The 5 Best Ketoconazole Shampoos for Treating Dandruff

Best Ketoconazole Shampoos

Ketoconazole shampoo is used to treat fungal infections on the scalp. You can use it if you have—dandruff, itchy scalp, seborrheic dermatitis. Some studies also show that ketoconazole help in stimulating hair growth or reduce hair fall.

In this article, we have listed 5 best ketoconazole shampoos to treat scalp related issues, hair loss, and thinning hair.

Here are 3 important factors that you need to know before buying any ketoconazole shampoo.

  • 1% and 2% ketoconazole shampoo: There are two types of ketoconazole shampoos: 1 % or less. And 2% ketoconazole, which refers to its proportion in the shampoo. You can easily get a 1% ketoconazole shampoos over the counter. These are also called OTC shampoos. On the contrary, buying a 2% ketoconazole shampoo requires a doctor’s prescription.
  • If you are suffering from dandruff: If you have severe dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, choose a 1% ketoconazole shampoo. Use it twice or thrice a week as recommended in the instructions. Our first recommendation is Nizoral Anti-dandruff shampoo.
  • If you are suffering from hair loss: Look for these ingredients in your ketoconazole shampoo. Caffeine, Saw palmetto, green tea extract. Caffeine and Saw palmetto are two potent DHT blockers that you can find on many ketoconazole shampoos. Our first recommendation is Ultrax Labs Hair Surge.

Apart from the above factors, there many other important factors like scalp condition, hair types or re-growth and application etc. All of these are covered in a comprehensive buying guide at the end of this article. Check it out!

5 Best Ketoconazole Shampoos

Ketoconazole ShampooKetoconazole %Best ForVolumeBuy Now
Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo1%Dandruff7 Ounce/
11 Ounce
Ultrax Labs Hair Surge shampoo0.2%Hair Growth8 OunceCHECK ON AMAZON
Sent From Earth Caffeine & Saw Palmetto Shampoo1%Hair Growth and Dandruff 16 OunceCHECK ON AMAZON
DHT-Blocking Hair Restore Shampoo1%Hair Growth16 OunceCHECK ON AMAZON
Wick & Strom ShampooLess than 1%Hair Loss12 OunceCHECK ON AMAZON

1. Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

nizoral anti dandruf shampoo

If your main concerns are dandruff, itchy scalp, or seborrheic dermatitis, give this shampoo a try. Nizoral A-D anti-dandruff shampoo has over seven thousand reviews, and it’s clinically proven to fight dandruff.

The shampoo has 1% ketoconazole. It’s strong enough to kill the dandruff-causing fungus without harming the hair cuticles. With time it reduces itching and restores the natural pH of the scalp. As a result, you will notice a significant decrease in hair fall.

The scalp treatment shampoo is advised to use twice a week. That means you don’t have to replace your favorite shampoo.

Unlike other ketoconazole shampoos, which usually have a strong chemical scent, it has a very mild and refreshing scent.

Try to apply the shampoo only on the scalp. Also, use your favorite conditioner as you do. Otherwise, hair might feel dry

The brand says it’s safe on color-treated hair. But the ingredient list shows it has Sodium Laureth Sulphate which is not good with hair dyes. However, as long as you apply it on the scalp, it should be fine.


  • The shampoo fights every itchy scalp related issues. Including dandruff, dry scalp, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis.
  • Reduces hair fall with time
  • Needs to be applied only twice a week
  • Affordable


  • Can leave the hair dry. Apply only on the scalp

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2. Ultrax Labs Hair Surge shampoo

Ultrax Labs Hair SurgeIf you have multiple issues like hair fall, thinning hair, dandruff, itchy scalp you can afford a more expensive shampoo; we say opt for Ultrax Hair Surge. It has around eight thousand customer reviews and ratings.

Ultrax Labs Hair Surge shampoo has this CaffainoPlex blend formula. The lab-tested formula has the right ingredients that provide essential nutrients to the hair follicles and scalp. It stimulates healthy hair growth and reduces hair fall by any means.

