Simple dandruff-the flaking of dead skin-can afflict any scalp, dry or oily. The condition is controllable but not curable. The best control maybe a daily shampoo with your regular soap or detergent shampoo. If you decide to try an antidandruff shampoo, read the labels carefully before buying or using. Here are some common antidandruff ingredients, ranging from gentlest to strongest.
Salicylic acid: shampoos with this ingredient can be used every other day. Pyrithione zinc shampoo can be used every third day. A shampoo that contains selenium suede should be used only once a week with your regular shampoo between. Don’t use selenium sulfide shampoo if you are pregnant or nursing; note other warnings on the label.
Tar shampoo is equally strong and should be used only once or twice a week, followed by three rinses and a hair conditioner to prevent dryness. Don’t use tar shampoo if your scalp is inflamed, and be warned that it can cause discoloration if your hair is light, white, bleached, or tinted. It can also cause inflammation of the scalp (pimples or bumps).
When dandruff is under control, return to your regular shampoo. For severe, uncontrollable dandruff, consult a dermatologist. For dandruff in babies, Cradle cap.