Nobody loves an itchy scalp. It’s incredibly distracting when you’re trying to get work done and borderline embarrassing when you start seeing flakes on your black shirt.
But watch out! Sometimes, an itch on your pretty little head isn’t just because of dandruff episodes or too much product buildup since your last wash day.
If you’ve been consistently bringing your fingertips up to your scalp to relieve an itch for days or weeks on end, it may be a sign of a scalp infection.
The best way to beat infections on the scalp is with an excellent antifungal shampoo that can kill the fungus and bacteria and soothe your irritated scalp.
- 1 What are antifungal shampoos, and what are they for?
- 2 What ingredients should I look for in an antifungal shampoo?
- 3 Top 17 Antifungal Shampoo Reviews
- 3.1 Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo000
- 3.2 ProBliva Anti-Fungal Shampoo
- 3.3 Maple Holistics Natural Sage Shampoo
- 3.4 Bellisso Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner Set
- 3.5 pHat 5.5 Manuka Honey Seborrheic Dermatitis Shampoo
- 3.6 Neutrogena T/Gel Extra Strength Therapeutic Shampoo
- 3.7 DHS Zinc Shampoo
- 3.8 Vanicream Free & Clear Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
- 3.9 CLn Healthy Scalp Shampoo
- 3.10 Head and Shoulders Clinical Strength Shampoo
- 3.11 Botanic Hearth Tea Tree Shampoo
- 3.12 Sent from Earth Caffeine & Saw Palmetto Shampoo
- 3.13 Kenkoderm 3% Salicylic Acid Therapeutic Shampoo
- 3.14 Solimo Therapeutic Dandruff Shampoo, Extra Strength
- 3.15 BIOLAGE Scalpsync Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
- 3.16 Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo for Children
- 3.17 Lotus RX Dandruff Control Shampoo
- 4 Conclusion
What are antifungal shampoos, and what are they for?
Many people don’t realize that it’s possible to get a fungal infection on our scalp. It’s usually from ringworm and is highly contagious.
So if you suspect you have a fungal infection on the scalp, there’s a big chance you could have gotten it from sharing pillows, brushes, or towels with someone else.
Some of the surefire symptoms of a fungal infection is an itchy scalp with lots of flaking, which you may mistake for the usual buildup of hair care products or an episode of dandruff early on.
But if your itchiness has gone on for a week non-stop, you might want to seek help from a healthcare professional.
Antifungal shampoos are meant to kill the fungi on your scalp and soothe the itchiness, dryness, and irritation that comes with any fungal infection.
They usually have antifungal, antibacterial active ingredients to help get rid of the infection, as well as hydrating ingredients to soothe your scalp.
These shampoos are often used by those with delicate scalps with sensitive skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, or seborrheic dermatitis (aka dandruff issues).
To get the most out of your antifungal shampoo, make sure it contains some of the best ingredients for killing fungi and prevent infections from coming back.
The key is to have a combo of potent, antibacterial agents combined with hydrating, calming ingredients for proper scalp care.
What ingredients should I look for in an antifungal shampoo?
There are many ingredients you can look out for when choosing an antifungal shampoo.
You can either go the medicated route, where the shampoos contain antibacterial ingredients and chemicals to kill fungi and bacteria, or the more natural route, which uses essential oils to stimulate, soothe, and protect your scalp from any more harm.
Let’s start with the best medical ingredients for fighting scalp infections. Arguably the most popular one among commercially available shampoos is zinc pyrithione.
The zinc pyrithione complex is known to inhibit the growth of fungi breeding on your scalp, so you don’t have to worry about more colonies growing in the area.
Other active ingredients to look for in your shampoo labels include ketoconazole, a popular antifungal medication that fights against ringworm. Keep an eye out as well for salicylic acid, which has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and exfoliating benefits your scalp will love.
If you’re looking at natural ingredients to help you out, you’re in luck. There are lots of botanical oils that can soothe your scalp and at the same time ward off future fungal infections.
For example, tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial properties that battle against fungal infections, like ringworm. It also soothes and stimulates the scalp and our senses, benefitting our holistic health and wellness.
