OUAI’s Dandruff Shampoo Is So Chic, I Actually *Want* To Show It Off in My Shower—Plus, It Keeps My Scalp Flake-Free

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Let’s be honest: There’s nothing fun about dandruff. Whether it’s the white "snow" that ends up all over your black tee or the ugly shampoo bottles announcing your scalp condition to anyone who steps into your bathroom, those itchy, irritated flakes are decidedly unsexy. Lucky for us flakey folks, that’s about to change.

Meet the latest launch from OUAI: An Anti-Dandruff Shampoo that you'll actually want to show off in your shower. The ultra-chic brand (which was founded by celeb hairstylist Jen Atkin) is known for its luxurious, hard-working hair and body products, and the newest addition to its lineup is no different. From packaging to fragrance to formulation, the shampoo gives the anti-dandruff category a much-needed upgrade.

“We did some research and we went to the local drugstore and were like, ‘We need to do more than drugstore,’” says Diana Pratasiewciz Barnao, OUAI's director of education. “We weren’t impressed with what we saw that could help dandruff. It wasn’t aesthetically pleasing, it didn’t smell great, it didn’t make you feel like you were going to have a luxurious experience along with getting help.”

The shampoo features 2 percent salicylic acid to help eliminate the recurrence of itching, irritation, redness, and flaking; propanediol caprylate to reduce the amount of dandruff-causing bacteria and soothe the scalp; and gentle surfactants and conditioning agents to keep hair soft, smooth, and clean like a regular shampoo (rather than a medical shampoo that helps alleviate dandruff but may dry out the rest of your strands). It’s free of SLS, SLES, parabens, and phthalates, and is safe for color- and chemically-treated hair as well as hair that’s had keratin treatments or Brazilian blowouts.

This marks OUAI’s first foray into over-the-counter cosmetics, meaning it’s a viable treatment option for those clinically diagnosed with dandruff. And the clinical studies really do speak for themselves. After 28 days of use, 100% of the participants agreed that they saw fewer flakes on their scalp and hair, and that their scalps felt noticeably healthier and less itchy and irritated.

And as someone who, while not clinically diagnosed, has struggled with dandruff throughout the years, I was eager to put these claims to the test. I’d characterize my dandruff as relatively mild, but zoom in on any of my selfies and you’ll likely find a few rogue white flakes in my hair (okay, to be completely honest, I sometimes edit them out before posting so you may not see any dandruff.... but trust me ,it’s there).

The first thing I noticed about the shampoo, really from the moment I ripped open the package, was how ridiculously chic it looked. This is not your average eyesore of a dandruff shampoo. The product, like the rest of OUAI’s offerings, is sleek, minimalistic, and sophisticated. It’s the type of shampoo you’d gladly have on full display—even the word “dandruff” is relatively small on the label, a detail I very much appreciate.

I was also impressed with the scent, which is another major point of differentiation from traditional dandruff shampoos (and a staple across OUAI’s entire product line). The Anti-Dandruff Shampoo features one of OUAI’s signature “OUAI de parfums,” Cape Town, an earthy fragrance with notes of ginger and spearmint.

“OUAI is known for fragrance. We’re a fragrance brand through and through. What better way to change that medicinal scent [of traditional dandruff shampoo] than with notes of grass and green fig and basil?” says Barnao.

To treat my mild flakes, I used the shampoo two to three times a week. Prior to application, I’d work the product into a lather and then apply, focusing directly on my hairline and scalp. I’d let it sit in my hair for five minutes, rinse thoroughly, and follow up with a conditioner.

Almost immediately, my hair was left feeling clean, soft, and smooth. And, best of all, my scalp was virtually flake-free, even days after washing. At this point, the OUAI dandruff shampoo has become a staple in my haircare routine.

“One in five people has dandruff, yet it’s still very taboo to talk about it,” says Atkins. “We are here to take the shame, embarrassment, and discomfort out of having dandruff. From our formulation and clinicals, packaging, campaign, and especially fragrance, we are here to help you stop being flakey.”

Mission accomplished.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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