So…I have dandruff. It appears sporadically, but when it does it’s usually near the front of my scalp where my hair parts. It’s embarrassing, and you may be judging me right now – since most people inaccurately assume dandruff is associated with uncleanliness – but for the record, I shower and wash my hair every day. And if I hit the gym, I’ll even wash it a second time. So rest assured these flakes are not a result of lack of shampooing. But if they aren’t, then what are they a result of?
Experts can’t say definitively why it happens, but the Mayo Clinic suggests scalp snowflakes, which affect nearly 50 million people in the United States are typically the result of one of the following:
A yeastlike fungus known as Malassezia, which lives on the scalp of most adults and can be irritating to the scalp for some.
Irritated, oily skin known as seborrheic dermatitis. This condition is marked by red, greasy, skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales.
Not shampooing enough, as regular washing helps to alleviate a build up of oils and skin cells.
Dry skin, which can result in smaller, less oily flakes and appear without a red or inflamed scalp.
Sensitivity to hair care products which can cause scalp irritation and contact dermatitis.
Since my scalp isn’t irritated I can cross off the first two, and I’ve already established that it can’t be the third reason, so dry skin and sensitivity to hair products could be the culprits. I decided to ditch my Costco shampoo and explore the world of premium (and expensive) haircare. After testing numerous products, I’ve rounded up a few that have completely rid my scalp of “snowflakes” and improved the health of my scalp and hair overall. I kinda feel like a grown up buying nice hair products finally.
Alterna Caviar Replenishing Moisture Shampoo changed my life. As I mentioned before I like to feel clean even if that means shampooing twice a day when necessary, and my Costco shampoo was drying out my scalp and strands. For the longest time I always thought shampoo was just shampoo and it didn’t make a difference what I used. Well, I was wrong. Even when I wash my hair twice a day my hair retains moisture, shine and strength with this shampoo.
Alterna Caviar Moisture Intense Oil Creme Deep Conditioner is my next obsession. I don’t even brush my hair anymore because this conditioner makes my hair so slippery and silky. While it provides intense moisture similar to a hair mask it can be used every day without weighing hair down.
Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt is an Allure “Best of Beauty” award winner. I probably could just stop right there, but there’s too much to gush about with this product. The thick (and I mean THICK) salt crystals in this white paste give the scalp a really great scrub dislodging built up oils and dead skin; perfect for your dandruff ails. The paste lathers into a rich foam with just a tiny scoop, so a little goes a long way.
Christophe Robins Purifying Hair Finishing Lotion invigorates the scalp and helps to balance the pH level with herbal vinegar; a kitchen basic that helps to prevent yeast overgrowth, which can contribute to flakes, says Dr. Oz. Mixed with Sage, Thyme, Lavender and Rosemary oils your scalp will feel stimulated and soothed, while your strands will have extra shine and color protection.
-by Amy Chang
Image source: Saint Laurent