Dandruff Isn’t Just A Winter Problem

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Unlike dry skin, which tends to do better in summer, your dandruff problem might not turn around in the heat. That’s because even though the flakes emanating from your head may be dried off pieces of scalp, they’re not ruining your mojo simply because you’ve got dry skin. Actually, the causes of Dandruff aren’t agreed upon by those who’ve taken up the study of such things, but most experts have reached similar conclusions that might help you, poor sufferer of dandruff, keep the problem in check once the humidity rolls in.

There are the lifestyle choices you make. Stress, lack of sleep, not shampooing, not brushing your hair…ever and a poor diet can be to blame. We don’t need to tell you how to fix the first few, though foods with Vitamin B, Omega-3 and Zinc (like chicken, turkey, salmon, spinach, walnuts, kidney beans) in your diet are known to improve scalp conditions.

Part of the problem, experts have found, is that those with dandruff tend to have skin cells that grow and die off too fast. They’re not sure why that happens, which, ok, science doesn’t know everything…but less settling are some theories that a fungus called malassezia is the root of the problem. Maybe more information that you’d like to know, but most people have this fungus living on their head; experts theorize that guys with dandruff just have an adverse reaction to its presence. Like most things organic, the fungus thrives in damp conditions, which may describe your sweaty head come summer.

There are also more than one type of dandruff. In addition to the dry white flakes, you may have Seborrheic Dermatitis, a really fun name for the dual attack of oily and irritated skin. You can go all WebMD and diagnose yourself if you’ve got red, greasy skin covered with white or yellow scales, but it’s probably a better idea to have your doctor or dermatologist take a look at it too since it might extend past your scalp and onto your eyebrows, nose, ears and even down to your chest and should be treated with a medicated shampoo like Selsun Blue or Neutrogena T-Gel.

With all that in mind, if you’ve got the white flakes, there are a few ingredients to keep an eye out for in your shampoo / dandruff treatments. Zinc pyrithione is a fungus killing agent you already know about from the wonders of Head & Shoulders but can be found in American Crew’s better scented Anti-Dandruff Shampoo ($14) and Dove Men+Care Anti-Dandruff Shampoo ($4.99) that’s also formulated to make you hair look thicker.

Another ingredient to look for is Climbazole, which we found worked really well in DS Labratories Dandrene Anti-Dandruff Shampoo ($28). It’s a little more pricy than the drugstore brands but it’s also got a good mix of nourishing vitamins to strengthen your hair.

Piroctone olamine is a less toxic alternative dandruff treatment to both of the above chemicals (and that’s also said to be favorable to hair loss, but, well…jury’s out on that one). Molton Brown Jackberry Anti-Dandruff Shampoo ($28), is good choice there, especially if you have oily hair. And just to be sure, check out Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo ($25) which uses both climbazol and piroctone olamine in addition to ginger and rosemary extracts.