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How to Control Dandruff

What shampoos work best, plus an organic solution that doesn't have chemicals


How to Control Dandruff

How to control dandruff

Photodisc // Getty

There are few things more annoying in life than dandruff. For some people, it strikes seasonally, for others it's a chronic problem.

According to the Mayo Clinic, dandruff likely isn't caused by a dry scalp, overuse of hair products or poor hygiene, dandruff's biggest culprit is likely a fungus called "malassezia." Most adults have this fungus on their scalps, but it can get out of control on those who suffer from dandruff. The fungus tends to feed on oil secretions and causes clumps of dead skin cells.

The best way to fight dandruff is with a two-punch shampoo system:

  • First, shampoo with a shampoo containing zinc pyrithione, such as Head & Shoulders. This kills the fungus.
  • Follow this shampoo with one that has salicylic acid, which "scrubs" off the flakes. I recommend Neutrogena T/Sal. You can use these in one shampoo, or alternate every other shampoo.
These two in combination should control your dandruff problems, but if this doesn't work, I'd advise you to consult a dermatologist, who can prescribe stronger medication.

For those not inclined to put chemicals on their scalp, there's a great homemade dandruff recipe I've heard great things about. Here's how it works:

  • First, you massage flaxseed oil into the scalp (you can add in sugar to help exfoliate the dead skin). Let the oils "marinate" on the scalp for awhile.
  • Then you follow with apple cider vinegar rinse which is great at fighting yeast and bacteria.
Get the full recipe here. I love the addition of the sugar to the oil because it acts as a natural exfoliator for dry flakes, but some women prefer to leave the sugar out.

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