I’m not a big fan of high-maintenance fuss, especially when it comes to my appearance, and even more so regarding my hair. I was blessed with naturally straight hair, so I don’t ordinarily blow dry or flat iron it, and I’m pretty conservative with product usage. But my wash and wear hair gets a lot of compliments despite my laziness, and dandruff shampoo has definitely been the secret to helping my hair shiny and healthy.
Keeping a bottle of Head & Shoulders in the shower isn’t a preventative measure for me, I’ve never had dandruff. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) But when harsh winters back East used to make my scalp feel like it was made out of paper, dry and tight, I found relief in H&S. I’ve migrated to SoCal, which obviously doesn’t have the same robust climate, but the relentless desert weather can really leave a girl dry too. Again, H&S was my oasis.
First things first, you need to forget the dandruff shampoo smell you knew as a kid. The smell hasn’t only sort of changed– the way, say, modern Nair is supposed to smell better but is really just fruit-scented-sulfur-death-cream. Most varieties of dandruff shampoo are incredibly fresh and clean smelling now, not chemical. Give it a sniff in the store if you don’t believe me, but I always come away with a bottle that smells magnificent, not medicinal.
No longer relegated to noxious hyper-antiseptic formulas, the scalp-soothing stuff is available from drug store favorites like Garnier and Herbal Essences, as well as more elegant brands like Aveda and Paul Mitchell. Even flake-fighting pioneer Head & Shoulders itself has a variety of fragrances and accommodates tons of hair types, even color-treated. I’ve been using 2-in-1 Dry Scalp Care Head & Shoulders with almond oil, which is supposed to prevent breakage.
H&S calls itself the number one dermatologist recommended anti-dandruff shampoo, and claims that, “In fact, more dermatologists use Head & Shoulders than any other anti-dandruff shampoo.” Maybe it’s succumbing to slick marketing, but I like using the toothpaste dentists use and it if dermatologists use this shampoo, I’m lathering up with it.
What’s your icky-sounding but super successful beauty secret? —Casandra Armour