How Does Dandruff Shampoo Work? Everything you Need To Know

Dandruff is a common scalp condition marked by the appearance of white or gray skin flakes in the hair or on the shoulders. An estimated 50 percent of the population will have dandruff at some time. While it is not hazardous, it may be unpleasant and painful. There are several treatments available, including anti-dandruff shampoos. This article will explore what causes dandruff and how these shampoos work.

Understanding the science of dandruff shampoo

how does dandruff shampoo work

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Before understanding how dandruff shampoos work, it is necessary to understand what causes dandruff. A buildup of microorganisms such as fungus and bacteria is believed to result from the scalp's overproduction of oil (sebum). This may result in inflammation, shedding, and itching. The two primary varieties of dandruff are dry and oily. Dry dandruff is caused by a dry scalp, while overproduction of sebum causes oily hair and dandruff.

What causes dandruff

Dandruff is a disorder caused by seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp skin. According to medical studies, this skin ailment may affect any other area of the body; it is referred to as "dandruff" when it involves the scalp. Since the flaky, dry skin may get entangled in hair, scalp eczema is often more evident.

As described in the attached scientific review, one primary reason for dandruff is an overgrowth of Malassezia yeast on the skin. This yeast is a typical component of the skin's ecology; it becomes a concern when its numbers exceed expected levels.

It has also been claimed that a patient's immune system and genetics might enhance their risk of developing dandruff.

Knowing that dandruff is caused by localized inflammation, and an overgrowth of a particular kind of yeast, anti-inflammatory drugs with antifungal properties are plausible remedies.

How do the ingredients in dandruff shampoo work?

how does dandruff shampoo work

photo: amazon

Salicylic Acid

This product works by gradually dissolving the outermost layer of skin on the scalp, preventing skin cells from clumping together and flaking. This has the dual impact of making them less visible to others and more straightforward for you to remove. Moreover, it hydrates your scalp, making it less likely to dry out in the first place. (Interesting fact: This is the active component in our anti-dandruff shampoos.)


It may seem strange to massage a chemical into your scalp, but it prevents flaking by reducing the death of your skin cells. Nonetheless, it might cause skin irritation and inflammation in specific individuals.

Selenium Sulfide

This additional antifungal component mainly targets Malassezia by reducing sebum production and drying the scalp.


This also serves to inhibit the development of the fungus that causes dandruff. Nevertheless, shampoos containing this chemical are too potent to be marketed over the counter. Therefore, they are prescribed to patients with severe fungal infections.

Pyrithione Zinc

This substance eliminates bacteria and fungi such as Malassezia, which are probable sources of dandruff.

Benefits of using dandruff shampoo 

how does dandruff shampoo work

photo: amazon

A dandruff shampoo helps minimize flakes and excess oils on the scalp, alleviate itching and inflammation, and prevent recurrent outbreaks. Frequent dandruff shampoo usage may also contribute to healthy hair and scalp. It is vital to remember that dandruff shampoos should not be used as a complementary product instead of ordinary shampoo.

How to use dandruff shampoo correctly for optimal results

To gain the best effect, it is crucial to utilize dandruff shampoo correctly. Before using shampoo, thoroughly moisten and massage the hair into the scalp. Wait at least five minutes before washing the shampoo out with warm water. For optimal results, use a shampoo and conditioner to maintain the scalp's hydration. To keep dandruff under control, it is also essential to use shampoo regularly.

Tips for choosing the right dandruff shampoo

While selecting a shampoo for dandruff, it is essential to consider your hair type. Look for shampoos with salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, or coal tar if you have greasy hair. If you have dry hair, you should search for a shampoo that includes zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole, or tea tree oil. In addition, it is essential to examine the shampoo's ingredient list to ensure that it does not contain harsh chemicals or fragrances that could irritate the scalp. Lastly, checking customer reviews to see how effectively the product functions is usually a good idea. 


Is shampoo for dandruff beneficial for the hair?

Shampoo for dandruff may help maintain the balance of these components on the scalp and prevent an overgrowth that might lead to dandruff. A balanced scalp is a healthy one, and a healthy scalp promotes stronger hair growth.

How can shampoo eliminate dandruff?

Treatment: Variety of shampoo: The most effective therapy for dandruff is frequent washing with a normal shampoo. Employ a regular shampoo to eliminate scales as soon as they appear. In addition, the shampoo's detergents will produce smaller, less noticeable flakes to fall out.

How many days does it take for shampoo to treat dandruff?

It might take many weeks for dandruff to disappear, so don't judge shampoos too quickly in the first two weeks. If after a month you don't see any difference, you should try a different shampoo or another dandruff treatment.

Does scratching dandruff exacerbate it?

Itching may exacerbate discomfort and create a vicious cycle. When you touch and scratch your head, you may also add dirt, which can exacerbate dandruff. Determine the optimal shampooing ratio for your scalp.

Does dandruff go away by itself?

Although both dandruff and dry scalp have a tendency to fluctuate, dandruff caused by a fungal infection is unlikely to improve without therapy. With less frequent washing, though, dry scalp may improve. These disorders may itch and irritate the scalp.


Dandruff is a common scalp ailment that may be unpleasant and irritating. There are several treatments available, including shampoos that combat dandruff. This article examines the science behind dandruff shampoos and how they minimize flakes and itchiness. We also offered guidance on choosing and applying the most suitable shampoo for your requirements. By recognizing the causes of dandruff and using the proper shampoo, you can maintain a healthy scalp and hair by keeping dandruff under control.

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