What is Dandruff Shampoo?

Malcolm Tatum

Dandruff shampoo is a hair care product designed to control the incidence of dandruff by removing the flakes of skin that result from the condition. Many brands of the shampoo are also formulated to help to revitalize the dry scalp and thus minimize the presence of dandruff. Other dandruff shampoos also include a conditioner to assist in keeping the hair healthy and shiny.

Visible white flakes of dry dead skin on the scalp are a sign of dandruff.
Visible white flakes of dry dead skin on the scalp are a sign of dandruff.

Hair care products such as dandruff shampoo are usually formulated to perform all the functions of a basic shampoo while also helping to remove skin flakes from the scalp and hair follicles. Many of the commercial hair products contain ingredients such as pyrithione zinc to treat the presence of dandruff. The exact formula used in dandruff shampoo will vary from one product to another. There are shampoos developed to treat minor cases of dandruff as well as products designed to treat severe conditions of scalp flaking.

Dandruff is a scalp condition characterized by itching and scaling of the skin on the scalp.
Dandruff is a scalp condition characterized by itching and scaling of the skin on the scalp.

Along with commercial products, there are also various folk formulas for making dandruff shampoo at home. Most of these homemade versions utilize such household items as apple cider vinegar or baking soda. Several different herbs may also be used in the recipes. Herbs like comfrey and white oak are sometimes added as a way of healing the skin, while aromatic herbs like rosemary or peppermint may be added to cleanse the hair follicles and leave behind a fresh clean scent.

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Apple cider vinegar is an ingredient in some homemade dandruff shampoos.
Apple cider vinegar is an ingredient in some homemade dandruff shampoos.

Increasingly, many dandruff shampoo products are formulated in what is known as a two-in-one product. That is, the shampoo will not only remove dandruff from the scalp and hair but also contain nutrients that will condition the hair as well. This type of product is often helpful as well as convenient to use, since the ingredients in the conditioner will not interfere with the function of the ingredients used to remove the dandruff.

Dandruff shampoo.
Dandruff shampoo.

When homemade or over the counter products are not effective, it may be necessary to see a physician and obtain a prescription for a stronger dandruff shampoo. The specially blended products are usually intended for short-term use and are likely to be discontinued once the underlying cause of the flaking scalp is identified and treated. Many of the ingredients found in these prescription shampoos are intended to medicate the scalp while also removing the dandruff flakes during shampooing.

Some shampoos contain ingredients to treat dandruff.
Some shampoos contain ingredients to treat dandruff.

Dandruff shampoo products are found in a number of retail stores. Supermarkets, pharmacies, health and vitamin shops and even discount retail stores are all highly likely to carry several different brands and formulas. While slightly more expensive than regular shampoos, many of the products today leave behind a pleasing sensation to the scalp as well as a fresh scent that is a far cry from the dandruff shampoos of even a few decades ago.

Dandruff shampoo moisturizes the scalp.
Dandruff shampoo moisturizes the scalp.

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Discussion Comments

rachelsjulia

Lemon juice is a great remedy for dandruff. It will not cost you anything, and it's really effective!

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