You know the feeling. You meet someone new and halfway through the introduction you see his or her eyes glance toward your shoulder. You know why, too. You’ve got dandruff.
Or you’re in a job interview and your scalp starts to itch. You don’t want to make a bad impression by constantly reaching up and scratching your head, but the itching is distracting. Again, it’s your dandruff disrupting your life.
The dry winter air can make your dandruff worse than ever. That means embarrassing moments like these can happen more often. That is, unless you take action.
Fortunately, you aren’t defenseless when it comes to dandruff. You can safely and easily put an end to the dandruff and to all the uncomfortable moments that come with it.
The Source of Your Flakes
When you have dandruff, you essentially get a rash on your scalp. The rash is red and scaly and often itchy. The scales themselves flake off, and that results in the visible dandruff that collects on your shoulders.
There are three main causes of dandruff:
The first is a fungus called Malassezia fungi. The second is high production of sebum, an oily secretion of the scalp that, at normal levels, helps to keep your hair healthy. The third is individual sensitivity.
In the case of Malassezia fungi, the fungus itself attacks fatty acids found in sebum, causing irritation to the surrounding skin. The irritation leads to a rash, which then produces dandruff.
High sebum production itself can also lead to a dandruff outbreak. Too much of the oily substance can clog scalp follicles, triggering a rash and dandruff formation.
If you have sensitive skin on your scalp, then a number of things can trigger an outbreak of dandruff. I already mentioned the dry winter air, which can irritate the scalp. If you’re prone to dandruff, then excess alcohol or stress can trigger an outbreak, too.
Whatever the source, the end result is the same. Your scalp itches and is uncomfortable, and you have to live with dandruff flakes.
Take Control of Your Dandruff―Today!
For most dandruff sufferers, an anti-dandruff shampoo can put an end to outbreaks. About half of dandruff sufferers owe the condition to Malassezia fungi. The most effective shampoo against the microbes is one that contains pyrithione zinc. Shampoos with selenium, coal tar, and salicylic acid also work. Generally speaking, these shampoos are effective and well-tolerated. However, they don’t work for everyone.
If you find yourself trying one after another of these shampoos only to be disappointed again and again, it’s time to try something else. I have a couple of natural approaches that I recommend to patients. These natural remedies don’t work for everyone, but I have seen individuals respond very well. In addition, they are completely safe, so even if they don’t work for you, they’re risk free.
The first thing I recommend is olive leaf extract. Olive leaf extract comes from the leaves of olive trees, and it has potent anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties. By massaging a small amount of olive leaf extract into your scalp each day, you might find relief from your dandruff symptoms. Aloe vera also has anti-fungal properties, so you can try rinsing your scalp with Aloe vera juice.
Another dandruff-fighting technique is proper brushing. Use a brush with natural bristles. Lean forward at the waist, flipping your hair forward if it is long, and brush from the base of your neck forward. This brushing technique can help dislodge existing flakes and it keeps your scalp cleaner, which can keep new flakes from forming.
If you’ve tried several dandruff-fighting shampoos and the techniques I describe here and still can’t get relief from your dandruff, then it’s time to visit your dermatologist.
Dandruff is an annoying and embarrassing problem afflicting millions of people, but there are solutions. The key is to keep trying until you find the right one for you.