Ketoconazole is one of its key ingredients. It contains 0.2% ketoconazole, which actively works on inflammation, dandruff, and itchy scalp. Also, it reduces hair fall.

Another very potent ingredient is caffeine. Caffeine, as said earlier, strengthens and extends the life of hair follicles. It blocks the effects of DHT or Dihydrotestosterone, which is the main reason behind the male balding pattern. Continuous use has shown a remarkable decrease in thinning hair.

Along with these two, it has Saw Palmetto. The rare ingredient indirectly blocks the DHT production (blocks the alpha-reductase enzyme that produces DHT). As a result of this unique formula shampoo, hair loss, baldness, thinning hair is reduced both in men and women.

Coming to the scent. It leaves a very mild and pleasant smelling hair. It also has a small amount of peppermint oil (anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory). So you might feel a tingling sensation.

For the best results, use it 5 times a week. It contains Sodium Laureth Sulphate ( SELS) which might not be good if you have an overly sensitive skin.

Even though it’s on the expensive side if you are concerned about your decreasing hairline, it is worth the price. It’s made in the USA and it’s cruelty-free.


  • The unique CaffainoPlex formula (caffeine+ketoconazole+ saw palmetto) slows down hair fall and promotes healthy hair growth
  • 2% ketoconazole helps to reduce dandruff but doesn’t stip off the moisture
  • Suitable for both men and women


  • Expensive product
  • Not color-safe

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3. Sent From Earth Caffeine & Saw Palmetto Shampoo

Sent From EarthThis shampoo comes from a lesser-known brand compared to the last two. But, it comes with an impressive list of ingredients along with Ketoconazole.

The formula has all 6 key ingredients which help with hair loss, thinning hair, receding hairline. It also moisturizes hair balances natural pH and prevents hair breakage.

There are six key ingredients in the formulation

  • Caffeine- stimulates hair growth by blocking DHT
  • Saw Palmetto- reduces thinning hair
  • Ketoconazole- prevents hair fall
  • Pro-vitamin-moisturizes
  • Biotin- strengthens hair follicles
  • Wheat protein- adds shine and thickness
  • Peppermint- anti-fungal, anti-hair-fall

There is also coconut oil, avocado oil, castor oil, olive oil, and macadamia seed oil. The plant-based ingredients not only focus on hair loss but also give you an overall healthier hair.

Unlike others, Caffeine & Saw Palmetto shampoo can be used as an everyday shampoo. It has a natural preserver. It’s safe on color-treated hair. It also smells high, mild, and fresh.

It’s not a cheap drugstore shampoo. All the ingredients and the huge 16 Oz bottle justify the price. However, it’s not dedicated to hair regrowth. It surely reduces the hair fall, reviewed by too many customers but not very effective at growing hair.


  • Not only controls hair fall but also gives an overall healthier hair
  • Amazing benefits of pure organic ingredients
  • Free of sulfate paraben and harmful chemicals
  • Good for sensitive and color-treated hair


  • Not the ideal choice for hair regrowth

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4. DHT-Blocking Hair Restore Shampoo

hair restoration shampoo

Hair Restoration Laboratories is quite famous in making anti-hair fall shampoos. They started in 2012, and since then, they are making changes in the formulation of their shampoo.

The Professional Strength shampoo has come up with DHT-halting technology. This proprietary formulation has Ketoconazole and some other potent DHT blockers that promote hair growth.

The solution mainly targets on male and female pattern baldness, hair thinning. But it also has natural oils and hair proteins that strengthen the hair roots and fibers.

