Categories: disease

How to get rid of dandruff


Discover how to get rid of dandruff.

A source of daily discomfort, these small white particles that appear especially on dark hair or on black clothes are dandruff. The opinion is unanimous: they are unattractive!

If you are concerned, do not panic, you are far from being an exception since one out of two people (male or female) declares themselves affected by a dandruff problem between the ages of 18 and 50.

To get rid of them, it is better to know their origin to better treat them. Because yes, there are solutions against dandruff! A quick overview of the means at your disposal to eradicate them from your hair!

How to get rid of dandruffHow to get rid of dandruffDandruff: what are the treatments?

Before choosing the right treatment, it is important to know what type of dandruff is present in your hair. They can be dry and then develop on dry and/or normal scalps or they can be oily and in which case the scalp is oily.

To tell the difference, dry dandruff is generally white and flat and they come off easily when you run your hand through the hair, for example. Conversely, oily dandruff is white but pulls more towards yellow and is much more sticky, sometimes even forming more or less large plaques.

A more annoying form of dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis: dandruff present in large numbers is then accompanied by severe inflammation of the scalp, redness, itching, and often thick and hard scales.

In some cases, this seborrheic dermatitis can be the cause of reversible hair loss, it can progress through recurrent outbreaks and also affect the face at the level of the forehead, nose, behind the ears, and the base of the skull. This seborrheic dermatitis then necessarily requires a medical consultation to have the appropriate treatment.

Treatment N°1: if we reduced the number of shampoos?

Indeed, it is not necessary to wash your hair every day because too frequent use of shampoo is a form of aggression for the scalp. After all, the sebaceous glands are constantly stimulated, and to defend themselves, they will produce even more sebum which will then facilitate the development of dandruff.

The ideal is therefore to avoid daily washes as much as possible and to limit yourself to 2 or 3 shampoos per week using hair products adapted to the nature of your hair.

To space the shampoos, different methods exist. First of all: avoid constantly running your hand through your hair (especially if your hands are not perfectly clean).

Remember to clean the combs and brushes to remove sebum residues and possibly any bacteria that may have settled there. Finally, a solution is the use of dry shampoos, a great revolution in the management of dandruff because they allow you to have the feeling of clean hair and to space out shampoos.

Also read: How to get rid of fruit flies

Treatment N°2: “classic” dandruff treatments

Treatment shampoos and lotions for scalp problems have improved significantly and laboratories now offer products that are much more pleasant to use thanks to galenic similar to conventional shampoos, whereas the products used to be very medical. These are real treatments for the beauty of the hair, especially since scalp problems are often associated with tired hair that lacks tone.

To get rid of dandruff, shampoos are available in pharmacies for simple and light dandruff states. They are mostly formulated with zinc or ichthyol and they target both dry and oily dandruff. They also have most of the time an anti recurrence action.

Also for these problems of dry or oily dandruff, it is recommended that the gentle cleansing base  contains your choice of:

– An antifungal to limit the development of the fungus:  piroctone olamine, zinc pyrithione, selenium, thymol, cypress, ciclopirox, etc…

– A  soothing active ingredient to relieve irritation:  bisabolol, glycocoll, camphor, menthol, calendula…

– A  keratolytic  to remove scales from the scalp:  salicylic acid, guanidine glycolate, cade oil, tars, thiol, kertyol

–  Anti-seborrheic active ingredients can complete the care of oily dandruff:  melaleuca, willow, curricula extract, etc.

–  Haircare agents also nourish the hair fiber:  glycerin, vegetable or synthetic oils, etc.

It is necessary to respect an exposure time of at least 3 minutes to allow time for the anti-dandruff active ingredients to act. It will of course be necessary to alternate these treatments with an ultra-gentle shampoo.

Indeed an ultra-soft shampoo is essential and even better: without sulfates or silicones.

Because these compounds promote irritation, itching, and dryness of the scalp because they have a stripping effect, making the hair re-grease faster. The scalp is then smothered, which will produce more sebum and therefore a greater risk of developing dandruff.

But how do you shampoo properly?

 –  Brush your hair to untangle it and remove any styling product residue and dust.

–  Wet the hair.

–  Distribute the shampoo in your wet hands before applying it and not directly on the head!

– In case of insufficient foam, just add a little water rather than shampoo.

–  Gently massage the scalp with the fingertips to promote the penetration of active ingredients.

–  Rinse carefully.

–  Proceed with a second application and leave the treatment shampoo on for 3 to 5 minutes.

–  Rinse well and wring out.

–  Dab the hair in an absorbent towel but  WITHOUT rubbing.

–  Gently detangle hair starting at the ends and working your way up to the roots. In case of long and/or curly hair, it is advisable to use a detangler.

The treatment acts after 15 days to 3 weeks at the rate of 2 or 3 applications per week and to avoid recurrences, a maintenance shampoo is then recommended every 8 to 15 days. An additional lotion can be used and often contains the same ingredients as the shampoo but can be left on overnight. 

Be careful not to choose it too alcoholic because it could then dry out the scalp.

In case of failure? Consultation with a dermatologist is essential if the use of anti-dandruff shampoos and lotions has not produced results after one month of treatment or if the symptoms worsen. Prescription medical treatments correspond to more powerful anti-inflammatory shampoos or lotions, often in the form of topical corticosteroids.

In the case of seborrheic dermatitis,  specific treatment is necessary. A fragrance-free and preservative-free high-tolerance shampoo containing an antipruritic active ingredient and an antifungal agent may be sufficient provided you combine it with a soothing bisabolol-based lotion and then the relief is felt from the first shampoo. If the symptoms persist then a dermatological consultation is necessary. Ask your pharmacist for advice.

