It happens to most of us at some time or another and, in winter, it is more common: dandruff!
There are a multitude of anti-dandruff products on the market and here are some tips to make the most of those over-the-counter shampoos:
1) Don’t rush the process. It’s important to lather and leave shampoos on for five minutes before rinsing.
2) Remember that anti-dandruff shampoos are treatments for the scalp, not your hair, so make sure you are getting the lather directly on the scalp skin. If you don’t like how your hair smells or feels after using one of these shampoos, you can follow with your preferred shampoo or conditioner.
3) It can help to get two or three different anti-dandruff shampoos (with different main ingredients) and alternate between them (e.g. use two or three different shampoos in a given week). The reason this strategy can work is because the various ingredients target different aspects of dandruff:
- Salicylic acid: helps to loosen flakes to reduce buildup
- Zinc pyrithione: with anti-yeast, antifungal and antibacterial properties, zinc pyrithione also helps regulate oil production and control flakes.
- Selenium sulfide: has anti-yeast properties and reduces flaking
- Coal tar: helps decrease flaking and build-up
- Antifungal shampoos: these reduce yeast and have anti-inflammatory properties
- Tea Tree Oil: has antifungal and antibacterial properties
- Neem oil: has anti-fungal properties
4) Finally, apply a moisturizing scalp oil (such as jojoba oil) overnight or at least one hour before washing. The oil helps to moisturize the scalp and loosen flakes so they can be washed away.