How I finally defeated dandruff

Here's a tip I cannot believe I'm sharing in public.

For years I've battled dandruff. I mean I've had it bad. Recently it's reached nightmarish proportions — my scalp was like North Dakota in January.

I tried all sorts of remedies. I tried Selsun Blue. I tried Head and Shoulders. I tried Denorex. Nothing worked. I even tried not washing my hair at all. That didn't help the dandruff and just created the added grossness of greasy hair.

Frustrated, I was ready to make a doctor's appointment, ready to spend vast sums of money to defeat the dandruff. Then, on a whim, my wife bought me a bottle of baby shampoo. You know the stuff: “tearless”, etc. I was skeptical, but willing to try anything. You know what? It worked!

I've been washing my hair with baby shampoo daily for the past two weeks. It hasn't eliminated the dandruff completely, but it has reduced it dramatically. I mean by an order of magnitude. To levels of normality.

I cannot vouch that baby shampoo will work for everyone, but if you too have a dandruff problem, it cannot hurt to try. It's an easy and cheap solution. And do me a favor: if you try this, post back here to say whether or not it worked for you.

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shampooguy
shampooguy
14 years ago

Try tea tree shampoo. I use Kheil’s brand.

Also, don’t eat wheat products or too much sugar.

Choco
Choco
14 years ago

Just shave your head.

VRA
VRA
8 years ago
Reply to  Choco

That doesn’t work, trust me. I just shaved a week ago and still have dandruff!

marwaa
marwaa
6 years ago
Reply to  Choco

The dandruff is still thier -.- and people can see it more a bald head with white flakes falling out of it is gross

Wee Liam
Wee Liam
4 years ago
Reply to  marwaa

Not true; flakes are much more noticeable in longer hair than short. The shorter, the better.

J.D.
J.D.
14 years ago

Just shave your head.

Believe me: I want to. Higher powers than me forbid it.

Erica Douglas
Erica Douglas
14 years ago

Hi,

I used to have this problem. The only shampoos that worked for me are T-Gel, or Nizorol (not sure if that is the exact spelling). Use one for a while then switch as I started becoming immune!

Dave
Dave
14 years ago

Don’t shave your head. I never had dandruff until I did just that. My head got a bit too much sun once or twice and since then, dandruff city.

kc0dxh
kc0dxh
14 years ago

I use vinegar. Only vinegar. I use an old pop-top shampoo bottle and drool it on first thing in the shower. No flakes, no itch.

Charles
Charles
14 years ago

Don’t rely on the anecdotal advice of amateurs, see a Dermatologist. They actually know what they’re talking about.

tandee
tandee
8 years ago
Reply to  Charles

The one I went to didn’t. I had some itchy bumps on my fingers and knees and he told me to bathe in a special kind of soap (that had ingredients that were carcinogenic.) That didn’t work, so the next thing told me was to try using Ivory dishwashing soap and laundry powder. Well, I knew I was allergic to that, so I stopped spending money on the exorbitant rates he got for being a specialist that played guessing games and figured it out on my own.

Brad
Brad
14 years ago

Yeah it’s true, I’ve been using baby shampoo for about a year now and it’s much gentler than AD shampoos.

I love the blog by the way, there’s something worthwhile every day. Keep it up!!

David
David
14 years ago

It could be that you didn’t really have dandruff. My sister had a similar problem when she was little. For her, the solution was to rinse her hair very thoroughly after a good conditioning, and then put some kind of leave-in conditioner in it.

Lyle
Lyle
8 years ago
Reply to  David

I think with me, using harsh shampoos or soaps like tar or denorex or even head and shoulders or selsun blue, it irritates the problem and makes it worse. I shaved my head, and when I use water, it isn’t noticeable. But use denorex and leave it on there a while and i have bright red patches all over my scalp. I think it is because these products are intended to remove the flakes without regards to solving the problem that is creating them in the first place. So, yes they help remove the flakes, but they seem to flare… Read more »

Chris Brogan
Chris Brogan
14 years ago

I’m willing to try it. I’ve had the flakes since forever and a day. I’m like a snowstorm, so thanks! And I’m excited you went public with it.

Biff Smith
Biff Smith
14 years ago

I have had dandruff as well but found that a high quality shampoo and conditioner deals with it, not the AD stuff, we (my wife and I share) use the herbal essence knock-off from walmart. I wash my hair first thing in the shower and then apply the conditioner and allow it to “work” while I finish washing the bits. I’ve actually read that this is highly recommended and that most dandruff problems can be solved this way, not in a day mind you, just as wealth creation doesn’t happen in a day or a week, it may take a… Read more »

Jay
Jay
14 years ago

It’s the last thing I’d expect to read here but I am giving it a shot because nothing I’ve tried totally did the trick.

