Salicylic acid ain’t just for unclogging pores. It helps with dandruff too.
I know because dandruff and I are no strangers. When you have oily hair, you’ll have to deal with it at some point.
I was hoping Neutrogena T/Gel 2-in-1 Dandruff Shampoo would help. And save me some time in the morning too.
But it has the same flaw of so many shampoos on the market today. They. Don’t. Clean.
Salicylic acid (a.k.a. beta hydroxy acid) is an exfoliant. It dissolves the “glue” that holds skin cells together, so they can slough off.
It also gets rid of dandruff flakes – you know the dead bits of skin that fall on your skin and make you look like you’ve just been caught in a snowstorm.
Yep, this is all salicylic acid does. It has NO effect on the fungus that gives you dandruff.
FYI: Do NOT use salicylic acid shampoos on children and teens with the chickenpox or flu.
Luckily, salicylic acid doesn’t work alone here. It gets a helping hand from piroctone olamine, the newest dandruff fighter on the block.
Unlike salicylic acid, piroctone olamine has anti fungal properties that can kill fungi (and that’s the real cause of dandruff, after all).
Good news: piroctone olamine works well in tiny doses too. A 2000 study found that an anti-dandruff shampoo with 0.75% piroctone olamine and 2% salicylic acid used twice a week for a month was “slightly more effective than zinc pyrithione [another common anti-dandruff fighter] in reducing the severity and area affected by the scaling.”
The catch? Piroctone olamine is highly unstable. It quickly degrades and stop working when exposed to light. Putting it in a see-through bottle wasn’t the smartest idea, Neutrogena.
GENTLE SHAMPOOS DON’T CLEAN OILY HAIR!!!!
Sorry for shouting and the exclamation marks but it needs to be said. Surfactants aren’t the devil. They’re what’s needed to help dirt and excess oil mix with water so they can be removed.
These “sulfate-free,” “gentle surfactants” shampoos that are all the rage now may be enough for dry hair without buildup. But if your hair is a ball of grease, they won’t cut it.
Have you ever tried washing your oil-soaked pans with baby shampoos? It’ll take you all day. That’s what you’re doing when you’re using a shampoo that’s too gentle on oily hair. Those lazy buggers leave most of the grease on your hair. Ugh!
Unfortunately, the blend of surfactants here (Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate and Cocamidopropyl Betaine, just to name the main two) IS too gentle for oily hair. And it’s only oily hair that gets dandruff. What were you thinking, Neutrogena?
Let’s Put It To The Test: Personal Use & Opinion
Neutrogena claims T/Gel 2-in-1 Dandruff Shampoo is so gentle, you can use it daily. Well, if you have oily hair, you’ll have to. A couple of hours after washing, your hair looks all greasy again. 🙁
That’s a shame because this stuff IS good against dandruff. Already after the first use, I could see a reduction in flakes. The more I used it, the more my dandruff improved.
Plus, this stuff isn’t so heavy, smelly and drying as most dandruff shampoos. The texture’s a nice gel, the scent subtle and the formula so gentle, it leaves my hair soft instead than brittle.
But hey, remember that study I showed you above? Patients used a shampoo like this only twice a week. So you can alternate it with a different shampoo that actually cleanses hair. That’s what I did.
Available at: £7.50 at Boots
How do you deal with dandruff? Share your tips in the comments below.
Ingredients: Aqua, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Chloride, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Propylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Cocamidopropylamine Oxide, Polyquaternium-22, Sodium Sulfate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Citrate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Piroctone Olamine, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, Parfum
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