The Reluctant Stylista

While I see myself as a relatively low-maintenance girl when it comes to beauty, there is one thing I absolutely spend a fortune on: hair care.  A large part of that is scalp treatment, because I only get breakouts or rough, bumpy skin when my scalp is acting up.  A sensitive scalp could be due to a lot of things–flakes or excess sebum caused by pollution, schizophrenic Manila weather, the water you use for showering and strong chemicals in your shampoo.  Sadly, I have little control on all of those except for the last one.  So if you’re like me and you’ve been suffering for years with a bipolar scalp you might want to check my go-to brands for shampoo.


L’Oréal Pureology

My scalp reacts to sulfates, parabens and other strong chemicals.  For now, I can’t totally ban products that aren’t completely natural or organic, but I do prefer shampoo formulas with gentler ingredients.  I also get my hair colored on occasion (another reason why I can’t resist some chemicals), which is why L’Oréal’s Pureology line is a god-send.  It’s sulfate-free, mild, and keeps my hair color vibrant and long-lasting.  Right now I’m using Pureology Pure Volume Shampoo and Conditioner, and I always bring both to the salon with me (I kid you not, they even have their own box).  I’m pretty happy with Pure Volume, but I also want to try the Pureology Hydrate Shampoo as I think I need more hair moisture than volume.  No, it won’t get rid of dandruff, but it won’t aggravate your scalp nor fade your color.  You can get this shampoo from salons.


Best Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Clobex is the only shampoo in my list that you have to buy in Mercury Drug. Occasionally, I’d have bouts of bad flakes and there’s nothing more I hate–because they cause breakouts and even allergies.  A dermatologist recommended this to me and I haven’t looked back since.  It’s quite pricey at P1266.00 for 50ml, but it’s the only dandruff shampoo that has really worked for me.  Fortunately, I don’t have to use it all the time.  I just use it two to three times in one week and my scalp is clear again. It also serves to “reset” my scalp, because as I’ve mentioned earlier, I can’t resist using products with strong chemicals and other commercial shampoos like TIGI’s Bed Head.  Bonus: it doesn’t dry out my hair like Nizoral does.

For the best effect, leave a thin film on affected areas for 15 minutes before lathering with water and rinsing off.

Update: Sophie Uy suggested a cheaper version of Clobex which is called Scalpex. It effectively treats dermatitis as well, which is around P300 for a 60ml bottle. If it’s anything like Clobex minus the price, you bet I’m going to hoard this stuff!


Argelan Scalp Clear Shampoo

Argelan Scalp Clear Shampoo

Every girl needs a clarifying shampoo, and this is my current favorite. Unfortunately, I only know they’re available in Japan.  But it’s touted to be made of 95% natural ingredients and organic to boot.  After I’ve cleared my scalp of flakes, I use this about once a week to get rid of build up.  It’s not quite drying, but not exactly the most moisturizing shampoo which is what we expect from a clarifying formula, but it’s good to let our hair and scalp breathe and be product-free at least once a week.


Kérastase Specifique Bain Prevention

Kerastase Bain Prevention

One of the effects of having a sensitive or flaky scalp is hair loss.  Kérastase Specifique Bain Prevention is a bit pricey, but it brings back the balance to your scalp that lessens hair fall.  Whether you’re too oily or too dry, you’ll find this very useful.  Actually, most Kérastase shampoos I’ve tried are pretty good.  They don’t work as quickly nor as efficiently as Clobex when it comes to dandruff, but they make hair oh-so-soft to the touch.


One of these days, I just might try the No ‘Poo Method in cleansing hair, where you use a DIY formula of water, baking powder and a vinegar rinse. So far, I haven’t had to resort to it because I’m still good with three shampoos in rotation–a medicated formula to address dandruff when needed, a sulfate-free shampoo for regular use and a clarifying one.  I’ve yet to encounter someone in the Philippines who does the whole baking soda hair wash technique, and I really want to know how it works with the climate here (baking soda has a high pH level that might cause hair to dry out even further if you’re not careful) before I try it myself.  I’ve also found some really nice alternatives in Healthy Options, as they have an impressive range of organic shampoos. Most of them won’t clear dandruff, but I highly recommend doing a “reset” with something like Clobex and then going for an organic/mild shampoo of your choice afterwards.

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