Are you one of the millions that are suffering from dandruff? Are you somehow trying not to wear dark-colored tops to hide those flakes? Well, here are some practical tips on how to overcome that dandruff!
Dandruff is the shedding of dead skin cells. This is also a natural thing that happens all over the body. In fact, you get a whole new set of skin about every 27 or 28 days and the old stuff just sort of flakes away. So it isn’t true that dandruff is caused by dry skin. Actually, dandruff occurs because of oily skin and an oily scalp.
But if dandruff is just a normal process of shedding off dead skin cells, why is it that we can't see the shedding of dead skin cells in our arms and legs
? The hair traps the flakes (dead skin cells) that come off our scalp before they can float off unnoticed. Then the oil from our hair and scalp clumps up the cells until they turn into those visible flakes that decorate our shoulders.
Some are brave enough to shrug off dandruff, even if it reflects a normal and necessary process. On the other hand, there are possible steps to sweep those flakes away once and for all.
- Shampoo everyday to keep it away. You can get rid of excess oils and flakes through daily shampooing that can surely tame your flaky scalp.
- Switch shampoos. If your current shampoo isn't that effective at controlling your dandruff problem, then it's time to discontinue using it and move on to an anti-dandruff shampoo. Look for an anti-dandruff shampoo that contains zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, sulfur, or salicylic acid.
- Switch and switch again. Does your anti-dandruff shampoo start to become less effective than it was before? It's because you may build up resistance to the shampoo's active ingredients. To avoid this, rotate between three brands of dandruff shampoo that each has a different formulation. Use each for a month. In other words, use one shampoo for the first month, another for the second, then another brand of shampoo during the third month, and go back to the first brand for the fourth month, and so on.
- Lather twice. The first lathering and rinsing of hair gets rid of the loose flakes and the oily buildup on your hair and scalp. The first lathering cleans the area so the second lathering can get to work. Leave the second lathering of shampoo on your hair for at least five minutes before rinsing. This will give your shampoo a chance to penetrate the skin cells and control dandruff.
- Try using tar. If our first few steps still don't work, then try using tar shampoos. For 200 years, tar shampoos have been a proven dandruff remedy. The tar's job is to decrease cell turnover. However, there are some negative side effects. Tar shampoos have strong odors, can stain the shaft of lighter-colored hair (though weeks of using milder shampoo may get rid of discoloration), and can irritate skin.
- Rinse. If you're using tar shampoo and you want to get rid of its odor, try rinsing you hair with lemon juice, a conditioner, or a crème rinse. Using conditioner after the anti-dandruff shampoo is good as well, since the medicated shampoos tend to stiffen hair and makes it less manageable.
- Be sensitive of your sensitivity. Some people shouldn't use a tar shampoo. If you have sensitive skin, your scalp is also sensitive. The shampoo can irritate and inflame the hair follicles and can cause a condition called folliculitis. A milder shampoo can surely help.
- Don't scratch itchy scalp. Scratching those itchy patches can lead to wounds. If this happens, discontinue use of your medicated shampoo for awhile. Switch to a milder shampoo like baby shampoo; use it daily until the scratches are healed.
- Shower your sweat away. A shower after a long day makes you feel fresh and clean. After you exercise or work, have a nice shower and don’t forget to shampoo your hair. Your sweat may irritate your scalp and can also speed up the flaking of skin cells.
- Go easy on the sticky stuff. Mousses, sprays, and gels are our hairdos' best friends, since they can keep your hairstyle in place and make it look better than usual. However, we can't hide the fact that they are our hair's and scalp's worst enemies. These hair products can contribute to oily build-up; less usage of these products helps control dandruff.
- Be kind to yourself. Stress has always been the number one cause of sickness and dandruff isn't exempt, since stress contributes to the proliferation of skin cells. Poor diet can stress you out as well and contribute to any dermatitis condition. A healthy lifestyle and a more relaxed you will help.
So there it is! Try all of these tips, and you'll have a healthy scalp
and won't be conscious of the flakes that fall off your shoulder! Don't
forget that good hygiene is always the major key to avoid dandruff. Have
a good and dandruff-free day!