6 Shampoos that Contain Ketoconazole -- which is the best?

6 Shampoos that Contain Ketoconazole — which is the best?

Click here to reveal the expert guide to the best ketoconazole shampoo for fighting hair loss and dandruff, or scroll down to view all shampoos.

  • Nizoral (see below) is the shampoo with the highest concentration of ketoconazole (2%)
  • Male pattern hair loss is caused by the hormone DHT. Ketoconazole is believed to reduce DHT in the scalp
  • If you have dandruff or male pattern baldness use Nizoral twice a week.
  • Massage the shampoo into your scalp and leave for 2 minutes before rinsing. Rinse Well…
  • The active ingredient, ketoconazole, is toxic. At 2% it’s not harmful, so don’t worry, but don’t over use the shampoo or leave it on your scalp for more than 2 minutes
  • If you have hair loss that is not caused by DHT, use a milder shampoo with less ketoconazole (see the list of shampoos below). Please note: manufacturers change their ingredients from time to time and some shampoos on this list may no longer contain ketoconazole. Check the ingredients before you buy.

If you have dandruff one of the best things you can do is start using a shampoo that contains ketoconazole. Most people have heard of Head and Shoulders, which uses zinc to control dandruff, but actually ketoconazole shampoos are more effective at treating scalp conditions. Furthermore, ketoconazole (the active ingredient) is a mild ‘5-alpha-reductase inhibitor’, which may help reduce DHT in your scalp, which in turn may help reduce hair loss in men experiencing male pattern baldness.

Ketoconazole is a toxic chemical at sufficient volumes, but at the small volumes contained in these shampoos it effectively kills the common fungi that cause dandruff.

  • Nizoral Anti Dandruff Shampoo

    Nizoral Anti Dandruff Shampoo

    Around $11 for 3.5oz

    Nizoral is by far the most well-known ketoconazole shampoo. It’s also probably the best because it contains the highest concentration of ketoconazole (2%). You should only use Nizoral 2 or 3 times a week because ketoconazole is a toxic chemical. If you use it too much you may experience mild poisoning.

    • Contains 2% ketoconazole — the highest available concentration and therefore probably the most effective for stopping dandruff and fighting against male pattern baldness.

    Buy online (USA)

    Buy online (UK)

  • DS Laboratories Revita High Performance Hair Growth Stimulating Shampoo

    DS Laboratories Revita Hair Growth Stimulating Shampoo Around $21 for 180ml

    • Contains ketoconazole, which kills the fungi that causes dandruff and other scalp conditions and is thought to promote hair growth in some individuals
    • Contains copper peptides, which may improve absorption of ingredients
    • Contains apple polyphenol, which may improve circulation in the scalp
    • Contains MSM, amino acids and biotin
    • Contains emu oil, which contains nutrients and may help nutrient absorption
    • Contains cysteine, the main component of hair (in terms of amino acid composition)
    • Contains taurine, which together with cysteine is thought to promote hair growth
    • Contains caffeine and carnitine tartrate, which may increase cell energy in scalp, increasing hair growth
    • Contains anti-oxidants, which may help protect cells from free radicals


    Buy online (USA)

    Buy online (UK)

  • Perfect Hair Shampoo Review

    Perfect Hair Anti Hair Loss Shampoo Around $20 for 8oz

    On paper this is a really great shampoo. It contains loads of great ingredients for hair loss prevention (see below), including ketoconazole, which reduces dandruff and scalp conditions and is also a mild 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor. However I have noticed that this shampoo has had some really bad reviews on Amazon, so it’s worth checking those out. Click the blue button to view the Amazon reviews.

    • Contains ketoconazole, which kills the fungus that causes dandruff and other skin conditions and may reduce DHT
    • Contains saw palmetto, which blocks 5-alpha reductase, which may reduce DHT when applied topically
    • Contains emu oil, a mild anti-inflammatory, which may also reduce DHT
    • Contains salicylic acid, which helps keep the pres clear of sebum
    • Contains biotin and horsetail (a source of silica), which are thought to help nourish hair
    • Contains niacin, which may help increase blood circulation to the scalp
    • Contains zinc, which kills the fungus that causes dandruff and other skin conditions
    • Contains pygeum, evening primrose oil and borage oil — all of which help inhibit 5-alpha reductase, thus potentially reducing DHT levels.
    • Contains caffeine, which has been shown in studies to promote hair growth


