We’ve Been Doing it Wrong: You DO Need Dandruff Conditioner

by Bryce Gruber

Apparently the anti-dandruff conditioner is just as important shampoo

If you’re one of the millions of people suffering from more than occasional scalp flakes, don’t worry — it’s totally normal, but there’s something the beauty world has forgotten to tell us. Using dandruff shampoo alone is NOT enough to combat the embarrassing issue that’ll pop up even in your wedding dress. You need to use a dandruff conditioner, too, or all your efforts could be wasted.

“The active ingredient in most dandruff shampoos and conditioners is pyrithione zinc,” explains Francesca Fusco, a New York-based dermatologist with extensive hair and scalp knowledge. “You need that ingredient to make it all the way to the scalp for it to have an effect in controlling the cause of most dandruff, a yeast overgrowth. If you wash your shampoo out and then use some other, regular conditioner, you’re washing away the active ingredient which is meant to be left behind in small amounts. That’s the whole point of using a dandruff conditioner, too.”

Those dandruff conditioners we see placed next to their shampoo counterparts on store shelves aren’t merely scented buddies for their cleansing friends — they’re also packed with pyrithione zinc for an effective one-two punch against yeast overgrowth on the scalp. That’s exactly what you want on your side when you’re planning a gorgeous wedding hairstyle.

“It’s a good idea to make sure you work the dandruff conditioner all the way from the scalp, which is an extension of your body’s skin, all the way to the ends,” says Dr. Fusco, who recommends Dove Dermacare Clean & Fresh Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and Anti-Dandruff Conditioner. “If you use a conditioner without this active ingredient, it almost mitigates all that work you just put in with the dandruff shampoo.”

anti-dandruff conditioner


People also seem to think that using an anti-dandruff haircare plan is a one-shot deal, but it’s not, which is why you’ll have to bring your new favorite bottles of yeast-combatting shampoo and dandruff conditioner to the salon with you — even for hair trials. Battling chronic dandruff should be handled the same way as any other skin woe — routinely, regularly, and with passion.

“Even the dandruff conditioners work best when you use them on an ongoing basis,” shares Dr. Fusco. “You’ll see great results with one use, worked into the scalp, but you’ll only have great longterm success with your dandruff issues if you use these [ shampoos and conditioners ] with every time you wash.”

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