Ask the experts


model standing in the sun with her hands in her hair

Flaky scalp getting you down? Rest assured that you’re not alone. Research suggests that half the world’s population is affected by {dandruff}, and the causes include oily skin and dry skin (much like the not enough water/too much water conundrum when it comes to caring for plants!), skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, and sensitivity to hair care products.

But you needn’t let dandruff get in the way of stand-out strands. Help is at hand. This step-by-step {hair care} routine for dandruff, carefully curated by {Cult Concierge} expert {Syhem}, features a range of anti-dandruff treatments and products that’ll help regulate oil production, slough away dead skin and reduce product build-up – take THAT flakiness!

Note: If your scalp is red, swollen or super-itchy, or if you’re worried about your dandruff, consult your GP.


1. ​​Start your hair routine for dandruff with a scalp scrub

Scrub away dead skin cells and product build-up with an exfoliating scalp scrub like {KEVIN.MURPHY’s SCALP.SPA SCRUB}. This cleansing blend of perlite (a natural sphere that gently exfoliates), micellar water (which attracts dirt and oils like a magnet) and detoxifying celery seed extract is perfect for balancing sebum and helping to reduce irritation. Consider this a weekly MOT to purify and decongest your scalp, ensuring fewer flakes and healthy, nourished and protected hair.

Get your hair wet and massage this formula into your scalp in circular motions (do this once a week or as needed). Rinse thoroughly, then continue with the rest of your dandruff routine.

2. Choose an anti-dandruff shampoo

For a flake-free head of hair, choose a {shampoo} that has been especially designed to tackle dandruff. There are plenty of options available, but {Briogeo’s MegaStrength Dandruff Control Shampoo} is a brilliant choice, with a winning combo of salicylic acid (a BHA), lactic acid (an AHA) and binchotan charcoal to slough away dead skin cells and dirt, soothe itchiness and detoxify your scalp. All that while nourishing lengths too – we’re sold!

For best results, use at least twice a week.

3. Massage conditioner through your lengths

The key to conditioning when you’re fighting dandruff is to only apply conditioner to the lower section of your hair. Keep it away from your scalp to avoid contributing to build-up.

Choose a lightweight conditioner like {Aveda’s Rosemary Mint Weightless Conditioner} – an ideal option if you’re looking to avoid heavy products near their scalp. Rosemary and mint are also both balancing and purifying ingredients, helping to maintain a healthy scalp and reduce inflammation.

4. Invest in an exfoliating scalp brush

Give your scalp a little extra TLC with the help of {HELLO KLEAN’s Exfoliating Scalp Brush}. It’s designed to slough away dead skin cells and stimulate your scalp (not to mention offering a much-appreciated, much-deserved DIY head massage).

Use it with your shampoo, with your mask or serum (steps 5 and 6), or even without product to exfoliate your scalp and boost hair health.

5. Treat yourself to a weekly mask

Reduce oil production with the help of {Gallinée’s Prebiotic Hair and Scalp Care Mask}. It’s clinically-proven to calm irritated scalps and reduce sebum production, with good-to-skin ingredients including…lactic acid (which keeps skin at its optimal pH level), prebiotics (to feed your skin’s good bacteria), fermented rice water (used for centuries in Asia to improve skin complexion and hair condition), mafura oil (to soothe and deeply moisturise) and panthenol (AKA provitamin B5, which soothes delicate scalps and helps thicken hair). PHEW!

Spread a thin layer over hair and scalp, leave on for 5 minutes, then rinse for miraculous results.

6. Finish up with a scalp serum

{VIRTUE’s Refresh Topical Scalp Supplement} is a potent yet featherlight formula designed to be used every night before bed. It rebalances, soothes and replenishes thanks to a cocktail of vitamins, peptides and prebiotics, and it’s just the ticket if your scalp is giving you grief. It’s quickly absorbed without residue too, so it won’t leave your roots looking greasy,

Use nightly on dry hair. Apply 5–7 drops of serum directly onto your scalp and massage it in, working it through to your ends. It absorbs within 2 minutes, and it won’t stain your pillow or sheets.


Cult Beauty

Cult Beauty

Writer and expert