Fastest Way to Flake-Free: Best Dandruff Shampoos for Men
Discovering nasty flakes on your shoulders? Find out what causes dandruff and the how best dandruff shampoos for men can help you achieve a flake-free scalp.
If you’re dealing with dandruff, you’re in good company. It’s been estimated that up to half the population has struggled with dandruff at some point in their lives.
Dandruff is often made out to be an embarrassing and shameful problem, which makes people less likely to admit they have it. This lack of discussion about dandruff makes it seem rarer than it actually is.
A quick stroll down the hair care aisle at your local store will almost certainly tell a different story. With a wide range of anti-dandruff shampoos to choose from, there is no longer an excuse to suffer from unwanted flakes in silence.
With so many dandruff shampoos available, how do you know which one is right for your scalp? In this post, we’ll briefly explain how dandruff shampoo works and walk you through some of the best dandruff shampoos for guys.
Before we dive in, here are three things you should know about dandruff shampoo for men:
- A fungus called Malassezia globosa is believed to be partly responsible for dandruff.
- The best dandruff shampoos for men typically contain Salicylic Acid, selenium sulfide, coal tar and other active ingredients with antifungal properties.
- Not every dandruff shampoo will work for every scalp. Play around to find what works best for you.
How Dandruff Shampoo Works
Most dandruff shampoos work by treating Malassezia globosa, microscopic fungi on the scalp that scientists believe is one of the main causes of dandruff. According to a 2014 study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, researchers found that subjects with dandruff have a significantly higher number of Malassezia on their scalp compared to flake-free subjects (see claim: “Number of Malassezia spp. retrieved was significantly higher (P<0.001) in dandruff cases (84%) as compared to healthy individuals (30%).”)
Malassezia feeds off oil from the scalp and causes an inflammatory response. This triggers your body’s defenses into shedding skin faster, resulting in big flakes of skin that most of us find embarrassing.
Thus, the best dandruff shampoos are ones that have antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Usually, dandruff shampoos containing zinc and Salicylic Acid (yep, Salicylic Acid’s uses extend far beyond its acne-fighting abilities) are most effective for the treatment of dandruff.
Coal tar shampoo is also commonly used to treat dandruff. However, a 2002 study published in Dermatology found that coal tar shampoo was not as effective at reducing Malassezia compared to a non-tar solution of Salicylic Acid, piroctone olamine and elubiol (see claim: “…concluded that a formulation associating salicylic acid, piroctone olamine and elubiol exhibited increased beneficial effects compared to the coal tar shampoo.”)
Best Dandruff Shampoo for Men
Another powerful benefit of using Salicylic Acid to treat dandruff? It can effectively penetrate into a guy’s thick epidermis. Men and women have different skin care needs, and the skin on your head is no different.
Before you try treating your dandruff with your acne treatment products, there is a better way to combat your annoying flakes and itchy scalp. Dandruff shampoos containing Salicylic Acid and other antifungal ingredients are specifically formulated to treat the skin on your scalp.
To get rid of your flaky scalp for good, here are a few of the best dandruff shampoos for men that you should try:
- Head & Shoulders—As one of the most popular anti-dandruff shampoos, you may be familiar with the Head & Shoulders brand. Their line of dandruff shampoos for men contain pyrithione zinc formulas proven to fight flakes and refresh the scalp.
- Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo—Containing 1% coal tar as the active ingredient, this dermatologist-recommended shampoo is formulated to combat multiple scalp conditions such as dandruff and scalp psoriasis. The only downside to this product is the smell. Coal tar shampoos generally don’t smell the greatest, although Neutrogena has tried to mask the smell with a rich, amber scent.
- Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo—From the same hair care line by Neutrogena, this product contains Salicylic Acid as the active ingredient to remove excess oil buildup on the scalp. If you have an itchy scalp on top of flakes, the Salicylic Acid in this shampoo can help alleviate your symptoms.
- Nizoral—With ketoconazole as the active ingredient, Nizoral is specifically formulated to kill Malassezia globosa, the fungus that contributes to dandruff. By eliminating the underlying cause of dandruff, you can say goodbye to annoying flakes and prevent flareups.
- Selsun Blue Dandruff Shampoo—For more severe dandruff, try fighting your flakes with selenium sulfide found in products like Selsun Blue. Selenium sulfide reduces the number of Malassezia on the scalp while nourishing hair follicles for healthy, dandruff-free hair.
Finding the Right Dandruff Shampoo
Getting rid of dandruff isn’t an exact science. If one of these dandruff shampoos doesn’t eliminate your flakes, simply try another containing a different active ingredient.
If your dandruff is truly bothering you, consult a dermatologist. Although visiting your dermatologist won’t be the cheapest option, he or she can prescribe you a medicated shampoo to get rid of your dandruff.