I tried *this* dandruff-eliminating, scalp-soothing shampoo and here’s what happened

Cheers to a flake-free future

Editor / November 14 2023

Not to start off on a negative, but here are three things I positively hate. One: the fact that ‘You’re Losing Me’ by Taylor Swift still isn’t on Spotify. Two: The word moist (everyone? Yep, okay, cool). And three (and this is perhaps the biggest offender on this pesky list): dandruff.

Pair an itchy scalp that simply will not let up with a flurry of flakes that seem to show up at the most inconvenient moments possible and you’ve got a major problem. Like, an ‘even worse than Taylor Swift’s most heartbreaking/incredible song not being accessible’ style problem.

But though my strongly worded telepathic messages to streaming platforms have thus far gone unanswered, and I can’t eradicate words from the English language all on my own (disappointing), I do wield a little power in the ‘getting rid of dandruff’ department.

Or rather, a certain product recently added to my wheelhouse does. Let’s get into my experience trying out the DERCOS Anti-Dandruff DS Shampoo…

The product

FYI, you’re going to want to forget what you know about dandruff shampoos in general - the DERCOS Anti-Dandruff DS Shampoo isn’t a bottle you’re going to want to evacuate from your shower shelf any time you have guests, nor is it one that’ll leave your sense of smell unimpressed (or worse, offended).

Ingredient wise, the formula features pretty fancy stuff (selenium DS and cohesyl, to be exact), so you can trust that it’s here to get real results, but something about using a dandruff shampoo that doesn’t feel like you’re using a dandruff shampoo (in the less-than-ideal ways) is pretty damn delightful. It also boasts a dermatologist-approved status, which means it’s catering to both your skin and hair in equal measure – a must when dealing with scalp concerns.

Another point of difference? The fact that DERCOS offers options tailored to different hair types, namely ‘normal to oily’ and ‘dry’. After coming down from the initial thrill of hearing that very fact, I chose the most fitting variant for me and got off to the races…

DERCOS Anti-Dandruff DS Shampoo for Dry Hair review

As someone with hair drier than the Sahara, I won’t be giving out any prizes for guessing which option made it into my ‘to try’ stash. Spoiler alert: ‘twas the DERCOS Anti-Dandruff DS Shampoo for Dry Hair ($26.99 at Chemist Warehouse).

Considering it’s not unusual for a dry scalp and dry hair type to coexist (hi, it’s me, I deal with both delightful concerns), finding a dandruff care formula that actually takes hair type into consideration was already a big win for me. There have been too many times I’ve tried alternatives that addressed the issue (at least short-term) but left my hair frizzier and more brittle than ever, or dared to do the latter without even aiding the itchiness.

So how did the trial process go? Let’s get into it. As per the instructions listed on the back of the bottle, I applied the shampoo to wet hair, massaged in, and then left for 2 minutes. The bottle doesn’t specify (and the ‘dry hair-friendly’ status does mean you needn’t avoid the rest of your hair, per se), but as I usually do with shampoo, I concentrated the formula on my scalp, enjoying the quality lather it delivered. I’ll admit I also took a bit of extra time on the massage step, as even away from the hair salon basin, it’s as much a sensory treat as it is an effective way to work the formula into your hair and scalp.

Speaking of sensory treats, as I already touched on, the scent is a far cry from the strong, ‘clinical’-smelling ones of dandruff shampoo’s past. Instead, it’s fresh, crisp, and even a little zesty - in fact, I quite enjoyed the aroma filling my bathroom throughout my shower, and was more than happy to have it linger in my hair post-wash.

The specifics of how you fit the formula into your personal lineup are generally up to you, but one of my favourite features of the DERCOS Anti-Dandruff DS Shampoo is that it’s designed to be incorporated into existing haircare routines, helping you ditch dandruff without disrupting your entire regimen. For example, for my first wash, I followed with my go-to classic damage-repairing conditioner, and still saw clear benefits from using the shampoo.

As for those benefits, honestly, as soon as the hours following my first wash, I noticed a notably lessened ‘itch-factor’. And when I heat-styled my hair into my desired wave style a little later (are you seeing the signs of why my hair runs dry?), there was no flake-factor, either. I trusted the brand would work, but the speed with which it worked genuinely floored me. But hey, with results like “up to 100 per cent visible dandruff eliminated from first use*” and “+6 weeks anti-dandruff relapse” seen in the consumer trial DERCOS conducted (plus the fact that it’s dermatologist-approved on a global scale), I really needn’t have been surprised.

I was also extremely happy with how my hair felt, texture wise. Instead of feeling brittle and weak like it usually would post-dandruff shampoo application, it performed quite strongly in the ‘smooth, soft, and shiny’ stakes. Another big tick in the DERCOS Anti-Dandruff DS Shampoo for Dry Hair’s pro column.

The verdict

Having recently hit the six week mark since my first use (having used the shampoo at least once a week, sometimes twice, depending on my wash schedule), I can confidently say the consumer trials were spot on. I haven’t dealt with dandruff since my first application, and my scalp itch issue is genuinely a thing of the past.

I cannot (or if you’ve dealt with dandruff yourself, I needn’t) tell you the frustration that comes with said concerns  (especially in the itch stakes, for me), and the relief of having something that addresses it effectively and quickly is enormous.

Long story short, if you’re looking for a shampoo that combats the less-than-glamorous concern of dandruff and/or an itchy scalp, but doesn’t feel less-than-glamorous while doing so (on top of also being tailored to your hair type’s needs), this is the premium (but genuinely efficacious) product for you.


* Consumer test on 262 subjects after 2 weeks of regular use

**Cosmeto clinical study on 45 subjects after 4 weeks of use and 6 weeks of remanence

Main image credit: Supplied

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Delaney began her career in the Australian beauty media industry in 2015, landing amidst the glossy world of women’s lifestyle magazines (or more literally, in their beauty cupboards). Since then, she has gone on to write across a multitude of beloved Australian media brands, including OK!, NW, InStyle, and Harper’s BAZAAR. She’s covered every side of beauty content, from directing beauty editorial shoots to rounding up the best glossy serums for golden hour skin. Having spent nearly a decade immersed in the beauty realm, Delaney’s knowledge of beauty is as extensive as her collection of tinted lip oils (read: extremely extensive). Delaney is currently the Digital Managing Editor of BEAUTYcrew, and her beauty wisdom also appears across beautyheaven, ELLE and Marie Claire. She enjoys channelling her personal hobby (testing beauty products) into her professional work (talking about testing beauty products), and considers perfecting the art of a cat eye in a moving car her life’s greatest accomplishment.

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