If this works, I will be irritated to know that the solution has been staring at me in the face for 2 years. That’s the shampoo I wash my daughter’s hair with!.

Jay

rahul
rahul
14 years ago

first shaving your head doesn’t help that much, dandruff is dry skin so you will simply make the problem easier to see. also I’ve heard that Listerine works, i tried it once but i couldn’t bear the burning sensation. but vive for men dandruff control works really well also

missmew
missmew
13 years ago

Dandruff may be caused by different things (dry scalp, fungus, oily skin, eczema, reaction to shampoo…). So, if you see that the dandruff is coming back after a while, find a doctor/dermatologist to look at your scalp and r(x) an appropriate treatment.

Nizoral works fine for me when I get dandruff, but other shampoos sometimes made it worse.

good luck!

Wee Liam
Wee Liam
4 years ago
Reply to  missmew

The article clearly states that dandruff is caused by a fungus. Period.

If you don’t have a fungus problem, then what you have is not dandruff, but something else.

mix
mix
13 years ago

I lived with bad dandruff for 30 years and finally went to see a dermatologist. He told me to try t-gel (extra strength) and it totally works. i can even wear dark shirts again. its not completely gone, but almost.

glad to hear the baby shampoo worked for you.

chantha
chantha
7 years ago
Reply to  mix

i use t-gel extra strenth apply for 1 hour before shower.then apply johnson and johnson baby shampoo no more tears and rinse thoroughly.after done with shower i apply johnson and johnson baby oil immediately because u want keep the moist in your hair. why baby oil because of dry hair it realy work. i still have dry hair but i can see it working.
ps i shower every 2 days

Mayuresh
Mayuresh
13 years ago

Try using Shikekai shampoo. Shikekai is an indian ayurvedic herb with amazing anti-dandruff powers. It has been an indian traditional remedy for centuries!

In any case, herbals are the way to go. I strictly avoid ones like Head and Shoulders as they are full of chemicals and may damage hair. Try ones from ‘The body shop’ – their ginger shampoo has been working for me for almost half a decade now.

And yes, eliminating dandruff is not just all-shampooing. It requires eliminating bad eating habits. Junk food (especially oily ones) and aerated drinks are known dandruff catalysts.

Beni
Beni
13 years ago

well I have made a mixture that works for me:
add in a baby shampoo a smalla mount (like 10% – 20%) of Head and Shoulders Sensitive.
This mixture works PERFECTLY for me. I use it for almost a year. Problems solved since.

try it…

sunny
sunny
13 years ago

I’ve had dandruff for quite a while now, and the only thing that has really made me beat it was a combination of using coal tar shampoo (I used Ionil T), plus a topical application of Beprogel after drying my hair. It only took a week or so for the dandruff to start disappearing. I use coal tar shampoo maybe twice or thrice a week, and I’ve managed to be dandruff free, yay!

Clobex
Clobex
13 years ago

I’ve been through everything, so I saw a dermatologist who recommended Clobex. It’s the only thing that’s ever worked. Clobex sounds scary (it’s got a steroid in it) but it works like a charm with no side effects from what I’ve seen.

Fermin
Fermin
13 years ago

Hey J.D. I’m using J&J’s baby shampoo regularly every week. It’s so “mild” that it wont hurt your scalp and it will keep you healthy. My heardresser told me and i was a bit skeptical, the way you were, but she said that that’s the best shampoo and if i had dandruff again, then use the anti-dandruff shampoo once per week along with the baby-sahmpoo. I use 3 different ones (H&S, T-Gel and a Spanish brand, all of them with different “active ingredient”) so my scalp doesnt get used to any of them.
Best regards from Bilbao, Spain.

MattNYC
MattNYC
13 years ago

It might be because of the the ingredients in the Baby shampoo. Most shampoos use an ingredient, the detergent agent, that is pretty strong – sodium lauryl sulfate. It’s probably stripping the natural oils out of your scalp so much that you end up with dry skin, not dandruff. Baby shampoo tends to use a similar but less strong detergent agent called sodium laureth sulfate. You were probably overcleaning before and now the baby shampoo leaves more natural oil on your scalp. If you haven’t yet, I highly encourage you to read up about all sorts of cosmetics issues at… Read more »

DiscoveryMan
DiscoveryMan
13 years ago

I find that using conditioner daily causes dandruff to increase. Since I stopped using conditioner, my dandruff has completely gone away. Has this worked for anyone else

mikeznyc
mikeznyc
13 years ago

thanks for sharing the tip – here’s mine. i’ve had a variety of dry scalp issues that were greatly reduced when i switched hair styling products. I’ve used hair sprays, gels, waxes, etc. and they all irritate my scalp – and i’m talking angry red blotches. My solution was using a tiny bit of jojoba oil. It doesn’t hold very strongly but it conditions the scalp and has actually increased the body of my hair.

kf
kf
13 years ago

Baby shampoo did not work for me. I gave it a very fair chance — at least 2 months. My hair just got greasy sooner between shampoos and the flakes kept coming. My hair has never been so flat to my head.
I’ve tried everything under the sun. Lately, I tried Nioxin Step 1 shampoo and scalp therapy. It seems to be working. Kind of. For now. The scalp therapy (aka conditioner) seems to do its thing best if you leave it on a while before rinsing.

dominicandevil
dominicandevil
13 years ago

Sticking to one shampoo never worked for me, but I noticed that the first week after changing they actually worked.

