There is nothing more uncomfortable than “snowflakes” in the hair. The itching and irritation on the scalp also represent a great discomfort for those who suffer from dandruff. The problem appears in adolescence and usually worsens over the years, especially in people genetically predisposed to the problem. The fact is that the appearance of dirty and unkempt wires is a reason for embarrassment for most people. There is a prejudice that the problem is a sign of poor hygiene, which is hardly a reality. Therefore, many people try different treatment types to alleviate the problem and, of course, make their hair more beautiful. After all, is it possible to get rid of the dandruff? What are the best treatments?
To find out the answer to these and other questions, continue reading this article and check out our tips on how to get rid of the problem.
What Is Dandruff?
Dandruff is nothing more than seborrheic dermatitis (caused by overwork of the sebaceous glands) that affects the scalp of a group of people predisposed to the disease, mainly aged between 20 and 50 years old and with a tendency to oily hair. What occurs is a peeling of the scalp skin, which becomes visible to dead skin because of the contrast with the hair color.
Another possible manifestation of dandruff is through a fungus of natural origin, called Malassezia, which is found on the scalp of practically everyone. This fungus feeds from the scalp’s natural oiliness and some hair products with acids can cause irritation to the scalp.
Seborrheic dermatitis is not contagious, and it is generally considered the most severe form of dandruff.
As we said above, dandruff usually appears in adolescence and is a chronic problem without a cure, alternating in periods of improvement, obtained with some special care, and worsening, when the so-called exacerbation occurs.
Light: Small flakes close to the scalp visible only while brushing.
Moderate: The flakes are loose between the strands, being visible naturally – without any process like brushing.
Intense: Marked flakes of different sizes, abundant and visible on the hair’s surface and on the individual’s shoulders.
Dandruff has a genetic cause and can affect several members of the same family. Still, it is usually developed by influencing other factors, such as climate, stress, and inadequate diet (with excessive consumption of sugars, fried foods, and refined carbohydrates, such as rice, pasta, and white bread) in addition to the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Also, other factors can trigger the problem, such as:
- Increased oiliness on the scalp
- Emotional stress
- Seborrheic dermatitis in other regions of the body
- Hormonal changes
- Excessive use of shampoo
- Dry or cold climate or sudden changes in temperature
- Lack of hygiene on the scalp
- Use a lot of mousse or gel on the hair, as is the case with curly wires
- Presence of eczema (inflammation) in other parts of the body
- Allergy to shampoos or other cosmetics
In addition to these causes, dandruff can develop in patients with chronic diseases, such as those with HIV, or undergoing treatments that decrease the body’s immunity, such as chemotherapy and the use of immunosuppressive drugs.
People with Parkinson’s disease can also more easily develop the problem with dandruff.
The first symptom of dandruff is the appearance of small fragments of dead skin on the hair’s surface, the so-called “snowflakes” effect. In addition to it, itching and irritation can also arise, which can vary from person to person and depending on the stage of the problem.
In more severe cases, the itching and irritation can be intense, causing the scaling to increase and causing the pieces of skin to fall on the shoulders. Also, there are cases of people who scratch their heads so much that they cause inflammation and sores on the scalp.
If you have oily hair or people in the family who suffer from this problem, the tip is to keep an eye out to diagnose the problem early. Check your scalp frequently in the mirror and, when you notice any sign of dandruff, seek a dermatologist to help you alleviate the problem with treatment.
How To Get Rid Of Dandruff?
There is no treatment for the definitive cure of seborrheic dermatitis. Still, there are specific medications for the skin and scalp capable of controlling symptoms. Among the best known are:
- Selenium sulfide
- Zinc pyrithione
- Alpha-hydroxide acid (AHA)
These can be used in shampoos, conditioners, or hair tonics, with very positive results in controlling dandruff. To learn more, visit this post.
Try to resist scratching your head, as your nails can hurt your scalp. If this happens, discontinue any medicinal shampoo and start using a milder shampoo, such as a children’s shampoo, or a sulfate-free shampoo, until the wounds heal.
