Yes, coal tar is good for your hair as it has been shown to help fight dandruff and treat scalp psoriasis as you can see in this study by the University of Maryland. So why does it get a bad wrap in the hair industry? Because of the bad worldview on coal.
The myth that coal tar is bad for your hair, or that it can cause cancer, is nothing more than a myth. Studies like this one have shown no link between coal tar and cancer, the FDA sees not enough evidence to say it can when used in hair dyes according to this study, and it was found safe in this study by the American College of Toxicology on SageJournals.. The World Health Organization even lists coal tar on its list of essential medicines.
Coal tar works well for dandruff because is helps fight the inflammation and fungus that are major causes of those unsightly flakes, but you probably don’t want to just rub raw coal tar on your head, instead stick to approved products that contain it on their ingredient lists.
You’ll find lots of options for shampoos with coal tar, and while it’s effective by itself, shampoos with other medicated ingredients might work even better. If you see shoulder flakes and you know it isn’t snowing, talk to your doctor about which shampoo will work best for your specific needs. But there are things to be cautious of if you're seeing dandruff.
If you notice a serious burning along with flakes (more than just annoying itching), definitely talk to your doctor since it might be scalp psoriasis instead of dandruff. Half of the people suffering psoriasis have it on their scalp, but while dandruff comes from buildup and fungus on top of your skin, psoriasis is an immune disease happening within your body. Fortunately, it’s something that coal tar may be able to help with too according to the NIH, that’s why consulting your medical doctor is a great option here.
Yes, coal tar is good for your hair and scalp for treating both dandruff and scalp psoriasis, and isn’t dangerous when used in cosmetic products. If you liked this hair myth busting post, share it on social media, and if you’d like more content like this, subscribe to the TELETIMES blog!