Best Over-The-Counter Ketoconazole Shampoo for Dandruff, Psoriasis, and Hair Loss

best ketoconazole shampoo for hair loss woman shampooing hair in shower

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About 1 in every 5 adults suffer from dandruff and 1 in 5 Americans are losing their hair so if you are also struggling with hair loss, dandruff, or any other annoying scalp conditions, you’re not alone.

Scalp conditions such as psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and dandruff are sometimes caused by some sort of fungal disease or yeast overgrowth, and unfortunately for some people, figuring out the exact cause of their itchy, flaky scalp isn’t always an easy diagnosis.

Sometimes scalp issues can be caused by using hair care products that contain known irritants.  If you suffer from itchy, flaky, or inflammation on your scalp, try to switch to using natural hair care products instead of conventional hair care products which may contain ingredients that can cause a bad reaction.

As always, and especially if you have sensitive skin, try to look at what your products are made with.  The ingredient lists can be intimidating but getting familiar with what goes into the products you put on your skin can help you avoid products that may cause you harm in the future.

In a rush? Here are our top picks:

Nizoral AD AntiDandruff Shampoo
  • 4-fl. oz bottle of nizoral a-d anti-dandruff shampoo containing ketoconazole 1% to relieve flaking, scaling, and itching caused by dandruff
  • this powerful dandruff control shampoo is made with ketoconazole 1%, an effective ingredient that is proven to help fight dandruff outbreaks
  • salon-tested, this dandruff treatment shampoo is specially formulated to be gentle and is safe enough to be used on color-treated, chemically processed and gray hair

Revita Shampoo w/Biotin, Caffeine and Hair Growth Stimulating Ingredients
  • A breakthrough formula backed by scientific research for hair stimulation, shampoo for stronger, fuller hair Powerful amino acids, botanical extracts, and other compounds in Revita make it the optimal daily shampoo for all hair types and all users who want stronger, fuller hair.
  • SYNERGISTIC ACTIVE INGREDIENTS. Through the synergy of highly effective compounds, Revita maintains scalp vitality and acts against hair loss. By combining antioxidant and anti-androgen properties, plus powerful hydrating molecules, hair-growth stimulants, and amino acids, Revita delivers the most effective hair-growth stimulating shampoo available.
  • Spectral.DNC-N is the first hair-loss treatment to employ Nanoxidil, a compound with high efficacy, low molecular weight, and no known side effects. It arms men and women with a powerful new tool against hair loss. The advanced therapy for hair regrowth treats continuously for over 12 hours — significantly longer than conventional alopecia treatments — due to proprietary Nanosome encapsulation.

What Is Ketoconazole & What Is It Used For?

Ketoconazole, pronounced kee toe KON na zole, is used to treat a variety of skin infections caused by fungus or yeast.  Used as a topical treatment, ketoconazole can kill the fungus or yeast and prevent the fungus or yeast from growing.

Ketoconazole can come in different forms to treat different issues.  Ketoconazole foam or ketoconazole gel is generally used to treat itchy, flaky skin or scalp often related to seborrheic dermatitis or stubborn dandruff.

It also comes as a cream or ointment that can be used to treat skin issues like Athlete’s foot, ringworm, and jock itch. 

Ketoconazole shampoo is a medicated shampoo made to help those suffering from fungal infections or yeast overgrowth on the scalp.

Shampoos containing 1% or less ketoconazole can be found over the counter, and shampoos containing 2% or more ketoconazole can be prescribed by a doctor for more stubborn scalp conditions.  If you’re not entirely sure what concentration you should use or if ketoconazole is new to you, it might be a good idea to consult with your doctor or dermatologist before trying this out.

Ketoconazole Shampoo for Hair Loss

This one is still up for debate and further research needs to be done in order to determine whether or not ketoconazole shampoo can help with hair loss. 

One pilot study published on the National Institutes of Health website was done with 15 patients who suffer from male pattern baldness (MPB), also called androgenetic alopecia (AGA), and the result of the study found that ketoconazole may be a helpful treatment for those suffering from hair loss and that ketoconazole may be able to improve hair regrowth.

Who Can Use It? What Are the Risks And Side Effects

In addition to its effective advertised effects, ketoconazole may cause unwanted side effects for some people.  Most people who use a ketoconazole shampoo for dandruff, psoriasis, or any other scalp condition will not experience any negative side effects, and when used as directed, ketoconazole in any form is generally considered safe.

When the ketoconazole shampoo is lathered up on the scalp, most people report feeling a tingling or burning sensation… kind of like you ‘can feel it working its magic.’  

This should only be a slight irritation, but if you experience anything more than a slight irritation, it’s probably best to wash the shampoo out with warm water and consult with your doctor or dermatologist.

Although very rare, it’s important to note that using ketoconazole can cause an allergic reaction for some people.  Avoid using any other products when using the ketoconazole shampoo to avoid the possibility of making your skin or scalp more irritated or sensitive.

If you experience any unusual redness, itching, swelling, etc. when using ketoconazole, do not continue use and consult with a medical professional.

So who can use ketoconazole?  Because studies haven’t been done to prove its safety, it’s best to avoid using ketoconazole shampoo if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

How to Use Ketoconazole Shampoo

Proper use is very important when using ketoconazole shampoo so please use it as directed by your doctor or as the directions for use are stated on the shampoo.

Recommended use is slightly different depending on the concentration of ketoconazole in the shampoo.  

Using 1% OTC Ketoconazole Shampoo

Use every 3 or 4 days for up to 8 weeks to treat dandruff.  After you’ve gotten dandruff under control, use it only as needed.

If your skin condition doesn’t get better after the 8 weeks, you might want to consult with your doctor to discuss alternative treatments for your skin.

Using 2% Prescribed Ketoconazole Shampoo

The prescribed 2% ketoconazole shampoo is a one-time use treatment.  

Be patient.  This treatment can take some time to work.

Last update on 2022-07-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API