You take care of your hair; you wash it regularly, you eat the right foods… but you’re still noticing those annoying little flakes.
Most of us will suffer with a bout of dandruff at some point in our lives, and to be able to get rid of dandruff naturally is much more appealing than turning to potentially toxic products.
What is Dandruff?
Dandruff is a condition of the scalp where little white/yellow flakes appear on the scalp and hair. Although not always, dandruff is usually accompanied by an itchy scalp too. The condition isn’t contagious or dangerous, but the itching and appearance of dandruff can be embarrassing and bothersome.
What is Dandruff a Sign of?
Symptoms are the body’s way of signalling that something needs adjusting. Dandruff is no different and can be the sign of a number of different issues, listed below.
Causes of Dandruff
Sometimes the treatment of dandruff can be a little tricky, because it can be triggered (or made worse) by so many causes, including:
A fungal/yeast infection
Inconsistent hair washing
Synthetic hair care
A dry scalp
An unhealthy lifestyle
How To Get Rid Of Dandruff…
Chronic dandruff is often caused by a yeast-like fungus called malassezia. One way of determining whether you have this or not is to check the colour of the flakes. If they’re more yellowy and oily in texture, then you may have pinpointed the cause. This is also known as seborrhoea.
If you suspect a fungal infection, we recommend reaching for a suitable dandruff shampoo.
Usually anti-dandruff shampoos contain strong cleansers and antifungal chemicals, but also come along with undesirable side effects, such as scalp irritation.
Instead, opt for an organic shampoo with natural antifungal agents to help cleanse and treat the problem at hand. We love tea tree oil – lots of studies point to the powerful antifungal properties of tea tree and its successful treatment of dandruff, which is why we think the best anti dandruff shampoo should include tea tree in it!
Although tea tree oil can be bought on its own and added to your current shampoo, Odylique’s Tea Tree & Herb Shampoo already includes it, along with a symphony of other herbal ingredients designed specifically for those with scalp problems.
Use this shampoo on a regular basis, ensuring it sits on your scalp for at least a few minutes and watch the results for yourself!
Inconsistent Hair Care
Although poor hygiene won’t help the condition, it isn’t as likely to be the cause of dandruff. However, if you aren’t washing your hair regularly enough, or using the wrong kind of products (see our next point, below!), the appearance of dandruff can be made worse as flakes build up.
Product buildup can also give the appearance of dandruff, so make sure to use a gentle, clarifying shampoo regularly (we’d say 3 times per week) to cleanse the hair of flakes and left-over product.
Synthetic Hair Care:
Not only can conventional, synthetic hair care cause product buildup (as it creates a plastic-like coating on the strands of the hair), they often contain ingredients that irritate the scalp – especially if you have sensitive skin.
Ingredients like sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) are known to damage and induce irritation, which may result an itchier scalp and therefore, flakes! But it’s not just an SLS free shampoo you should reach for, other common synthetic ingredients are linked to more than just scalp issues, but other health concerns too.
To avoid these sorts of chemical irritants, buy certified organic hair products instead. Certifying bodies like the Soil Association have strict safety and ingredient guidelines and independently assess other company’s products and whether they’re truly organic or not. Looking for their stamp of approval on a product label can hopefully put your mind and scalp at ease and help guide you to finding the best anti dandruff shampoo
Again, although not strictly classed as dandruff, if you’re noticing flaking, it could be because your scalp is too dry and in need of a moisture-boost.
Using an organic aloe vera shampoo can help restore moisture back into the skin without stripping the scalp of its natural oils.
If you find your scalp needs even more of a boost, try an overnight scalp treatment 1-2 times per week. We recommend using our Ultra Rich Balm, which has shea butter (which helps lock in moisture) and sea buckthorn (an anti-inflammatory), both of which are great ingredients for those of you who have a scalp condition.
Beard dandruff can be caused and treated in a similar way to the flakes you see on your scalp! However, beard dandruff can also contributed to by the dry, flaky skin on your face, so make sure you use a good organic moisturiser or multi-tasking cream to keep the skin hydrated.
Our Tea Tree & Herb Shampoo can also be used on facial hair to help keep fungal infections at bay and your beard free from flakes and product build-up.
You may notice that your flaky scalp appears more often at certain points throughout the year.
When the humidity and temperate drops, moisture in the skin can be lost to the atmosphere, creating dry skin and flakiness. ‘Winter dandruff’ can be treated in the same way a dry scalp can – by putting moisture back in (check out our tips above!).
Warm, humid weather, on the other hand, may exacerbate fungal dandruff, which is less common than having a dry scalp. Take a look at our point on ‘Fungal dandruff’ above.
If you want to try a DIY treatment (whether you have a dry scalp or seborrhoea), using a diluted honey hair mask is a great home remedy for dandruff that can be done as often as you’d like. Simply take some honey and dilute it with some warm water before applying to the scalp. Leave the treatment on for 1-3 hours before washing out. Honey has been found to markedly improve symptoms. One study found that itching and scaling disappeared within one week!
So many of the causes of dandruff can also be tackled from the inside out. As well as topical treatments, being aware of what you’re putting into your body can impact the health of your scalp too.
Your diet can help when it comes to having a dry scalp or seborrhoea. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water every day can help restore hydration and any missing nutrients. Consuming anti-fungal foods like coconut oil, garlic and onions is great for when it comes to treating seborrhoea too.
As well as being aware of what’s going on in your body, be aware of what’s going on in your mind. Although not a direct cause, stress can be a trigger for the appearance for dandruff if you are already susceptible to it.
How To Get Rid Of Dandruff Naturally
- Use the best anti dandruff shampoo you can find – we think this would mean using a natural, tea tree shampoo (Odylique Tea Tree and Herb Shampoo)
- Wash your hair around 3 times per week
- Indulge your scalp in some at-home moisture-boosting masks (try Odylique Ultra Rich or a DIY honey mask)
- Ditch synthetic hair care!
- Eat a healthy, nutritious diet & drink plenty of water.
This beautiful shampoo is so gentle there is no need to apply a conditioner. It’s use has cleared up the dandruff problem experienced by my 3 teenagers.
– Catriona, Odylique Customer
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If you’d like any more advice on dandruff, please do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or add your question as a comment below – we’re here to help!