    Buy online (USA)

  • Regenepure DR anti DHT ketoconazole shampoo

    RegenePure Doctor Recommended Anti Hair Loss Shampoo Around $28 for 16oz

    Regenpure DR is a really great anti hair loss shampoo. It’s not marketed as an anti-dandruff shampoo, but does contain ketoconazole. This is really a great shampoo for hair loss sufferers, who sometimes have scalp conditions as well as the common causes of hair loss. Regenpure also contains saw palmetto (which may help block DHT in the scalp), zinc (which may help clear up skin conditions), salicylic acid (which helps clear the pores of dirt and sebum), niacin (which may increase blood circulation in the scalp, plus other ingredients that benefit the hair.

    • Contains niacin, which may help increase blood circulation in the scalp
    • Contains ketoconazole, which kills common scalp fungi and may also reduce scalp DHT
    • Contains saw palmetto, which may reduce DHT in the scalp
    • Contains linolenic acid, which may inhibit DHT locally
    • Contains emu oil, which is an anti-inflammatory. DHT is thought to cause inflammation in the scalp, leading to hair loss
    • Contains jojoba oil, which may increase hair growth
    • Contains salicylic acid, which helps clear sebum and dead skin cells from the scalp
    • Contains zinc, which helps reduce fungal infections in the scalp


    Buy online (USA)

    Buy online (UK)

  • Boots Ketoconazolw Shampoo

    Boots Anti Dandruff Shampoo Around GBP 8.19 for 20mg

    This is a bog standard ketoconazole shampoo with no added extras. Only available in the UK.

    • Contains 2% ketoconazole


  • Ketozal Anti Dandruff Shampoo

    Ketozal Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

    • Contains 2% ketoconazole

    Around $9 for 2.1oz

    Ketozal is a lesser known brand of ketoconazole shampoo. Like Nizoral, it’s nothing special but will do the job just fine.

Which is the best?

I recommend the RegenePure shampoo for anyone who is suffering from hair loss. If you also have a flaky, inflamed, irritated or itchy scalp purchase the RegenePure anti hair loss shampoo with the RegenPure DR scalp treatment with ketoconazole.

The Perfect Hair Shampoo contains all the best possible ingredients for a hair loss shampoo. However, due to its bad reviews I can’t recommend it at this moment. If anyone has any good or bad stories about any of these shampoos please leave a comment.

What else can you do to clear up dandruff and improve scalp condition?

Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

One of the best natural remedies for dandruff is an apple cider vinegar rinse. This is very easy to do. Simply dilute apple cider vinegar in water in a 1:1 ratio. Then apply the diluted solution to your scalp. Leave for 15 minutes and rinse. Do this every day until the dandruff clears up.

If you use an apple cider vinegar rinse, make sure you use an apple cider vinegar that contain something called “the mother”. This is removed from some apple cider vinegars during the manufacturing process, but is an important ingredient for this rinse.

Ketoconazole shampoo for Hair loss: How Does It Work?

Ketoconazole is an imidazole anti-fungal agent that is also effective in topical applications for treating seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.  Recently, topical use of 2% ketoconazole shampoo has been reported to have had a clinically therapeutic effect on androgenetic alopecia.

To investigate the possible benefits of 2% ketoconazole shampoo on hair growth in mouse models, a group of Japanese researchers applied ketoconazole or a placebo on the dorsal skin of 7 week-old genetically modified (C3H/HeN) mice after shaving off the hair. The results of this study were published in The Journal of Dermatology in 2005. These results showed that 2% ketoconazole clearly stimulated hair regrowth.

How Ketoconazole Stops Hair Loss and Promotes Hair Regrowth

Anti-inflammatory and Sebum Reduction

A 1998 study published in the Swiss journal, Dermatology, by a group of Belgian researchers compared the efficacies of 2% ketoconazole shampoo and a placebo shampoo mixed with or without 2% minoxidil.

The results showed that both 2% ketoconazole and 2% minoxidil were effective for stimulating hair growth. These topical agents increased hair density as well as the size and population of hair follicles during the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle.

The researchers believed that ketoconazole was able to increase hair growth because of its broad antifungal activities against the microbes colonizing the scalp flora; and its anti-inflammatory properties.

