Different Types of Dandruff (With Images & Shampoo)


There are different types of dandruff. As you will learn from this post, the dandruff types and causes are inter-related. These two factors will also play a role in determining what types of dandruff shampoos are used to get rid of the condition. Read on to find out more on these.

While dandruff may appear like some simple flaking of dry skin, this is not always the case. There are different types of dandruff classified depending on their causes. We give you images to help you distinguish them. The types of dandruff shampoos used to fight one given dandruff condition may not work on another.

Different Types of Dandruff
Dandruff can also be found on eyelashes.

It is therefore important to know the different types and what form of dandruff condition they can fight. We put all this information at your disposal in this post.

Different Types of Dandruff

Just as there are different causes of dandruffs, there are different types of dandruff. Their classification is related to their causes. While some dandruff types may only be common on the scalp, there are some that could form on different parts of the body. Below are the types.

Seborrheic dermatitis: This is one of the most severe dandruff types. It affects any part of the body especially places with folds such as behind the ears, on the armpits and on the nose too. It is also common on the back of the neck and the head but is not limited to these body parts. A person who has this kind of dandruff experiences a red and irritated skin and scalp and may also get sores.

Fungal dandruff: On everyone’s scalp, there is a fungus known as malassezia. It is normally found in small harmless amounts as its growth is limited. However, at times it tends to reproduce in quicker than normal rates. This happens when there is an excessive oil production on the scalp which is what it feeds on. This facilitates their intensive growth.

When it gets to a level that is too high, there is a high concentration of oleic acid which is their metabolic by product. This tends to irritate the scalp. As a result, there is an excessive production of skin cells which increases the turnover of dead skin cells. When these combine with the scalp’s oil, fungal dandruff flakes are formed.

Psoriasis dandruff: Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes an over production of skin cells within a very short time. This causes a faster than normal shedding of the skin. Dandruffs resulting from this condition are usually thick and tend to be silver in color. It also tends to affect any part of the body.

Sebum dandruff: While most people believe that the cause of dandruff is a dry skin, the opposite problem could cause dandruff too. Sebum related dandruff occurs when there is an accumulation of sebum oil which is secreted by the scalp. The accumulation may be as a result of an overproduction of oil or poor personal hygiene through irregular or improper hair shampooing. When the scalp is not clean enough, the skin oil combines with all the dirt and dead skin cells to form dandruff which may be accompanied by itching.

Dry skin dandruff: This is one of the most common types of dandruff. It occurs when the skin dries up. This is mostly experienced during winter. The skin tends to be dry and flaky.

Types of Dandruff and Causes

The types of dandruff that one has are directly linked to the causes. Knowing the classification of the various types of dandruffs and causes can help a person suffering from the condition be in a better position to deal with it. This will help choose the right type of anti-dandruff shampoo too.

Flaky Scalp Types of Dandruff
Flaky Scalp

Types of Dandruff Images

The types of dandruff images can help to differentiate the various types of dandruff. Sample our collection of types of dandruff with pictures.

Types of Dandruff Shampoo

When it cease being mild, dandruff is an uncomfortable condition. There are a number of dandruff shampoos that are specially manufactured to get rid of this condition. They are classified according to the medication contained in them. There are five major types of dandruff shampoos. These are:

Zinc pyrithione shampoos: These have an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent going by the same name in them. Zinc pyrithione has been proven to be effective in fighting dandruff causing fungus. Examples of such shampoos are Jason Dandruff Relief 2 in 1 shampoo, American Crew Anti Dandruff Shampoo and Head & Shoulders shampoo.

Ketoconazole shampoos: This also contains anti-fungal agents. It helps to rid the scalp off the buildup of dead skin cells. An example of a shampoo containing this ingredient is Nizoral

Selenium sulfide shampoos: These help to prevent a turnover of skin cells by preventing them from dying. It can also help to control the growth of malassezia fungus. They tend to be very strong and could discolor gray, blonde and chemically treated hair. It is therefore important to follow manufacturer instructions when using them. An example of this type of shampoo is Selsun Blue.

Tar based shampoos: These contain coal tar which helps to slow down the dying of skin cells. This helps to reduce formation of dandruffs.

Dandruff can be embarrasing
Dandruff can be embarrasing

Salicylic acid shampoos: This type of shampoo acts as a scalp scrub which helps to eliminate already formed flakes. They may however leave your scalp too dry. One should therefore ensure they use a high moisturizing conditioner once they have used this shampoo.

Though it is controllable, dandruff requires persistent and consistent treatment. The above shampoos are available over the counter and can be used for dandruff treatment. They should be used on daily basis until the condition is controlled. Once this has been achieved, the number of times when the dandruff shampoo is used can be reduced to thrice in a week before settling for once in a week for the purposes of maintaining a dandruff free scalp. Alternate these with a moisturizing shampoo and ensure that you use a high quality conditioner afterwards.

In case one type of dandruff shampoo is used and there are no noticeable changes, one can try a different one. The same should be done in case a shampoo loses its effectiveness. Where the over the counter dandruff shampoos fail to yield desired results, one can consult their dermatologist so that they can prescribe stronger shampoo treatments. They may also administer a steroid lotion.

It is important to try out the products on a small part of your scalp to ensure you are not allergic to its contents. In case there is a stinging itch, redness or burning, using the product should be stopped immediately. Where more severe reactions such as difficulty in breathing, a rash or hives are experienced, medical attention should be sought immediately.

Apart from using dandruff shampoos, one ought to take other steps to remain dandruff free.  Ensure that you eat right and manage your stress levels. Also, reduce the amount of styling products and keep away from harsh styling methods.

Read More on Dandruff Causes & Types:

Recommended: Getting Rid of Dandruff, Itchy Scalp & Best Dandruff Shampoo.