Does Dove Shampoo And Conditioner Cause Dandruff? Or Help Fight It?

Dove shampoo

What are the ingredients in Dove shampoo and what do they do?

Are they toxic or harmless?

And is Dove good for getting rid of dandruff or will it cause more?

This article will give you all the details.

Dove shampoo ingredients

Dove has many different kinds of shampoo which address specific hair-care needs such as hair fall, dandruff, moisturizing/hydration, rejuvenation and repair, dryness, and split ends amongst others. 

Each variety will have a set of ingredients specific to the need it addresses.

  • Surfactants

Surfactants are key to the effectiveness of Dove shampoos, just like all other shampoos. This compound allows the shampoo to spread easily by reducing surface friction with the hair and also contributes to removing dirt and oil by allowing water to bind with them. 

The two main surfactants used in Dove shampoos are Sodium Laureth Sulfate and TEA-dodecylbenzenesulfonate.

They are both sulfates and are added to make the shampoo lather and foam and to deep-clean by removing excess dirt and oil. 

This gives your hair a squeaky-clean look and feel.

  • Cocamidopropyl betaine 

Cocamidopropyl betaine enhances this effect by promoting a rich, thick texture to the shampoo and it augments the lathering effects. 

  • Parabens and Phthalates

Perfumes and fragrances of different kinds are added to all the shampoos to scent the hair. Consequently, Dove shampoo also contains several parabens and phthalates in their products. 

  • Dimethiconol

Dimethiconol is a key component in Dove shampoo. It is a silicone derivative that smooths out any frizz and creates a sleek, glossy look and texture. It coats the hair and the hair cuticles for protection and also works as an anti-static. 

  • Glycol Distearate 

Glycol Distearate is an ingredient common to all Dove shampoos. Although it does not have any functional purpose it is what gives all Dove shampoos their silvery, mother-of-pearl color and sheen.

  • Sodium Hydroxide 

Sodium Hydroxide is a pH balancer that offers Dove shampoos the gentleness and mild effect that they are known for.

It makes sure that the shampoo doesn’t become too acidic or alkaline during or after the manufacturing process. It creates and maintains a neutral pH. 

  • DMDM Hydantoin and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI)

Dove shampoos also contain DMDM Hydantoin and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI) and/or Methylisothiazolinone (MI), which are all used as preservatives, and as anti-microbial/fungal agents. 

These help to prolong the shelf life of the products by preventing them from spoiling due to bacterial or fungal growth.

  • Essential oils and extracts

These are the main ingredients, but you may also find other scents, added essential oils, natural oils, herb extracts, etc. which lend each shampoo its unique quality. 

ALSO READ: Is Dove shampoo bad for you? Comprehensive guide

Dove conditioner ingredients 

Many ingredients in Dove conditioners are similar to those found in shampoos.

  • DMDM Hydantoin and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI)

For example, DMDM Hydantoin and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI), and/or Methylisothiazolinone (MI) are all common across all conditioners. 

  • Dimethicone/Dimethiconol 

Dimethicone/Dimethiconol which is silicone is also present in all the conditioners. They all have the same use as in the shampoos and perform the same functions. 

There are other ingredients not found in the shampoos which are common to most of the conditioners.

  • Amodimethicone 

One of them is Amodimethicone which is another variation of silicone that makes hair smooth and frictionless so that damage to hair is reduced. It gives the hair a frizz-free, silky texture and looks.

The silicone even forms a protective sheath over damaged hairs and strengthens them. 

  • PEG-7 Propylheptyl Ether

Some conditioners also contain PEG-7 Propylheptyl Ether, which is a polyethylene glycol-based compound. This acts as an emulsifier so that the conditioner can interact with water (for example in a rinse-off conditioner) to provide the desired result i.e. soft and moisturized hair. 

  • Cetrimonium Chloride and Behentrimonium Chloride 

Two chloride compounds are present in all the Dove conditioners. These are Cetrimonium Chloride and Behentrimonium Chloride which are both organic compounds which are derived from plant bases.

They function to smoothen out hair, create a protective cover on the hair cuticles, and act as an anti-static.

It smoothes out hair and de-tangles it and makes hair soft and frizz-free. These compounds also have parallel properties of being antiseptic and acting as preservatives as well.  

  • Sulfates

Other sulfate compounds like zinc sulfate and sodium sulfate are all also common in Dove conditioners.

They are all additional surfactants that clean the hair by promoting lathering and so removing dirt and oil. So along with any shampoo, they provide a deep cleaning effect. 

A final set of ingredients are found in all Dove shampoos, like a combination. 

  • Citronellol, Geraniol and Linalool 

This trio includes Citronellol, Geraniol and Linalool are all traces of specific alcohol that occurs naturally and is extracted from essential oils such as lemongrass oil, to give the Dove conditioners their characteristic, citrusy, fruity scent/perfume. 

Why is Dove shampoo bad for hair? 

As such Dove does not have a negative effect on the hair but some ingredients and chemical compounds in the shampoos could cause some undesirable reactions or outcomes. 

Dimethiconol, or silicone, which tackles frizz and makes hair smooth and silky, can in the long-term, actually damage hair. This is because it builds up with each use. 

A silver lining here is that Dimethiconol is one of the few water-soluble silicones. So it tends to wash away with water.

But other than this, Dove is quite mild on the scalp and tresses and because of its balanced pH, it doesn’t cause any uncomfortable reactions such as rashes on the scalp.

Can Dove cause itchy scalp? 

People who have sensitive skin and scalp can develop an itchy scalp due to the presence of sulfates in Dove shampoo.

The presence of various sulfates such as sodium Laureth sulfate, zinc, and sodium sulfate can cause dryness and itchiness in the scalp which may further lead to dandruff. 

But, on the other hand, Dove is very mild and balanced in terms of pH and so it is often recommended for exactly this purpose i.e. to tackle itchiness and dandruff. 

Does Dove cause dandruff or is it good for dandruff? 

Dove shampoo can help fight dandruff, while at the same time can also cause it in some people. 

This is how.

The sulfates in Dove may trigger dryness or itchiness that could trigger dandruff.

But here is the thing.

Dandruff is caused by a number of different factors.

If your skin is already sensitive, then Dove may trigger more dandruff. 

But it is equally good to tackle dandruff. The Dove Dryness & Itch Relief Anti-Dandruff Shampoo tackles any itchiness or dry skin caused by sulfates among other chemicals.

The Dove DermaCare Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is designed to moisturize the scalp and remove the dandruff-causing fungus. It uses ZPTO which is zinc pyrithione. This is a compound that fights the growth of Malassezia, a fungus that causes dandruff. 

So any sensitivity to sulfate compounds that cause dandruff can be tackled with Dove shampoos that specifically fight against dandruff. 

So now that you know all about what Dove shampoos and conditioners contain and the effects they have on your hair, it’s all up to you to try and test out Dove and see what you make of it for yourself!



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Anand Srinivasan
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