Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tackling Dandruff Part II and Giveaway

When you're suffering from dandruff, you're always having a bad hair day. It doesn't matter how sleek and smooth your mane is, those pesky flakes will always find a way to mar your hair and ruin your style.

Now I previously mentioned that AVC is a wonderful rinse and aids in dandruff removal but can be smelly at times and isn't suited for colour treated hair so it isn't everyone's cup of tea.

On my last visit to the dermatologist, I grilled him on why I'm getting such consistent flakes and what are the most effective ways of combating it. Here's what he has to say:
  • Dandruff is a yeast infection of the scalp and has nothing to do with hygiene or dry scalp although that may exacerbate the condition.  We all have micro-organisims (p. ovale) living in our healthy scalps but when there is an over-abundance of them, they will manifest as dandruff in our scalp and can cause itching, redness, flaking and inflammation. 
  • The flaking is caused by an increased in the top layer epidermal cell turnover. Those who suffer from seborreheic dermatitis will have a more severe form of dandruff that affects the scalp and skin in other parts of the body. 
  • To treat the itchy and flaky problem, we've got to control the growth of the yeast organisms and should be approach it with a two-prong attack to fight the fungal infection and address the inflammation on the scalp.

    Anti-fungal shampoos that contain ketoconazole as the active ingredient will sort out the yeast infections over a few weeks of use. My pick is Nizoral 2% which is a light and refreshing gel shampoo that doesn't smell like a horrible anti-fungal hair product. In fact, it is very pleasant to use; however, as a shampoo, it leaves hair very dry as it's very moisture stripping and needs to be followed up with a rich creme conditioner.

    To tackle the inflammation, shampoos like Heads & Shoulders (H&S) are fantastic as they have a shampoo and conditioner combination with active ingredient Hydrazinc, a mineral form of pyrithione zinc, which acts as a mild anti-fungal and inflammatory agent. The shampoo has 1% concentration while the conditioner has 0.5% which when use with Nizoral, gives flake free heads within 2 washes.

    Now a new scalp care range from Head & Shoulders has been launched to treat various scalp conditions whilst helping to relieve and reduce dandruff. I've been using the Itchy Scalp for the past 2 weeks and am trying the Sensitive Scalp Care varieties this week.

    • The Sensitive Scalp Care formula contains aloe extract too sooth and calm, the Itchy Scalp Care one has refreshing ecaluptus oils to leave a invigorating feeling whilst giving some antiseptic relief to calm itchy head and the Dry Scalp Care range contains almond oil and moisturising conditioners to soothe and relieve irritated dry scalps.
    • The scent is fruity and light with no hints of medicated shampoos smells at all. The conditioner leaves hair soft and silky which is much needed after using other harsh anti-dandruff products. 
    • On its own with my stubborn flaky conditions, H&S helped removed most of the flakes from my head but within 2 days, the signs of flaking were back again. Used with Nizoral 2% for 4 washes, I have been flake-free, even 4 days after washing. I think I now have the situation under control and am using Head & Shoulders regularly while Nizoral is on hand for a fortnightly maintenance wash. 
    Tips for dandruff prone hair
    I was lucky enough to get some hair health tips from  Head & Shoulders Expert Stylist - Keiren Street on how to keep locks pretty while combating the pesky flakes.

    Keiren Street
    Use of hair styling products:
    • It’s important that when you are using styling products you avoid the scalp and roots of your hair as much as possible. You can apply products to your hands first to have more control, and concentrate on the mid to end lengths when you apply.
    Types of brushes most suitable for dandruff prone hair:
    • Boar bristle brushes are the best, they are great for your hair, and soft enough for sensitive scalps. You may feel you want to scratch your head by running it directly against your scalp, try not to as this makes it worse - be as gentle as you can when you brush your hair.
    Does diet affects dandruff and how food can give healthy hair:
    • There is no real evidence that food helps or irritates your scalp, but some people have suggested eating foods high in zinc as a good thing - incidentally Head & Shoulders active ingredient Hydrazinc is a form of mineral zinc that helps to reduce flakes.

    Head and Shoulders 200ml  RRP A$5.99 in leading supermarkets and pharmacies from 10th November.
    Nizoral 2%100ml  RRP A$27 in leading pharmacies.

    **Giveaway Alert**  - Now Closed
    Now here's the best part  - wanna try the entire new range of Head & Shoulders? Silly question, of course you do.
    Well, I have not 1 but 4 packs of the new Scalp Care range valued at A$35.94 each to give away. Each prize pack contains:
    • Sensitive Scalp Care shampoo and conditioner 200ml
    • Itchy Scalp Care shampoo and conditioner 200ml
    • Dry Scalp Care shampoo and conditioner 200ml 
    How to Enter:

    1. All you need to follow this blog and leave a comment below telling me what you do to your hair to jazz it up when you are having a bad hair day.
    2. You can also gain an extra entry via twitter by following me and  tweeting "I've just entered @Lilpil99's giveaway for sexy flake-free hair"
    This give away closes 10pm AEST Friday 19th November and is open to Australian residents only (international readers, look out for a competition for that includes you soon). The winners will be chosen randomly by random.org. no later than 2 days after the close date.

    Good luck with the competition and may we all rid our head of flaky bits for good!

    Head and Shoulders have for many yeasrs been a staple in my haircare and anti-dandruff routine. The new Head & Shoulders Scalp Care range were sent to me for review and for the give away. 

    For ingredients click through the jump

    Itchy Scalp Care shampoo ingredients

    Itchy Scalp Care conditioner ingredients
    There were no ingredients listing for Nizoral other than the active ingredient.


    1. I like the Apple Cider Vinegar as well for clarifying hair, the best thing I have found to combat a flaky scalp has been the MooGoo Shampoo and Conditioner, which after using exclusively for a number of weeks completely cleared up my scalp. Now I only use it once in a while as a maintenance measure to keep my scalp healthy :)

    2. A hair elastic band, a couple of pins, sweep the hair up, voila! Icky hair in a neat ponytail or bun, bad hair day fixed :)

    3. I'll throw on a jewelled headband, scrape up hair into a messy tousled bun or do a french braid. :)

    4. I go for a cute side pony look and add one of my many headbands. Sparkly for a party or bright for casual. This usually hides the flyaways and the frizz and can be done in 30 seconds. So much quicker than getting the blow dryer out or washing my hair all over again

    5. To jazz up my hair I add a stunning hair piece such as a jewelled clip or sequinned headband, bling jazzes up anything!

      Have tweeted too

    6. Some great answers here. I always tied it up into a pony tail as I'm too lazy to jazz it with other styles.

      The giveaway is now closed. Thanks for entering :)


    Thanks for commenting. Your feedback is appreciated.