Did you know there are also over-the-counter antifungal shampoos? If you’re looking for the best treatment for your itchy scalp fungus or dandruff, you’re in luck! I’ll show you the best clinically proven ingredients to treat it and review some of the best antifungal shampoos for men and women.
Itchiness, flaking, dryness, and scalp dandruff are all very common issues in today’s world. They are inconvenient, discomforting, and simply annoying. And, if you are unlucky, you may end up being one of the over 80 million Americans going through hair loss issues, all thanks to scalp fungus infections, one of the underlying causes of dandruff.
What Causes Fungal Infection on Hair?
A fungal infection is a type of skin infection caused by different types of fungi. Fungi are decomposers and naturally live on your skin, feeding on dead skin cells. But several conditions can cause fungi to be virulent or to overgrow and cause infection. Some of these conditions include damaged/wounded skin, wet environments, limited sun exposure, stress, and overconsumption of sugar.
Nowadays, there are a lot of people experiencing fungal infections not only on the skin but on the scalp as well. That’s because more and more people are stressed and overworked. In addition to that, there are a lot of shampoos and products today that cause hair and scalp damage.
Moreover, 8-5 work hours or night shifts prevent people from getting enough sunlight. And last but not least, all the readily available food you can buy today contains high amounts of sugar! All of these contribute to the growing number of people experiencing scalp fungal infections.
Now that you know the possible causes of your fungal infection, here are the types and symptoms to help you determine which shampoo and ingredient is best for you.
Different Types of Hair and Scalp Fungal Infections
Dandruff is the mildest of all these fungal infections. It is the easiest to treat and usually comes and goes. Just like acne, they are very common in teenagers, but most adults experience them as well. Symptoms include itching and small dry flakes.
Scalp Fungus – Ringworm
The most common type of scalp fungus is ringworm or tinea capitis. Scalp fungus is much more severe than dandruff and is also contagious. But they’re usually more common in children than adults. Symptoms include itchy scalp, redness, and bald patches.
Yeast Infection – Seborrheic Dermatitis
Last but not least is Seborrheic dermatitis, a scalp issue caused by the Malassezia yeast. It is difficult to treat but not contagious. They are more common in adults, especially the ones with weak immune systems. Symptoms include larger scaly patches, itching, and in worst cases, hair loss.
By now, I hope you know what kind of fungal infection you have. Let’s proceed to the types of anti-fungal shampoo and its ingredients.
What is an Antifungal Shampoo?
Antifungal shampoo is a medicated shampoo formulated with an active ingredient that kills scalp fungus and fights yeast infections. Although antifungal shampoos are medicated, they can be bought over the counter and don’t require a doctor’s prescription. Antifungal shampoos are the first thing that doctors recommend if you have a skin/scalp fungal infection. That’s because antifungal medicine has extreme side effects.
Best Anti-Fungal Shampoo Ingredients
Two of the most effective active ingredients are Zinc Pyrithione and Ketoconazole; both are clinically-proven medications for treating scalp fungus and fungal infections. Because of their potency, most anti-fungal shampoos only contain 1% Ketoconazole and Zinc Pyrithione or less. This is more than enough to help kill the infection and prevent the growth of fungus on the scalp.
One major problem that some users don’t like about medicated shampoos is they usually cause dry scalp and hair loss when used for a long time. The good thing is that there are anti-fungal shampoos that use natural but powerful ingredients, like Tea Tree Oil, Lemongrass, and Peppermint. So, if you’re staying away from Ketoconazole shampoos, try these antifungal shampoos instead.
What is the Best Antifungal Shampoo for Humans?
Some of the best antifungal shampoos use a mix of Ketoconazole and natural ingredients for maximum results. Some go a step further by providing nutrients and oils to nourish your scalp and hair follicles and keep your scalp moisturized to prevent itching.
But if you want to get instant relief, the best antifungal shampoo is Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. This shampoo is used worldwide by men and women of different hair types and has consistently delivered the best results.
The best part? In addition to fighting dandruff from the source, and antifungal shampoo works with different hair types to support the growth of stronger, and shinier hair. That’s something that most antifungal shampoos cannot do.
Here is our in-depth review of this and several other shampoos that you can rely on to finally put an end to your stubborn dandruff situation.
Best Antifungal Shampoo for Hair and Scalp
Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Before user reviews were a thing, product manufacturers always made all sorts of claims and buyers fell victim to this marketing tactic all the time. Luckily, that is not the case anymore. In today’s world, manufacturers can talk all they want, but if their products are substandard, it’s a matter of time before it catches up with them.
The reviews on Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff & Anti Fungal Shampoo speak for themselves. Read our in-depth Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo review of this product. This has been the bestselling shampoo for quite some time now, and that’s simply because it walks the talk.
