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7 Best Dandruff Shampoos for Kids (2022 Reviews)

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If you’ve noticed white flakes on your child’s head and shoulders, they might have dandruff. This is a completely harmless condition, but it can be annoying and embarrassing. Fortunately, you can easily treat this condition with an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo for kids.

While there are plenty of dandruff shampoos on the market, there isn’t a whole lot that is safe for kids and effective. That’s why I’ve gathered the 7 best dandruff shampoos that are suitable for kids and effective at soothing irritated scalps and decreasing flakes.

The Best Dandruff Shampoos for Kids

  • 1. Cleansing Kids Shampoo for Dry Scalp

    (Most natural — $$$)

    Why it’s great: This shampoo was created just for kids with natural ingredients like tea tree oil, jojoba oil, and lavender. It’s completely safe (no sulfates, parabens, phthalates, or other harsh chemicals) for kids of all ages, including babies. In fact, not only does it help with dandruff, but it also works well on cradle cap. It smells great, and the tea tree oil also helps protect against lice. It even helps to detangle your child’s hair.

    Keep in mind: While this one claims to be tear-free, it does burn a little if it gets in your child’s eyes.

    Good for: Parents who want an all-natural dandruff shampoo for their child.

  • 2. Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo for Children

    (Best for all ages — $)

    Why it’s great: This shampoo was created by a pediatrician to be both safe and effective for kids. It contains pyrithione zinc, which reduces flakes, and licorice root, which soothes red, irritated skin. Your child can also use this as a body wash to help with dry, irritated skin around the neck area. It’s free of sulfates, dyes, fragrances, parabens, and other harmful chemicals. It even works on cradle cap, making it a great choice for kids of all ages. It also includes vitamins that help hydrate and nourish your child’s hair.

    Keep in mind: This one may not work as well for more severe cases of dandruff or skin conditions such as eczema.

    Good for: Babies to adults who need a nourishing anti-dandruff shampoo.

  • 3. Kids Shampoo for Dry Scalp Care

    (Best scent — $)

    Why it’s great: This is another great shampoo from Honeydew. It contains all-natural ingredients, including tea tree oil, jojoba oil, rosemary oil, and lavender oil. This combination of essential oils helps to nourish and hydrate your child’s scalp while also gently cleansing and clarifying their hair. Unlike most dandruff shampoos, this one has a pleasant scent that your child will love.

    Keep in mind: This shampoo was created to help prevent lice rather than as an anti-dandruff shampoo. However, it contains many of the same ingredients as natural dandruff shampoo and is effective at treating it.

    Good for: Kids who are picky about the scent of their shampoo.

  • 4. Fairy Tales Swim Shampoo for Kids

    (Best budget option — $)

    Why it’s great: This shampoo was designed for all hair types and is very affordable. Made with natural ingredients, including aloe, wild cherry bark, jojoba, vitamin B, and calendula, this shampoo was designed to keep kids’ hair moisturized and hydrated during the summer season. It repairs dry, brittle, sun-damaged hair and helps to wash out chlorine and other harsh chemicals from the pool. It doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients, and it also helps to clarify and detangle hair.

    Keep in mind: While this handles dandruff pretty well, it wasn’t designed for that purpose and may not work in severe cases.

    Good for: Kids who spend a lot of time in the pool and out in the sun.

  • 5. Sulfur8 Kids Medicated Anti Dandruff Shampoo

    (Best medicated shampoo — $$)

    Why it’s great: This medicated anti-dandruff shampoo contains pyrithione zinc and sulfur. While most dandruff shampoos can only treat one cause of dandruff, these two ingredients can help soothe red, irritated skin and treat eczema, psoriasis, dryness, and seborrhea (dandruff), which makes it super effective at clearing up any kind of scalp issue your child may have. It’s safe for kids as young as 2 years old and is gentle and moisturizing.

    Keep in mind: This shampoo has an unpleasant smell, but it dissipates quickly after use.

    Good for: Kids with more severe cases of dandruff or dry scalp.

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  • 6. New York Biology Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner Set

    (Most nourishing — $$)

    Why it’s great: This tea tree shampoo is great for the whole family. It doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients, and it’s safe for kids to use. Tea tree oil and other vitamins and essential oils help cleanse, clarify, and moisturize the scalp and hair. It’s soothing on irritated skin and helps prevent lice and hair loss due to thinning hair. It strengthens thin hair and provides the nourishment it needs to encourage healthy, thick hair. This shampoo also smells great.

    Keep in mind: This was designed for thin, dry hair, so it can leave thicker tresses feeling a little oily.

    Good for: Kids and adults who have thin, dry hair and need an effective moisturizing anti-dandruff shampoo.

  • 7. TRISWIM Kids Scented Shampoo After- Swimmer Hair Care, Chlorine Removal, Dandruff symptoms, and Dry Scalp Relief

    (Most versatile — $$)

    Why it’s great: This shampoo was designed just for kids and can help nourish your child’s hair. It helps remove chlorine, saltwater, and other harmful chemicals your child picks up in the pool or the ocean. It also hydrates and nourishes dry, brittle, damaged hair. It’s free of toxic chemicals such as parabens, and it smells great. It also includes chamomile and watercress to help soothe red, irritated scalps and prevent dandruff.

    Keep in mind: It’s not tear-free and will sting if it gets in your child’s eyes.

    Good for: Kids who spend a lot of time swimming and have dry, itchy scalps.

Best Overall

The Cleansing Kids Shampoo for Dry Scalp is our overall top recommendation. It's the highest quality product we have found with the most affordable price making it the best value on our list..

FAQs about Dandruff Shampoo for Kids

  • 1. What is dandruff in kids?

    Many kids and adults have a condition where the scalp dries out and gets flaky. This condition is called dandruff. It isn’t contagious, but it can run in families, so it may have a genetic component to it. The condition isn’t serious and can easily be treated with special shampoo.

  • 2. At what age can my child start using dandruff shampoo?

    Most of the dandruff shampoos on the market are geared towards teens and adults ages 12 and up. There are a few that are formulated just for kids, so you’ll want to search for one of those. Check the manufacturer’s recommended age for each brand. If your child is a baby or toddler, you might be better off finding them a shampoo that’s super hydrating instead of one specifically made to treat dandruff.

  • 3. Is dandruff shampoo safe for kids to use?

    Dandruff is more common in teens and adults than in kids. During puberty, the oil glands in the scalp become more active, which can lead to dandruff. If your child has a flaky scalp and is younger than 12, it’s likely due to dry skin, eczema, or allergies. In this case, a hydrating and nourishing shampoo may be better than a dandruff shampoo. However, as mentioned above, there are dandruff shampoos that are formulated just for kids that are perfectly safe to use.

  • 4. How do I know if my child has dandruff?

    If you notice white flakes on your child’s shoulders and throughout their hair, it’s likely that your child has dandruff. Other signs include mild redness on your child’s scalp, patches of dry skin on the face or neck, and excessive itching on the scalp.

  • 5. How do you use dandruff shampoo?

    Dandruff shampoo is different than regular shampoo since it’s not just about cleansing the hair and scalp. In most cases, the shampoo will need to sit on your child’s head for a few minutes before rinsing. Follow the directions on the bottle to use your shampoo correctly.


Flaky, itchy scalps are a nuisance and can be pretty embarrassing for older kids and teens. Dandruff shampoo can help your child feel more comfortable and confident. Keep in mind that there are a few different types of dandruff shampoo, and you may need to try a few before you find the one that’s most effective for your child. This list should give you a good place to start and help you find the right one.