Did you know that dandruff is prevalent in up to 50% of the general population? An obvious sign of dandruff are the tiny white flakes unpleasantly displayed especially against dark clothing. While dandruff is not contagious or harmful, it’s embarrassing for someone afflicted with it.

“Dandruff is a condition of the scalp where flakes appear on the skin and is often accompanied by itching, and it can occur in adults and babies. Causes are unknown but many factors increase the risk of getting dandruff,” says Michelle Yeap, product manager of Group Health & Beauty for Guardian at the launch of Guardian’s Botaneco Garden Trio Oil Organic Anti-Dandruff haircare range.

“Among the factors are oily skin, dry scalp, using alcohol based products and stress. Symptoms include white flakes on dark clothing, itchy scalp, scaly facial skin, facial rash, oily scalp, eyebrow and beard and chest rash, among many others. But, most importantly dandruff cannot be cured but it can be controlled,” Yeap adds.

Botaneco Garden Trio Oil Organic Anti-Dandruff haircare consists of the shampoo and conditioner – priced at RM19.90 each – and is available exclusively at Guardian.

“We are seeing global trends that are moving towards environmentally conscious, caring and gentle products. This is where Botaneco Garden comes in – they are wholesome beauty products with innovative blends of botanical ingredients and eco-certified oils. The Trio Oil range is free from parabens, silicone, soap, colourant, lanolin and DEA,” says Alfonso Roderos, Guardian Own Brand director of Health & Beauty.

“We are proud to be among one of the first brands in Malaysia that combines three 100% eco-certified oils – babassu from Latin America, baobab from Africa and chufa from France – in one collection,” he says.

Unlike harsh and medicated anti-dandruff haircare shampoos, Roderos says the Trio Oil range is dermatologically tested, is gentle and provides a soothing experience.

“Along with the three oils, the anti-dandruff range includes two moisturisers, jojoba and coconut oil. Jojoba oil helps remove dead skin from your scalp while coconut oil enriches scalp and removes sebum build-up,” says Yeap.

Apart from these ingredients it is also enriched with menthol, which helps reduce dandruff and control flakes, and tea tree oil and peppermint to tackle itchiness on the scalp.

Managing dandruff starts with practising good hair and scalp hygiene, and using anti-dandruff haircare products.

With over a decade of being a hairstylist and male groomer, Cassius Lawrence says, “More men than women are afflicted with dandruff. Men usually use one bar of soap for everything! Soap can be very drying and when the scalp is too dry it can cause dandruff.”

Lawrence advises men with dandruff to use a shampoo at least once a day, and after washing they should dry their hair immediately.

“Another cause is excessive hair styling products like pomade or hair creams which can be very oily. Also, two-in-one shampoos may sound convenient but they are not the best products to use, especially for oily scalps. If you have dry hair, a serum will help,” Lawrence says.

To curb dandruff, hairstylist Linda Hatta says everyone should dry their hair with a hairdryer, and she adds, “Most women own a hairdryer but men usually don’t. In fact, for guys with short hair, it takes less than a minute to dry their hair.”

For women who wear the hijab, Linda says, “If you are short of time in the mornings, wash your hair the night before so you have time to dry your hair and scalp properly. Avoid wearing the hijab with wet hair and scalp.”

When washing hair Linda advises against pouring shampoo directly onto the scalp or dry hair, and she explains, “Wet entire head first and apply shampoo on your palm before spreading onto hair. If shampoo is applied directly to your scalp and it’s not properly washed out the residues can lead to scalp problems. Also, to avoid hurting the scalp, use finger tips instead of your nails to wash and gently rub the scalp while washing your hair.”