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The 4 Best Ketoconazole Shampoos For Dandruff

By Andrea Douglas
Best Ketoconazole Shampoo

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We researched the best ketoconazole shampoo brands on the market today that claim to help combat dandruff and dermatitis. What exactly is ketoconazole and how does it help treat hair loss? We wanted to know, too, so we began to dive a bit deep, and here’s what we found. We selected only the best products that were top-rated by consumers, that contained natural ingredients, and have been tested and clinically proven to help treat hair loss, scalp conditions, and stimulate hair growth. Read on for a comprehensive guide for the best Ketoconazole shampoos and products.

Do you gasp in horror when you wash or brush your hair and pull out a clump of hair? Most people do. Yes, some hair loss and some hair falling out is normal, especially when washing or styling hair. However, if you notice this happening and you also notice your hair becoming thinner or that bald spot you’ve been watching for years has been getting bigger, then these are likely signs of a more serious problem… No one looks forward to getting old and dealing with the effects of age. One of the biggest effects of aging that impact men is hair loss, such as male pattern baldness, which is also known as Androgenic Alopecia. Regardless of why you might be experiencing hair loss, you are likely at your wit’s end. You probably have tried hundreds of expensive products or hair loss treatment procedures under the sun.

What is Ketoconazole?

Ketoconazole is an antifungal drug used to treat a variety of fungal infections. It is the active ingredient in ketoconazole shampoo products, such as Nizoral shampoo, and it can also be consumed orally to help treat fungal infections, such as dandruff, seborrhoeic dermatitis, and even Athlete Foot. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, seborrhoeic dermatitis is also referred to as “cradle cap”, and is a condition that can affect infants up to adults.

In fact, once an individual is diagnosed with this particular condition, regular flare-ups can come and go throughout a person’s life. However, the good news is that with regular treatments of ketoconazole, flare-ups can be controlled and reduced.

A Brief History of Ketoconazole

Although there have been hair loss products available on the market for decades, few of them were effective in treating systemic fungal infections. At the time, Amphotericin B was a drug that was used in a variety of therapy for serious infections. However, the main concern with this drug was the level of toxicity. Decades later, scientists discovered azoles, which were less toxic antifungals. As a result, ketoconazole became the first available compound for the oral treatment of systemic fungal infections, which was released in the early 1980s. So, how was ketoconazole discovered?

What is Ketoconazole Used For?

Ketoconazole is one of the few clinically-proven solutions to treat hair loss and hair fungal conditions. The most popular product, Nizoral hair loss treatment products and shampoos, the most popular shampoo being the Nizoral Shampoo, which we will review in greater detail below. Nizoral hair loss treatment products contain 1 percent and 2 percent ketoconazole. Most effective hair loss products will claim that they contain these ingredients as this is one of the three biggest hair loss treatment solutions, in addition to Propecia and minoxidil. Ketoconazole can also help individuals who are suffering from and battling with hair loss.

In fact, ketoconazole is an active ingredient in many products. This is because Ketoconazole will compete against dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and bind hormones to hair follicles, which can help reduce hair loss. The less DHT present in the hair follicles, the better, and the more likely for hair regrowth. This is because DHT can damage hair follicles until they stop producing hair. However, ketoconazole has no such effect. For example, since Nizoral AD Shampoo contains ketoconazole, it holds all the same benefits for hair loss sufferers.

Here are some clinical studies related to the use of ketoconazole in the treatment of dermatitis.

  1. Khandpur et al, Journal of Dermatology, 2002. Find at US National Library of Medicine.
  2. Hair Loss Talk, 2012. Find at Vipadenievolos.
  3. Rafi and Katz, ISRN Dermatology, 2011. Find at US National Library of Medicine.
  4. Pieard-Francimont et al, Journal of Dermatology, 1998. Find at US National Library of Medicine.
  5. Aldhalimi et al, ISRN Pharmacology, 2014. Find at Hindawi Publishing Corporation.

Ketoconazole for Hair Loss

Although Rogaine and Propecia are effective products, a shampoo with ketoconazole is proven to work better for hair loss and treating the scalp. In fact, shampoo with ketoconazole is the only proven shampoo ingredient on the market that can help prevent or slow hair loss and treat the scalp. Multiple studies have proven the effectiveness of ketoconazole as at the very least, a partial cure to hair loss. Shampoos like Nizoral are also effective in helping to treat an unhealthy scalp and hair loss, however, Nizoral shampoo helps treat inflammation, which one of the primary causes of hair loss.

