There’s nothing worse than breaking out your favorite little black dress for a night on the town, only to discover that dandruff flakes ruined your look.
“Many people believe dandruff is caused by poor hygiene, but this simply isn’t true,” said board-certified dermatologist Adam J. Friedman, MD, FAAD. “Rather than try to remedy dandruff by over-shampooing or over-brushing your hair, which can both be damaging to the hair, use dandruff shampoo and scalp treatments instead.”
Here are 4 tips to help you banish dandruff for good:
- Don’t over shampoo. If you are Caucasian or Asian, shampoo daily and use dandruff shampoo twice a week. If using one dandruff shampoo does not bring relief, try alternating between dandruff shampoos with different active ingredients.If you are African-American, only shampoo once a week using a dandruff shampoo.
- Pick the right product. Not all dandruff shampoos are created equally. You need to select a product that is suited for your specific hair type.
- Be careful when using shampoo with coal tar. Tar shampoo can discolor blonde, grey or white hair. In addition, tar shampoo has the potential to make your scalp more sensitive to sunlight.
- Follow the instructions! Yes, you’ve probably been shampooing your own hair for at least 20 years now. But, there are many different dandruff shampoos. Each contains different active ingredients for controlling symptoms. To get the best results, you need to follow the instructions on the bottle. For example, some dandruff shampoos require that you lather the shampoo into the hair and onto the scalp and leave on for about five minutes before rinsing; others should not be left on the scalp.
If you’ve tried all the tips above and you’re still having trouble, remember that sometimes the flaking and itching that seems like dandruff is actually a medical condition, such as seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, fungal infections of the scalp, or eczema. If you continue to have symptoms after consistent use of dandruff shampoo, consult a board-certified dermatologist to get to the bottom of the problem.