Hair expert warns against viral anti-dandruff TikTok trend that could ‘cause chemical burn’ - GulfToday

Hair expert warns against viral anti-dandruff TikTok trend that could ‘cause chemical burn’

Hair care

Photo used for illustrative purposes.

A haircare expert has warned against following a viral TikTok trend that claims to rid hair of dandruff.

A video outlining the trend was posted by user @calistatee and has received over 4.6m views on the platform.

In the video, the user applies glycolic acid to her hair and shows a before and after, saying that she saw dandruff-free locks two months after she began the routine.

“This trick works for both dandruff and flaky scalp,” she captioned the video.


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However, now a haircare expert from Milk + Blush, Nicole Petty, has warned that using any skincare acid on your scalp could potentially cause chemical burns.

“Skincare acid for your face can be dangerous if you don’t research, you need to find the right strength or risk burning your scalp,” she explained.

“The harshness of glycolic acid is largely down to its concentration percentage and pH level – the lower the pH level, the stronger it’ll be.

“Most glycolic acids available to shoppers will be under 10 per cent, but some may be able to get their hands on acids up to 70 per cent concentration online. This strength should only be used by professionals in a clinical environment to treat extreme skin issues and will easily cause chemical burns if used by the inexperienced.”

Petty added that using acids on your scalp can make it more sensitive to UV rays.

“Scalp burns can lead to a range of issues, including increased dryness and flakiness, and can lead to hair loss,” she added.

“If you’re going to try the glycolic acid hack, make sure you invest in a high-quality scalp SPF, wear a hat or keep out of the sun for a minimum of 24 hours after applying the acid.”

The NHS says dandruff is a common condition, and the best way to treat it is to use a specialised shampoo that contains either zinc pyrithione, salicylic acid, selenium sulphide (or selenium sulfide), ketoconazole, or coal tar.


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