Beauty
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What Are the Different Types of Dandruff Products?

Lori Kilchermann
Lori Kilchermann

When skin excessively sheds on the scalp and produces multitudes of white flakes, the condition is known as dandruff. It is often caused by eczema, which is a skin condition that causes a build-up of dead skin cells. Dandruff products include a variety of shampoos, conditioners and scalp treatments designed to stop the irritation, itching and flaking caused by the condition. The active ingredients these products typically use to help control dandruff include coal tar, zinc pyrithione, and salicylic acid.

One of the first dandruff products many people initially reach for to battle dandruff is anti-dandruff shampoo. Most shampoos recommend frequent or daily use to prevent the build-up of dead cells. Anti-dandruff shampoos typically instruct users to allow the shampoo to remain applied to the scalp for a few minutes before being rinsed off in order to allow the shampoo to be more effective. Ketoconazole is featured in some anti-dandruff shampoos because of its anti-bacterial properties. Some medicated shampoos contain salicylic acid to clean the hair as well as relieve dandruff symptoms.

Vinegar, when used as a hair rinse, helps fight dandruff.
Vinegar, when used as a hair rinse, helps fight dandruff.

Tar-based products contain coal tar extract and have been used for decades to ease the symptoms of dandruff and psoriasis. While many users agree tar products provide quick itch relief for the scalp, the shampoo typically has an unpleasant odor while being used. The odor is reportedly greatly diminished once the shampoo is rinsed from the hair. Zinc-based dandruff products are also available. They contain pyrithione zinc, which is used to treat irritated and itchy scalps.

Medicated shampoos containing salicylic acid can be used to reduce dandruff.
Medicated shampoos containing salicylic acid can be used to reduce dandruff.

Anti-dandruff exfoliating gel can be used to relieve dandruff symptoms, such as the tell-tale itching and flaking. A weekly scalp massage can alleviate symptoms as well as remove calcium buildup and improve blood flow to the scalp. Anti-dandruff cream is one of the many dandruff products that can be used to clean, purify and soften the scalp. Anti-dandruff mineral shampoos feature minerals such as copper, zinc and iron and are used to ease itchiness and scalp irritation.

Anti-dandruff shampoos typically instruct users to allow the shampoo to remain applied to the scalp for a few minutes before being rinsed off in order to allow the shampoo to be more effective.
Anti-dandruff shampoos typically instruct users to allow the shampoo to remain applied to the scalp for a few minutes before being rinsed off in order to allow the shampoo to be more effective.

Some dandruff products feature a combination of rosemary and tea tree oil to battle dandruff. The herbal combination is billed as promoting natural healing of the scalp. Another more natural approach to fighting dandruff is found in vinegar hair rinses, which are promoted as helping to cleanse away styling product buildup while purging bacteria and fungi. Scalp conditioning oil is a leave-in treatment featuring rosemary and lavender. It is a conditioner designed to boost scalp circulation while also conditioning the hair.

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Discussion Comments

fBoyle

I think most people buy dandruff products and use them without even seeing a doctor. But dandruff is dermatitis, and it should be seen by a doctor. If the cause is a fungal infection for example, it's a waste of time to use over the counter products for it. It requires a prescription anti-fungal shampoo or cream.

stoneMason

@literally45-- Have you tried all natural shampoos for dandruff? They're not all labeled for dandruff but contain natural ingredients that can treat dandruff like tea tree oil, coconut oil, menthol or neem. I had better results with natural dandruff shampoos than medicated ones.

You should also try apple cider vinegar. Like the article said, it's a good natural treatment that's already found in your cabinet. Baking soda is another one. You can apply baking soda on your scalp while in the shower, leave it for a few minutes and then wash it off. Many people have had good results with these remedies.

literally45

I think I've tried almost all of the different over the counter dandruff shampoos. I haven't found one that I like though. Some of them work well, but leave me with very dry, brittle hair. Others don't damage my hair but they don't treat the dandruff or end up irritating my scalp.

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    • Vinegar, when used as a hair rinse, helps fight dandruff.
      By: hsagencia
      Vinegar, when used as a hair rinse, helps fight dandruff.
    • Medicated shampoos containing salicylic acid can be used to reduce dandruff.
      By: esp2k
      Medicated shampoos containing salicylic acid can be used to reduce dandruff.
    • Anti-dandruff shampoos typically instruct users to allow the shampoo to remain applied to the scalp for a few minutes before being rinsed off in order to allow the shampoo to be more effective.
      By: Africa Studio
      Anti-dandruff shampoos typically instruct users to allow the shampoo to remain applied to the scalp for a few minutes before being rinsed off in order to allow the shampoo to be more effective.
    • Visible white flakes of dry dead skin on the scalp are a sign of dandruff.
      By: roblan
      Visible white flakes of dry dead skin on the scalp are a sign of dandruff.
    • Dandruff is a scalp condition characterized by itching and scaling of the skin on the scalp.
      By: diego cervo
      Dandruff is a scalp condition characterized by itching and scaling of the skin on the scalp.
    • Signs of dandruff include an itchy scalp and white flakes that fall from the head.
      By: Jasmin Merdan
      Signs of dandruff include an itchy scalp and white flakes that fall from the head.
    • A weekly scalp massage may help improve bloodflow to the scalp.
      By: jedi-master
      A weekly scalp massage may help improve bloodflow to the scalp.
    • Most dandruff products are designed to be used in the shower, and rinsed completely from hair.
      By: Roman Gorielov
      Most dandruff products are designed to be used in the shower, and rinsed completely from hair.
    • Some dandruff products feature natural products like tea tree oil to help battle dandruff.
      By: Lucie Říhová
      Some dandruff products feature natural products like tea tree oil to help battle dandruff.