Fewer things are embarrassing than when our hair begins to snow. That’s right: we’re talking about those pesky white flakes called dandruff. The chronic condition is pretty common and affects both women and men, but that doesn’t make it any less unwelcome. While there’s nothing harmful or contagious about having dandruff, it’s pretty annoying and it can be tricky at times to treat. Which is why so many people want to know how to get rid of dandruff and as soon as possible.
So, what is dandruff?
Contrary to popular belief, dandruff isn’t caused by your hair or how much you wash it or don’t wash it. It’s actually caused by your scalp. According to WebMD, a common cause of dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis, or seborrhea, which causes a red, itchy rash and white scales as well as causes the scalp to produce too much oil. Some people with dandruff may also have seborrheic dermatitis elsewhere, such as their ears, the center of the face, and the center of the chest. Another cause? You might have a very common fungus called malassezia that’s contributing to dandruff. We know: ew. But it usually just lives on your scalp without causing many problems, except, for, well, dandruff.
What causes dandruff?
Unfortunately, there’s no real reason why some people get dandruff while others don’t. However, it’s mostly common in men and usually starts in puberty and tapers off once you hit your 50s. However, for some people, the condition is lifelong. Some believe that dandruff is exacerbated by stress or when you have a cold, so, basically when your immune system is down. Diet might also be a factor with some citing a deficiency in vitamin B or zinc.
— Medicated shampoo. Look for products with pyrithizone zinc, selenium sulfide, and salicylic acid. Tar-based and coal-based shampoos are also good options.
— Go natural. Natural remedies are effective methods to combat dandruff. You can use the following home ingredients and apply to your scalp: 1. A few drops of tea tree oil with coconut oil, or you can use coconut oil on its own, which is known to treat eczema. 2. Equal parts apple cider vinegar with equal parts water as a hair rinse also works. 3. Apply 2 tablespoons lemon juice to your scalp and let it sit, before adding another tablespoon of lemon juice with water. 4. Sprinkling 1 teaspoon of baking soda onto your scalp and letting it set for a minute. After each of these treatments, you’ll want to rinse out your hair and wash as usual.
— Learn to manage stress. Since dandruff tends to flare up when our immune systems are compromised, prevention is key. Consider a daily meditation and yoga practice.
— Eat a healthy diet. Sticking to a diet that’s filled with nutritious foods, like tons of veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats are always good. Add in some foods with vitamin B and zinc, like lentils, beans, shellfish, nuts, whole grains, and seeds.
— Limit your styling products. Using a ton of hair styling products causes a lot of scalp buildup, which can make your scalp oily, and then bam! You’ve got more dandruff. Keep it simple, baby.
— Medical attention. When all other natural or over-the-counter products fail, it might be time to consult a dermatologist.
How to get rid of dandruff fast?
Sometimes you’ve got a big date or presentation at work, and you need to get rid of those white flakes fast. Solution? Dry shampoo. Apply dry shampoo directly to your scalp or on your brush, and comb it through your hair. Dry shampoo is great because it cleans and moisturizes your scalp, and will prevent the flakes from sticking to your hair follicles. Another tip? Styling your hair. Seems simple but it’s true. If you can change your hair part or brush your hair a certain way that will hide your flakes, then do it! One more thing: avoid wearing black or any dark colors. The darker your clothes, the more your flakes will show.
Getting rid of dandruff can be annoying, but it’s definitely possible.