In fact, any person experience or struggling with hair loss likely has some inflammation. The itchiness, tingling, and sometimes even intense pain and/or irritation are one of the hallmarks of hair loss in both men and women. If you are experiencing tingly sensations, itching or irritation, then your hair loss issues might progress that much faster, reducing the overall effectiveness of your existing hair loss treatments and products or even rendering them useless. One common cause of hair loss is Seborrheic (seb-o-REE-ik) dermatitis. This common skin condition causes scaly patches, red skin, and dandruff. Supplementing your shampoo with a topical argan oil can help calm skin cells and reduce irritation.

How Ketoconazole Shampoo Works

There is often a great deal of confusion surrounding ketoconazole and how it actually treats hair loss. Ketoconazole comes in both pill and topical form. Ketoconazole tablets are used as an antifungal agent to treat a variety of skin infections. Although ketoconazole oral capsules do not specifically treat hair loss, individuals who suffer from hair loss as a result of a scalp infection or other scalp issues might see hair growth after treating various skin conditions. However, ketoconazole does not directly treat hair loss. Ketoconazole shampoos help to eliminate scalp conditions. This is because ketoconazole helps kill fungi and yeast cells that grow on the scalp. Ketoconazole does this by stopping the fungi from producing ergosterol, which is what fungus and yeast cells “feed” on to develop and spread. Additionally, ketoconazole for hair loss is an effective way to treat scalp DHT.

Through our research, we have found that ketoconazole shampoo and other hair care and hair loss products that contain it are incredibly effective. However, like most products, they don’t work for everyone. Each individual is unique in his or her own way, and has different reactions to different products.

If you have recently been diagnosed with a particular scalp condition, then you will likely be prescribed a ketoconazole topical. The most common ketoconazole prescription is a Regenepure DR shampoo.

Ketoconazole Side Effects and Possible Reactions

Many individuals who have used ketoconazole shampoos and products claim that they can leave hair looking and feeling rough, course, slightly lifeless and flat. This is because ketoconazole is killing fungus on the scalp, which can make hair appear thinner, which many be a problem for individuals who are already experiencing thinning hair. Most ketoconazole shampoos will not work with color-treated hair. If you have noticed your hair really thin out, then you may want to consider trying a hair thickening conditioner or volumizer to help restore moisture and hydration in the hair. Ketoconazole can cause some potentially serious—and even fatal—side effects.

The most common being issues involving the liver. Seek immediate medical attention if you begin to experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Persistent nausea and/ or vomiting
  • Stomach or abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Yellowing eyes and/ or skin
  • A loss of appetite
  • Lightly-colored stool

Consuming alcohol while also consuming ketoconazole can also increase your risks for serious liver problems. Therefore, it is important to use ketoconazole only as directed and avoiding mixing it with other medications.

Ketoconazole interacts with drugs, such as the following:

  • Cisapride
  • Disopyramide
  • Dofetilide
  • Dronedarone
  • Methadone
  • Pimozide
  • Quinidine
  • Ranolazine

Who Should Use Ketoconazole?

Although ketoconazole has proven to be an effective treatment option for fungal infections, skin conditions, and hair loss, it should only be used to treat these issues in adult men and women when other treatments have not worked. Pregnant women should speak with their OB-GYN or physicians about the potential risks of taking or using ketoconazole products.

4 Best Ketoconazole Shampoo for Dandruff and Hair Loss

We have put together a comprehensive list of the top four best Ketoconazole shampoos that are quality products, safe to use, and are clinically proven to reduce dandruff and reduce hair loss. And now, without further adieu, here is our list of the top shampoos that contain ketoconazole as well as their lists of active ingredients.

1. DS Labs Revita Shampoo

DS Labs Revita Shampoo is a top-rated product on Amazon designed to treat thinning hair, hair growth, and support the hair restoration proces Unlike other hair loss shampoos or hair care products, the Revita hair growth formula does not contain sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, or other ineffective and potentially hazardous chemicals or ingredients. These ingredients can cause inflammation of the scalp tissue, which can worsen hair loss. Rather, Revita deploys natural cleansers to help boost scalp health and compounds that improve hydration, nutrition, and protein. The Revita hair growth formula has proven to help address thin hair and supports hair restoration.


  • Easy and safe to use
  • Contains no sodium laureth sulfate
  • Help address thinning and support restoration
  • Deploys natural cleansers
  • Contains no sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Helps address thinning and support restoration


  • Expensive product
  • May be watered down
  • Can make hair feel rough
  • May cause some hair to fall out
  • Not the best anti dandruff shampoo

DS Labs Revita Shampoo is one of the most expensive options we reviewed

2. Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

As mentioned above, Nizoral Shampoo contains 1 percent ketoconazole, which can help treat a number of fungal infections even seborrhoeic dermatitis. Nizoral AD shampoo is one of the most well-known and effective fungal-killing products on the market. Nizoral manufacturers recommend using Nizoral shampoo at least twice per week.

