What is dandruff?
ilaria-burlini/Shutterstock Regardless of why it happens, dandruff is a just another term for flaky skin on the scalp, explains Marisa Garshick, MD, a dermatologist at MDCS: Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Centers in New York, NY. “It could be a result of dry skin, but the most common cause is seborrheic dermatitis.” This is the medical name for inflammation of the scalp and oil glands, she says. The flaking also coincides with scalp itching and redness. Another cause of dandruff is the build-up of dead skin cells on your scalp. Think about how often you exfoliate the skin on your face and body? Your scalp doesn’t get nearly half as much love. The best dandruff shampoo for you depends on what’s causing your dandruff.
What is causing your dandruff?
Ann-Haritonenko/Shutterstock Before you choose the best dandruff shampoo, you must become a “dandruff detective,” says Doris Day, MD, a New York City dermatologist affiliated with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Your detective work starts by tracing back to the when you first noticed dandruff. “What did you switch in your life at that time? Did you change your environment? Start using a new product?” Perhaps there was a stretch of days when you weren’t showering as often? This exercise may provide important clues to the cause of your scalp woes and help you decide which shampoo for dandruff is best for you. There are many sneaky causes of dandruff.