To activate circulation in the scalp, an option is a capillary massage. To do this, press the scalp with your fingertips. It costs nothing to invest five minutes every day to develop this habit. Also, massage works as a relaxation technique. You can do this massage with vegetable oils. Coconut oil, jojoba, and castor oil are great for dandruff.
One of the basic precautions for people with dandruff is to further strengthen hygiene. People cannot stop washing their hair periodically, as hair hygiene is really essential. Washing contributes significantly to the removal of polluting agents such as dust and eliminates excessive oiliness.
After physical exercises or activities that cause sweating, wash your head. Sweat irritates the scalp and accelerates the peeling of skin cells.
Diet is essential
Another important tip is to follow a healthier diet. Acquiring healthy eating habits improves the problem of dandruff. It helps in many other problems, such as for overweight and diabetes.
Thus, including fruits, vegetables, proteins, healthy fats, and avoiding excess sugar helps the body become healthier and contributes to improving the problem. A balanced diet is a great ally, as dandruff is also related to malnutrition and digestive disorders.
The sun is also considered a great ally in combating dandruff. It has an essential anti-inflammatory action that helps decrease the sebaceous glands’ work and, therefore, combating dandruff.
Some lotions with anti-inflammatory effect can also help to stop dandruff. However, they should only be used if the shampoos do not give good results.
In some cases, it is recommended to use antifungals to treat dandruff, such as Ketoconazole. The fact is that the scalp conditions when it has dandruff are conducive to the accumulation of fungi and their proliferation.
It is a laser treatment with anti-inflammatory and iodine-based action that helps to avoid overworking the sebaceous glands. This treatment alternative can efficiently relieve dandruff.
In more severe dandruff cases, patients may have to undergo internal treatments, taking injections of corticosteroids to alleviate the problem and make the scalp healthier.
Product Tips to Treat Dandruff
In addition to these habits to prevent dandruff, you can also use some cosmetics that help treat and prevent dandruff. The anti-dandruff shampoos are effective products to prevent the sebaceous glands from overworking and therefore cause seborrheic dermatitis. They are the first option of dermatologists when it comes to treatment for the problem.
When buying the shampoo, check if it has zinc pyrithione, tar, selenium sulfate, salicylic acid, or sulfur in its formula, which regulates sebaceous glands’ activity.
Here are some suggestions:
This anti-dandruff shampoo promises to clean the scalp and prevent dandruff formation, acting with an intense micro-exfoliation. At the same time, thanks to the glycerin present in its formula, Kerium DS Shampoo prevents hair dryness. Also, the product can restore the physiological balance of the scalp, taking care of hair health.
Recognized by several dermatologists for its efficiency, KeriumDS shampoo not only combats dandruff and seborrhea but also helps to scale it off the scalp and prevent it from returning. For this, La Roche Posay bet on salicylic acid, zinc, and piroctone olamine, which fight oiliness and fungi’ proliferation, leaving the hair free of Dandruff from the first washes.
Capriloil glycine, in its formula, acts as a sebum regulator, helping to keep the scalp and hair hydrated. It also has anti-itch action. If you want dandruff-free hair but without drying your strands, this is a great option.
- Piroctone olamine
- Capryloyl glycine
- Salicylic acid and LHA
Head & Shoulders shampoo promotes the fight against dandruff and itching, which is one of the main complaints of those who suffer from this problem. It is an affordable product but highly effective, thanks to zinc pyrithione, which reduces scalp irritation and itching. The compound is also effective in combating the fungus Malassezia, one of the biggest causes of dandruff. The shampoo has a mild smell and creamy texture, which preserves the hydration of the hair.
The price of this shampoo is affordable, and the brand also offers the most economical packaging of 400 ml. Head & Shoulders products are one of the most complete, and you will be able to solve your dandruff problem without weighing your pocket.
This product is widely recognized for its proven effectiveness after the first wash. It permanently eliminates Dandruff and prevents its reappearance. Its ultra-foamy texture pleasantly refreshes the scalp and leaves the hair intensely clean.
