It’s true that a man’s head of hair is inextricably linked to his self-image and self-esteem – after all, look at men like Alec Baldwin and George Clooney who have amazing hair. So when the issue of dandruff comes up, it makes many men uncomfortable and embarrassed. But the truth is, dandruff is merely the scaling and itching of the skin on the scalp. In most cases it can be easily remedied with medicated anti-dandruff shampoo. But with every other shampoo claiming to the the best anti-dandruff product out there, which one should a man choose? Here are our top 5 anti-dandruff shampoos for men.
Why does dandruff occur?
To know which anti-dandruff shampoo to use, it’s important to know why dandruff occurs so you can choose the most suitable product.
When our body sheds skin, it causes dead skin cells to fall out. The truth is, our whole body sheds skin, but it is the most visible on the scalp because the hair traps the scaling skin. Dandruff is therefore merely the scaling of the skin. As the top layer of the skin sheds and renews, it causes white flakes to form.
What to look for in an anti-dandruff shampoo?
For most people, using medicated soaps and shampoo all that is required to keep dandruff away. Most of these top anti-dandruff shampoos also help with itchy scalps which may also contribute to dandruff. The most common ingredients found in anti-dandruff shampoos are:
- Selenium sulphide – This is an anti-infective agent which helps relieve itching and flaking of the scalp. When using a dandruff shampoo with selenium sulphide, it should be used twice a week for the first 2 weeks and then once per week for the next 4 weeks, depending on your response.
- Zinc pyrithione (aka Zinc omadine) – Dandruff shampoos containing zinc pryithione work by being an antiseborrheic, in other words it helps slow the production of skin cells which therefore helps to reduce scalp flakiness. Zinc pryithione is one of the most common ingredients in dandruff shampoos. For example, Head and Shoulders, the brand synonymous with dandruff shampoo, contains 1% zinc pryithione.
- Piroctone olamine – This is possibly the newest ingredient to be used in dandruff shampoos. Some companies are starting to use piroctone olamine as it is less toxic than zinc pyrithione and therefore safer for family use.
- Anti-fungal agents – This includes ingredients like ketoconazole which treats fungi and yeasts which combat dandruff and flakiness in the skin of the scalp.
The Top 5 Anti-Dandruff Shampoos for Men
Head & Shoulders Dandruff Shampoos
Needless to say, Head & Shoulders is the go-to brand for shampoos targeting dandruff. But funnily enough, there’s a huge range of different Head & Shoulders shampoos to choose from – at last count there were 10 different products. If you’ve never used their products before, the safest bet is to use the Sensitive Scalp Care Shampoo which contains aloe vera to soothe the scalp whilst fighting dandruff. It is gentler on the skin and is less likely to irritate the scalp than other products under the brand. The brand also recently launched the new Old Spice 2-in-1 Shampoo which uses Old Spice scent as opposed to their classic mint fragrance. Almost all Head & Shoulders shampoos use 1% zinc pryithione.
Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Nizoral anti-dandruff shampoo contains 1% ketoconazole, an antifungal agent, to combat scalp flakiness. In order to effectively use this shampoo, use it twice weekly for up to a month, and leave it in the hair for three to five minutes before rinsing. This allows the ketoconazole to spread across the scalp and cleanse it. If you’ve used Head & Shoulders shampoos in the past with no visible results, try switching to this product.
Corine de Farme Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with Piroctone Olamine
Whilst this dandruff shampoo from French brand Corine de Farme is marketed for all hair types and the family, it is particularly beneficial for men who also worry about hair loss. This shampoo is different from many others because 95% of the ingredients are of natural origin and it uses piroctone olamine to eliminate dandruff. As mentioned above, piroctone olamine is seen as a ‘second generation’ anti-dandruff agent and is less toxic than zinc pyrithione. For those who want a more natural option to fight dandruff, this is the ideal option. The shampoo has white tea and rosemary for a herbal scent and is paraben free and silicone free.
Selsun Dandruff Shampoos
Like Head and Shoulders, Selsun is known for its anti-dandruff shampoos, but instead of using zinc pyrithione, Selsun features selenium sulphide. This active ingredients has a dual purpose: it destroys dermatophyte, the fungus responsible for causing the scaling and flakiness in the scalp; and it decreases the production of cells in the top layer of skin. All Selsun anti-dandruff shampoos contain selenium sulphide. If you want a super strength product, choose the Selsun Blue Medicated Formula Anti-Dandruff Shampoo.
KMS California Hair Remedy Dandruff Shampoo
KMS California may be better know for their hair styling products – and rightly so, their HairPlay molding paste is fantastic – but their Hair Remedy Dandruff Shampoo also rightly deserves to be in this list of the best anti-dandruff shampoos. Firstly, the product smells great. Secondly, it contains 1.5% zinc pyrithione, meaning it is stronger than the 1% zinc pyrithione found in Head and Shoulders products. Of course, this also means that when you do use it to treat your dandruff and scalp, you should be extra careful. Leave the product in the hair for one to two minutes when you first start using it.
How to Use Anti-Dandruff Shampoos
Because dandruff shampoos are medicated, the safest and most effective way to use them is to read the instructions. In most cases, the instructions will tell you to patch test the product in case of allergic reaction. As anti-dandruff agents can be quite strong, use a small amount to begin with. Use it twice a week and then once a week following that, and monitor your progress.
When trailing a medicated shampoo, make sure that your normal shampoo is gentle and not too abrasive because over stimulation of the scalp may cause further irritation. We recommend using QV Gentle Shampoo or the classic Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo when you’re not on anti-dandruff shampoo.
Image from Flickr | Ryan Abel CC