So, how can you remove dandruff? – Let’s start by finding out what it is first. First off make sure you are dealing with dandruff and not a dry scalp. It is to often I have seen people treat dry scalp as though they had dandruff only to cause more dandruff, which in turn may create a more problematic issue. You may want to do a dry scalp/dandruff test first or ask your hairdresser (a qualified hairdresser). From my own experiences of working behind the chair, there is very poor information out there around the topic of dandruff and dry scalp. There are many remedies out there but which one is best for your type of dandruff or dry scalp. Dandruff is only a recent problem in our society because we have grown to think showering and scrubbing our hair 7 times a week is normal.
If it is a dry scalp (common if you are in a dryer climate, work environment, or there was a severe weather change i.e. winter) you may only need to increase your water intake and increase the moisture therapy in your daily regimen. My rule of thumb is if you are finding your face to be a little dryer than normal your scalp will be too.
Look into using a moisture rich shampoo next time you are in the shower or if you are into making your own shampoo add essential oils known for conditioning. A few to consider are Jojoba, Aloe, Coconut, and Shae Butter. Follow with your conditioner root to end, and yes I do say do not apply conditioner to the roots, but when your scalp is dry it means your scalp is thirsty for it. If you are concerned about it weighing down your hair look for a lighter conditioner and do not leave as long. If you have long hair and use conditioner to balance the porosity of the hair use the lighter conditioner at the roots to mid-lengths and then apply a heavier moisturizing conditioner to the ends.
Oil-Related Dandruff (Pityriasis-capitis):
First stop scratching, scratching can break the skin and cause an infection. If you do have to itch press on the itchy area with your finger, not your nail and rub moving the surface of the skin. Kind of like a mini deep tissue massage in the local area. Then ditch your current anti-dandruff shampoo. Look for a chemical free natural shampoo. Look for one with a few essential oils that work well for curing dandruff. Notice I said, “curing” not “treating”. Look for one that contains Tea tree oil, as Tea Tree oil is a natural antiseptic and has antibiotic properties, which make it best to get rid of dandruff. Anti-dandruff shampoos work well for treating the problem not curing it. Essential oil to look for is tea tree, pecan, sage, rosemary, spikenard, lavender, thyme, peppermint, patchouli, Aloe or chamomile. If you prefer going down the DIY route add 3-4 of the essential oils of your choice to make up a scent you prefer or add oil to a scent free shampoo. Make sure you do add tea tree or do a pre-wash with the tea tree to help disinfect the scalp. You may want to consider giving yourself a lukewarm oil scalp massage. Lukewarm almond oil, coconut oil, or olive oil is great to massage on the scalp to prevent dandruff. Leave it on the scalp overnight.
Reduce the amount of time you wash your hair. Washing your hair with anti-dandruff or regular shampoos full of chemicals will strip the natural oils from your hair and scalp. Your body will rush to produce excess oil to compensate. It destroys the natural balance required to be dandruff free. It may get a little worse before it gets better but you should reduce hair washing sessions to 1-2 times a week max.
Rinse with cold water. The cold water will close skin pores and hair cuticles. Foreign materials will not be able to penetrate and cause any harm. Plus it will make your hair shiny and lock in any moisture that it needs to hold onto and also will help combat staticky hair. You will notice immediate improvements.
Yeast-Related Dandruff (Seborrhea Dermatitis):
Sometimes, seborrhoea dermatitis will clear up by itself. More often, it’s a lifelong issue that clears and flares. It can last for years at a time, but you can control it with good skin care. This type of dandruff usually needs a more advanced form of treatment. Adults with seborrhea dermatitis on their scalp can use an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo that contains one of these key ingredients: Zinc, Selenium Sulfide, Salicylic Sulfide, Coal Tar, or Ketoconazole.
There are shampoos out there designed to cure but you will more likely find them in your salon (you may have to special order), in a dermatologist’s office or pharmacy. The active ingredients do contain expiry dates so look at the expiry date before you purchase.
Do eliminate conditions for the fungal growth; fungi require certain conditions to grow. They thrive in environments that are moist, warm, and dark. These conditions that can be found on the scalp, especially if you have thick hair (dark), are physically active (sweat), and/or like to wear a head covering like a baseball hat or wear hair extensions, for example. You can deprive fungi of these conditions if you: Stop wearing hats, Dry off your head after a workout, Properly maintain your hair extensions, and if it is a really big issue you might want to consider keeping your hair short, at least for a while.
On the face and body, keep the affected areas clean — wash with soap and water every day. Sunlight may stop the growth of the yeast organisms that inflame the skin, so being outdoors could help. Our skin, hair, and nails love vitamin D.
Infants with cradle cap shampoo their scalp daily with warm water and use a gentle more natural baby shampoo. If that doesn’t help, talk to your pediatrician about medicated shampoos before you try one. A dandruff shampoo could irritate your baby’s scalp.
To soften thick patches use a natural oil such as coconut oil or mineral oils (check with Paediatrician first if they agree) to moisturize the area once out of the tub and brush gently with a baby hairbrush to help peel the scales off.
I hope you found this blog post informative, if so please like and help me spread the word. Thank you for visiting me. KD