The ingredients are-

  • Ketoconazole- promotes hair growth
  • Green tea extract- DHT blocker
  • Biotin- strengthens the root and scalp
  • Caffeine- potent DHT blocker
  • Black seed oil- has antioxidants and fatty acids
  • Saw Palmetto- DHT blocker
  • Pea extract- hair regrowth
  • PygenumAfricanum bark extract- stimulates blood circulation
  • Pumpkin seed oil- reduces the effects of DHT
  • Cayenne fruit extract- stimulates blood circulation

It smells fresh and clean. It’s free of sulfates, parabens, silicons, and any other harmful chemicals.  It’s cruelty-free and color-safe. They also have a conditioner for this particular shampoo.

The shampoo is strong enough to use 3 times a week. 1% ketoconazole can make the hair dry if used more than that.

It might take more than a month to see a noticeable change in hair growth. So, don’t quit after one month. The 16 Oz bottle and the luxurious packaging is worth the price.


  • Works for both male and female pattern baldness
  • The formula has more number of DHT blockers
  • Strengthens the hair and root
  • Value for price


  • It takes time to show results

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5. Wick & Strom Anti Hair Loss Shampoo

Wick & Strom Anti Hair Loss ShampooHair loss, dry hair, and dandruff are some of the common hair problems in men. This shampoo is found to be most helpful to solve such problems. It has got many good reviews that it aids healthy hair growth, stops hair loss, and rejuvenates the hair. 

With the best formulation, it is suitable for all hair types for women and men. 

This one is an ideal blend of nutrients, vitamins, and other leaf extracts that reduce hair loss and hair thinning. 

Unlike other shampoos that have a strong smell, it gives a fresh mango scent to your hair. 


It has key ingredients like caffeine, biotin, ketoconazole (.01%), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, and so on. 

  • Caffeine – It guides the behavior of hair follicles and regulates hair growth.
  • Biotin (Vitamin B7) – It strengthens the hair and also improves its resilience.
  • Aloe Barbadensis leaf – It has enzymes that clean the dead cells of the scalp and blocks important nutrients from getting into the follicles. 
  • Saw Palmetto extract – It inhibits the enzyme DHT that commonly causes baldness in men. So, it determines hair loss and triggers better hair growth. 
  • Ketoconazole – It manages the anti-androgenic effects and treats hair loss. It allows the growth of fuller and thicker hair. 


  • Soft and clean hair
  • Improved hair growth
  • Pleasant scent
  • Easy to use
  • You can use it daily for maximum results. 


  • It is not recommended for colored hair. 

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Things to consider before using a Ketoconazole Shampoo

Ketoconazole is not any ordinary shampoo; it’s a treatment to your scalp. It has medicinal properties. So, you have to be extra cautious. Here are some things you must know before you put your hand on a ketoconazole shampoo.

What is Ketoconazole?

Speaking of chemistry, it’s an azole compound with anti-fungal properties. Ketoconazole shampoos are medicated shampoo, which is used to treat many fungal infections on the scalp, including dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.

Both of these conditions are caused by a fungus generally found in the human scalp, named Malassezia. Overgrowth of this fungus accelerates cell production. It means your scalp shreds more cells than usual, which causes dandruff, flakes, etc.

Since Ketoconazole is an anti-fungal medicine, it kills the fungus causing dandruff. When used as shampoo, Ketoconazole cannot reach the bloodstream. Its function is limited to the scalp

Types Of Ketoconazole Shampoos

Ketoconazole shampoos are available in – 1% or less and 2% ketoconazole, which refers to its proportion in the shampoo.

You can get 1% ketoconazole shampoos over the counter. These are also called Over-the-counter or OTC shampoos. On the contrary, buying a 2% ketoconazole shampoo requires a doctor’s prescription.

You can use a 1% ketoconazole shampoo if you have persisting dandruff, flakes, and itchy scalp. They might or might not work, depending on how severe your condition is, but they are entirely safe to use. Some natural ingredients you can look for are- salicylic acid, aloe vera, and zinc oxide.

2% ketoconazole is prescribed by the doctors for extreme conditions like seborrheic dermatitis and scalp psoriasis. Numerous studies have shown that 2% ketoconazole shampoos treat seborrheic dermatitis. But it’s not safe to use 2% ketoconazole shampoo unless your doctor has referred it to you.

