Feeling flaky? A dry, itchy and flaky scalp can affect how you feel about yourself on a daily basis. Not only can it be embarrassing and uncomfortable, it can make you feel alone in your struggle. Luckily, you're not alone. 50% of the population will experience dandruff in their lifetime, and thanks to that there's plenty of solutions to the flake.
Why do you get dandruff?
Dandruff is characterised by an itchy, dry scalp which begins to flake, leaving white bits in your hair. Keeping your scalp healthy is often overlooked, but a healthy scalp will be less likely to flake and will keep your strands healthy too.
Mild dandruff can be caused by many things:
- A dry scalp - If dry skin is causing your dandruff, it’s easier to tell as other places of your body are most likely dry as well. Luckily, good moisturisers in shampoo can clear up dry scalp issues.
- Product build up - Product build up can prevent dry skin from shedding properly and add to excess oil production. Avoid too much dry shampoo (our fave too, sigh) and ensure you only use other products on the ends of hair.
- Yeast overgrowth - Malassezia is a fungus that lives on the scalp and skin of all people. For some, a sensitivity develops which can result in dandruff.
More severe dandruff can be caused by seborrheic dermatitis, eczema and scalp psoriasis. If you're finding that your dandruff can't be treated at home, it's important to see a doctor.
How to get rid of dandruff
Treating dandruff can be a matter of trial and error, and what works for some people won't necessarily work for others. But for most people, once they find the shampoo or treatment that works for them, they can remain dandruff-free.
What ingredients should I look for in natural anti dandruff shampoo?
Natural remedies have been used for centuries to ease scalp issues, and many of these are still used and are highly effective today. So what should you look for?
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is known for its antifungal properties, meaning it will help treat yeast overgrowth. Plus, its an excellent cleanser and a great moisturiser so your scalp will be free of build up and kept nourished and healthy.
Studies show that coconut oil is effective at reducing symptoms of scalp psoriasis. It also contains lauric acid which has nourishing properties and created a barrier blocking bacteria and irritants from causing more damage.
Neem oil is effective at combating dandruff due to its anti-fungal properties. It also helps ease symptoms of dandruff by soothing an irritating scalp and providing relief from inflammation and itchiness.
With its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, Lemongrass is ideal for reducing scalp inflammation. It's also known to help ease oily hair, which is often experienced alongside dandruff.
Lavender has antimicrobial properties and has long been known to soothe irritation. Perfect at treating both the symptoms and cause of dandruff.
Olive oil is packed full of vitamins, antioxidants and healthy fats. These repair damage and cut through build up on your scalp, even unclogging hair follicles.
How long does anti dandruff shampoo take to work?
How long it takes to work varies from person to person. For most people it can take 2 - 4 weeks for your scalp to re-nourish and heal. It's important not to jump from product to product, or only introduce one new product at a time. This will ensure you know what works for you.