So I can't seem to get my dandruff under control. It's really odd because it seems to be somewhat cyclical - I will be fine for a month or more and then I will start getting dandruff for a few weeks and then just by itself it will go away.... nothing is changing with my diet or other habits. I notice that when the dandruff is the worst is when I seem to "shed" the most amount of hair. I notice a lot more hair falling out in the shower and when I run my fingers through my hair. My hair will actually get noticeably thinner for a couple weeks and then come back. Odd. I don't like this as I'm definitely losing my hair - thinning and receding. I feel that if I could get my scalp healthier then it would help slow the hair loss. I have tried some of the anti- dandruff shampoos(nizoral, H&S) but they honestly seem to make things worse...
There's no need to visit a doc or discuss diet, just yet. Before any of that consider these basics:
You have poor washing habits. Most men scrub their hair like they are scratching their arse. No rough rubbing! Almost caress the shampoo in as you massage your scalp with your fingertips. Rinse thoroughly. Take your conditioner and then delicately glide it across your hair and leave in for the designated time.
You are using shitty products. Ditching the own brand shampoo, not using bodywash on your hair and paying extra for a quality product will do a world of good for the health and quality of your scalp and hair. Make sure the product you are buying clearly has DAILY USE (or similar) on the bottle. If it does not, nine out of ten times it is too harsh to be using everyday on your hair.
You are overloading your hair with styling products. Go to any club and you can see how bad this situation is. Again use a quality product, the difference to your hair over time will astound you. Make sure you read the manufacturers guidelines and, generally, apply conservatively. Get a product that actually suits your hairstyle and hairtype (e.g. for medium-length messy styles go for paste, for short and spikey go for putty, for longer-controlled styles got for gel). Make sure you are washing the stuff out thoroughly.
Also, the advice for using cooler water is a good one. As I said, most men wash their hair as if they're scratching their arse. In six months of change, I found that doing the above has given me hair that is in stark contrast to my dull and flat hair of old.
I like the idea of not having hot showers, I will give that at try. I also could probably stand to spend some more $$$ on proper shampoo as I usually buy the cheap stuff. Anything you would recommend? As far as the other ones go - I don't shampoo roughly at all and I rarely use styling products ( maybe 2x/week).
if the anti-dandruff stuff doesn't work then it probably isn't dandruff, yeah.
it is possible that you wash your hair too frequently, which is drying it out. your scalp produces sebum which helps keep the scalp and hair lubricated. shampoo strips the sebum from your hair. conditioner is supposed to help restore some of the moisture, but it isn't really as good as sebum. but we live in these days where people stand to profit a lot from our thinking that we need to buy all these expensive products to be healthy...
one thing you could try is rubbing (gently) a little (really, a little) oil into your scalp. olive oil. macademia oil. fish oil, i suppose (though i wouldn't recommend it). it really will work as an intensive moisturiser. if you only use a little then it shouldn't look too oily, or shouldn't look too oily after you rinse it with warm water. if it does look oily then if you coat it well with conditioner then wait 15 minutes before washing it out the oily will go away. you might be surprised that stopping with the shampoo altogether and just rinsing your hair with warm water sorts the problem out.