientists think testosterone may play a role
  • Certain illnesses like HIV, Parkinson’s disease, a weak immune system and other diseases that affect the nervous system could also increase the risks of dandruff

Dandruff is not easy to treat. Not that effective solutions don’t exist, but because it can be caused by several factors, and they must be identified first:

Irritated and dry scalp

If your scalp is red, itchy and irritated after using a certain product, it’s probably because of an allergy / chemical sensitivity you have. Sensitivity to hair care products (aka “contact dermatitis”) is particularly common among people who dye their hair with para-phenylenediamine (PPD).

Oily scalp

Also known as seborrheic dermatitis, excessive oil from the scalp causes the skin cells to accumulate and fall as flakes. Seborrheic dermatitis usually comes with redness of the scalp.

Scalp psoriasis

Causing dandruff, psoriasis is characterized by thick, silvery and itchy patches that may come off in tiny pieces

Scalp eczema

Characterized by itchy, red and inflamed skin, dandruff is just one symptom of scalp eczema – it can be triggered by hormones, genes, or simply stress

Malassezia

Malassezia is a yeastlike fungus that feeds on oils (on the scalp) and causes excess skin cell growth. This fungus can overgrow because of an excessive amount of oil on the scalp, hormones, stress, or issues with the immune system.

Not shampooing enough

Not cleansing your scalp enough can cause skin cells to accumulate and create itching and flakes. With dandruff, skin cells are shed faster, so it is important to get rid of them regularly.

Not rinsing enough

Leaving (even small quantities of) shampoo on your scalp can irritate it. An itchy, dry, and flaky scalp may be the sign that you need to do a better job at rinsing the shampoo from your hair AND scalp!

Stress, lack of sleep

Putting your body at stress can also trigger dandruff. Please, do your scalp a favor and relax!

Cold, dry winters

Winter’s dry, cold air can increase malassezia fungus and its severity

Diet

What you drink and eat plays an important role in how much you “flake” – for instance, deficiency in zinc or / and vitamin B can lead to dandruff

The Best Vegan Shampoos for Dandruff

First, a quick note concerning the most famous anti-dandruff shampoo (aka “Head and Shoulders”). We have to be 100% honest and admit… they work… in the short run. Have you ever noticed that, even when the flakes seem to be under control, they mysteriously reappear again? That’s because most formulas, as effective as they can be, often irritate your scalp because of aggressive chemicals.

Have you ever considered a natural and vegan dandruff shampoo instead? @VeganHairGrowth, we deeply believe that Mother Nature offers the best tools. We will always recommend gentle ingredients when dealing with those indelicate flakes.

Before finding the right vegan shampoo for your dandruff problem, you should have identified the cause. There are as many shampoos as there are different types of dandruff conditions: dry scalp, itchy scalp, oily scalp, psoriasis, eczema or / and fungus.

Now that you know what is causing your condition, let’s discover the best vegan shampoos for dandruff.

dry scalp

itchy scalp

Soapberry for hair - Relaxing Lavender Vegan Shampoo

Tree to Tub
  • Contains saponin-rich soapberry to maintain hair acidic pH of 5.5
  • With lavender oil, organic argan oil, aloe vera, chamomile and olive leaves for shiny, strong and dandruff free hair
  • No toxins, sulfates, SLS, parabens, silicone, DEA/MEA, gluten and fragrance
  • From fair trade
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 8.5 fl oz / 250 mL
Check on Amazon

dry scalp

itchy scalp

Heali Kiwi - Solid Vegan Shampoo Bar for Dandruff & Itchy Scalps

Ethique
  • Blend of oatmeal, coconut oil, neem oil, and karanja oil to fight scalp issues
  • No sulfates, parabens, or any other artificial additives
  • Eco-friendly packaging (100% compostable)
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 3.88 oz / 110 g
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dry scalp

itchy scalp

Natural Organic Cruelty-free Shampoo for Itchy Scalp

Clevos
  • Soothes and cools irritated and heated scalp
  • Contains subacidic with pH of 5.5, producing healthy scalp and hair
  • EWG Verified, BDIH Certified, and USDS Certified Organic
  • Cruelty-free
  • 17.92 oz / 530 mL
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oily scalp

