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.
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.
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.
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.