When it comes to washing your hair, there have never been so many choices to make, particularly in relation to your chosen shampoo. With ample brands offering all sorts of different things for hair, and making numerous claims, it can be hard to know where to start.
For this reason, why not keep it simple and opt for the bestselling shampoo in the UK: Head & Shoulders Classic Clean (£5).
Surprised? I don't blame you. With so many incredible trending hair brands (Oribe, Ouai, and Sam McKnight, I'm looking at you), it seems unlikely that the country's bestselling shampoo overall is one that caters traditionally to those with dandruff, and feels so, well, basic.
But try not to pass judgement, because Head & Shoulders' classic is not only purse-friendly and tackles scalp issues, it also boosts shine, effectively cleanses, and smoothes locks.
If you do suffer from dandruff, however, this is of course a brilliant option. But if you feel you need more information about dandruff, or want to shop around for some more options, keep reading for a comprehensive yet snappy guide.
What is dandruff?
Dandruff is an incredibly common condition, but it is often misunderstood. So what exactly is it? “Dandruff is caused by an overgrowth of a yeast naturally found on the scalp, called Malassezia furfur,” explains Anabel Kingsley, Trichologist at Philip Kingsley. “When levels rise (which is commonly due to stress and hormones), skin cells on the scalp divide too rapidly. Cells are replaced much faster than they can be shed, leading to a buildup of telltale flakes and itching.”
What causes dandruff?
“It happens when the skin cells are not turning over properly, and dead skin gets stuck on the scalp,” says Philip Berkovitz, hair stylist and founder of haircare brand Philip B. Dandruff itself can be caused by things like psoriasis, eczema, contact dermatitis, and often, seborrhoeic dermatitis, which is a common skin condition where there’s an overproduction of yeast.
What are the best ways to treat dandruff?
The good news is that dandruff is not serious, and although it can be highly annoying and sometimes embarrassing, there are accessible courses of treatment. You do need to be persistent, however, especially if you’re suffering from stubborn dandruff.
“You need to treat dandruff consistently for best results,” explains Kingsley. She recommends using a daily shampoo containing anti-microbial actives such as Piroctone Olamine. “This ingredient specifically targets the yeast responsible for dandruff, and rebalances your scalp’s microflora.”
The best way to target dandruff is to focus on scalp health, and to use soothing, calming formulations that specifically target the problem.
Keep scrolling to shop the (other) best anti-dandruff shampoos.
A luxurious dandruff-banishing duo that treats and calms your scalp and prevents hair loss.
A dermatologically-tested option that gets to the roof of the problem fast. Be warned though: it has a strong, medicinal smell.
When you need an extra helping hand, try this extra-strength formula from the UK's best-selling brand Head & Shoulders.
A personal favourite, this shampoo is seriously soothing. Even if you don't have dandruff, it leaves your scalp calm and refreshed.
Brimming with aloe vera gel and sea algae extract, this hydrating formula plumps up the individual hair strands to offer protection from damage.
Could this be the chicest anti-dandruff shampoo on the market? Almost definitely.
Not only does this provide immediate relief for irritated scalps but it smells incredible.
This feels cooling when applied to your scalp for instant relief from irritation and long-lasting relief from unwanted flakiness.
This takes a two-pronged approach to combatting dandruff: sloughing away dead skin cells and purifying the scalp with detoxifying charcoal.