Kiehl’s Scalp Purifying Anti-Dandruff Shampoo Review

Written by Charlene Latreuille

Updated on

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White flakes showing up on your shoulders are never a good sign.

It can be embarrassing at times, but more worryingly, it’s a sign that your scalp needs a total detox.

Fortunately, there is a gamut of products out there right now that can cater to any of your needs.

One of the best ones in the market today is the Kiehl’s Scalp Purifying Anti-Dandruff Shampoo.

The Kiehl’s brand has been formulating some of the best hair and skin care products since the late 1800s. The brand’s first set up shop in 1851 as an apothecary shop.

In 1894, the owner transformed it into a pharmacy. Then, in 1921, the company started branching out. And they started developing skin, hair, and cosmetic products.

They began with perfumes. Then they moved on to developing lotions, shampoos, lip balms, and toners.

They’re also one of the first companies in the U.S. to introduce ingredient lists on their labels.

Since then, they’ve been dedicatedly working with some of the world’s best chemists and dermatologists to discover the best formulas for your skin and hair care needs.

Their scalp purifying anti-dandruff shampoo is a testament to their dedication. This shampoo has a balanced blend of two active ingredients: zinc pyrithione and salicylic acid.

This combination effectively and efficiently gets rid of dandruff and prevents future outbreaks, and it restores healthy, strong, and vibrant locks.

It also restores scalp defenses. It’s also great for nourishing your skin.

Before we dive into the list of ingredients and their benefits, though, you should understand dandruff first.

That will give you a better understanding of what works for you best for future hair care purposes.

Dandruff: Symptoms and Factors That Increase Risk

This is a prevalent condition. The main signs of dandruff include annoying itching and, of course, the flakes. It often gets worse in the fall and wintertime when the air is dry.

According to Healthline, men develop it more frequently than women. People with dry skin and certain skin conditions are also at higher risk of developing it.

However, its exact causes are unknown. But, various factors increase the risk of developing it. Here are some of those factors.

1. Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is closely associated with the fungus Malassezia. This fungus normally lives on your scalp and feeds on the oils coming from your follicles.

It’s usually harmless. But, in some people, this might cause your skin to be overreactive.

That then leads to an overproduction of skin cells and your scalp to be very irritated.

When these extra skin cells die, they mix with the oil and dirt of your head and make a snow cap on your head.

People with seborrheic dermatitis often have irritated and oily skin. And this affects not only your scalp but also many other areas of your skin.

That includes eyebrows, back of the ears, sides of the nose, and your breastbone area.

One of the first things you’ll notice is the skin in the affected areas will be red and greasy. It might also be covered with yellow or flaky white scales.

2. Dry Skin

Dry skin is a number one precursor to itching and flaking.

That’s why for people who don’t experience the condition year-long, it can present in the fall and winter time when the air is dryer.

Cold winter air and overheated rooms can exacerbate it. But, usually, flakes from this circumstance tends to be smaller and less oily.

3. Skin Conditions

Aside from seborrheic dermatitis, other skin conditions can cause you to itch and flake. These skin disorders include psoriasis and eczema.

A fungal infection called Tinea Capitis can also cause the condition. It is also known as scalp ringworm. If you notice the symptoms of these, you should better see your doctor.

4. Yeast

People who are sensitive to yeast can also develop itching and flaking. It can cause an overgrowth of skin cells as well and lead to itching.

That then leads to scratching, which irritates the scalp further and causes inflammation.

5. Skin Care Products

With skincare, one thing you should always remember is that no one is the same. One might work for some people while it might not work on you.

Using products that aren’t meant for your type might trigger a red, itchy, and scaly scalp. Shampooing too much can also irritate the scalp.

6. Medical Conditions

According to Medical News Today, people with certain medical conditions are also prone to dandruff. This includes Parkinson’s disease and other neurological illnesses.

7. Diet

Not eating enough foods that have B vitamins, zinc, and some types of fats can increase your risk of it.

8. Inadequate Brushing

Brushing your hair helps get rid of dead strands as well as dead skin cells.

That’s why combing regularly your locks is necessary. If not, the dead skin cells will build up and cause irritation to your head.


Flakes and itching aren’t serious. But, it can also be a sign of a more severe disease or illness. It’s rare, but it can happen.

You should seek medical help if you experience any sign of infection. This includes swelling, redness, and tenderness.

You should also head to the doctor if you notice any symptoms of skin condition that isn’t simply dandruff. These might be eczema or psoriasis.

If the flaking and itching are also severe and persists after treatments, you can check in with a doctor to get to the root cause.

Often times, complications with such a simple condition arise from the treatments you use.

So, be careful with what you put in your hair. If something causes irritation, stop using it immediately.

Look for shampoos that suit your type best. If nothing works, consult a professional.

Kiehl’s Ingredients and Benefits

In a nutshell, Kiehl’s scalp purifying anti-dandruff shampoo (250 ml) delivers just as its name promises.

Kiehl's Scalp Purifying Anti Dandruff Shampoo

Its ingredients combine to create an active treatment that effectively helps to cleanse the scalp and hair. It relieves scalp itching irritation and other visible signs of dandruff.

