Pureology Dandruff Scalp Cure Shampoo and Conditioner: Safe for Color Treated Hair

Published in: Hair, Product Reviews


Last month I tried my very first Pureology product ever — Colourmax Spray hair color protectant — and came away impressed. I decided to keep an eye on the brand.


Pureology Dandruff Scalp Cure Shampoo and Conditioner ($35 each, wow!) are the latest additions to the Pureology product family. The company caters to people with deep pockets and color treated hair, but are they charging too much?

While generally effective at treating dandruff, most over-the-counter dandruff shampoos tend to strip away hair color. Pureology sought to develop a product that could treat dandruff without ruining a dye job.

As with Head & Shoulders and most other dandruff shampoos, the active ingredient in Pureology’s dandruff products is pyrithione zinc, an antifungal/ antibacterial agent commonly used to treat scalp scaling, itching and flaking, but while most dandruff products limit the amount of pyrithione zinc in their products to 1%, Pureology uses 2%.

To save hair color, Pureology products use a blend of UVA and UVB protectants the company calls “Anti-Fade Complex.”

I will get dandruff from time to time, particularly when the seasons change. To treat it, I’ve always just reached for Head & Shoulders Shampoo ($8) and a conditioner like Bumble & Bumble Super Rich, but, even limiting my use of Head & Shoulders to no more than once a week (and then only on my roots), my hair felt dry and my color would fade faster than usual.

After using both Pureology dandruff products once a week for a month, not only did my dandruff go away, but my hair color didn’t.

Pureology Dandruff Scalp Cure Shampoo

Price: $35 for a 10.1-oz bottle
Use: To treat dandruff without stripping away hair color
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+

The shampoo has a lovely vanilla scent with a touch of musk and builds into a nice lather. It’s not as drying as Head & Shoulders is, and while I could probably have used it safely on my full head of hair, I stuck to only using it on my roots. I figure that way the 10-oz. bottle should last upwards of a year, which breaks down to about $3 per month.

Pureology Dandruff Scalp Cure Conditioner

Price: $35 for a 8.5-oz bottle
Use: To condition roots and treat dandruff without stripping away hair color
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: C

At 8.5 oz. the conditioner is considerably smaller than the shampoo. It also contains pyrithione zinc, but only at 0.5%. The directions on the bottle suggest applying it directly to the scalp, not to the hair shaft or ends.

I have dry hair and always condition my hair from roots to ends. When using Pureology’s conditioner as the directions advised, I then had to apply an additional conditioner to the rest of my hair. Not a big fan of extra steps, and before long I wasn’t using Pureology’s Scalp Cure conditioner at all.

If you have color treated hair and get dandruff from time to time, consider Scalp Cure Shampoo. With the time and money involved in getting a good dye job, it’s an investment. Pureology’s reputation for color safe products appeals to me, but $35 for their dandruff conditioner does not.


Check out Pureology Scalp Cure shampoo and conditioner at your local Pure Beauty store.

Happy Saturday! I’ve got errands on the agenda this afternoon. I plan to hit Costco and Target (and hopefully Sephora, whee!) for some household shopping, but later I want to visit a pet store close to home; they’re holding cat adoptions today… I just want to go and visit with the kitties. None can come home with me today though. πŸ™

How was your Friday night? Did you do anything fun? I watched HellBoy II: The Golden Army (t’was El Hub’s idea). I went along mostly because I’m a fan of the director, Guillermo del Toro, but the movie was a nice surprise — visually stunning, and the characters are well developed and interesting. The main character, HellBoy (the big red dude), has this thing for cats. He won’t allow anyone to harm them, so he’s alright in my book.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 21 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Elena says:

    Great post, Karen! I had always wanted to try Pureology, but I didn’t want to fish out the money for it. Now I’m lemming for the shampoo. πŸ™‚ I use Head & Shoulders, too, but I need a deeper conditioning shampoo during the summer heat.

    Have fun with the shopping. πŸ™‚ Are you going to pick up some of the new MAC collection items today? They’ve seem to have picked up some good MUA reviews so far.

  2. Marisol says:

    Thank you so much for your review. I get dandruff from time to time too and was going to go to Kiehl’s to get their shampoo but I think I am going to try Pureology.

    I had a good day today. Went to the Renegade Craft Fair at Fort Mason and got some goodies. If you can, check it out as tomorrow is the last day in SF. If you are a fan of Etsy, then you will like the stuff they have there.

    Marisols last blog post..YouTube Crack

  3. Roxy says:

    I have wavy hair and my hair tends to poof after it dries out from the shower =[ I usually didn’t mind when my hair was longer but now it’s super annoying! I wonder if this shampoo will help me. lol

    About your other comment. Oh man you make me miss plate lunch so bad! I really don’t like eating fast food but there’s nothing even remotely similar to eating plate lunch here! Where are you originally from anyway? I grew up in Hawaii but I wanted to experience different things so I went to school for a year in LA, got married & my husband’s in the military and he’s stationed in Tucson so I transferred schools here. I hated it at first but it really isn’t that bad. I just wish we had Sephora!

    Roxys last blog post..MAC: Electro Flash, Sonic Chic, & New View!

  4. Dao says:

    I watched Hell Boy 1 years ago when it came out in theaters, I think the release date was my b-day or something. It was not all that but since you said this one is nice, I may check it out.

