Dandruff is one of those common issues many of us struggle with, yet shy away from speaking about. Having white flakes fall on your black turtleneck has been portrayed in beauty campaigns and adverts as a nightmare, but the reality is that dandruff is super common and doesn't have to prevent you from feeling fabulous in black — or in general. Some cases are mild, and others more severe, but thankfully, with the right regimen, dandruff can be easily controlled.
Stephen Pullan, a trichologist at the Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinic in New York, tells Refinery29 that all dandruff doesn't look the same."It can be thought of as dead skin cells shedding off the top layer of the scalp, [which] happens all over the body," he says. "The process can speed up, however, creating visible dandruff, or even worse, [symptoms] such as a bothersome form of flakes that adhere to the hair shaft and can create hair loss."
The good news for people living with this annoying issue, however, is that it is treatable — and it starts with finding the right shampoo. "Dandruff shampoos work to decrease flaking, normalise rapid cell turnover, hydrate the scalp, and indirectly decrease itching," dermatologist and Dove hair expert Francesca Fusco, MD, adds.
Dermatologist Neil Sadick, MD, of Sadick Dermatology in New York City notes that it's important to pay attention to ingredient labels when shopping for cleansers. "Look for shampoos that have ingredients like ketoconazole or zinc pyrithione," he says. "Both of these are chemical compounds have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that reduce and prevent fungus growth on the scalp."
To help you have a more soothing shampoo experience, we asked the pros for their favourite formulas for ditching dandruff, ahead.
Refinery29's selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission. Transparency is important to us at Refinery29, if you have any questions please reach out to us.