Having dandruff is embarrassing, not to mention uncomfortable. As soon as you notice those white flakes dusting your shirt, you probably want to crawl under a table. You might even try to shoo away the flakes on your scalp, only to find that it makes things worse.
Want to get rid of the constant itchiness and flaking? Find out the steps you can take to finally get rid of your dandruff.
Dandruff vs. Dry Scalp
It’s easy to confuse dandruff and a dry scalp. While both cause unpleasant flakes and itchiness, there are some clear differences between the two skin conditions.
When you have a dry scalp, you’ll have an itchy scalp that sheds tiny white flakes. Most people have a problem with a dry scalp in colder months. If you’re prone to dry skin all over your body, you’re also more prone to a dry scalp.
On the other hand, actual dandruff is caused by a buildup of dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. Everyone’s scalp has a fungus called malassezia, but having an excess of it can make your skin cells grow faster. This sped-up growth causes the large, thick flakes characteristic of dandruff.
Before you treat your scalp for dandruff, make sure you actually have it!
1. Wash Your Hair With Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Your first line of defense against those pesky flakes is anti-dandruff shampoo. If you’ve tried Head & Shoulders or Selsun Blue and found that it doesn’t work for you, don’t give up—you just might need a stronger formula.
Nizoral A-D is the best anti-dandruff shampoo you can find. It contains ketoconazole, an antifungal ingredient that eliminates dandruff and puts a stop to itchiness. Use it twice a week, and you’ll see your dandruff disappear in no time.
2. Avoid Scratching Your Scalp
It’s hard to resist scratching your scalp when it’s itching like crazy, but try your best not to. Itching your head will only create more flakes. Plus, it can cause irritation and inflammation that will feel even worse than the itchiness.
3. Use a Scalp Scrub
A scalp scrub is a quick fix for a flaky, itchy scalp. Have you ever used a face scrub? Scalp scrubs work the same way—they exfoliate your scalp and get rid of the dead skin cells that cause the flakes in the first place.
Exfoliate your scalp once a week, and you’re bound to see a massive improvement in the look and feel of your hair. The above Apple Cider Vinegar Scrub contains antimicrobial ingredients that kill off dandruff and slough away any dead skin cells.
4. Don’t Wash Too Little… Or Too Often
Depending on your hair type, you don’t necessarily have to wash your hair every day. Washing your hair too much can cause a dry scalp and a bit of flaking. However, not washing often enough can result in actual dandruff.
Instead of skipping out on shampooing, start washing your hair on a daily basis. This prevents oil from accumulating on your scalp and causing more dandruff.
5. Try a Coal Tar Shampoo
For added protection against dandruff, you can also try a coal tar shampoo. The idea of coal tar doesn’t sound that appealing, as it’s a goopy, black substance that comes out of the coal-making process. Despite this, it can help reduce your dandruff by slowing your skin cells’ growth.
Neutrogena’s T/Gel Shampoo contains 1% tar, which is more than enough to combat the most severe flakes and itchiness.
Getting Rid of Dandruff Once and for All
Incorporating either an anti-dandruff or coal tar shampoo into your routine is essential in getting rid of dandruff. Combine this with a scalp scrub, and you should notice improvements rather quickly. In the meantime, wear a hat or put your hair into a ponytail while you wait for your dandruff to disappear.
Now that you’ve found out how to make your scalp look great, it’s time to care for the rest of your hair. Learn the mistakes you might be making when caring for color-treated hair.