Is an anti dandruff shampoo bad for hair? This question tops the list of anxious searches on google, quora and online when people have dandruff. And many mini questions follow this question: Do anti dandruff shampoos cause hair loss, hair greying or hair weakness? Essentially, do I have to choose between dandruff eradication and hair health is what we ask.
These concerns are valid. Anti dandruff shampoos are unfortunately renowned for being harsh on the hair and scalp, triggering high hair fall and do not provide a lasting remedy for dandruff. Why is this so?
Problems with synthetic anti dandruff shampoos
An anti dandruff shampoo is a regular synthetic shampoo with surfactants like SLs, SLeS, builders, thickeners, phthalates, parabens, synthetic fragrances along with actives to control fungal organisms. We write extensively about the ill effects of SLS and SLeS on the Krya blog. These synthetic surfactants severely dry out the scalp or irritate and inflame the sebaceous glands strongly increasing sebum production. So extensive use of synthetic shampoos can trigger both dry dandruff and oily dandruff. SLS and SLeS also weaken hair, break the hair’s cuticular structure and linger and bio accumulate in the body.
However in anti dandruff shampoos we have much more to worry about than just SLS and SLeS. The popular actives used in Anti Dandruff Shampoos are Ketoconazole, Zinc Pyrithione, Coal Tar, Selenium disulfide, Resorcine and Salicylic acid. Every one of these actives can trigger many potential side effects.
Ketoconazole is a highly potent fungicide that can trigger scalp burning, itching and hives. When Ketoconazole is discharged into water , it bioaccumuates in marine organisms shutting off / retarding the activity of CYP3A enzyme group which aids in important liver functions. It is also shown to inhibit reproductive functions and other biological activities in aquatic organisms. Zinc pyrithione can irritate eyes, and also trigger skin and scalp irritation.
Coal tar is a probable carcinogen and could be highly toxic to skin and scalp – Coal Tar is banned in certain geographies in Canada and the E.U, although it is freely used in countries like India and the U.S.
Salicylcic acid can cause stinging / burning sensation on the scalp and skin irritation. Rarer side effects are vomiting, dizziness and alteration in breath rates. Resorcinol is a potent skin and mucous membrane irritant – it can severely irritate the eyes, nose and skin. Selenium is a probable allergen, especially when used in high concentrations of strength of 2.5% or higher in anti dandruff shampoos. At this level it can trigger severe skin irritation and rashes.
How does an synthetic dandruff shampoo work?
People have different kinds of dandruff: dry dandruff, oily dandruff and fungal dandruff. In all 3 cases, an anti dandruff shampoo is either ineffective or works only temporarily.
No, because dry dandruff is caused by the synthetic shampoo’s aggressive cleaning of scalp without any balanced nourishment. So a synthetic anti dandruff shampoo will worsen and aggravate dry dandruff.
No, because oily dandruff is caused by aggravated sebaocrous glands BECAUSE of the harsh nature of the anti dandruff shampoo. So it wll again worsen the oily dandruff.
Fungal dandruff / Seborrheic dermatitis:
No. again here the anti dandruff shampoo only offers temporary relief. As there si no attempt to control the cause behind fungal dandruff, the problem re-appears the moment you stop using the anti dandruff shampoo. In the meantime scalp and ahir health gets much pooer with the continuous use of the anti dandruff shampoo. So you have a problem that is not fully treated and pooer quality hair, reduced hair grwth and poorer scalp health as a result f using the anti dandruff shampoo.
The Krya anti dandruff hair wash : formulated with potent natural herbs
The Krya Ayurvedic anti dandruff hair wash, an ayurvedic hair wash powder formulated using Ayurvedic principles and 27 potent Ayurvedic herbs like Shikakai, Soapberry, Triphala, Kalmegh, Neeli, Kushta and other herbs. Like with the Krya Anti Dandruff Hair Oil and the Krya Anti Dandruff Hair Mask (Lepa), this Ayurvedic hair wash powder is formulated with bitter and astringent herbs to help cleanse scalp , cut down flaking and discourage growth of fungal micro organisms.