itchy scalp

Degrease Moisture Control Shampoo

Maple Holistics
  • Restores healthy sebum / moisture balance
  • Enriched with peach kernel oil, jojoba oil and pro-vitamin B5 for a healthy scalp and smooth hair
  • No sulfates or parabens
  • Cruelty-free
  • 16 fl oz / 470 mL
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oily scalp

itchy scalp

Multi Mint Cruelty-free Shampoo for Dandruff & Hair Loss

HONEYDEW
  • Contains 2 types of peppermint plant with vitamins A and C
  • Includes tea tree essential oil helps prevent excess sebum production
  • No parabens or sulfates
  • Cruelty-free
  • 8 fl oz / 236 mL
Check on Amazon

psoriasis

eczema

itchy scalp

Eczema & Psoriasis Vegan Shampoo / Conditioner Set

Sphagnum Botanicals
  • With balneological peat, olive and argan oil to alleviate eczema and psoriasis
  • Non-GMO
  • No coal tar, parabens, petroleum, silicone, sulfates, synthetic fragrances SLS, SLES or artificial colors
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 2x8.5 fl oz / 2x250 mL
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eczema

psoriasis

itchy scalp

Probiotic Sensitive Skin Organic Cruelty-free Shampoo

Nature Sustained
  • Reduces scalp erythema, itching, and scalp Malassezia yeast counts
  • Contains nothing but wild harvested plants, fruits, water and probiotics
  • Cruelty-free
  • Save up to 60% by buying bulk
  • 128 fl oz / 3785 mL
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psoriasis

eczema

itchy scalp

Soapberry for hair - Raw Unscented Vegan Shampoo

Tree to Tub
  • Contains saponin-rich soapberry to maintain hair acidic pH of 5.5
  • With organic argan oil, aloe vera, chamomile and olive leaves for shiny, strong and dandruff free hair
  • No sulfates, SLS, parabens, silicone, DEA/MEA, gluten, and artificial fragrance/li>
  • From fair trade
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 8.5 fl oz / 250 mL
Check on Amazon

fungus

itchy scalp

Pure Tea Tree Oil Cruelty-Free Shampoo

Maple Holistics
  • Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial
  • Hydrates the scalp, locks in moisture, and cleans the hair follicles to encourage healthy hair & skin
  • Made from 96% of natural ingredients
  • No sulfates
  • Cruelty-free
  • 8 fl oz / 236 mL
Check on Amazon

fungus

itchy scalp

Anti-Fungal Cruelty-Free Shampoo

ProBliva
  • Reduces fungus, bacteria and ringworm
  • With emu oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and grape seed extract to repair scalp and boost healthy hair
  • No synthetic fragrances, synthetic colors, sulfates, silicones, parabens, PEGs, phthalates, GMOs
  • Cruelty-free
  • 8 fl oz / 236 mL
Check on Amazon

Other Ways to Eliminate Dandruff

Shampooing often enough can definitely help with dandruff symptoms. But beyond using a cruelty-free and vegan shampoo, it’s important that, regardless of the cause of your dandruff, you maintain an overall healthy routine:

  • As dandruff won’t disappear overnight, try to refrain the overwhelming desire to scratch your scalp! The itchiness is initially caused by irritation, but scratching will increase irritation and cause even more dandruff.
  • Using too many hair care products can irritate the scalp and lead to even more itchiness, especially when they contain chemicals. Get rid of anything extra from your personal hair care routine and add them back in gradually to discover which one of them are guilty.
  • Stress can cause or worsen dandruff for certain people, so managing it better can reduce symptoms. Try taking a walk or practicing meditation and yoga.
  • Get more sun: exposure to sunlight can be helpful

If you’d rather try oil or hair serum to help with your dandruff issues, make sure to read our guide about the best vegan oils to eliminate dandruff.

Amie A.

Amie A.

Creative hairstyler, vegan writer, animal activist