Don’t let dandruff get you down. Instead, stock your shower with formulas that fight off flakes
and help balance oil production without drying out your scalp
or strands. According to NYC-based board-certified dermatologist Michele Green, the key is incorporating scalp-soothing
active ingredients like salicylic acid, tea tree oil, zinc pyrithione, and ketoconazole into your routine.
Before you make a beeline to the beauty aisle, take a minute to consider the cause of your scalp concerns
. “If you find that by the end of the day, your hair becomes flat, weighed down, or ‘dirty-looking', you most likely have an oily scalp,” Green explains. “A dry scalp, on the other hand, tends to flare up seasonally, so if you only get flakes during certain months of the year, it’s likely due to the latter.” For those of you who are all too familiar with these seasonal changes, shop this selection of soothing products formulated with coconut, almond, tamanu, and argan oils
. Keep clicking for the best buys that'll make dandruff a worry of the past. (Photo via Vasko/ Getty)
Head & Shoulders Dry Scalp Care 2-in-1 Dandruff Shampoo + Conditioner ($6):
Made with hydrating almond oil and zinc pyrithione (AKA the most widely used ingredient for treating dandruff), this time-saving shower staple is a shoo-in for dry, itchy scalps. According to Green, it helps combat the yeast overgrowth commonly seen in seborrheic dermatitis, which means fewer flakes with each use.
Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Scalp Care Anti-Thinning Shampoo ($39):
NYC-based board-certified dermatologist Dendy Engelman touts tea tree oil as a natural way to remedy scalp buildup. The ingredient combines with clover flower extract, pea peptides, turmeric, kakadu plum, and ginseng to stimulate the scalp and protect against breakage.
Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo ($15):
According to NYC-based board-certified dermatologist Jennifer Chwalek, "Ketoconazole in this shampoo works as an anti-fungal, targeting the yeast that causes dandruff."
KÉRASTASE Specifique Shampoo for Sensitive Scalp ($33):
"Designed for those with a sensitive scalp and combination hair, this cleansing and soothing shampoo (which is made with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial ingredients like piroctone) reduces itchiness, adds moisture, and gives hair a light, airy feel," Engelman explains.
Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Salicylic Acid Anti-Dandruff Shampoo ($25):
Balance your scalp’s oil production while banishing dandruff with this flake-fighting shampoo. “Salicylic acid removes dead skin cells, excess oil, and product buildup, not only from the scalp but inside hair follicles,” Green explains. “Its unique ability to penetrate the hair follicle is why it's so effective.”
Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo ($28):
Looking for a deeper cleanse? “Here, lactic acid is combined with salicylic acid to increase the exfoliating power,” Green points out.
OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo ($14):
“The key is to gently [buff away oil, dirt, and dead skin] while adding and maintaining moisture to prevent dryness and further flaking,” Green points out. This hydrating coconut concoction fits the bill.
Aveda Pramāsana Purifying Scalp Cleanser ($35):
Chwalek is a fan of this shampoo's formula, which features salicylic acid to deeply cleanse the scalp, as well as seaweed extract to help balance sebum production.
Fekkai Apple Cider Shampoo ($20):
"Apple cider vinegar is known to improve the pH balance of the skin, kill bacteria, and dissolve dead skin cells," Chwalek says.
DHS TAR Shampoo ($10):
If you have a greasy scalp, Green says you can’t go wrong with this coal tar formula. “In addition to mild antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, coal tar, like salicylic acid, is also a keratolytic agent, so it’s going to break up and loosen excess scaly skin on the scalp,” Green adds. “It also may help slow down the over-production of skin cells — a condition seen in psoriasis.”
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