    It’s funny that I read about the anti-fading technology in shampoos and conditioners about a week ago in C&EN (weekly mag for chemistry and engineering geeks). Now you mentioned Pureology πŸ˜€ According to the article, expect more greatness to come later on next year and the triple molecules they combine is something really new. It’s nice to read something makeup and beauty related in mainstream science mags once in a while.

    Daos last blog post..Happy Sunday!

  5. Lydia says:

    Ooo I am always looking for stuff to put in my colored hair!

    Lydias last blog post..Scrunched Summertime Waves

  6. Sylvie says:

    Hi Karen, I suspect that you might have this antenna that picks up what I am thinking because many a time, I’ve been preoccupied with something and not long after, you write about the same issue! Evidently, I was bothered by the dandruff I developed because of the cornrows that I had put in about 4 weeks ago. I took them out yesterday but I was also panicking that I’d have dandruff permanently. I’ve never had dandruff all my life. So I wanted to get a Head and Shoulders for sensitive scalp but my feet brought me instead to my coiffeur beside the drug store and I ended up with a Wella anti-dandruff shampoo for about 4 times the cost of Head and Shoulders.

    Anw, be excited for me, I got the Colour Forms sunkissed powder and it looks awwwwwesome! Though, I could never replicate the way the makeup artists apply blushes on me. Wanted a Colour Form lipstick originally but none of them interested me in person.

  7. Sylvie says:

    Sorry, it’s Suncentered, not sunkissed. Will you be doing a review on Colour Forms soon?

  8. Amanda says:

    I’m a big fan of pureology products (EXCEPT the prices). They seem to be more concentrated too, so while expensive I can usually use a lesser amount. My favorites are the styling products “texture twist” and “power dressing”. Using these along with bumble and bumble spray de mode will give my thin, fine hair a hint of volume. πŸ™‚

  9. tania says:

    Karen thanks for the review, good info! I think I got dandruff once and that’s it. My hair only flakes now cuz of bad hairspray! If you go to Beauty Brands, they’re having the 10.98 liter sale!!! Usually I stock up on my current redken regime but now I started using graham webbs heat response and it’s fab! So check out your local beauty brands!!!

  10. Karen says:

    Hi Elena,

    I hear ya! My hair gets thirsty in the summer, too, especially if I’m swimming or outside in the son. If you end up getting this you can totally make it last by just using a little of the shampoo on your roots, and then use a more moisturizing shampoo on the shaft and the ends! πŸ™‚

    I haven’t had a chance to hit up Nordie’s yet, so no MAC for me until later on this week. There’s also the Colour Forms coming out on the 18th… oy, so many makeup decisions to make. πŸ™‚

  11. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    Girl, you are out and about this weekend! Did you get anything good at the fair?

  12. Karen says:

    Hi Roxy,

    Hmm, it sounds like you’ll either need a product to control the poof or a heavier conditioner to weigh it down (or perhaps both). When I had shorter hair one thing I did was hang my head upside down and then apply gel into my hair right after I finished showering, when it was dripping wet. I would then use an old t-shirt, not a towel, to gently blot the excess water out of the hair. Having gel certainly helped keep the volume in control.

    I’m from the East Bay originally; went to school up by Sacramento and then moved back to the Bay Area and met El Hub. The rest, as they say, is history. πŸ™‚ I’ve been to Tucson before and I remember it being very dry, and having lots of open space (which I liked). I remember using a LOT of lotion when I was there.

  13. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    I liked this second movie better than the first, and it’s very rare for me to like a sequel. I’m not really a fan of the comic, but the character development, pacing and visuals were just great.

    That article you read sounds really interesting. I wish they could do all this greatness without silicones (sigh), but what are ya gonna do.

  14. Karen says:

    Hi Lydia,

    Me too!

  15. Karen says:

    Hi Sylvie,

    What do you think of the Wella shampoo? I used that brand a long time ago, but it’s been a few years. Let me know if you like it.

    Regarding Color Forms, I am going to have to play with the palettes first! I’m wanting the both the Warm Eyes and the Cool eyes palettes. πŸ™‚

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Amanda,

    Oh sweet! Do you have a favorite conditioner?

  17. Karen says:

    Hi Tania,

    Thanks for the tips. Oh, I hate it when hairspray flakes (LOL, that was my big hair issue in the late 90s). What Redken products are your favorites?

  18. Barbra W says:

    I love the Shielo Color Protect – both shampoo and conditioner – but it’s usually way too expensive in the salon. Love that I can get a great price on it AND have free shipping ordering at their website online. Best shampoo I have used to preserve my color job.

    I highly recommend it if you spent alot of money coloring your hair, and now want to keep that color as long as possible!

  19. Alex says:

    I LOVE pureology but it is very expensive. I remember when I could get it for 20$ a bottle, not any more!! It is natural, leaves your hair smelling great and silky soft. The conditioner is wonderful, with hint of rosemary and mint, makes your scalp tingle!

  20. LisaPring says:

    I always had a dry flaky scalp. My hair was so dry that after only 2 days after I washed it the flakes were all over looking like it was snowing. A hairdresser in New York (when I was visiting my sister) told me about the Shielo Hydrate Conditioner. Ever since I’ve used Shielo – I haven’t seen a flake yet. A few years ago I attempted to use a substitute since the state I moved in did not carry it, trust me that was a huge mistake! Ever since that fiasco I now order it online.

  21. Simmi says:

    Hey Karen!

    Im looking for a dandruff shampoo for color treated here, I saw you mentioned Scalp Care Shampoo? When I tried searching it on google I couldn’t find it do you mind telling me the full name? thanks!

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