Dandruff can be a major annoyance. These icky, white flakes can make your head itch like crazy. It can also negatively impact the quality of your hair.
Furthermore, it’s not the most flattering feeling to walk down the street and have flakes falling from your head. Good luck getting a date with dandruff!
If you suffer from an unhealthy scalp, it’s wise to invest in a quality Balancing Shampoo. Regardless of the season, anybody can benefit from this product.
A lot of anti-dandruff shampoos are either overly moisturizing or too aggressive. Whether you have an oily or a dry scalp, you want your scalp to be balanced.
Causes of Dandruff
Dandruff is considered a mild and common form of seborrheic dermatitis. It comes from a fungus called malassezia, which lives naturally on the skin.
An imbalance of this fungus is what causes dandruff. When mixed with oils in the scalp, malassezia produces small, white flakes in the scalp.
They may appear in your ears, eyebrows, or even in the folds of your face. They can cause your scalp to be red, flaky, itchy, or all of the above!
Our bodies are always ridding themselves of dead skin cells, but when dandruff is produced, an increase of malassezia is triggering the body to shed skin cells even faster.
An overgrowth of malassezia can be caused by a variety of factors including age, hormones, and stress. Genetics also play a role in malassezia growth.
The Best Shampoos for Dandruff
A specialized dandruff shampoo is the quickest way to get rid of your dandruff. These shampoos are sold via prescription and over the counter. Most of the time, they will contain ingredients like zinc or sulfur, which help reduce yeast.
Whatever shampoo you buy, make sure it is balanced and fits your scalp type. If you have a dry scalp, go for a shampoo that is moisturizing, but light. If you have an oily scalp, opt for a shampoo that is deep cleaning, but still provides moisture.
If you are experiencing dryness or flaking in your scalp, look for a shampoo that contains salicylic acid. For those that suffer from redness and irritation, look for a shampoo that contains zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole and selenium sulfide.
Anti-dandruff shampoos typically don’t provide the same, attractive scents as typical shampoos. However, they’ll keep your hair healthy.
Wash Your Hair
In addition to using the right products, you also need to make sure you’re washing your hair the right amount.
You may think that washing your hair as much as possible will get rid of your dandruff. Yet, overwashing can be just as detrimental to the health of your hair.
Anti-dandruff shampoos are typically pretty dry, so be careful with washing too much. Also, make sure your anti-dandruff shampoo is being directly applied to the scalp.
This is where the magic happens. Within your scalp are the roots of your dandruff. Really get deep into your scalp and massage it for a few minutes. Get all that anti-dandruff goodness in there!
Also be wary of shampoos that contain natural oils. These oils can help restore moisture to the scalp. However, they can also clog your pores.
If you suffer from chronic dandruff, you should wash your hair three to four times a week. Generally, you should be able to tell when your scalp is getting too oily or dry. Act accordingly with your scalp care routine.
Exfoliate Your Scalp
It is also a good idea to exfoliate your scalp. Just like exfoliating your skin, you can exfoliate your scalp by gently removing the top layer of dry skin.
Scalp exfoliators remove dead skin with small amounts of salicylic acid or with granules that dissolve the skin. Granules are particularly helpful with breaking down the dead skin cells that build up on the scalp and cause flaking.
If you have dandruff, you should exfoliate your scalp twice a week, until symptoms are diminished. Before using any exfoliant, read the directions so you know how long to leave it on your head.
Now that you know how to treat your dandruff, you can work to prevent it. As with skin care, it is significantly easier to prevent issues with your hair and scalp than to treat it.
One factor that can contribute to dandruff is a diet high in carbohydrates. Carbs cause glycogen to build up in your skin, which yeast feeds on. Therefore, it acts as a booster to dandruff.
If you suffer from chronic dandruff, it may be worthwhile to make some adjustments to your diet. As the old cliche goes, “you are what you eat.” When it comes to dandruff, this is certainly the case.