Take Your Vitamins
Stevens says that consuming foods rich in vitamins A, B, and C can help ensure your scalp stays healthy. These nutrients are vital to the circulatory system and cell growth, and they also support the immune system, which helps fight dandruff. Try blending a smoothie rich in the three vitamins by combining ingredients like apricots, leafy green vegetables, and strawberries.
Sanitize Your Combs and Brushes
You wash your makeup brushes to keep them from becoming overloaded with germs, right? You should do the same with your hair-care tools, too, says Stevens—particularly if you want to avoid dandruff. Wash brushes with dish soap after removing any hair, and then let them sit in a mixture of warm water and white vinegar for up to half an hour. Repeat every two to three weeks.
Use a Medicated Shampoo
Zinc is key to keeping dandruff at bay; the mineral has antibacterial properties that slow flaking caused by cell turnover. Stevens loves the Nioxin Scalp Recovery Kit ($44, ulta.com), which uses the mineral in a three-step system to treat dandruff and other scalp-related problems. “[It] gently soothes and moisturizes the scalp, while leaving the hair manageable, hydrated, and shiny,” says Stevens.
Try a Salon Treatment
Obvious statement of the century: The scales that show up on your shoulders come from buildup on your scalp. To combat this, Stevens recommends trying an in-salon treatment offered by Nioxin called Scalp Renew, which removes buildup and excess oil from the scalp and is recommended every 30 to 45 days. The treatment is essentially microdermabrasion that sloughs off scales and gives your scalp a fresh start. Stevens suggests it especially for anyone prone to dandruff, although maintaining a clarified scalp environment is beneficial for everyone. Try it at a local Nioxin salon.
Know Your Roots
Not all dandruff is created equal—and you can’t treat it all the same way, either. Stevens says that there are two main types of dandruff: pityiaris capitis simplex and pityriasis steatoides. The first amounts to thinner, drier, and itchier scales, and it’s caused by stress and other factors like eating a poor diet or not maintaining proper hygiene. Stevens says this kind can be treated with OTC shampoos and ointments. The other type of dandruff manifests itself as greasy, waxy scales that mix with sebum to create a crust on your scalp (gross, we know). Stevens says that people with this type of dandruff should seek the help of a physician.
Image courtesy of womenshealthmag.com