The 2% solution of ketoconazole has been proven to reduce local inflammation on the scalp. This inflammation is mostly caused by colonizing fungi and the immune response to the damage done to hair follicles by androgens such as DHT as well as these causative fungi. Ketoconazole has a direct anti-inflammatory property that can help stop these inflammatory reactions. Such inflammations will definitely reduce the output of the hair follicle cells and, therefore, disrupt the hair growth cycle.

Besides its anti-inflammatory properties, ketoconazole can also reduce sebum production in the scalp. By turning down the secretion of sebum from the sebaceous glands attached to the hair follicles, ketoconazole prevents the skin pores of the scalp from clogging up. It frees the path of hair follicles and provides the right environment for new hair growth.

As an Antiandrogen

Androgenetic alopecia causes hair loss at the crown of the head and temples in men and thinning hair over the entire scalp in women. Eventually leading to full hair loss in men. Hair loss occurs due to an excess of dihydrotestosterone (a derivative of the male hormone testosterone) binding to hair follicles receptors. While testosterone is a hormone associated with men, women also have low levels of testosterone in their bodies. Dihydrotestosterone binds to receptors in scalp follicles, shrinking follicles and making it impossible for healthy hair to survive, according to the American Hair Loss Association. Follicles are the small openings in the skin that produce hair. In our bodies Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is made from testosterone by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase (5AR). Ketoconazole, inhibits this enzyme and reduces hair loss as a result.


You may notice itching burning or irritation when you first use ketoconazole shampoo. Oily or dry scalp can be seen as well. If the side effects continue inform your doctor.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1526623
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15863844
  3. Downs M. Nizoral shampoo for hair loss. DERMAdoctor,
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10234078

9 Replies to “6 Shampoos that Contain Ketoconazole — which is the best?”

  1. Apply yoghurt to hair – plain, fat or non fat. Can use your fingers. Massage in. Leave till it dries before washing with any shampoo. I have very long & thick hair so half of it is already dried up by the time I finish applying. For short hair, May leave for half hr to one hour. INSTANT RESULT – in one application. I get lazy in the winter months and don’t use it coz your head does feel cold, since yoghurt is cold and so my dandruff comes back in winters. Tried heating it once in microwave but it coagulates. You could try leaving it out to reach room temp. I use it regularly before every wash through spring-summer-fall – not a single flake in my head at that time

  2. I had stubborn dandruff , it was so thick and scabby and my scalp would itch something awful. It looked ugly and ot was embarrassing to have. My Doctor prescribed me 2 percent ketoconazole shampoo..AWESOME!!! took it away completely within 2 weeks and you can buy 1 percent ketoconazole (nizoral) over the counter which im sure takes a little longer but will do the job. Hope this was helpful.

  3. Update: revita has only 0.25% keto* so basically the lowest amount possible for them to put it on the list ingredients, but not enough for it to be clinically effective.

    * source hgspecialist.com

  4. I had really stubborn dandruff and consulted a dermatologist. What they suggested works like a dream for me. It’s a rotation between three types of common shampoos. They said the fungus can adapt to the zinc levels, for example, if you only use one kind, which was what I’d been doing. Now, each time I wash my hair, I rotate between a ketoconazole (like Nizoral), a zinc (like head n shoulders) and a selenium sulfide (like Selsun Blue). works wonders! The dandruff never returns.

  5. Hi

    I’m 25 and I am having dandruff problem for past 3 years. My hair becomes dry and frizzy after hair wash, after a day or two it becomes greasy as if I have applied oil ( I don’t apply oil ) I have hair fall problem too with receding hair in front. My hair is not very lengthy. I want to increase the volume of my hair and get rid off dandruff. Can u suggest shampoos and some home remedies for the same. I currently using head and shoulders anti dandruff shampoo.

  6. Hi.

    I just want to point out, that Ketoconazole 1% or 2% Shampoos are also used for a skin fungal infection called “Tinea Versicolor”. Which is a monthly lifetime treatment, because It will come back every 2 years. Prescription wise, it dose the job, but doesn’t lather very well. Do any of these lather well?

    1. I started using the Perfect Hair Shampoo and had great results. My hair thickened up and stopped breaking off . It seemed to become stronger. I will continue to use as long as it is available. I cannot understand how it could get a bad review, it is a great shampoo for stopping hair loss. I have several of my friends using it and they like it too. You do have to follow the directions and leave it on for a few minutes while massaging your scalp, but how hard it that? It only takes less then three or four minutes and that is a small price to pay to have thicker hair.

      M. S Wright

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