Therefore, my regimen has worked since first started, everyday I use a shampoo with a different active ingredient, these include: selenium sulfide, tar, salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole, and tea tree oil.

Also, not entirely necessary, but it helps if your hair is not growing wild lenghts.

Hope this helps. I will try the baby shampoo by itself, for a week; see if I add it to my arsenal.

Lucas
Lucas
13 years ago

It worked! One usage and it was almost gone. Two, and it was. It used to be really bad and now it’s delicious (-ly smooth and clean!). I suggested it should be added into the Wiki page for Dandruff, leaving a note on the discussion page (linking to the Lifehacker article).

Ducky
Ducky
13 years ago

I tried this, actually all I had around was Johnson’s and Johnson’s Head to toe wash, and it worked for me, Ive also had no luck with Tgel, Selson Blue or anything, I exhausted any over the counter stuff, and was about to goto the doctor myself, when I saw this. Thanks!

dandruff
dandruff
13 years ago

johnson’s works

charleneb
charleneb
13 years ago

The baby shampoo didn’t work for me. My best treatment is Philip b anti-flake relief shampoo. The price is not cheap but it’s worth it. I have used it for years and nothing compares. PureBeauty carries it and they have a satisfaction guarantee policy so if it doesn’t work you can take it back without a problem.

Matt Wilkes
Matt Wilkes
13 years ago

I got eczema, but not too bad – can’t really notice genrally. But dandruff ? – oh goodness. I can only wear light shirts / jackets. I have a real nice dark suit, and some cool black shirts etc that I couldn’t even think of wearing for past 3/4 years. I tried T-Gel, all sorts. When I was young I also had the problem but it was cured with some weird sulphur smelling stuff I had to put on at night, and wash out in the morning with a strong-smelling shampoo that stung – this was all under hospital supervision… Read more »

jolly
jolly
13 years ago

baby shampoo also smell good

Mr Kallis
Mr Kallis
13 years ago

I have it very bad.. But i put listerine in my hair when it looks bad.. a few seconds later its gone .. not sure about long term but if your going to go out in a few hours and your stressing.. use listerine.. and i shaved my head once and it looked worse!

Bosnawi
Bosnawi
13 years ago

Apple Vinegar. It works for me and it has worked for many ppl before me.

Put a good amount on a wet hair and give it a good 3-4min massage.

Wash it out with cold (or warm) water and a small amount of baby shampoo.

Cheers,

/bosnawi

bones
bones
13 years ago

You can prevent dandruff using many cheap and effective home remedies.Warm coconut oil, lemon juice, apple cidar vinegar are other home remedies at http://www.wellnesstalk.org/dandruff.html will prevent further problems.

sri
sri
13 years ago

heat sesame oil with ginger and lemon juice.apply on the head when it’s warm,then shampoo with H&S,it really works.

jessi
jessi
13 years ago

I’VE TRIED EVERYTHING NOW I AM TRYIN THIS SHAMPOO CALLED QUEEN HANSEN DANDRUFF SHAMPOO AND IT WORKS BUT MAKES MY HAIR FEEL LIKE CRAP AFTER I DNT KNOW WHAT ELSE TO TRY BABY SHAMPOO MADE MY HAIR WORSE I USE TO BE ABLE TO AT LEAST WHERE BLACK EVERYONCE IN AWHILE BUT NOW IF I MOVE MY HAIR IT IS LIKE BEING IN COLORADO AGAIN HELPPPP!!!

Katrineholm Review
Katrineholm Review
12 years ago

What follows below does not constitute medical advice. No, no, no! Try this. First, cut your hair off with scissors. No need to by an electric razor. Now, shave your head with a razor that has at least three blades using a gel for your head. Let the hair grown for a week and use a natural bristle brush to wash your hair every other day. Do not go out in the sun with your head uncovered.Repeat this for three consecutive weeks you just let the hair grow normally and, most importantly if you are not allergic to it, wipe… Read more »

victim
victim
12 years ago

Hi All,

This problem is horrible!!i donno when and why this dandruf started anyways.
My experience is using H&S,clinic plus AD would stop it for some time. if one does not work I switch to other.It works.
and use a mild shampoo in between.

