Dandruff and an itchy scalp can be a pain. Firstly, it itches like crazy & secondly, it falls all over the place. It can be extremely annoying seeing little white specs all over you nice clean clothes, you might even feel embarrassed & feel like a walking snow machine. Luckily, there are a few simple remedies to help you calm the itch & reduce the dandruff. Before you can treat the dandruff, it’s best to diagnose the cause of dandruff, so you can choose an effective method to remedy it.
What Causes Dandruff?
Well there are several reasons why your scalp could have dandruff. Dandruff can be caused by:
- Dryness: when your scalp is dry it cracks & forms scalp flakes. Dryness can also make your scalp feel tight & irritated, which causes it to itch.
- Product Build Up: when treating your scalp, it’s fairly easy to put a lot of product (eg hair food) on it. Although you may mean well, what your actually doing is layering too much product. The product won’t be able to absorb into the skin & as a result will sit on top of the scalp, blocking the pores on the scalp. The product then builds up & increases the more you apply product, eventually causing flakes. The clogged scalp will also become irritated & begin to itch.
- Excess Sebum/ Oily Scalp: some people have skin that is naturally oilier than others. This applies to the scalp too. Sebum is the oil our scalp naturally produces, it protects the scalp & hair. But sometimes the scalp can produce too much sebum, which ends up clogging the scalp & causes build up, resulting in dandruff.
- Dirty Scalp: over time sebum, dead skin cells & debris/ dust, build up & layer on your scalp, which causes dandruff.
- Skin Conditions: things like eczema & psoriasis causes dandruff.
How Do I Deal With Dandruff?
- The first thing you should try is to dampen your scalp with water, it would be easier to use a spray bottle to spray your scalp directly. Massage in the water for 2-3 minutes, then add a small amount of any oil of choice, eg olive oil (which you can find at any pharmacy) to your finger tips & massage it in to your scalp. By doing this it helps to alleviate dryness.
- Dampen your scalp with luke warm or warm & massage your scalp with the pads of the fingers. This will help to loosen up any product build up and even excess sebum or oil. You could stop there, or you could proceed to wash your hair.
- Apply shampoo only to the scalp, after dampening it with warm water. Use your finger tips to massage & remove any remaining build up, sebum & oil, as well as the dead skin and dust. Make sure to firmly press down your fingers, to get a deeper massage (Don’t use your nails, you will scratch your scalp & damage it).
- If you have a skin condition, then it might be best to either consult a doctor or try natural remedies.
Natural Remedies You Should Give A Try.
Natural remedies are affordable & rarely have an side effects, unless you’re allergic. Here’s a few remedies that can soothe your itch & reduce dandruff.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar Or Lemon Rinses.
Dilute 1 part of raw, unfiltered Apple cider vinegar (or use lemon juice instead) with 4 parts water, & stir thoroughly to mix. Add into a spray bottle & spray directly on to your scalp. Massage your scalp for 2-3 minutes, then let the rinse sit on the scalp for roughly 10 minutes, before rinsing out with luke warm or cool water. Best to do this after using & rinsing off shampoo, as well as conditioner.
2. Aloe Vera Gel.
Get an aloe vera leaf (the thick, leafy kind) & slice a medium sized piece, one that you can easily manage in your hands. Slice off the the thorns from that piece, & proceed to cut the leaf in half. Massage the flesh of the aloe vera plant directly on to the scalp, if the flesh gets dry gently press holes into it with your finger nails, to reactivate the gel. Keep massaging the leaf all around your scalp. Once you’re done, you can either leave it in the hair or leave it on for about 10-15 minutes before rinsing with luke warm or cool water. You can use aloe Vera gel on a freshly washed scalp, a dry scalp, a dirty scalp, a dampened scalp, etc. It all depends on your preference.
3. Essential Oils.
Tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon grass, lavender & rosemary essential oils are good at relieving itching & dandruff. The good thing is you can find most of the suggested essential oils in almost any local pharmacy. There’s 3 ways you can use them, you can either dilute them in:
- Oil (eg olive oil, coconut oil, etc- which you can also find at pharmacies), then heat up that oil in a cup of warm & use as a hot oil treatment for your scalp. Leave on the treatment for 10-15 minutes before rinsing with cool or luke warm water;
- Warm water, then use it as a rinse after rinsing out shampoo from your hair. Make sure to leave on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing; or
- Your shampoo & use as normal.
Essential oils are concentrated, so make sure to dilute them in something, as they can burn your scalp. Use 6-12 drops for every 100mls of cool liquid, & 4-6 drops for every 100mls of warm liquid.
Things To Note:
- Men are more susceptible to dandruff.
- Being stressed is likely to cause the dandruff to worsen.
- Colder, dryer seasons makes you more susceptible to dandruff.