Dandruff Shampoo That Is Safe for Color-Treated Hair

Dandruff occurs when you have an excessive amount of skin cells shed off your scalp. Symptoms of dandruff include itchiness and white flaking. If you have color-treated hair, avoid reaching for any type of dandruff shampoo to treat the scalp condition. Use types specially formulated for colored hair to avoid fading or changing hair color.


Some brand examples of dandruff shampoos safe for color-treated hair include Nizoral and Pureology Dandruff Scalp Care Shampoo. According to a survey by the manufacturer of Nizoral, 90 percent of African-American women with color or chemically treated hair agreed that Nizoral was gentle. Pureology Dandruff Scalp Care Shampoo includes an Anti-Fade Complex to avoid changing the color of treated hair with use. The shampoo from Pureology does not contain any sulfates, which can be damaging to color-treated hair.

Time Frame

You should not use a dandruff shampoo on a daily basis to treat the scalp condition. Use the product two to three times per week or as directed by your doctor. Use a mild color-safe shampoo on days you are not using the dandruff shampoo. During application, massage the shampoo into the scalp to loosen scales. Rinse thoroughly.


To help avoid the harsh effects of dandruff shampoos on color-treated hair, use a conditioner after each application. Pureology Dandruff Scalp Care has a conditioner available with the same sulfate-free Anti-Fade Complex as the shampoo.


You should not use a tar based shampoo to treat dandruff if you have color-treated hair. If you have dyed your hair a lighter shade, you may notice a discoloration after application. The brownish stain may be difficult to get rid of and may require some time to fade.


If you have used a dandruff shampoo for several weeks without any improvement, contact your doctor. You may need a prescription dandruff shampoo or a topical steroid to treat symptoms. Avoid scratching at the scalp, since this can irritate the area and increase your risk of infection.

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