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What to Do If You Have Dandruff and Color-Treated Hair
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Here’s the rub: You’ve noticed an itchy patch on your scalp and, ugh, a few flakes on your shoulders. But you just shelled out hundreds of dollars on that primo hair color. Do not (we repeat: do not!) pick up a generic drugstore dandruff shampoo. Many have stripping sulfates in them. So how do you tackle your flakes and keep your color bright? Read on.

What you need: Your regular color-safe shampoo and a bottle of tea tree oil

What you do: Squeeze your usual amount of shampoo into your palm. Then add a few drops of tea tree oil and gently massage the mixture into your scalp. Let sit for a couple minutes (wash your face, shave your legs, whatever) and rinse thoroughly. Follow with conditioner.

Why it works: Tea tree oil has natural antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that help with dryness and itchiness. When added to your sulfate-free shampoo, you get major scalp relief without sacrificing your color.

Pro tip: Always dilute the oil with your shampoo and be sparing with how much you add. It’s extremely potent on its own and can be conversely over-drying if applied in excess. So, basically, just don’t dump the little bottle directly on your head and you should be fine.

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