Hair dye + flaky scalp = _____ shampoo?
March 26, 2010 6:16 PM   Subscribe

Via the magic of chemistry, I'm now a redhead. Unfortunately, I also have a historically flaky scalp. What shampoo?

Pre-color, I used mostly used Head & Shoulders, which claims it's safe for color-treated hair, and about once a week Neutrogena's T-Gel, which does not. Since coloring, I've ditched the T-Gel.

I've also seen lots of Internet advice that suggests stripping your color using anti-dandruff shampoo.

Uh, what? Is there a better alternative to keep my color bright and my scalp happy?
posted by purpleclover to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Try a warm olive oil scalp treatment (home remedy! cheap!).
posted by contessa at 6:24 PM on March 26, 2010

I always had a lot of luck with Garnier Nutrisse products.
posted by royalsong at 6:48 PM on March 26, 2010

Head & Shoulders is not safe for color-treated hair. I've successfully used it, on the advice of haircolor companies, to pull excess color from freshly dyed hair. I'd stop using it, especially since red dye fades so fast anyway. Clarifying shampoo is also tough on dyed hair.
posted by runningwithscissors at 6:57 PM on March 26, 2010

I don't know what kind of hair you have, but I rarely use shampoo. I pretty much limit it to when I get in a public swimming pool (maybe twice a month). I have curly/ wavy/ colored hair, so I just use warm shower water and conditioner. I scrub my scalp with my fingers.

It grosses people out when I tell them I rarely wash my hair, but it was a simple transition - started every 3 days...every 5 days...once a week, etc. My hair is dry, so your exp. may vary.
posted by beachhead2 at 7:13 PM on March 26, 2010

Unfortunately, my hair is very fine, and only vaguely wavy. The no-poo thing is a bust.
posted by purpleclover at 7:57 PM on March 26, 2010

Pretty much anything with sodium laurel sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate will strip the color from hair, especially reds. Yes, many 'color safe' shampoos have these ingredients, and they mostly suck. I don't have a specific recommendation to address your flaky scalp, but if you forget the term 'color safe' and instead focus on SLS-free or no sulfates, in combination with whatever ingredients you know of for flakiness, your locks will be better served. Start at health food stores or Whole Foods.
posted by 8dot3 at 7:58 PM on March 26, 2010

I read that modern research suggests that a much higher percentage of dandruff than previously thought is due to a type of fungus. Some people just have genetically a low tolerance for that kind of fungus. Nizoral or something similar can be very, very effective for some people.

- AJ
posted by Alaska Jack at 8:45 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

I color my hair with vivid red and purple and have a somewhat flaky scalp. This isn't the easiest thing to do, but my solution is to mix up sea salt (table-salt sized crystals, nothing giant) with jojoba oil and use it for exfoliation of my scalp. I then wash it out with a mild, non-SLS shampoo. Rinse with water as cold as you can stand for maximum color retention. You might have to do it a couple washes in a row, and then maybe 2-3 times a week, or less (I only wash my hair 2-3 times a week in the first place, so I can't really say how much anyone else would do this treatment. I do it every other week).

It works really well when I don't get lazy and forget to mix it up before getting in the shower. No flakes at all, and my hair and scalp feel great. Jojoba is not too hard to wash out, and it's really good for your skin.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:03 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

The next time you dye your hair--after all this red dye has faded (as it always does. sigh.) you might consider coloring with henna or henna-based haircolor like bigen. It's messier to apply, but has much longer-lasting results regardless of what kind of shampoo you use.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:45 AM on March 27, 2010

Use Nizoral, which you can buy over the counter and which has a cosmetic namesake, Nizorelle, which I don't know anything about.

You use it twice a week for 4 weeks, then once every 1 or 2 weeks forever. The good news is that you will never have one flake of dandruff again. The bad news is that it will completely drain out your color - until the next day when you use your regular shampoo, when the color should brighten up again.

You mention Neutrogena T-Gel, which I use because it's the only one that doesn't give me acne on my scalp and hairline. It doesn't claim to protect hair color, but it also doesn't seem to do my dye job any harm. However if you don't suffer from acne on your scalp, you can probably try any shampoo that claims to protect hair color.
posted by tel3path at 9:03 AM on March 27, 2010

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