Simply use in your regular shampoo routines to help treat, reduce, and control dandruff. It is also safe to use on color-treated and gray hair. The thick, rich lather thoroughly cleanses the hair and scalp, leaving hair smelling fresh and clean. Although Nizoral Shampoo is designed with a gentle formula, it can also be used in combination with other Nizoral products, such as conditioner and styling products. Some individuals may want to buy Nizoral and combine it with a conditioner to help restore volume, moisture, and hydration.


  • Contains 1 percent Ketoconazole
  • Proven to help control flaking, scaling, and itching on the scalp
  • Leaves hair feeling soft and smelling fresh
  • Easy to use—only twice per week
  • Thoroughly cleanses hair and scalp
  • Cost effective ketoconazole product


  • Cheap product
  • May not work
  • May cause dryness on the scalp

3. Premium Anti Hair Loss Shampoo – Wick & Ström

Wick & Ström offers a premium anti-hair loss shampoo with a proprietary formula to help stimulate hair re-growth in both men and women. Premium Hair Loss Shampoo is a salon-quality hair loss shampoo that is affordable, provides desired results, and smells wonderful. The Premium Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo clinically studied formula is designed with ketoconazole as well as a number of natural ingredients including Caffeine, Biotin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Saw Palmetto Extract, Ketoconazole

Premium Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo formula is specifically formulated to clean hair follicles using Aloe Vera, while removing scaly skin around the roots. It is also formulated to help strengthen hair and allow nutrients to improve growth. When compared with other shampoos, Premium Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo does not leave a medicinal menthol smell. WICK & STRÖM recommends using the Premium Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo every day for at least 60 days to see desired results. Wick & Strom also offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.


  • Pleasant odor
  • Cost effective
  • Designed for both men and women
  • Targets hair follicles to allow for hair growth
  • Improves strength and resiliency in hair
  • 60-day money-back guarantee


  • Did not receive as many positive reviews as other products
  • May worsen hair loss
  • May not be as effective as other products

4. L’emarie Intensive Hair Growth Shampoo

L’emarie Intensive Hair Growth Shampoo is a hair growth shampoo designed for both men and women and all hair types. It contains ketoconazole, Saw Palmetto, Biotin as well as a number of effective ingredients that help to promote hair growth, strength and resilience, and a healthy scalp. This particular ketoconazole shampoo also contains DHT blockers that help reduce and control scalp DHT levels and DHT deposits surrounding hair follicles. Accelerated DHT levels and excess DHT deposits can inhibit hair growth and can even cause damage, breakage, and hair loss. The L’emarie Hair Growth Shampoo formula contains 1 percent ketoconazole, which helps reduce inflammation and fungal growth, and to also help treat dry, flaky scalp. The Hair Growth Shampoo also contains a blend of essential oils and natural ingredients to help rid build-up on the scalp. Ingredients include, Salicylic Acid, Tea Tree Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Biotin, Saw Palmetto, Aloe Vera

L’emarie Hair Growth Shampoo has proven to treat:

  • Hair regrowth
  • Hair loss
  • Thinning hair
  • Hair breakage and damage
  • Dry, itchy scalp
  • Androgenic Alopecia
  • Scalp Psoriasis
  • Various scalp conditions


  • Formula designed with the top essential oils, natural ingredients, and ketoconazole
  • Contains 1 percent ketoconazole
  • Reduces itchy, dry scalp
  • Stimulates hair growth
  • Treatment for scalp conditions
  • Cost effective product


  • Has not received many customer reviews
  • Lack of positive results

Conclusion: The Best Ketoconazole Shampoo

In conclusion, dealing with thin hair, hair loss, and a sick scalp or another hair loss condition or fungus, such as dandruff or Androgenic Alopecia can be frustrating and embarrassing. You may feel like you have tried every product on the sun, expecting and hoping for better results. Regardless of whether you are combating thin hair as a result of age or male pattern baldness or due to accelerated DHT dihydrotestosterone levels, another type of scalp condition or illness, there are a number shampoos that are proven to work. Getting stronger, longer, and thicker hair seems so simple, but battling a condition that is working against you is not. Therefore, stop wasting time and money on hair loss products or expensive hair transplantation procedures that are only temporary or do not work. Focus on targeting the “root” of your hair loss problem and effectively treating fungal or scalp conditions once and for all. Using a safe, natural, effective and high-quality ketoconazole shampoo hair loss product is the secret behind healthy hair growth that also provides long-term results.

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