Other Ingredients Of Your Ketoconazole Shampoo

Ketoconazole shampoos sometimes have other ingredients to help stimulate hair growth, reducing hair fall and DHT blockers.

DHT blockers work by inhibiting the function of Dihydrotestosterone (A hormone/androgen associated with male characteristics. This hormone also causes the hair follicles to shrink, which causes hair loss. Both male and female pattern hair fall is related to this hormone)

Studies have found out some potent natural ingredients can stop the production of DHT. Some of which you can find in your ketoconazole shampoo.

  • Caffeine- It is a DHT blocker. Also stimulates hair follicles for hair growth and increases blood flow
  • Saw Palmetto- Blocks the function of 5-alpha-reductase which makes dihydrotestosterone from testosterone
  • Biotin- Biotin or Vitamin B7 plays a crucial role in maintaining skin and hair health. The deficiency of biotin can lead to hair loss. It is not directly related to hair growth, but it makes sure your hair is strong and healthy.

Ketoconazole For Hair Growth

Ketoconazole is primarily used to treat fungal infections that cause dandruff, itchy scalp, seborrheic dermatitis, etc.  There is some anecdotic evidence of ketoconazole shampoo working for hair regrowth. However, one small study on 15 patients suffering from androgenic alopecia had found positive results. It’s believed that Ketoconazole may have a role in hair growth and baldness.

Still, science has not yet confirmed it’s effectiveness. So, if you are looking for a ketoconazole shampoo for hair loss, look for some ingredients that are proven to minimize hair fall. Some examples are Saw Palmetto, Caffeine, Pumpkin seed oil, Jojoba Oil, etc.

There are better alternative treatments for hair loss, which include minoxidil and finasteride. They are the only clinically proven treatments out there.

How To Apply Ketoconazole Shampoo?

Applying 1% Ketoconazole Shampoo

This is similar to using regular shampoos. In general, a 1% ketoconazole shampoo is good to use 2-3 times a week. Using more often can make your hair even drier. If it’s less than 1%, you can use it 5 times a week or use it as an everyday shampoo. Always read the instructions beforehand.

Here is the process

  • Wet your hair thoroughly.
  • Take the shampoo according to your hair length.
  • Apply the shampoo on your scalp first
  • Now gently massage the scalp using your fingers, or use a dandruff brush to form a lather
  • Leave the shampoo there for 1-2 minutes
  • Rinse with cold or lukewarm water
  • You can repeat the shampoo once more if needed. Or, use your regular shampoo for the 2d wash
  • You can apply a regular conditioner to the hair length

Applying 2% ketoconazole shampoo

If your doctor prescribes it to you, then apply just the right amount of it. No more or no less. Here the only difference is, leave it on your scalp for 5 minutes to work. You can apply conditioner to the length of the hair.

How long it takes for a ketoconazole shampoo to work?

If you follow the instructions, you should notice improvement after 2-4 weeks of usage. But dandruff can always reappear. So, it’s always better to use the shampoo once a week, until your scalp is completely healed. On a very rare scene, ketoconazole shampoos might not work. Then consult a doctor. You might have some other issues.


Here is the last tip. If this is your first time using ketoconazole shampoo, buy a smaller size. It’s a wise decision. If you don’t like it, you can try a different brand.

Still confused about your purchase? Then here is what we think will work the best for you.

If you are looking for a budget shampoo to get rid of your dandruff, go with Nizoral Dandruff Shampoo. It’s trusted by thousands of customers, even doctors around the world. Use it twice a week, and your dandruff will be gone.

If hair loss is your primary concern, then opt for Ultrax. It has ketoconazole, caffeine, and saw palmetto. Together these ingredients can do wonder. It has over eight thousand reviews. And you must give it a try if you are worried about thinning hair.

Have you tried any of them before? How was the experience? Share with us in the comment section below.


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