Other oils that can do the trick are lavender oil for its anti-inflammatory and calming properties and coconut oil for its healing abilities, thanks to its antibacterial fatty acids.
Top 17 Antifungal Shampoo Reviews
Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo000
Whether you have dandruff issues, a nasty infection, or just an itchy head in general, Nizoral must be something you’ve heard of before.
It’s a popular shampoo among those with scalp conditions because it contains 1% ketoconazole. This ingredient helps alleviate a lot of inflammation, irritation, and flakiness that comes with scalp infections.
While this shampoo creates a thick, rich lather when you massage it into your hair, it’s formulated to be gentle. You can even use it on colored and chemically treated hair with dandruff issues.
ProBliva Anti-Fungal Shampoo
This shampoo by ProBliva helps kill fungus on your head while healing your scalp’s skin with moisturizing ingredients.
It soothes the scalp’s irritating itchiness while hydrating the skin with natural oils like emu, coconut, jojoba, and grapeseed oils. These oils also help soften and strengthen your hair so you can flaunt shiny, healthy locks.
Though there are many rich oils in this formula, it doesn’t leave your hair greasy or weighed down.
Maple Holistics Natural Sage Shampoo
If you want to go a more organic route for your antifungal shampoo, this one by Maple Holistics is one of the best you’ll come across. It’s made with 96% natural ingredients, including sage, its star ingredient.
Sage, rosemary, and tea tree oils clarify the scalp and eliminate any buildup that can make your infection’s symptoms worse. They also soothe any flakiness and redness on your scalp to make the skin calmer.
Bellisso Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner Set
This sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner set helps remove fungus and dandruff from your scalp with the help of apple cider vinegar. ACV is known for its antiseptic, antibacterial properties that thoroughly clean greasy hair while killing any bacteria and fungi in its wake.
This set is also very nourishing because the products contain argan, avocado, and coconut oils. These leave the hair shiny, smooth, and, most importantly, itch-free.
pHat 5.5 Manuka Honey Seborrheic Dermatitis Shampoo
This shampoo by pHat 5.5 was designed to calm and soothe any flare-ups on the scalp, be it from bad dandruff episodes or severe flaking and inflammation from an infection.
It’s made with medical-grade manuka honey, known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties to fight infections. It also has antioxidants that strengthen the hair and make it shiny.
Other ingredients found in this formula include orange peel, which is great for warding of scalp itchiness, coconut oil, and a hydrator with antiseptic and healing properties.
Neutrogena T/Gel Extra Strength Therapeutic Shampoo
When it comes to scalp and skin issues, you can never go wrong with Neutrogena. The brand offers this extra strength medicated shampoo that contains 1% coal tar to treat and soothe persistently itchy scalps due to conditions like a scalp infection or dandruff issues.
Coal tar is recognized as a key ingredient that soothes inflamed scalps, so it’s perfect for the discomfort you feel due to ringworm infection. It helps eliminate your symptoms for up to one week after use.
DHS Zinc Shampoo
This dermatologist-recommended zinc shampoo by DHS contains 2% zinc pyrithione, which helps kill bacteria and fungi. This therapeutic shampoo is used by those with severe seborrheic dermatitis cases that need to be under control.
The shampoo is gentle and hydrating, so it’s a fantastic solution for scalp dryness that often leads to itching and flaking. It provides long-lasting comfort, so you don’t have to keep scratching your head for days on end.
Vanicream Free & Clear Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
If you have sensitive skin and are quite wary of what antifungal shampoo to use, you should opt for this one by Vanicream. It’s made with 2% zinc pyrithione for its antifungal properties, but the formula is super gentle.
The shampoo doesn’t contain any sulfates, parabens, betaine, fragrance, dyes, lanolin, formaldehyde, and other potentially toxic ingredients that would be bad for your hair and skin. It’s a great option to go for if your scalp is easily irritated by unnecessary chemicals.
CLn Healthy Scalp Shampoo
If you want dandruff-free hair, wash your scalp with this unscented, hypoallergenic CLn shampoo for a total improvement of your scalp health.