This is undoubtedly a favorite when it comes to products to treat dandruff. In just one month of use, Palmolive Anti-dandruff shampoo can remove up to 40.7% of scalp oil. This product is effective, reducing the quantity and the size of the scales of dead skin.
Clear Women Intense Hydration shampoo is one of the most famous when it comes to anti-dandruff action.
It has zinc in its formulation, which helps clean deeply, removing excess oil from the scalp. It also has vitamins and proteins that hydrate and repair the hair deeply, keeping it strong, avoiding breakage, hair loss, and split ends. However, it has no antifungal action, making it inefficient in very serious cases of seborrheic dermatitis or Dandruff. So, if your Dandruff is caused by excess oil, this product will be very effective for you!
The intention of Dandrene’s shampoo is to be revolutionary in combating Dandruff. Its formula was developed to reduce the irritation of the scalp, avoiding flaking and itching.
Natural Solutions for Dandruff
Winter is near, and it is at this time that problems with dandruff aggravate.
In addition to specific shampoos, we can also try other more natural treatments for the treatment of dandruff.
White vinegar is one of the best ingredients and a great way to get rid of dandruff. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which makes the scalp “environment” unsuitable for bacteria or fungi’ growth. Mix a glass of vinegar and mix it with three parts of water. Use this mixture after washing your hair with shampoo. Apply it directly to the hair and then wrap it in a towel and leave it overnight. In the morning, wash your hair with your shampoo.
Tea tree essential oil
Tea tree essential oil is a strong natural antiseptic and can treat dandruff. Add a few drops of this oil to your shampoo and then use it to wash your hair. You can also mix a teaspoon of this oil with a glass of warm water and then put the mixture in a spray bottle. After washing your hair, apply this solution all over your hair and massage for a few minutes.
If your problem is due to dryness of the scalp, you can use olive oil, which is an excellent moisturizer. Regular use of olive oil can keep your scalp away from dryness and flaking. Just heat up some olive oil and use it to massage your scalp, then wrap a towel around your head for half an hour. Finally, brush your hair carefully to loosen white flakes of skin. Then wash your hair with shampoo.
Lemon contains an acid that helps fight the fungi that cause dandruff. Use lemon juice to massage your scalp and let it sit for a few minutes, then wash your hair with shampoo, followed by a conditioner. Repeat this process daily until your dandruff is gone. Another way to use the lemon is to mix one tablespoon of the juice of this fruit with five tablespoons of coconut oil and then apply it on the scalp, wrap a towel around your head and leave it overnight. The next morning, wash your hair as usual.
The fungi that cause dandruff can be controlled with baking soda. With wet hair, rub some baking soda on your scalp. Let stand for 10-15 minutes and then rinse it with water. Don’t use shampoo. With baking soda, the scalp will soon start producing natural oils, which will naturally protect you from dandruff.
Fenugreek has calming properties, so it is a great alternative. Soak the fenugreek seeds in water overnight and grind them in the morning until you get a fine paste. Apply this mixture all over the scalp and leave for an hour. Finally, wash your hair with a mild shampoo. You can use the water from the seeds for the final rinse of the hair. Follow this tip twice a week in case of severe dandruff.
Aloe Vera has antibacterial and antifungal properties that control dandruff. You can apply fresh Aloe Vera gel directly to the scalp a few minutes before taking a shower, then wash your hair with a mild shampoo. Repeat this home remedy for dandruff daily until your problem is controlled.
Thyme and sage
Thyme and sage contain antiseptic and antifungal properties, making it a great way to eliminate dandruff. Place four tablespoons of dry thyme and sage, mix them both, and place in two glasses of water. Boil for 10-15 minutes. Strain the solution and then let it cool. Use part of this solution to massage your scalp. Leave on for five minutes and then repeat the process again. Do not wash your hair for two or three hours.
