For many men, winter bring about a range of distressing grooming issues. Problems related to hair and scalp are exacerbated by dry air pumped through central heating systems, and microbes thrive in the warm environment generated under knit caps. The result — something we’re all familiar with — is often the embarrassing white flakes of dandruff.
Dandruff is caused by an overabundance of lipophilic yeast from the genus Malassezia. These microbes exist on everyone’s head but become problematic when there is a buildup of sebum on the scalp (Malassezia thrives in oily environments). Along with climate, dandruff can flare up because of stress, poor diet or hormonal changes. In order to treat it, make sure to analyze your lifestyle and use an anti-dandruff shampoo methodically.
When purchasing a dandruff shampoo, invest in a product that will help your scalp in the long term. Though Head and Shoulders is ubiquitous in drug stores, it contains sulfates (known to cause irritation), parabens and the active ingredient zinc pyrithione (both associated with a range of negative side effects). The following shampoos cost a little more than your typical dandruff shampoo, but they take a different approach and utilize a range of ingredients to combat a stubborn flaky scalp.
Davines Purifying Shampoo
This shampoo fights microbial growth and promotes a healthy, balanced scalp with dandelion phytoceuticals and antimicrobial polyphenols. Use a tablespoon once a week for maintenance (for six weeks) or twice a week for acute treatment (for up to three weeks).
Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo
Designed to remove flakes and itchiness while maintaining a healthy pH balance, this shampoo utilizes piroctone olamine and climbazole (to remove dandruff and kill fungus), salicylic acid (to exfoliate and stimulate new cell growth) and lactic acid (to regulate oil production). The inclusion of rosemary oil, menthol and ginger extract also help calm irritation.
Philip Kingsley Flaky Scalp Shampoo
This mild soothing shampoo is gentle enough for daily use and does not strip the hair of moisture or color. It uses piroctone olamine (to remove dandruff and kill fungus) and lauryl betaine (to gently clease the scalp).