Because dandruff is a multifactorial process, today's anti-dandruff formulations are presented in different cosmetic forms and contain several active ingredients aimed at individually correcting each of the causes that can originate it and alleviate its consequences.Active principles* Antifungals. They inhibit the proliferation of microorganisms, especially against the yeast Malassezia furfur.* Cytostatic. They regulate the cell renewal cycle of the scalp.* Antiseborrheic. Normalize the secretion of the sebaceous glands.* Keratolytics. They eliminate the accumulation of scales of the scalp.* Antipruritos. They relieve the itching and redness that accompany the dandruff processes.Almost all treatments include, as the first active ingredient of choice against dandruff, substances with antifungal activity. The most commonly used chemical group is sulfur derivatives of pyridinium, such as zinc pyrithione (ZPT). These substances act mainly by inhibiting microbial proliferation; however, they also have a certain cytostatic effect that helps to normalize the process of keratization.
Another pyridinium derivative, without cytostatic activity because it does not contain sulfur in its molecule, is the piroctone olamine. One of the advantages of this molecule compared to zinc pyrithione is its solubility in water, since it allows it to be included in transparent cosmetic formulations; while the ZPT, due to its low solubility in water, is formulated in the form of dispersion (shampoos) giving a whitish-milky appearance to the product.
Climbazole is another effective antidandruff agent, of the azole family, whose activity is specifically antifungal. This substance acts selectively against pathogenic microorganisms, respecting the microbial flora of the scalp.
Accompanying these ingredients, substances with keratolytic, anti-seborrheic or antipruritic activity are normally incorporated into anti-dandruff formulations in order to improve the appearance of the hair, regulate sebum secretions and relieve the itching caused by the presence of dandruff.. Salicylic acid along with some sulfur derivatives (colloidal sulfur, selenium sulfide) are good exfoliating agents that facilitate the removal of the scales of the scalp.
Every time less aggressive and more natural cosmetics are made, and for that reason, vegetable extracts that provide new antiseptic and healing properties are being added to anti-dandruff formulations, in addition to reducing the irritant properties of some of the active ingredients.
During the seventies and eighties, tar derivatives (coal tar) were the most used plant components in anti-dandruff formulations, due to their proven efficacy as cytostatic and antiseborrheic.. Currently, these ingredients are falling into disuse because their safety is being evaluated.
Current treatments to combat dandruff combine the use of several complementary cosmetic products, which come in different cosmetic forms. Generally, to control the problem of dandruff, it is sufficient to use an anti-dandruff shampoo on a regular basis. Currently, the new formulas have ceased to be aggressive shampoos and have become products that, in addition to including active ingredients that treat the problem of dandruff, clean and cosmetically care hair, providing softness, shine and nutrition.
Although shampoo is the most used cosmetic form, due to the convenience of performing two actions in one (hair cleaning and dandruff control), it is advisable to complement the treatment with a hydroalcoholic anti-dandruff lotion after washing, which contains an active substance other than shampoo. In lotions, the high alcohol content facilitates the absorption of the active ingredients, in addition to providing its application a pleasant sensation of freshness as a result of the evaporation of alcohol.
As a newer product, the anti-dandruff capillary mask has been developed with exfoliating action, which provides the cosmetic properties of a conditioning mask (shine, softness, nutrition), in addition to the active ingredients that control the appearance of dandruff.Some practical tips
* To make the anti-dandruff treatment more effective, it is recommended to alternate the use of shampoos containing different active ingredients, in this way it prevents the microorganisms from being less sensitive to a certain active ingredient.
* During the application of the shampoo it is recommended to massage the scalp to eliminate the dead cells and let the product act for at least 5 minutes, thus allowing the active ingredients to be absorbed.
* The scalp massage should be done with the fingertips and never with the nails, because in these conditions the stratum corneum is thinner and small wounds could be caused to worsen the condition of the scalp.
* It is important, after the application of anti-dandruff shampoo, to thoroughly rinse the hair to avoid leaving residues of product that can cause itching and irritation on the scalp.