But my biggest problem is after using these so called AD shampoo my hair becomes crap and becomes so unmanagable…Okiee i will be back after using baby shampoo for some time.

bharathi
bharathi
12 years ago

I had ddf for last 2 mnths . I just tried
1 tbl spoon oliveoil
1 spoon almondoil
1 spoon lemonjuice
1 spoon mild shampoo
make mixture of it and apply on sclap .
after 10 mins rinse off hair just in 3 days you can know the result

Angelise
Angelise
12 years ago

My boyfriend has terrible dandruff – His scalp is so dry it literally comes off in HUGE flakes and sometimes there’s even scabing, but lately it’s just been flakes ALL OVER his scalp and nothing I do seems to get rid of it. He’s bought tons of hair products that have never worked (he just bought Nioxin today so we’ll see how that goes) but I will definitly have him try the baby shampoo! Thanks for the advice and I’ll let you know how it goes.

Wayne
Wayne
12 years ago

Use a Jojoba based shampoo. Jojoba is a shrub from the Southwest and the oil it contains works wonders. It works wonders for dry scalp, oily scalp, itchy scalp and of course that pesky dandruff!

Justin
Justin
12 years ago

I had dandruff FOREVER i was starting to think nothing would help it was so embarrassing. i had long hair and all the girls wanted to touch it but i said HELL NO. i bought selsun blue it didnt help. Then i bought this stuff called Nizoral i put it on 2 days ago and i noticed a change dramatically and u use it 2 times a week for 8 weeks and bam its gone. i have short hair now and i use gel. WOW gel makes it so worse. so ima grow my hair back out.

Arun
Arun
12 years ago

18 hrs. out of 24 hrs in a day, I keep thinking about my dandruff problem……..the rest 6 hrs i sleep.
i’m not even sure if its dandruff or some scalp problem…..everytime i comb my hair, it takes me 5 minutes to shove the snow flakes and pieces of hair , off the back of my shirt and shoulders……..god its 1000 times better to be bald……i even tried that…..but when the hair grew, along came the dandruff

Kalieris
Kalieris
12 years ago

Lush’s Soak and Float bar works for me (added benefit – smells like my favorite tea, lapsang souchong), but I haven’t tried the baby shampoo. The Lush is almost gone, so before getting another bar I’ll try the J&J. Thanks!

Annie
Annie
12 years ago

My outragious dandruff turned out to be psoriasis. I felt like I tried every shampoo, cream, whatever… and the only thing that worked was Luxiq, a VERY expensive prescription medication. But, man, it WORKS!

Kristen
Kristen
12 years ago

I found I was actually allergic to ingredients in shampoos and this caused the dandruff. I now use Arbonne tea Tree oil shampoo and it has not only rid my head of dandruff, but I don’t have sinus reactions to the fragrances in other shampoos. It may seem a bit pricey, but it has a metered pump and I am the only one who uses it. I use only a 1/2 pump and my first bottle lasted 2 years. (no I am not a representative of Arbonne, but I have bad allergies to fragrances. This was the FIRST one that… Read more »

Luumi Stomek
Luumi Stomek
12 years ago

hey! argh, this dandruff is itchy! i don’t know what to do with it! it my family saids to run it under olive oil, but its didnt work. I am really glad to hear about your expermenet, and that it was worked. i have try this tomorrow! when i have tomorrow go to his shop to buy his eggs to me, i have tomorrow buy the shampoo for babys, bot for me! thankyou alot much for the informacion, and mani thanks from my family, becos they have not to see my horribel her anemore! Luumi (excuce me for the wreting,… Read more »

bassa aoun
bassa aoun
12 years ago

dude, me too! not the wife thing but the dandruff thing. i used H&s and a bunch of others it would work for a bit then iut would get worse. I think i got dandruff from shampooing my hair too much, or from shampooing it with anti dandruff shampoo when i didnt have it. i used the no tears stuff and it did wonders, it was gentle on my hair and i no longer have the problem.

Maria
Maria
12 years ago

I have an 8 month old baby so already had J&J. I could not believe after first wash, those awful flakes were about 90 percent gone. I could not believe it. After two weeks of use it’s all gone! My husband and I will continue to use it. I have used other OTC shampoos, it must be baby shampoo has no harsh chemicals. Thank you so much for going public!

Steve Taylor
Steve Taylor
12 years ago

All AD Shampoo’s are NASTY for your hair, they might work for a while, but they were never designed to be used exclusively (even though the directions don’t say this), once a week should be enough & only when you have dandruff, the rest of the time use a very mild shampoo like J&J Baby, No tears formula. Experiment. You just might be allergic to the one your using or you may be using to much, try just enough to lather up your hair & only one wash, try with & without Conditioner. I use TRESemme Vitamin E & Aloe… Read more »

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