Sunday, 25 January 2015

Goths and Dandruff

A Dandruff Treatment Product Review

Nobody likes to have dandruff, but for Goths it can be the bane of their existence. It's hard to disguise this problem in an all black ensemble! I have struggled with dandruff on and off for years. Like many people, I have an especially hard time in the winter months because of the drier conditions. A few months ago, my scalp got so bad that I could no longer pull my hair up in a ponytail. It was absolutely embarrassing. Today I'm going to review a handful of dandruff products and share the results with you! Hopefully I might help you find a solution to those embarrassing flakes.

(Prices are in Canadian and rounded to the nearest dollar.)


I've used this product a few times in the past because it's super cheap and readily available. It helps with minor dandruff problems but only for a limited time, as I've often experienced I have to use it again and again to see success, if any. It hardly seems strong enough to treat mild cases of dandruff. For that reason, I'm only giving it ★★☆☆☆. I would recommend Pert as a first attempt to treat dandruff, because it costs so little in comparison to the other brands out there. It's approx. $3 CAD. It's at least worth trying the cheap stuff first.

Head & Shoulders 

This is another readily available brand, it costs a little more than Pert (depending on size, 500 ml is almost $6 and 700ml is around $9). When it comes to dandruff treatment most people think of Head & Shoulders because they've seen the commercials for it, it's advertised more than any other dandruff shampoo. Like Pert, H&S is only mildly successful and can treat mild to moderate dandruff. I have used it with success in the past, but it's always been short lived and I've found myself on H&S again and again. The plus is that it leaves your hair feeling silky and smooth, but I just didn't feel it had a great impact on treating my scalp. It's perfect for mild dandruff, which is why I'll give it ★★★☆☆.


I used the 2% version in 60mL. Unlike the previous brands, Nizoral costs significantly more and can range anywhere between $9-$15. You aren't supposed to use it like ordinary shampoo; it's recommended that you let it sit for about five to seven minutes on the scalp before rinsing, for at least twice a week for the first two weeks and then once every other week to keep dandruff from coming back. It's medicated, and apparently can be great for helping hair loss, but it isn't the most successful product for treating dandruff. It doesn't smell stellar either. I used Nizoral for a few months and had no success in treating my dandruff. At times it seemed to make it worse, it loosened flakes and made my dandruff more apparent. It goes to show that stronger medical ingredients and a higher price does not necessarily equate quality. ★☆☆☆☆


I began to worry that I might be struggling with psoriasis, so I decided to try a psoriasis treatment shampoo. I bought Dermarest on sale (I paid $10 for 236mL, it can cost up to $15). You leave the shampoo on the scalp for several minutes before rinsing, use it twice a week for the first two weeks, and then again when needed. Like Nizoral, it made my dandruff appear worse. I found that it had treated the dandruff at the crown of my head, but there were still patches of dandruff on the sides of my head. I decided to leave the shampoo on these areas for a longer time, but after two months of trying I saw no improvement. For some reason, it only successfully treated part of my scalp...which simply wasn't satisfactory. Because it did treat some of my dandruff, which at this point I considered quite severe, I feel it's earned ★★★☆☆. It should be strong enough to treat mild to moderate dandruff.

Neutrogena T-Gel

I had found a few medical articles that suggested using coal tar shampoo to treat more severe cases of dandruff, so I thought it was worth looking into. Neutrogena T-Gel was the only tar dandruff shampoo I could find in my local drug store. I'm pleasantly surprised by the results. My scalp went from looking like disgusting cradle cap, to absolutely clean in a matter of weeks! It works the same as the other medicated shampoos, you leave it on your scalp for a few minutes and use it twice a week (although I don't recommend extended use as some have suggested tar shampoos can have negative side effects or lose their efficacy). I highly recommend using T-Gel. It costs more (I think it cost me something like $15 for only 177mL), and it smells gross like boxed hair dye, but it works and it's worth it. ★★★★★


If you're struggling with severe dandruff, I strongly recommend you try T-Gel. If you suffer from mild to moderate dandruff, you might want to use Dermarest or Head & Shoulders. If you've exhausted all over the counter treatments, I advise visiting your doctor to see if something health related might be the cause of your dandruff. I hope this review has helped you, and perhaps you might find yourself with a healthy, clean scalp in the future. :)

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