This shampoo contains salicylic acid and sodium hypochlorite, two ingredients that thoroughly wash off grime and oil from the hair. They also soothe inflammation on the scalp and exfoliate the hair follicles should they have extra dandruff or dead skin, leading to itchiness and irritation.
Head and Shoulders Clinical Strength Shampoo
Dandruff is one of the most dreadful side effects of dealing with a scalp infection. If you want to get rid of it fast, try out this Head and Shoulders shampoo.
It’s formulated with selenium sulfide, which directly targets Malassezia—the fungi known to cause dandruff on the scalp. This shampoo can keep away fungal infections and other scalp issues for up to one week when used regularly.
It also has a light, refreshing fragrance that can keep you feeling and smelling fresh and clean all day long.
Botanic Hearth Tea Tree Shampoo
If your scalp is extra inflamed and irritated to the point of extreme discomfort, you need natural ingredients that can soothe and calm it down, all while fighting bacteria and fungi.
This Botanic Hearth shampoo is made with tea tree oil, which can help heal your scalp and eliminate irritation and itchiness. It also has antiseptic benefits to fight the infection. It also contains vitamin E, lavender oil, and hyaluronic acid to nourish and soothe the scalp skin.
Sent from Earth Caffeine & Saw Palmetto Shampoo
If you want to fight scalp infections while promoting healthy hair growth because of thinning and shedding issues, this is the shampoo for you.
This shampoo contains ketoconazole that helps soothe and alleviate itchy scalp symptoms like dandruff and flakiness. Meanwhile, caffeine, saw palmetto, and biotin help thicken the hair and improve scalp health, creating the optimal environment for hair growth.
Kenkoderm 3% Salicylic Acid Therapeutic Shampoo
Salicylic acid can be a big help in fighting infections and exfoliating dead skin that can turn into itchy dandruff.
This Kenkoderm shampoo has a relatively high salicylic acid concentration, so it’s perfect for those with very persistent itching and flakiness. The best part is that it keeps those distracting symptoms at bay even after washing the shampoo off.
Solimo Therapeutic Dandruff Shampoo, Extra Strength
Another option for excessive dandruff is this soothing, therapeutic shampoo by Solimo. It contains a 5% coal tar topical solution, which can help soothe the scalp while zapping away fungi breeding in your skin.
This shampoo helps to control annoying symptoms like itchiness and flakiness, keeping them at bay as long as you use it at least twice a week.
BIOLAGE Scalpsync Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
In this BIOLAGE shampoo, holy grail fungus-fighting pyrithione zinc is combined with soothing, healing mint leaves to get rid of dandruff and scalp irritation from any fungal infection.
A concentration of pyrithione zinc helps get rid of itchiness and the consequent visible dandruff flakes. Cooling mint leaves, on the other hand, clarifies the hair and scalp while soothing any inflammation.
Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo for Children
Caring for children going through scalp irritation can be a nightmare. The best way to help them cope with the itchiness and discomfort is with this medicated shampoo by Happy Cappy.
This shampoo is infused with pyrithione zinc to heal infections and soothe seborrheic dermatitis. It also contains licorice root extract that can ease the inflammation and pain the kids may be feeling from all that scratching. One wash, and you can give your kids instant relief.
Lotus RX Dandruff Control Shampoo
If you want to control itching dandruff while supporting clean beauty, this vegan shampoo by Lotus RX is the one for you. The brand only uses recycled bottles and non-toxic dye to be extra friendly to the environment.
This shampoo contains a combo of pyrithione zinc, chamomile oil, and nettle oil to help heal fungal infections and soothe your irritated scalp so that you can kiss itchy, flaky days goodbye forever.
It was formulated with sensitive skin in mind. It doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals such as sulfates, parabens, salts, artificial coloring, and more.
When you confirm with a health professional that you have a scalp infection, incorporating an antifungal shampoo, at least in the short-term, is non-negotiable.
But if you continuously have scalp issues like dryness or irritation, you should think about using it regularly.
Antifungal shampoos will always help your problematic scalp’s cause. Whether it’s the dryness and dandruff that’s bothering you or the discomfort from the inflammation, there’s an antifungal shampoo just for you.