Aspirin contains acetylsalicylic acid, a typical ingredient in some anti-dandruff shampoo. Take two aspirins and grind them well. Mix with the portion of shampoo you normally use. Apply this mixture to the hair, massaging the scalp. Leave for a few minutes and then wash. You can also crush three aspirins, dissolve in a tablespoon of vinegar, and use this mixture to massage your scalp. Leave it on for half an hour, then wash your hair thoroughly.
Although you can’t believe it, Listerine is also a great way to get rid of dandruff. The mixture of alcohol, herbs, and oils (menthol, thymol, methyl salicylate, and eucalyptol) in this mouthwash have an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effect. Mix two parts of water to one part of Listerine and apply the mixture to wet hair. Let it sit for half an hour, and then wash your hair with water.
Vegetable Oils and Essential Oils
Vegetable and essential oils have very beneficial properties for treating scalp problems. Massage circularly with your fingertips lightly on the scalp, 1 to 2 times a week with vegetable oils and specific essential oils. The recipe can be a tablespoon of your favorite vegetable oil and 6 drops of essential oil.
Specific vegetable oils get rid of dandruff
Specific essential oils to get rid of dandruff
- Tea tree essential oil
- Patchouli essential oil
- Lavender essential oil
- Copaiba essential oil
- Rosemary essential oil
- Thyme essential oil
- Orange essential oil
- Lemon essential oil
- Cedarwood essential oil
- Eucalyptus essential oil
- Sage essential oil
In conclusion, you can choose any of the home remedies mentioned above to treat your dandruff problem. Still, you must be patient and consistent with getting good results. If your scalp has any injuries, do not apply these remedies until it has healed to prevent complications.
Myths And Truths About Dandruff
Dandruff gives lice
Lice infestation has nothing to do with dandruff. Insects can only be transmitted through physical contact with other infected people. So, if you have lice and are a patient with dandruff, you may have come into contact with someone who passed it on without any relation to the dandruff problem.
Dandruff is transmissible
Throughout this article, you read that dandruff is a scaling of the scalp caused by a genetic predisposition aggravated by other external factors, such as climate, stress, etc. Therefore, it is not contagious, even if you use the same comb or brush.
Stress causes dandruff
Dermatologists confirm that dandruff can be caused by a period of stress or even excessive tiredness. Some hormones are produced in excess, causing the sebaceous glands to work, which causes dandruff.
Dandruff causes hair loss
Dandruff can actually cause more hair loss, as the problem causes an inflammatory process in the hair follicles. However, dandruff does not cause baldness, as it is also caused by a genetic predisposition.
Washing your hair every day causes dandruff
Excessive use of shampoo can cause dandruff. Also, rubbing the scalp hard every day can cause the sebaceous glands to work harder, bringing more oil and, consequently, causing dandruff.
Conditioner causes dandruff
Conditioners, by themselves, do not cause dandruff. Many people believe in this myth because they already have oily hair and use these products excessively on the scalp, and don’t rinse them well. The result is greater oiliness and, therefore, the development of dandruff.
Dandruff has a cure
Dandruff has no cure, as you read throughout this article. Experts even indicate that the problem can accompany the person throughout his life, always alternating periods of improvement and worsening. The only possibility is to reduce dandruff symptoms, such as “flaking,” itching, and irritation.
Consuming alcoholic beverages causes dandruff
Alcoholic beverages and foods rich in refined carbohydrates, sugars, and fried foods, can make dandruff worse. Therefore, if you like to drink and have a predisposition to dandruff, you must avoid excessive consumption to prevent compromising the scalp’s health.
Shaving your hair ends with dandruff
Shaving the hair does not help in the treatment against dandruff since the problem is in the scalp skin and not in the size or amount of hair.
Dandruff is more common in men than in women
Men have a greater amount of sebaceous glands and a greater production of hormones, such as testosterone. Therefore, they are prone to excessive oiliness of the scalp and a greater tendency to develop dandruff.
Chemicals in the hair make dandruff worse
Dyes and straightening contain substances that increase the scalp’s oiliness, which irritates it even more and worsen dandruff.