Thankfully, dandruff is fairly easy to treat with the help of a specially formulated anti-dandruff shampoo, but can you use conditioner after dandruff shampoo?
Can I Use Conditioner After Dandruff Shampoo?
You should always use an anti-dandruff conditioner after using anti-dandruff shampoo for maximum dandruff-fighting effect.
This is because regular conditioner may neutralize the ingredients present in anti-dandruff shampoo and would therefore render the product ineffective.
Whether it’s zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, or other compounds including salicylic acid, coal tar, and ketoconazole, there are a number of active ingredients used in anti-dandruff shampoo.
These are essential in the battle against dandruff, helping to mitigate the production of excess oils in the scalp which can cause flaking, and easing the symptoms of redness and itchiness that dandruff causes.
If you use anti-dandruff shampoo, you’re going to want to benefit from these ingredients.
However, if you follow up with a conditioner that isn’t formulated to combat dandruff, then you may be neutralizing or smoothing away these key ingredients.
As mentioned above, dandruff can sometimes result from a build-up of oil on the scalp. Our scalps all have sebaceous oil glands – this is what keeps them protected from harm and moisturized.
However, if these glands go into overdrive, or if you also have a fungus on your scalp known as Malassezia that feeds on these oils, it can result in dandruff.
Over-conditioning your hair can also result in an excessively oily scalp, which may therefore either cause or exacerbate dandruff.
So, whilst you may have good intentions in conditioning your hair, the result may not be the desired one.
Therefore, whilst you should use conditioner after dandruff shampoo in order to hydrate your hair, you want to be using a specially formulated anti-dandruff conditioner to do so.
Why Use Special Shampoo And Conditioner For Dandruff?
Dandruff can be caused by a number of things, including dry skin and conditions like either psoriasis or eczema, over-shampooing and under-shampooing hair, and an excess amount of oil on the skin.
Similarly, dandruff might be caused by a fungus and yeast that feeds on the sebaceous oil glands on your scalp, which results in itching and flaking.
As such, if you suffer from dandruff, one of the best ways to counter its worst effects is by using an anti-dandruff shampoo.
You can find these in drugstores and usually won’t have to seek specialist dermatological or medical advice for prescription anti-dandruff shampoos (but you should do so if the drugstore products aren’t helping).
Anti-dandruff shampoos contain active ingredients like zinc pyrithione (ZPT) – it’s these ingredients that work hard to counter the excessive production of oil on the scalp, and help to get symptoms like flaking and itching under control.
Anti-dandruff shampoos are therefore vital in the battle against dandruff – but what about conditioners?
Conditioner is important to use on your hair after shampooing for a number of reasons.
It works by nourishing your hair and boosting hydration, thereby helping to counteract breakage and reducing the number of split ends you might otherwise face.
It also helps to smooth and detangle the hair, too.
You should therefore aim to use conditioner after dandruff shampoo, otherwise, your hair will begin to feel as dry as straw – but you need to take care with the type of conditioner that you use.
4 Things To Consider When Using Conditioner After Dandruff Shampoo
Always use a specially formulated anti-dandruff conditioner
Remember – you should be using conditioner after dandruff shampoo, but you should only use a conditioner that has been specially formulated to help fight dandruff.
Using alternative conditioners may bring other benefits to your hair, but they may also reduce the flake-fighting effects of the anti-dandruff shampoo.
Don’t use too much conditioner
Some anti-dandruff conditioners contain ingredients including aloe vera and argan oil to help soothe the worst impacts of dandruff.
Whilst these are welcome ways to nourish both your itching scalp and reduce dandruff, if you over condition your hair, they may contribute to your scalp’s production of excess oil.
Only use the necessary amount of conditioner for your hair length – don’t go overboard.
Equally, unless you are using a leave-in conditioner, always rinse your conditioner out of your hair, taking care to ensure that it is thoroughly rinsed out.
As with the use of any beauty product, always patch test an anti-dandruff conditioner before use, so that you can be sure it’s safe to use and won’t cause any further irritation or sensitivity.
Check the ingredients of anti-dandruff conditioners
Look for formulas that contain nourishing compounds such as lipids (good fats) and antioxidants.
These will strengthen and support your hair from the inside out, bringing all the benefits of a beauty conditioner to your anti-dandruff conditioner.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve already used anti-dandruff shampoo on your hair, then you should not follow it up with regular shampoo. If you do so, you will be neutralizing the anti-dandruff effect, so it will be as if you never used the specialist product in the first instance.
Use an anti-dandruff conditioner after using Head and Shoulder shampoo for maximum dandruff-fighting effect. You could even use the brand’s two-in-one product, which combines the benefit of cleansing and conditioning in one anti-dandruff formula.
Do not put conditioner straight onto your scalp if you have dandruff. This might exacerbate the dandruff by exacerbating oil production, having the opposite of your desired effect – especially if you leave the conditioner on your scalp. You need to invest in an anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner if you think you have dandruff.
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Alice is an experienced writer and researcher with a background in the Creative Arts. She is a published poet and is currently completing her Ph.D., having worked in a variety of industries, including as a theatre dramaturg.
Alice is passionate about the environment, so is always on the lookout for the best zero-waste products that are vegan and cruelty-free.