Dandruff can be one of the most frustrating things in life, especially when you’re looking forward to a day where your hair is down and flowing. And then you realize that pesky white flakes are there, once again. Seborrheic dermatitis can be extremely frustrating, especially when you have no idea what to do about it. Should you wash your hair more or less? Try all the DIY anti-dandruff methods? Lucky for you we at HFN know exactly how to get rid of dandruff with our tips and tricks from experience! Keep reading if this applies to you. You will find out: What causes dandruff, how to get rid of dandruff, and what shampoos and treatments actually work. If you want the full scoop about how to get rid of dandruff, keep reading!
What is dandruff?
Dandruff is a head-scratching issue, no pun intended.
First, let's identify what dandruff actually is and what are dandruff symptoms?
Dandruff is a skin condition that affects the scalp and causes white or greyish flaky skin. It often itches and sometimes flakes off onto your shoulders. More specifically, dandruff occurs when dead skin cells on your scalp do not shed properly which leads to patches of dry skin appearing.
Dandruff is created by a combination of factors which can include:
- A yeast that naturally occurs on your scalp (Malassezia globosa)
-Hormonal changes like during puberty or pregnancy, menopause
-Certain drugs, including lithium and phenytoin (Dilantin)
-Dehydration in the body
Dandruff is often accompanied by an irritated and itchy scalp. If you notice that your scalp is flaky, dry, and sore to the touch then dandruff could be the cause of this!
Make changes to your diet
Somehow, everything comes back to what we put into our bodies. If you’re experiencing dandruff, it may be because of some of the foods you’re consuming on a regular basis. Things like excessive carbs and sugar can lead to the overproduction of oil on the scalp. And do you remember what excess oil leads to? That’s right, excess yeast as well. And that’s how dandruff starts!
So if you know you are prone to dandruff, keep a careful eye on your carb and sugar intake. If you realize a correlation between the two, try cutting out or limiting your consumption of sugary, carb-dense foods. Then after a week see if there is an improvement in your seborrheic dermatitis!
Try avoiding the following foods to see if they are causing a problem with seborrheic dermatitis:
-Products containing gluten (including breads, pastas, and cereals)
While you’re at it, make sure to stay hydrated! Be sure to drink plenty of water every day; this goes for both your skin as well as your body. When our bodies are properly hydrated, our skin tends to act healthier and more moisturized. Try drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day!
Also remember that what you put into your body affects your external as well as internal health. So be sure to eat a balanced diet full of both veggies and healthy fats!
Try and wash your hair more often
Although you’ve probably been hearing all your favorite beauty guru’s talk about how they only wash their hair once a week, that might not be good for you. If you have or are prone to dandruff, washing your hair more frequently may be better than the opposite. Even though dry shampoo sounds good in theory, the oil and debris are still building up on your scalp. When you allow all that to collect and mix with the yeast, it contributes to the white flakes that appear in your hair and on your scalp! So washing your hair a minimum of 3-4 times a week would be ideal if you’re trying to get rid of dandruff.
Exfoliate your scalp to get rid of dandruff!
Exfoliating your scalp? Is that even a thing?? The answer is yes! Just like you exfoliate your skin to get rid of the dead skin cells, you can also exfoliate your scalp to get rid of excess buildup. The magic ingredient can either be salicylic acid that chemically exfoliates, or little beads/granules that manually exfoliate. You can even buy a battery-operated scalp massager that aids in exfoliation as well!
But there is a catch! You have to be extremely gentle and careful with exfoliating since it can cause micro-wounds that will make your dandruff worse!
Try a hot oil treatment
Sounds a bit counter-productive, right? But doing a hot oil treatment can actually eliminate excess oil on your scalp. How? The warm oil will help draw the oil from your scalp and remove it. You can try the all-in-one miracle coconut oil by heating it up in the microwave and applying it to the scalp. Be sure to not make it too hot or you could run the risk of burning your scalp.
A hot oil treatment can help get to the source of your dandruff and reduce the amount of flakes on your head. Depending on your hair type, you will want to use a different oil to avoid damage or other problems. If your hair is very dry, then you will want to avoid oils that contain mineral oil and petroleum products. There are many oils that can be used to help reduce dandruff. Some examples include sunflower oil, coconut oil, olive oil, neem oil , and sesame oil . This treatment is something you can do daily for best results.
