How to Get Optimal Results from Anti-dandruff ShampooTo obtain the best possible results against dandruff, those annoying little flakes, it is essential to use anti-dandruff shampoo the right way. While they may be called shampoo, their primary goal is not to clean your hair, but rather to treat your scalp.
How do anti-dandruff shampoos work and which ingredients should I look for?
Anti-dandruff shampoos contain one of the following active ingredients that act on the various causes of dandruff:
- Salicylic acid, which helps remove dead skin cells from the surface of the scalp
- Coal tar or selenium sulfide, two ingredients that slow the growth of skin cells on the scalp
- Ketoconazole or zinc pyrithione, two ingredients that target the fungus that causes dandruff
Some manufacturers offer a range of anti-dandruff shampoos that each contain different active ingredients. Be sure to read the labels carefully, or consult your pharmacist.
Treat your scalp before washing your hair
In order for anti-dandruff shampoo to be effective where you need it, it is important to apply it by massaging your head with your fingertips so that the product comes into contact with the entire scalp.
Most anti-dandruff shampoos must be left on for a few minutes for their active ingredient to be released and to come into contact with the skin. Always follow the manufacturer’s time recommendations (usually 2 to 5 minutes).
Once the time is up, lather the product on the rest of your hair to wash it, then rinse thoroughly. If you wish, you can apply conditioner after using the anti-dandruff shampoo.
At the beginning of the treatment, use only anti-dandruff shampoo until the problem is under control. Then, you can alternate with your regular shampoo, if you so desire.
If the over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoo doesn’t resolve your dandruff problem within a few weeks, you may need to consult your doctor.
Tips for colour-treated hair and dandruff
After colour-treating your hair, or getting a permanent wave, you will need to wait at least 48 hours before using any products that contain selenium sulfide.
If you have fair hair, it may be advisable to avoid tar-based shampoos, as they can temporarily alter the colour of your hair.
Alternate between anti-dandruff shampoos
Over time, you may notice that your anti-dandruff shampoo seems less effective. To avoid this, try alternating between two shampoos that contain different active ingredients.
Not sure which anti-dandruff shampoo to choose? Ask your pharmacist—they can help you select the product that’s right for you.
The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.