Got an itchy, flaky scalp? Try this simple anti-dandruff prescription from Elizabeth Cunnane-Phillips, a trichologist (that’s a hair and scalp expert) at the Philip Kingsley Clinic in New York City.
Shampoo every day
Yes, daily! When you skip a wash, dirt, product and oil build up, leading to inflammation and itching. No need to get fancy beauty products, though. Suds up with a shampoo containing calming olive oil and aloe vera or look for a flaky-scalp formula with antibacterial zinc pyrithione, like Head & Shoulders Dry Scalp Care Dandruff Shampoo ($5, walmart.com). If you condition, only put product on the ends of your strands.
Use a toner
Mix equal parts of witch hazel and a mouthwash containing alcohol. (You can prepare a large quantity and keep it in your cabinet.) After shampooing and towel drying, sprinkle the blend on your scalp, massage it in with your fingertips and style as usual. (Your hair won’t be sticky, we promise!) The astringents help remove the yeast and bacteria responsible for the itch.
Apply a hot oil
Once a week, pop 2 ounces of olive oil in the microwave for 15 seconds (no more!) and use a cotton ball to apply it to your scalp. Put on a shower cap and noodle with your nursery board on Pinterest for 30 minutes, then shampoo. The warm treatment exfoliates gently by loosening itchy flakes.