Coconut oil is a popular choice, as it has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It can help reduce flaking and dandruff. However, there are many other oils that can also be used to fill the same role. Sunflower oil contains high amounts of vitamin E , which can help nourish dry hair and scalp. Olive oil contains high amounts of vitamin E and fatty acids , which can help nourish dry hair and soothe the scalp. Sesame oil is full of vitamins A, C, D, and E . The antioxidants in sesame oil can help reduce flaking and soothe irritation. Sunflower oil has an earthy scent that many people enjoy.
Think twice about apple cider vinegar!
A popular DIY method of removing damage is using apple cider vinegar on the scalp. Does this actually work though? Experts are torn when it comes to the answer. On one hand, ACV does have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties than can not only soothe your scalp but lower yeast levels as well.
On the other hand, people tend to go overboard and assume ACV is the cure-all ingredient for all their skin and hair problems. There are definitely more effective ingredients out there, so ACV shouldn’t be your first option!
If you have dandruff, or even if you just want to add moisture to your hair, then using apple cider vinegar rinse can be beneficial. Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal properties which will help to keep your scalp clean and healthy. It will also make your scalp feel more moisturized without weighing down the strands of hair.
Mix one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water. Apply to scalp and let it sit for about five minutes. Rinse thoroughly, shampooing your hair as usual.
Invest in a medicated dandruff shampoo
Dandruff can be really disruptive and cause uncomfortable scaling on the scalp. Fortunately, there are a lot of different shampoo options available to patients to treat dandruff! If you've only got mild dandruff, you may be able to get rid of it with shampoos like Head and Shoulders or Selsun Blue. But if you suffer from more severe dandruff, there are stronger treatments that can be prescribed by a dermatologist! If you are looking for a natural option, tea tree oil is also an effective natural alternative.
-Medicated dandruff shampoo with salicylic acid will clear up mild scaling on the scalp.
-Zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole, and selenium sulfide are effective ingredients in more stubborn cases of dandruff.
As long as you stick with your treatment for a few weeks, you should notice significant results! These products may take some time to work so patience is key!
When dealing with dandruff focus on your scalp
If you’re using a medicated shampoo to treat dandruff, remember the main goal of the active ingredients is to dry out your scalp. If you use these shampoos on your hair, they may cause unnecessary dryness! So try and focus on your scalp when using special shampoos, and use extra conditioner on the ends of your hair. Make sure to leave the shampoo on your scalp for at least five minutes so that the active ingredients have time to do their job.
Don’t hesitate to switch shampoos and see what works best for you. There are dandruff shampoos that contain zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, coal tar and salicylic acid. They all work in different ways so sometimes it takes some experimenting before you find the right one for your dandruff.
When dandruff is severe, you may need to seek the advice of a dermatologist. They’ll make sure you receive the right dandruff shampoo for your specific dandruff problem, and they can also prescribe oral medications if necessary.
Still dandruffing in winter? It’s very common during the dry, cold weather and it will usually clear up when the seasons change. So don’t give up, dandruff should clear within a couple of months. Make sure to keep your scalp moisturized and in time it should be dandruff-free.
Try not to scratch your scalp when dealing with dandruff
We know this is easier said than done, but scratching just makes things so much worse. It increases flaking, redness, irritation, and production of excess skin cells, which are all things we’re trying to avoid! Especially if you have long nails, scratching can actually lead to open scalp wounds that are prone to infection. If you find yourself itching, consider putting gentle dandruff shampoos in your hair and focus on keeping your scalp clean. Then wait a few days before using dandruff shampoo again – you can use dandruff shampoo up to three times a week without negative side effects, but if you’re using it more often than that it’s best to alternate with a non-dandruff shampoo so your scalp doesn’t get too dried out.
If you want to scratch your itchy scalp, try using a dandruff brush instead of your fingers. A dandruff brush has soft bristles and is specially designed to reduce dander and irritation on the scalp and hair follicles.
If dandruff is really bothering you, there are also dandruff shampoos that have special ingredients that can reduce dander flakes in the scaly scalp. You can find dandruff tar shampoo mentioned often on the internet, but keep in mind that it’s not a totally natural treatment. If dandruff isn’t bothering you too much, consider dandruff shampoos with natural ingredients like tea tree oil instead.
Dandruff, a common but often stressful condition that affects up to one-third of the population, can be treated with medicated shampoos or more natural alternatives. The key is choosing a shampoo based on your symptoms and sticking to it for at least two weeks before switching. If you’re still having issues after four weeks, make an appointment with a dermatologist who can prescribe oral medications if necessary. You may also want to consider using dandruff brushes which are specially designed reduce irritation while giving your scalp some relief from scratching!
How do you deal with dandruff? Let us know in the comment section below!
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