What Are the Best Tips for Controlling Dandruff?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 21 August 2019
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The best tips for controlling dandruff are to routinely use a dandruff shampoo, brush the hair with firm strokes from the root, and see a doctor if the dandruff does not improve. Dandruff shampoos contain special chemicals that can alleviate the problem, and are usually available over the counter in a wide variety. In addition, firmly brushing one’s hair from the roots with a boar bristle brush helps redistribute oils that cause dandruff. If using an over the counter shampoo and boar bristle brush does not help, it is time to see a skin doctor. Dermatologists can prescribe extra-strength shampoos or lotions that are more effective than the products found in stores.

There are literally more than a dozen different chemicals that help with controlling dandruff. If a shampoo with one active ingredient does not work, a person can simply try another until he or she finds an effective dandruff shampoo. Sometimes it is recommended to rotate between two dandruff shampoos to lessen the chance of the shampoo losing its effectiveness. In general, the shampoo should used every day and left on the head for at least five minutes before rinsing, but this can vary between shampoos.


Hair brushes are capable of spreading concentrated oils across the hair strand. Synthetic brushes made from plastic or other materials are usually ineffective at this. Investing in a natural boar bristle brush can help with controlling dandruff, in addition to making hair cleaner and shinier. A person should begin to brush as close to the root as possible, then firmly move the brush downward. Some people recommend wetting boar bristle brushes before use to avoid hair damage, and cleaning the brush regularly because it picks up lint, dirt, and other debris caught in hair.

When all else fails, dermatologists are experts on skin care and can usually recommend and prescribe a shampoo or lotion that works. While this shampoo might be more expensive than over the counter types, it may be covered by insurance or government healthcare programs. It is important to follow the directions on prescription medications closely to achieve the best results. If no improvement is seen, the dermatologist will prescribe a different medication; this is usually done after another visit, but it can sometimes be done over the phone. Finding a shampoo effective at controlling dandruff can be frustrating, but it is important not to give up because there is usually a solution that decreases dandruff, even if virtually eliminating it is not likely.


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