Dandruff is not only visually distressing for those who have it, it can actually be painful. Even though it presents itself as if it’s just one thing, dandruff can actually be one of many things. And, as can be predictable, different things need different approaches. Today, we’ll show some of the best products you can use to treat dandruff and itchy scalp.
There is no one solution that treats all dandruff, but you need to understand where it’s coming from in order to be able to target it properly. You can suffer not only from a flaky scalp but also itching and redness. So, if you’re suffering from flaky particles all over your scalp, stay with us and discover what can be causing it and how to address it.
Dandruff: What you need to know
The origin of dandruff can have multiple causes. All in all, you have two main issues: excessive cell replacement on the scalp and inflammation. These two factors are what cause all the usual symptoms. Besides this, you can have two different types of flaking. Either they are white, small, and fall on your shoulders; or they’re yellow, greasy, and tend to form patches on the scalp. Really understanding which of these you have is extremely important, as they have different origins. The first ones can be a side effect of dry scalp (or eczema), or even an allergic response to something that you had contact with (contact dermatitis). The usual culprits here are treatments that color, bleach, or straighten your hair. However, many shampoos can have a disruptive effect on the scalp also. On the other hand, the yellow flakes that stick to the scalp are usually a result of seborrheic dermatitis. You can also have psoriasis, but for that, there are specific products for the psoriatic scalp.
How to minimize dandruff and soothe an itchy scalp
To help you eliminate dandruff and care for an itchy scalp, we’re going to show you three different approaches, starting from the least to the most intense.
Option one: Use a mild shampoo
Mild shampoos are always a good approach when it comes to dandruff. Even if you suffer from seborrheic dermatitis, you’ll need one of these to alternate with the treatment shampoo. These gentle formulas can help you remove dandruff by gently cleansing the scalp while giving it time to recover the skin barrier. The best part is that you can use them all the time.
The first option we’d like to recommend is the Phytoapaisant Soothing Treatment Shampoo, a daily shampoo infused with purifying chicory root extract and soothing purslane extract. Along the same lines, we like the Klorane Soothing & Anti-Irritating Shampoo with Peony, a super-popular shampoo that harnesses the soothing properties of peony extract to care for sensitive scalps.
If you’d like to explore more minimal options, we have two more recommendations. The Ducray Sensinol Physio-Protective Treatment Shampoo is one of the mildest mild shampoos we know; it works like a charm to soothe sensitive scalps, and it’s safe for children over 6 years old. We also love the Bioderma Nodé Shampooing Non-Detergent Fluid Shampoo, a gentle everyday shampoo that uses very gentle surfactants to cleanse the scalp. It’s suitable for the whole family and ideal for all hair types.
Option two: Use an intensive anti-dandruff shampoo
In case you’re dealing with seborrheic dermatitis or suffer from intense itching, however, a mild shampoo will not be enough. You will need to target that scalp imbalance with ingredients that can rebalance your skin microbiome.
Our Care to Beauty community loves all four of these shampoos, but we have to start somewhere, so we’ll start with the Vichy Dercos Anti-Dandruff DS Shampoo for Dry Hair. This is an anti-dandruff shampoo specifically formulated for dry hair; it rebalances the scalp microbiome and controls flaking, all the while reducing itching. The Ducray Kelual DS Anti-Dandruff Treatment Shampoo is also popular because of its incredibly soothing formula that is, nevertheless, effective at treating dandruff through its antifungal action.
If you’re struggling with greasy, patchy dandruff, try the Eucerin DermoCapillaire Anti-Dandruff Gel Shampoo. This is a gentle shampoo that helps eliminate yellow flakes that stick to the scalp and hair, all the while relieving discomfort and itchiness. Our last shampoo recommendation is the Noreva Sebodiane DS Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, a soft shampoo that provides a gentle scalp exfoliation and reduces bacterial proliferation.
Option three: Apply a localized scalp treatment
Given that shampoos only stay in the scalp for a short period of time, sometimes you need something that’ll stay for longer. Hence, that is where sprays come into action. They’re both practical and they will help your scalp get back to normal.
The APIVITA Hair Care Dandruff Relief Oil is a natural oil that targets dandruff and helps reduce scalp flaking and peeling. Through the antifungal action of celery seed natural extract, this oil relieves itching and irritation while preventing the reappearance of dandruff. Another option we like is the Ducray Squanorm Anti-Dandruff Zinc Lotion; this is a soothing, zinc-powered lotion that soothes discomfort and itching and, at the same time, minimizes the formation of dandruff.
We also like the Uriage D.S. Regulating Anti-Dandruff Lotion, a daily lotion that helps reduce irritation, itchiness, scaling, and dandruff on the scalp. Through its antifungal action, it helps target scalp irritation triggered by micro-organisms. Last, but not least, we have to recommend the René Furterer Astera Fresh Soothing Freshness Concentrate, a massage oil that helps prevent and treat itchiness, redness, and overall discomfort on the scalp.
To check out other options to treat dandruff, check out our full selection of products for dandruff, including shampoos and lotions.
Pharmacy Technician & Beauty Writer