Nizoral AD Antidandruff Shampoo has been tested and tried. It is formulated with powerful and proven ingredients that are known to control flaking, scaling, itching, and dandruff. The star ingredient in this formula is Ketoconazole 1%, a clinically proven anti-fungal drug that tackles dandruff from the source.
Other than being effective, this shampoo tops our list because it works with different types of hair. It doesn’t matter whether you have chemically treated, color-treated or gray hair; you can rely on Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo to get the job done right.
You only need to use the shampoo twice per week.
The active ingredient in this formula is Ketoconazole 1%. The shampoo also contains several other inactive ingredients, including sodium Laureth sulfate, sodium cocoyl sarcosinate, sodium chloride, acrylic acid polymer, glycol distearate, etc.
Neutrogena T/Gel Daily Control
Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo deals with scaling, itching, and flaking caused by dandruff, scalp psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis. The National Psoriasis Foundation actually recognizes this shampoo as an effective remedy for scalp psoriasis.
The Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo is also very effective in dealing with inflammation of the scalp. This is critical because scalp inflammation is known to cause hair thinning. Learn more about this product in our Neutrogena T Gel Shampoo review.
The primary active ingredient in Neutrogena T/gel Therapeutic Shampoo is 2% Neutar Solubilized Coal Tar Extract. It also contains other inactive ingredients such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl betaine, cocamide MEA, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, citric acid, triethanolamine, etc.
Best Natural Antifungal Shampoo
Pure Tea Tree Oil Anti Fungal Shampoo
If you are looking for a sulfate-free fungus shampoo that can effectively fight dandruff and itchiness, this is the product for you. Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo is an incredible product from Maple Holistic that is formulated with gentle ingredients that are friendly to the skin but tough to fungus and bacteria. The gentle nature of the shampoo makes it ideal not just for men and women with sensitive skin but also for children. But, you want to apply the shampoo on the children yourself if they are too young.
The shampoo is formulated with essential oils and other ingredients that deep cleanse and nourish your hair and scalp. The formula is powerful enough to get rid of flaking, scaling, itching, and head lice. It will also stop thinning hair caused by the said issues.
Pure Tea Tree Shampoo contains pure tea tree, lavender oil, and rosemary oil.
ProBliva Antifungal Shampoo for Hair & Scalp
ProBliva Antifungal Shampoo is a versatile product that’s widely used to control flaking, itchiness, scaling, irritation, ringworm, and other scalp issues. This scalp fungus shampoo is formulated with popular natural ingredients, such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, and emu oil, that are known to hydrate and nourish the scalp and hair follicles. In the end, the user gets to enjoy radiant hair that looks and feels amazing.
Besides fighting dandruff and itchiness, the ProBliva Fungus Shampoo will repair and protect your hair. This makes perfect sense considering its rich natural formula.
It has also proven to be very useful in issues such as over secretion of oils from the sebaceous glands. It’s also very effective in cleansing the scalp and hair. It exfoliates residues and opens up the pores. This sets up the perfect tune for the growth of strong and shiny hair.
ProBliva Fungus Shampoo is a gentle shampoo good for both men and women. It is formulated with natural ingredients like coconut oil, emu oil, jojoba oil, and grapefruit seed extract.
Best Antibacterial Shampoo
ANTI-b Antibacterial Shampoo
ANTI-b shampoo offers antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial protection. This antifungal shampoo is formulated with potent ingredients like aloe vera, witch hazel, and lemon essential oils that nourish and protect the scalp and hair follicles.
The ANTI-b Antibacterial Shampoo helps in treating flaking, itching, redness, skin irritation, inflamed scalp, ringworm and acne on the scalp.
The presence of Calendula, an ingredient rich in antioxidants, in the formula, provides excellent protection against oxidative stress. It helps your hair withstand harsh environmental conditions filled with free radicals like smoke.
ANTI-b Antibacterial Shampoo contains lemon essential oil, witch hazel, calendula, aloe vera, and cutipure CLR. Cutipure CLR is a unique ingredient manufactured by Chemishes Laboritorium in Germany. It gives the shampoo its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It’s also known to reduce pimples and comedones, regulate sebum production, cleanses toxins from the scalp and hair.
ANTI-b antibacterial shampoo is free from paraben and sulfates.
Managing Dandruff, Scalp Fungus, and Yeast Infections
As someone, who has experienced extreme dandruff, my first tip is to address these main issues before resorting to antifungal medication. First of all, try to use gentle shampoos like sulfate-free shampoos, or use shampoo every other day to avoid scalp damage.
