Review :: La Roche-Posay Kerium Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

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  • Ingredients
  • Wash
  • Scent
  • Price


An effective relatively gentle medicated shampoo that controls dandruff and makes your hair feel magnificent after washing.

A first on this site.

User Review
2.57 (23 votes)

buy now on ebay La Roche-Posay Kerium Anti-Dandruff shampoos come in three flavors:

  • Dry Scalp
  • Oily Scalp
  • Intensive

At the time of purchase, I was suffering from a very dry scalp so I chose the dry scalp, erm, edition.  Do shampoos even have editions?

The shampoo isn’t especially cheap but La Roche-Posay is a company of some repute.

Owned by Loreal, La Roche-Posay is a provider of sensitive skin products.  They appeal to me instantly.  They claim that their products are recommended by over 25K dermatologists worldwide.    They also aim to create products for those of us with sensitive skin by developing minimalist formulas.  The Kerium range is dedicated to providing “solutions to dandruff problems, hair loss, and a sensitive scalp.“ and contains no parabens, colorants, and minimal fragrance.   By this stage, I was genuinely excited to try this shampoo.

The bottle arrived and immediately looked like a premium brand.   Very classy.  Very minimalistic.  As good, if not better, than I expected.

On reading the bottle I found that the three variants of the shampoo contain the same active ingredients:

la roche posay kerium anti dandruff shampoo Long-time readers of this site know that I personally have a problem with Salicylic Acid.  It dries my skin after prolonged usage and it seems I am not unique.  I just can’t use any it over any period of time.  Piroctone Olamine, on the other hand, is an excellent anti-fungal that controls my seborrheic dermatitis.  Sebamed, my absolute favorite dandruff shampoo, contains the ingredient.  The addition of Capryloyl Salicylic Acid intrigued me.  It is purported to be less irritable than Salicylic Acid so perhaps I could use this shampoo over a sustained period?   I’ve never used a shampoo with three active ingredients either so I decided I would use this shampoo exclusively for two weeks.

The dry scalp shampoo that I chose is a white thick pearlescent virtually fragrance-free shampoo.   The oily scalp variant comes in a gel.  Either way, not much shampoo was required to wash the hair.   The foam was immediate and felt luxurious and my hair felt absolutely fantastic after the wash.  My one criticism of many effective dandruff shampoos is the compromise on performance.  However, La Roche-Posay looked and performed like a real premium shampoo.

After a week I found my dandruff was completely under control.  I was suffering absolutely no side effects whatsoever.  Unfortunately, after two weeks my skin and scalp were much drier than before I started.   It really felt like a typical reaction to salicylic acid.  Perhaps it was a reaction to something else though.  I read the other ingredients with interest.

The dry scalp version, which I was using, contains a total of 24 ingredients.  Not quite the minimalistic formula the company advertises.   5 of them are known contact allergens with perfume being the most severe.  Unfortunately, the shampoo isn’t SLS-free either which I found extremely surprising for this of all companies.   The oily scalp equivalent is essentially the same core ingredients with the same allergens but only 21 ingredients.  The intensive edition is by far the harshest of the three although the active ingredients are exactly the same as the other two supposedly less intense formulas.

Would I use the shampoo again?  Absolutely.  Not over a two-week period but certainly to control an outbreak.  I’ve never used a medicated shampoo that makes your hair feel this good and, don’t forget, it controlled my dandruff!  It was almost certainly the salicylic acid that ultimately dried my skin after prolonged use.   Given a choice again I would definitely buy the oily scalp formula.  If only because it contains fewer chemicals than the other two.

Is it my new favorite seb derm shampoo?   No.   I still prefer Seba Med.  It contains the same anti-fungal active ingredient that in isolation controls my dandruff.  It has a gentler composition.  It’s cheaper!  But it doesn’t make my hair and scalp feel as nice after washing.

Controlling dandruff is seemingly all about compromise.


  • The site owner. I founded, and have ran this site for too many years now. I have extremely sensitive skin, have suffered from seb derm for all my adult life and this site is my way of doing something about it. Check out my sister site at

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3 thoughts on “Review :: La Roche-Posay Kerium Anti-Dandruff Shampoo”

  1. I wonder why you recommend seba med as it has SLS in?

    Does that not irritate the scalp?

    I am suffering massive hair thinning as its not falling out in a shed just not growing back through teh evil that is Malessezia Fungus..
    Not tried Niz or Selsun and done ALL the natural routes.. Was a yeast infection after anti biotics..

    Itchy isnt even the word.. Burning and pain only aloe vera neat can help..

    I want to try the La roche but worried my scalp will react to all this but think the dandruff (it is only visible when scratced then it is massive )

    • Hi Sarah!

      Reviews are very subjective things and of all the reviews on this site, only one shampoo has no irritants we know of. That same shampoo is a coal tar shampoo which is a massive irritant for some folk. It’s always hard to strike the balance.

      That said, Sebamed doesn’t have SLS but instead has a milder alternative called SLES – Sodium LaurETH Sulfate as – opposed to SLS which is Sodium LaurYL Sulfate. I say it is milder – it all depends on the person. SLS has more of a chance of irritating you though than SLES which is generally perceived to be the milder of the two. There’s a decent write up of it here.

      Ideally Sebamed wouldn’t contain either and that’s why we flag all of the irritants.

      My own personal favorite seb derm shampoo is Sebamed. Nizoral also works for me, it’s definitely stronger, but it contains more irritants too. I also really like the Vichy Dercos range, but they too have irritants in there. Less than the vast majority of shampoos, but still irritants. It also has Salicylic Acid which is good for getting rid of existing build up, but can really dry your skin if you use the shampoo constantly. I’ve heard great things about the 2.5% Selsun (not the Blue) which you can get over the counter. I’ve not tried it yet (hence no review) but I know that Selenium Sulfide (the active ingredient) irritates some people.

      Finding a shampoo is tough. Knowing what’s in there before using it goes a long way to helping you find the one that works for you.

      Let me know how you get on!

  2. Please ca you advise if La Roche-Posay Kerium DS Intensive Shampoo it safe to use on hair that has been coloured and if so does it reduce the colour?


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