When it comes to treating dandruff, there are many products available to help curb the itch and stop the flakes from happening. Some of the most effective solutions over the years have involved active ingredients such as coal tar, pyrithione zinc, selenium sulfide, ketoconazole, and salicylic acid, while other manufacturers go for botanical solutions such as Green Tea, Peppermint, Menthol, and Tea Tree oils.
Here are some of the popular professional dandruff solutions available on the market today:
Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo is a specialized Dermatologist-tested treatment formulated to fight and control flakes. It purifies, moisturizes and hydrates dry scalp while soothing and calming. A proprietary delivery method, the Interbond Scalp System carries vital ingredients to both the scalp and the hair. Pyrithione zinc, an active ingredient, fights and controls dandruff flaking, itching, and irritation. Also contains wheat Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, and Lavender Oil.
Kenra Dandruff Shampoo is a color safe treatment that helps to control the recurrence of dandruff symptoms and provides relief from dry scalp and flaking. This soothing shampoo treats dry, itchy and irritated scalps plus seborrhea and other skin and scalp conditions. It soothes dry, itchy and irritated scalp but it gentle enough for daily use.
Matrix’s Biolage Scalpsync Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is inspired by the anti-bacterial and calming properties of the Mint Leaf, Matrix Biolage ScalpSync Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with Pyrithione Zinc helps target dandruff, controls the appearance of visible flakes and relieves scalp irritation with continued use.
Nioxin Scalp Recovery Cleanser anti-dandruff shampoo relieves the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff, and scalp related problems such as scalp irritation, flaking, dryness, and itching. It provides moisture control and protection to color-treated hair. A solution of 1% pyrithione zinc helps to prevent and relieve symptoms caused by scalp conditions. Green tea polyphenols and Peppermint) Oil and Menthol help soothe the scalp.
American Crew Anti-Dandruff + Sebum Control Shampoo addresses two top scalp issues (dry and oily) in one multi-benefit shampoo. With Tea Tree oil and the active ingredient zinc pyrithione, it helps to prevent the itching and flaking associated with dandruff. This scalp therapy cleanser also removes excess sebum and leaves hair and scalp refreshed and invigorated, conditioned and flake-free.
Phyto Phytheol Intense Dandruff Treatment Shampoo is formulated to treat severe cases of dandruff with long-lasting results. Salix Alba Leaf Extract works as an anti-irritant, Trigonella Foenum-Graecum Seed Extract is anti-inflammatory while Lentinus Edodes Extract, a derivative of the shiitake mushroom, Lentinus edodes, works as a conditioning agent. Salicylic Acid softens and loosens dead skin cells and helps remove them.
Not sure it's dandruff? Check out our Ditch the Itch article for other possible causes of those flakes.
Interested in what some of these ingredients do? Here are some of the conventional active ingredients used to treat dandruff and how they work:
Pyrithione zinc is an antibacterial and antifungal agent developed by scientists in the 1930's. It has been used to treat seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp and other skin conditions such as eczema, athlete's foot, and vitiligo, as well as psoriasis. Because of its antifungal properties, it is commonly found in dandruff shampoo.
Selenium Sulfide is also used to treat dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. It reduces itching, flaking, irritation, and redness of the scalp. This medication belongs to a class of medicines called anti-infectives. It works by slowing the growth of the yeast that causes the infection.
Ketoconazole is used to treat infections caused by a fungus or yeast. It works by killing the fungus or yeast or preventing its growth. Most forms of this medicine are available only with your doctor's prescription. Some types are available without a prescription. However, your doctor may have special instructions on the proper use of this product for your medical condition.
Topical salicylic acid is used to treat skin conditions that involve scaling or overgrowth of skin cells such as psoriasis (a skin disease in which red, scaly patches form on some areas of the body), ichthyoses (inborn conditions that cause skin dryness and scaling), dandruff, corns, calluses, and warts on the hands or feet. It treats other skin conditions by softening and loosening dry, scaly, or thickened skin so that it falls off or can be removed easily.
Coal Tar, a keratoplastic, works by causing the skin to shed dead cells from its top layer and slow down the growth of skin cells. This effect decreases scaling and dryness. Coal tar can also decrease itchiness from these skin conditions.