Dandruff-Combating Ideas That Actually Work, From a Derm


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My dandruff typically seems like an annoying ex-boyfriend I can’t appear to eliminate. I’ve tried the whole lot in my energy to ditch it—kitchen-chemistry TikTok hacks, dear new shampoos, a really costly bathe filter—however simply after I assume it’s gone, it comes again begging for consideration.

What’s worse, my scalp can go from squeaky clear to lined in flakes seemingly in a single day. This undesirable buildup normally occurs as a results of stress or excessive temperature adjustments, which occur to be two of the principle causes of dandruff, in keeping with Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based mostly in New York.

“[Dandruff] is believed to narrate to irritation and yeast occurring in sebum-rich areas of the physique,” Dr. Garshick says. “Whereas it will possibly happen at any time, it may be exacerbated by stress. [What’s more,] it could influence individuals in a different way in the course of the totally different seasons, with some individuals noticing a worsening within the winter months and an enchancment in the summertime months. It’s thought that the chilly, dry winter air might be harsh on the pores and skin barrier and predisposes to a worsening and extra irritation within the winter months.”

So except I need to relocate to some form of yoga retreat in Florida, these triggers are just about unavoidable. What’s avoidable, although, is how they present up on my scalp. Based on Dr. Garshick, with the best merchandise and practices (which, apparently, are usually not those I’ve tried prior to now), it’s completely potential to eliminate the itching and flaking as soon as and for all.

So for one week, I put her dandruff-fighting suggestions into motion (spoiler: they concerned ditching my dear shampoo and choosing up Head & Shoulders from CVS) for my very personal derm-approved “scalp bootcamp.” Hold studying to see the way it went.

Dr. Garshick’s prime 3 dandruff-fighting suggestions:

1. Use the best merchandise

Step one in efficiently staving off dandruff is to seek out the best product. “Whereas some individuals might discover their dandruff improves simply by washing their hair extra incessantly, it will possibly additionally assist to make use of a shampoo with key substances to focus on dandruff together with anti-fungals reminiscent of zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, and ketoconazole, or keratolytics to assist with the construct up of lifeless pores and skin reminiscent of salicylic acid,” Dr. Garshick says.

Since I have dry, curly, color-treated hair, and prior to now have discovered many dandruff options too drying for my strands, Dr. Garshick steered Head & Shoulders Easy and Silky Shampoo, “which accommodates pyrithione zinc to assist cut back flaking,* whereas nonetheless preserving the hair and scalp moisturized.”

For max flake-fighting powers, Dr. Garshick recommends pairing the shampoo with Head & Shoulders’ complimentary Easy and Silky Conditioner, which “provides an ideal extra choice because it helps to situation the hair and scalp, along with controlling frizz, whereas additionally defending towards dandruff,” she says. “Discovering merchandise that not solely comprise the lively dandruff-fighting substances like zinc pyrithione, but in addition nourishing substances reminiscent of almond oil, [help] hold the scalp feeling wholesome.” Verify and verify.

2. Wash correctly and incessantly

As soon as I had the best substances lined up, Dr. Garshick suggested me to maintain yet another factor in thoughts in an effort to sort out my flaky scalp with out completely drying out my hair: the manner I wash my hair is essential, too. “When attempting to deal with dandruff, it’s most essential to use the shampoo to the scalp, not essentially the strands of hair,” says Dr. Garshick, who recommends concentrating the shampoo in your scalp. One straightforward manner to do that? Strive wetting your hair then flipping your head over and making use of your shampoo the other way up, which can permit you to actually scrub your scalp and the oft-forgotten space above the nape of your neck whereas avoiding your strands.

How incessantly you wash your hair issues, too. “When coping with dandruff, it may be useful to clean the scalp commonly, which for many individuals might imply washing the scalp every day or each different day,” says Dr. Garshick. “Washing the scalp commonly helps to scale back buildup of lifeless pores and skin and get rid of extra oil.” In the event you discover that your dandruff shampoo is simply too drying, you possibly can alternate it with a gentler, sulfate-free method each different wash. (FYI: Head & Shoulders has that lined too with its sulfate-free Supreme assortment.)

3. Fashion sensible

When coping with dandruff, it’s essential to let your scalp breathe—which implies utilizing styling merchandise sparingly. “Keep away from placing an excessive amount of oil within the scalp or frequent use of dry shampoo in case you are already experiencing dandruff, because the oil can construct up and set off worsening dandruff, buildup, irritation, and flaking,” Dr. Garshick says. It’s nonetheless superb to use hair oil and warmth protectant to your ends to maintain them moisturized and keep away from harm, however keep away from placing something in your scalp.

What occurred after I put her dandruff-fighting tricks to the take a look at in “scalp bootcamp.”

Earlier than I’d even utilized the Head & Shoulders Easy and Silky Shampoo, I used to be impressed. Its fairly pink packaging made it really feel far much less scientific than some other dandruff shampoo I’d ever tried, and its fruity-floral perfume was a far cry from the tar-scented flake-fighting shampoo I used to steal from my dad again in highschool. It has a pleasant, frothy lather that made it straightforward to therapeutic massage into my scalp, and the expertise of utilizing it felt way more like a spa therapy than I ever may have anticipated.

The conditioner comes with the identical intoxicating scent, and I solely wanted a quarter-sized dollop of product to work by my ends. (Professional tip: It is best to use simply sufficient conditioner that you just’re in a position to simply glide your fingers by your hair—any greater than that may weight it down).

After my first shampoo session, I utilized some argan oil to my ends and handled myself to an at-home blowout. Not solely had been there only a few flakes in sight, however my hair appeared easy, shiny, and frizz-free. Often, after I use a dandruff shampoo, I don’t anticipate it to do something greater than battle dandruff—however this mixture made my hair look good, too.

Over the course of the following week, I continued to place Dr. Garshick’s suggestions into apply. I washed my hair each different day (which is greater than my typical wash schedule, however ditching the dry shampoo meant that I needed to up the frequency with my precise shampoo), and used oil on my ends any time they began to look straw-like.

Most individuals begin to discover a distinction after utilizing Head & Shoulders for about two weeks, however after solely three lather-and-rinses, my traditional itching and flaking had completely disappeared—which was a shock on condition that my bootcamp occurred to happen throughout a really aggravating work week and within the midst of early-October temperature adjustments. What’s extra, my scalp and strands weren’t Sahara-level dry the way in which they normally are after I use a dandruff product, and smelled so, so good.

Now that my flakes are below management, Dr. Garshick advisable I proceed to make use of my Head & Shoulders combo a couple of times every week for upkeep. On the off-washes, I am going to complement with a purple shampoo and conditioner to keep up my highlights and a bonding shampoo and deep conditioner to stave off harm.

Realizing that I’ve a tried-and-true (and derm-approved!) duo in my routine that makes my hair look nice and doesn’t contain spending a zillion {dollars} or concocting a DIY answer in my kitchen signifies that I—and my scalp—can relaxation straightforward, even throughout peak dandruff season.

Need extra dandruff-fighting suggestions you possibly can strive for your self? Try the Head & Shoulders web site, and top off on dandruff options at CVS.

*flakes related to dandruff


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