Winter is here, and unfortunately snowflakes aren't the only white stuff you're likely to find on the shoulders of your trendy-hideous holiday sweaters. According to the Mayo Clinic, falling temperatures outside combined with cranking up the thermostat indoors can cause wicked dry scalp, resulting in that annoying dusting of dead skin on your clothes — not to mention the potential itch and scaly skin you may also have to deal with.
Luckily there are plenty of ways to protect yourself, including nourishing, hydrating shampoos to combat dandruff. Whether you're a regular dandruff sufferer or you only have to deal with it while you're in a winter wonderland, adjusting your beauty routine can relieve your symptoms.
Dandruff shampoos moisturize your scalp, and often contain salicylic acid, which helps soften affected skin. I have a skin disorder called keratosis pilaris, which, like dandruff, worsens in the winter — and surprisingly, dandruff-busting shampoo is one of the few things that will ease the frequent breakouts of itchy red bumps that cover my upper arms and the back of my neck. I've tried quite a few anti-dandruff products over the years, and here are some recommendations to rid yourself of the un-fun kind of winter flake.
The good old basics: Medicated Selsun Blue, the stuff I remember seeing commercials for in the '90s. It may not be as pretty as other products, but it gets the job done.
Formulated with salicylic acid and willow extract, this shampoo is engineered for use on your worst cases of itching and flaking.
3. Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo & Conditioner
According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have found a possibility that tea tree oil can ease dandruff. The Mayo Clinic also reports that tea tree oil has been used to treat fungal infections and dermal allergic reactions. And tea tree oil, with its antiseptic and hydrating properties, is packed into this shampoo-conditioner duo.
A sulfate-free mix that has mint to calm itching and, best of all, targets and scrubs excess, dandruff-causing oil from your scalp and locks.
LIVESTRONG reports a zinc deficiency can cause dandruff, but thankfully, this Malin + Goetz shampoo is formulated with 1.9 percent pyrithione zinc. It also has the added boosts of tea tree oil and eucalyptus extract.
Another oldie-but-goodie, Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength is a medicated formula that uses selenium sulfide to whisk away your scalp woes.
I may be biased because my hair stylist uses entirely Redken products, but this one has always soothed away my worst keratosis breakouts. Like Malin + Goetz's product, it contains zinc, but also uses glycerin to hydrate and lavender extract to tell your skin to calm the eff down already.
Neutrogina T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo, $12, Amazon
Time to break out the big guns. This stuff contains an ingredient that means business: Coal tar, which the FDA has approved as a treatment for dandruff.
JĀSÖN Dandruff Relief Treatment Shampoo, $9, Amazon
JĀSÖN's shampoo is a blend of active sulfur and salicylic acid, but also contains natural extracts of rosemary, olive, and jojoba to nourish your scalp.
Clear Shampoo Complete Scalp Care Anti-Dandruff, $5, Amazon
This shampoo is designed to relieve the itch that comes with dandruff — its cucumber and mint combo work together with a healthy dose of zinc to shoo the most obnoxious dandruff symptoms away.
Lush Soak and Float Shampoo Bar, $15, Lush
So, this shampoo bar smells like smoke, which is my No. 1 favorite scent in all the world. To relieve dandruff, itch, and dry skin, the bar contains sweet-smelling rose and cade oil.
The Body Shop Ginger Scalp Care Shampoo, $15, Amazon
The Body Shop (makers of my go-to Waterproof Velvet Gel Pen Eyeliner) contains, of course, ginger, but also birch bark, willow, and oak moss, to help protect your scalp's health. This shampoo also contains honey to moisturize and panthenol to nourish your winter-wrung mane.
Avalon Organics Anti-Dandruff Medicated Shampoo, $11, Amazon
This soap is vegan and biodegradeable, with salicylic acid as its active ingredient, plus aloe extract, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, tea tree oil, and lemon peel oil. So, yeah — it smells amazing.
Aveda Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo, $21, Nordstrom
Built for all types of hair, this shampoo blends burdock root, echinacea, and sage to soothe your scalp — and it has Aveda's trademark scent mix, too. No cloying medicinal smell here; instead, you get vetiver, rosemary, cinnamon, and other natural essences.
SACHAJUAN's shampoo is an algae-based formula that uses "ocean silk technology" and contains peotone olamine and climbazole to clear away pesky, stubborn dandruff flakes.
No matter the scale of your dandruff disaster, these products are a line-up that will have your dry skin, itch, and flakes gone just in time for the holidays.