To address stress, I found long walks in the park every morning relaxing and a great solution for getting enough sun before work as well. If that’s not possible, make sure to sunbathe early in the morning on weekends or do yoga and other relaxing activities to relieve the stress of the week.
Lastly, try to avoid sugar for a week and see if that helps. I found that dairy and nuts trigger my seborrheic dermatitis and make my face flaky. There are a lot of tests today that show which foods you have allergic reactions to.
I suggest that you address these lifestyle problems first before you start using antifungal shampoos. That’s because, although effective, antifungal shampoos are very potent and have ingredients that can dry your scalp and hair and produce more damage.
FAQs about the Best Antifungal Shampoo for Hair and Scalp
Which shampoo is best for fungal infection?
The best medicated antifungal shampoos are Nizoral AD and Neutrogena T/Gel Daily Control. On the other hand, the best natural antifungal shampoos are Tea Tree Oil shampoos and Probliva Shampoo. You can also use ANTI-b Antibacterial Shampoo, as it uses a proprietary formula and natural ingredients to fight fungal infection and prevent further inflammation.
How to Treat Fungal Dandruff?
Most mild fungal dandruff can be treated with natural ingredients like garlic, tea tree oil, and coconut oil. But if you hate the smell, your best option is anti-fungal shampoos infused with these natural ingredients. Luckily, there are a lot of shampoos like these available today, I’ll give you an overview of some of them below.
What Shampoo Kills Fungus on Scalp?
If you have scalp fungus, the best OTC antifungal shampoo is Nizoral Anti-Dandruff shampoo. If you’re not looking for natural alternatives, there are more potent shampoos and creams you can use, but you would need a doctor’s prescription to buy it.
What is the best shampoo for yeast infection on the scalp?
If you have seborrheic dermatitis, the best antifungal shampoo shouldn’t only contain fungicides. It should also contain anti-inflammatory products like coal tar or other natural ingredients. That’s why I think the best shampoo for people with yeast infections like seborrheic dermatitis is Neutrogena’s T/Gel Daily Control. It contains 1% Pyrithione Zinc that doesn’t only kill the fungus but also prevents inflammation.
What is the Best Shampoo for Ringworm?
Ringworm infections are a more serious type of fungal infection. You can use Nizoral AD or other natural antifungal shampoos and see if it works for you. I recommend you consult your doctor if symptoms persist to get the best advice. Because there are medicated antifungal creams and pills that are not OTCs and can better address more serious fungal infections like ringworm.
Is T Gel Antifungal?
T Gel contains coal tar, a compound that can inhibit the growth of fungi or ringworm. In addition to that, it has anti-inflammatory properties too, making it a great treatment for seborrheic dermatitis as well.
What is an OTC Antifungal Shampoo?
All of the shampoos included in this list are OTC or Over-The-Counter Antifungal Shampoos. Meaning you don’t need any doctor’s prescription to buy these products; you can purchase them directly on Amazon or from your local pharmacy. If you’re experiencing severe fungal infections, consult your doctor for the best product appropriate for your case.
Can you Buy Antifungal Shampoo Over the Counter?
Medicated antifungal shampoos like Nizoral A-D are available over the counter or can be bought on Amazon without a prescription. Antifungal shampoos that use natural ingredients to kill fungus, like ProBliva Fungus Shampoo and Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo, are available in beauty stores and over the counter.
What Does Antifungal Shampoo Do to Your Hair?
Antifungal shampoos kill fungus on your scalp and prevent further growth. Some shampoos include other products to keep your scalp healthy and moisturized as well.
What Does Antifungal Shampoo Do to Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that causes red, itchy, and scaly patches on your scalp. It is caused by a variety of reasons, including stress, Malassezia fungi overgrowth, and scalp inflammation. That’s why some doctors recommend antifungal shampoos because some of them also have zinc pyrithione, which is also an effective anti-inflammatory.
Where Can You Buy Antifungal shampoos?
Anti-fungal shampoos are the same as antidandruff shampoos when it comes to ingredients. That’s why you can easily buy them on Amazon or your local pharmacies without any prescription.
Best Antifungal Shampoo: Final Thoughts
That wraps up our review of the best antifungal shampoos on the market. All of them are powerful products that work so you can try out any of them. However, if you are sensitive to sulfates and parabens, we’ll advise you to go for all-natural alternatives.
Gen is a Master Stylist in Tampa, Florida who specializes in extremely thin hair and hair loss care. Working with hundreds of clients with hair loss/thinning concerns allowed her to recognize products and routines that can cause damage. She has discovered what hair products work and what doesn’t and shares all of this info to the readers of Union of Barber. When she’s not writing, you can find Gen hiking or at home with her army of cats!