Formulated with safe and gentle plant surfactants, the Krya Anti dandruff hair wash does not dry out the scalp, aggravate sebaceous glands or weaken hair like synthetic shampoos do. It gently yet effectively cleanses the scalp, soothes scalp itching, controls flaking and discourages the growth of fungal organisms on the scalp.
The product, like all Krya ayurvedic hair wash powders is in Choornam / blended herb powder format. This has to be made into a paste and used on the hair. The product is low foam, gentle, and harmonious and wholesome on hair and scalp.
Who can use the Krya anti dandruff Hair wash ?
The Krya Anti Dandruff hair wash is useful for both oily dandruff and Fungal dandruff / Seborrheic dermatitis. While it can be used in cases of Dry dandruff, it is not essential in these cases and any one of Krya’s other hair wash powders can be used for Dry Dandruff.
For Oily Dandruff where Fungal infestation has not yet occurred, we suggest using the Krya Anti dandruff hair wash in combination with either Krya Classic hair wash or Krya Classic Plus hair wash to balance Pitta in the head.
The Complete dandruff healing programme
When you have oily dandruff or Fungal Dandruff / sebhorrheic dermatitis, the Dandruff is at an advanced stage, and needs a complete system of products to heal it holistically. In these cases, we recommend using the Krya anti Dandruff Hair system which contains the Krya Anti Dandruff hair oil, The Krya Anti Dandruff Hair Mask (Lepa) and the Krya Anti Dandruff Hair wash. The details of each product can be read on the individual product pages. Using the complete system helps heal dandruff quicker and in a more holistic fashion.
Sanskriti Tiwary –
Inspite of my doubts about a non soapy hair wash removing hair oil as well as getting rid of dandruff, i went ahead and ordered this product. I was already using the face-wash for my acne but wasn’t very religious and kept on going back to my oh-so-reliable regular Face-wash.
Recently my dandruff problem had escalated new heights and i was irritated with the flakes all over my shoulders and pillow. I had severe acne problem and sometimes i even had acne on my upper back. Frustrated i got a haircut in a failed attempt to reduce the quantum of the problem. When i read the post on anti-dandruff products by Krya, everything made sense. How the cosmetic shampoo we all use claim to give us a dandruff free scalp but no one ever stops using those shampoos! Its a vicious cycle we get into.
For the last one week i have been oiling my hair everyday and Washing it with this product. Lemme warn you, Its not easy as shampooing the regular way. I even faced some difficulty in learning to remove all the excess oil from my hair (that my mother so religiously remembers to pour on my head every night). I am still unlearning everything the cosmetic shampoo taught me. Untill i master the use of this hair wash, i won’t mind an occasional flake of the herbal wash on my head (i bet its better then having flakes of dandruff all over).
And, fresh acne seems to have stopped coming up, the old ones are healing, my back also seems to be clearing out and – the route cause of everything- my dandruff has reduced tremendously.
Keep up the good work Team krya.
Saketh Jandhyala –
For almost a year, I’d been struggling with sebhoerric dermatitis, and this is the only product that truly made a difference. Highly recommend this to people suffering from oily dandruff, scales and flakes.
Aarti (verified owner) –
Anonymous (verified owner) –
Nikhilesh N. (verified owner) –
It been quite early to provide review as i only had two wash for my hair.
However I was expecting a foam while washing hair with power but it has not.
Instructions on the packate should be more illustrative and packing shoul have been little better.
I would love to provide a review again after 02-03 weeks of use.
Preethi Sukumaran (store manager) –
Nikhilesh: Thank you for bringing this up!. We will make the instructions (and expectations) from the product clearer. Thank you again for sharing this!
Rishikesan Parthiban (verified owner) –