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.
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.