8 ways to fight dandruff and itchy scalp

Alejandra’s itchy inquiry: I cannot get rid of my dandruff and itchy scalp. I know we are all different but do you know of dandruff shampoos that work or other ways of dealing with dandruff. Thank you!!!

The Right Brain’s scratchy reply:

Dandruff is caused by a yeast-like fungus known as malassezia that makes your scalp flake and itch. There are a variety of solutions but they don’t always work equally well for everyone so you may need to try several products before you find the one that’s right for you. Here’s a list of some dandruff destroyers that you might want to check.

Zinc pyrithione

Antifungal agent found in Selsun Salon and Head and Shoulder. Effective against dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.

Coal Tar

As the name suggests, this active ingredient comes from the coal manufacturing process and can be found in Neutrogena T/Gel. Treats dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis by reducing cell turnover.

Salicylic acid

This hydroxy acid helps eliminate flakes but may require a conditioner to prevent your scalp from becoming overly dry. Can be found in Ionil T.

Selenium sulfide

Another chemical that reduces cell turnover and fights malassezia. May discolor blonde, gray or chemically colored hair. Found in Selsun Blue.


Formerly available only be prescription, this antifungal drug fights the cause of dandruff. Found in Nizoral.

Prescription drugs

If none of these over the counter dandruff shampoos work for you, ask your doctor for prescription dandruff fighters like Loprox or steroid lotions.

Copper brushes

The Left Brain bashed using copper brushes to stop dandruff in an earlier post because there have been no studies that we could find that support that. Nonetheless, a lot of people swear that it works for them.

New technology

Future research may bring us better ways. Like the dandruff shampoo you can drink.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

The key is to experiment find what works for you. Also, remember that some treatments may become less effective over time so you might want to alternate treatments for the best efficacy. (By way, the drugs we listed are all available in the US. If you’re in another country you may find that different treatments are an option; for example, Octopyrox is used in the EU.)

What do YOU think? What dandruff treatment have worked for you? Leave a comment and share your scratchy solutions with the rest of the Beauty Brains community.