And it restores the scalp’s defenses. In addition to that, it helps prevent and control the recurrence of scalp itching, irritation, redness, and flaking.

Kiehl’s anti-dandruff shampoo contains two key active ingredients. These are zinc pyrithione and salicylic acid.

Zinc pyrithione or pyrithione zinc is a commonly used ingredient in most anti-dandruff shampoos.

That is due to its ability to prevent the growth of fungi and prevent bacteria from multiplying.

It is also often used to treat seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, atopic dermatitis, tinea, and so much more.

Salicylic acid doesn’t directly treat dandruff. Rather, it works on scalp purifying. It loosens dead and irritated skin, making it easier to wash away when you shampoo and condition.

Also, unlike a lot of shampoo ingredients, salicylic acid infiltrates your pores. It cleanses them and helps unclog your hair follicles. It also helps prevent oil buildup.

That leads to healthier growth and a reduced risk of plenty of skin issues.

In addition to that, salicylic acid also helps wash away excess sebum. And this has been linked to preventing hair loss.

Together, these two ingredients create an excellent purifying anti-dandruff shampoo.

One gets rids of the existing symptoms. The other prevents any future outbreaks and restores scalp’s defenses.

Aside from those two, Kiehl’s purifying anti-dandruff shampoo also has other beneficial ingredients.

  • Rosemary Leaf Oil

    Rosemary has been used since ancient times for both culinary and medicinal purposes.

    And in recent years, it has become a well-received supplement for anti-dandruff kits.

    It has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, which makes it ideal for dealing with conditions like eczema and seborrheic dermatitis.

    It also has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. This helps kill the yeast that causes dandruff. And it also soothes scalp itching irritation.

    It helps the follicles have enough blood supply and prevent them from dying off too early. It also prevents premature graying.

  • Thymus Mastichina Flower Oil

    The oil from the thymus mastichina flower provides relief for infected or inflamed scalps.

    That, in turn, lessens the itching and prevents you from irritating your skin further.

  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice

    Aloe barbadensis leaf juice is simply aloe vera. It is one of the most popular natural ingredients in skincare products.

    And that is because it offers many benefits to all skin types.

    For problems like seb derm, aloe vera helps through its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties.

    When your skin isn’t dry and irritated, it’s less likely for you to develop symptoms. Aloe vera also has other enzymes that reduce inflammation.

    Last but not least, it has antioxidant properties that prevent cell damage and restores the life of your locks.

  • Citric Acid

    Citric acid is renowned for treating an itchy scalp. It improves the scalp’s condition by improving circulation. And it also absorbs excess sebum.

    That, in turn, makes your scalp healthier as well as your hair follicles.

    Once they’re healthy, you also have great hair growth. This can often be hindered by an irritated scalp, which can also contribute to hair loss.

  • Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate

    This is a very mild foaming agent and cleaner. It is highly valued for cleansing the skin and hair without stripping them of their natural oils.

    It also helps condition them. And it restores the sheen, body, and suppleness of your locks.

    That is why it is often used for products like baby shampoos, exfoliators, eye makeup remover, and acne treatment.

  • Menthol

    The first thing that comes to mind with menthol is the cool and refreshing feeling it provides.

    But, aside from that, menthol infused shampoos are excellent for treating dandruff spots. It breaks down the clumps of dead skin, which makes it easier to rinse.

    Menthol also clears the pores of irritants. This also contributes to the growth and restoring the lushness of your locks.


Kiehl’s has many purifying anti-dandruff ingredients that effectively battle dandruff.

But, like most shampoos, you should make sure that it suits you before using it. This includes looking for ingredients that you might be allergic to, or that won’t agree with your locks.

One thing about Kiehl’s scalp purifying anti-dandruff shampoo is that it contains sodium laureth sulfate. It is a milder version of sodium lauryl sulfate.

But, it is a sulfate nonetheless. This helps the shampoo create a good lather that leaves your tresses squeaky clean. It also has sodium chloride or salt.

Those two ingredients don’t work well with chemically treated or colored hair.

They strip down the color of your locks and the effects of the treatment a lot quicker than you’d like. And it’ll leave you going back to the salon more often.

More than that, the shampoo also contains linalool. This is what makes the shampoo smell so good. And it is found in 60 to 80 percent of perfumed hygiene products.

Unfortunately, some people are allergic to it. It breaks down when it comes into contact with oxygen. And when it becomes oxidized, it can cause allergic reactions.

So, if you have allergies to perfumes, this shampoo may not be for you.

Aside from those, you have nothing else to worry about this scalp purifying anti-dandruff shampoo. In fact, it may be the hair care treatment you have long been looking for.

With Kiehl’s purifying shampoo, you get rid of all irritating and visible signs of dandruff.

And it’ll guarantee that there will be no recurrence of scalp itching irritation any time soon. You’ll only be left with the healthy, strong, and vibrant locks that you deserve.

About the Author

Charlene LatreuilleCharlene Latreuille

Charlene Latreuille has been blogging for over 10 years and has a background in digital marketing.

Specializing in women's hair health, she blends scientific insight with practical advice, crafting easy-to-follow guides.