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Everyday, we constantly have to deal with hair problems, and dandruff is one of them. Neither contagious nor serious, dandruff can be embarrassing and hard to treat. These indelicate flakes falling on your shoulders are more a symptom than a condition, therefore it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact causes. Fortunately, safe and effective vegan shampoo for dandruff are available to help you manage these symptoms daily. Let’s discover them.

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Dandruff: All You Need to Know

Dandruff is most of the time a benign condition. It’s just a bunch of dead skin cells naturally fall as new ones come to birth. The consequences can be embarrassing though, as white / yellow flakes are shedding, landing ungraciously on your shoulders. And note that dandruff doesn’t exclusively affect the scalp. It can also affect the mustache, beard, eyebrows and even the pubic area.

Populations Affected by Dandruff

Dandruff generally starts at puberty and ends at mid-life. In rare cases, the problem can become chronic and keep on appearing (and disappearing) all life long. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, dandruff affects up to 50% of the population. Even if anyone can have dandruff, certain factors can put certain populations particularly at risk:

  • Being a man: more men suffers from dandruff than women. Some scientists think testosterone may play a role.
  • Certain illnesses like HIV, Parkinson’s disease, other nervous system or simply a weak immune system may increase the risk of suffering from dandruff
  • Genetics: some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to developing dandruff

Dandruff Causes

Dandruff is not easy to treat. Not that effective solutions don’t exist, but because it can be caused by several factors. The root(s) of the problem must be identified first before shopping for anti-dandruff hair products.

Dry, Irritated Scalp

If your scalp is itchy and red after using certain products, it’s probably due to an allergy / a chemical sensitivity you have. Contact dermatitis (sensitivity to hair care products) is common among people who dye their hair with para-phenylenediamine (PPD) and make them more likely to develop dandruff.

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, but it can affect any areas where oil glands are present.

Scalp Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic condition characterized by thick, silvery and itchy patches that may come off in tiny pieces. Even if they look alike, dandruff and psoriasis are different conditions: dandruff is caused by irritation whereas psoriasis is an autoimmune disease.


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

Cold, Dry Winters

Winter’s dry, cold air is not your scalp’s best friend and can increase malassezia fungus and its severity.

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. It is critical you choose the appropriate shampoo for your scalp.

Not Rinsing Enough

Leaving (even small quantities of) dry 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!

Bad Diet

What you put in your body plays an important role in the probability of your scalp eventually flaking. A poor diet, deficient in zinc or / and vitamin B can lead to dandruff.

Famous Hair Products

Before diving in, let’s make a quick note concerning the most famous anti-dandruff shampoo (aka “Head and Shoulders”). We have to be 100% honest and admit… it works… but short-term. Even when flakes seem to be under control, they mysteriously reappear over and over again. One of the reasons it happens: some anti-dandruff formulas, as effective as they can be, often irritate your scalp because of aggressive chemicals.
@VeganHairGrowth, we deeply believe that Mother Nature offers the best ingredients that don’t need to be processed in order to be effective. We will always recommend gentle ingredients when dealing with those indelicate flakes.

The Best Cruelty-Free & Vegan Shampoo for Dandruff

Before finding the right vegan shampoo for your dandruff problem, you should have identified the potential causes. There are as many shampoos as there are different types of dandruff conditions. So 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
  • 2 x 8.5 fl oz / 2 x 250 mL
Check on Amazon

dry scalp

itchy scalp

Heali Kiwi - Calming Solid Shampoo Bar for Touchy Scalps

  • Contains neem, karanja and lime oil to fight scalp issues
  • No sulfates, parabens, palm oil or any artificial additives
  • Eco-friendly packaging (100% compostable)
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 3.88 oz / 110 g
Check on Amazon

dry scalp

itchy scalp

All Natural Scalp Treatment & Dandruff Shampoo

  • Tea Tree and Menthol help calm itch for scalp relief
  • Aloe Vera Extract soothes irritation
  • Provitamin B5 deeply hydrates and nourishes
  • Salicylic Acid lifts away excess flakes and surface buildup
  • No parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum, lanolin, gluten, soy or GMOs
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 10 fl oz / 296 mL
Check on Amazon

oily scalp

itchy scalp

The RIGHT Shampoo Bar (for Oily Scalp)

  • Scientifically proven to help fix problems with grease and dead skin on your scalp
  • Helps balance out the oil / water balance of your skin, reducing irritation
  • 100% plant-based shampoo, USDA-approved organic
  • No hardening agents, sulfates, antiseptics, or plastics
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 3.52 oz / 100 g
Check on Amazon

oily scalp

itchy scalp

Tea Tree Purifying & Balancing Shampoo for Oily Hair & Scalp

The Body Shop
  • Helps rebalance excess oils without stripping locks of their essential moisture
  • Leaves oily hair and scalps feeling cleansed, purified and invigorated
  • Made with 93% ingredients of natural origin, including organically-grown tea tree oil
  • Made with 100% recycled plastic
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 13.5 oz / 400 mL
Check on Amazon



itchy scalp

Raw & Wildcrafted Shampoo With Probiotics for Sensitive Scalp

Nature Sustained
  • Reduces scalp erythema, itching, and scalp Malassezia yeast counts
  • Infused with potent vegan probiotics created from fermented wild harvested fruits and plants
  • Contains nothing but wild harvested plants, fruits, water and probiotics
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 9 fl oz / 266 mL
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itchy scalp

Invigorating Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

Maple Holistics
  • Contains tea tree oil which has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties
  • Hydrates the scalp, locks in moisture, and cleans the hair follicles to encourage healthy hair & skin
  • Made from 96% of natural ingredients
  • No sulfates or parabens
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 8 fl oz / 236 mL
Check on Amazon



itchy scalp

Scalp Wellness Shampoo

Malibu C
  • Hydrates dry and itchy scalp, removes dandruff, and clarifies oily hair from build up
  • Gently whisks away dirt and eliminate impurities with spearmint and eucalyptus essential oils
  • Nature-inspired technology with patented Vitamin C solution
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 9 fl oz / 266 mL
Check on Amazon



itchy scalp

Eczema & Psoriasis Vegan Shampoo & Conditioner Set

Sphagnum Botanicals
  • In the shampoo, fulvic and humic acids deeply cleanse the scalp from toxins and nourish the hair follicles
  • The conditioner leaves the hair silky smooth and moisturized
  • With balneological peat, olive and argan oil to alleviate eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis
  • Non-GMO
  • No coal tar, parabens, petroleum, silicone, sulfates, synthetic fragrances SLS, SLES or artificial colors
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 2 x 8.5 fl oz / 2 x 250 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 other vegan hair products to help with dandruff symptoms, make sure to read our guides about the best vegan oils to eliminate dandruff and the best vegan dandruff conditioners.

Even if well-documented and carefully written, this content should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Consult a qualified health care provider before making any health care decisions about any specific medical condition.

Amie A.

With a pen in my wand and a hairbrush as my scepter, I craft tales as captivating as my coiffures. Words and hair do more than just impress – they inspire in a style that's my own.

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