In the case of psoriasis, eczema, the consultation of a dermatologist is mandatory because it is often a treatment based on corticosteroids and derivatives of vitamin D which are necessary to stop the attacks and flare-ups of psoriasis.

Natural solutions against dandruff

Treat dandruff with herbal medicine

Several plants are known for their sanitizing and purifying action on the scalp and they are used in the composition of many shampoos and treatment lotions.

–  Spanish red thyme has anti-irritant and purifying properties.

–  Myrtle is rich in polyphenols with anti-dandruff and purifying action.

–  Nasturtium for dry dandruff.

–  Sabal  serrulata  to reduce sebaceous secretions

The white nettle is used as a purifier and as an anti-dandruff.

Ask your pharmacist for advice.

Finally, let us mention that cider vinegar which is diluted with water can be applied in rinsing after the last application of shampoo.

It acidifies the scalp and thus regulates its pH while tightening the scales of the hair it will be particularly useful for people suffering from oily dandruff and its anti-infective effect helps to fight against the development of the  Pityriasis fungus.

Treat dandruff with aromatherapy

It is possible to opt for more natural solutions to fight against dandruff, and in this case, essential oils are a good alternative.

They make it possible to process oily hair, then dry hair and can be used as a natural anti-dandruff (a few drops in a shampoo) or as a treatment on the scalp (local application).

CAUTION, always ask the pharmacist for advice on the use and dosage of essential oils, not suitable for children under 12, pregnant women, and in case of allergy. Do not put in contact with eyes and mucous membranes.

Here are some oils that are particularly recommended for dandruff:


–  Tea tree essential oil: it is recommended in the fight against dandruff and some preventive shampoos are composed of it. It is possible to add a few drops in the usual lotion or shampoo to take advantage of its benefits: it helps to control the infection due to the fungus of the genus Pityriasis thanks in particular to its anti-infectious and anti-inflammatory properties.

–  Essential oil of Rosemary with Cineole, thanks to its richness in antioxidants, helps protect cells against the various damage caused by free radicals and numerous chemical constituents. It has a purifying action that will soothe the scalp and limit the appearance of dandruff.

–  Essential oil of Eucalyptus globulus which has a notable anti-infectious effect and which helps to fight infections of the scalp by purifying it.

It also promotes good hair growth by regulating the lack of sebum in dry scalps and it is a very good anti-dandruff agent associated with a lotion to massage the skull.

In addition, the refreshing aroma of eucalyptus has a regulating effect in the management of stress and fatigue: two factors known to promote the appearance of dandruff.

–  Atlas Cedar essential oil has a purifying action in the case of oily dandruff and which therefore helps to regulate the production of sebum.

These essential oils can be incorporated into very mild shampoo bases or treatment lotions, ask your pharmacist for advice on quantities, dosages, and precautions for use.

Dandruff: what is it?

The scalp is protected by a hydrolipidic film which is made up of sebum and sweat which protects our scalp from external aggressions and dehydration.

This natural lubricant is distributed along the hair shaft, protects the hair by smoothing the scales, and makes the hair shiny and supple.

When the sebum secretions are insufficient, this hydrolipidic film changes, which results in a progressive alteration of the keratin cells which lose their water, their elasticity, and the stratum corneum then loses its flexibility.

This causes skin discomfort with irritation, redness, and tightness and the appearance of dry scales: dry dandruff! Conversely, an excess of sebum asphyxiates the stratum corneum and it is then thicker and more yellow scales that appear:

Hair dandruff is small fragments of the skin, or more precisely of the surface of the epidermis, which is present on the hair and the scalp.

In a normal cycle, the scalp, like the skin, renews itself approximately every 21 days, but sometimes this process accelerates and only lasts 5 to 7 days.

The cells are then not mature enough to be eliminated normally, which creates a traffic jam and then generates small white clusters: these are dandruff.

These unsightly white clumps appear in hair, on clothing, and on brushes. However, if we do not know the exact reasons for the development of dandruff in some people, we know that a microscopic organism, a fungus bearing the name of Pityriasis would be responsible for it in most cases.

This fungus: Pityriasis capitalists generally inactive but for some unknown reason it can activate on some scalps and is then responsible for the abnormal acceleration of scalp renewal.

This fungus, even if it prefers oily hair, since it feeds on fatty acids, also develops on dry hair. The latter will then tend to dry out even more. Itching then appears and it does not seem to be able to stop.

Two kinds of dandruff will not need the same treatment: 

–  Dry dandruff: these are the most common, they come in the form of white powder, affecting naturally dry or normal scalps. They do not cause itching and are only annoying from an aesthetic point of view. These dry dandruff may be due to a natural phenomenon linked to the drying of the skin, which causes them to fall easily on the shoulders. 

–  Oily dandruff: they tend to stick to the hair, forming more or less large patches and then causing itching. It is often in this case that we find the presence of the Pityriasis fungus.

CAUTION: dandruff does not cause hair loss and if hair loss is associated, another cause must be sought.

Dandruff: what are the causes?

Even if everything is not yet known, many causes can be cited as favoring and/or provoking the appearance of dandruff:

– Aggressive, stripping shampoos with irritating fragrances.

Too frequent or too rare shampoos: a lack of washing causes an excess of sebum or on the contrary, excess of hair washing causes a lack of sebum and in particular with aggressive shampoos.

Too frequent brushings, too hot with a hairdryer very close to the scalp.

–  The use of fixing products and hair gels containing occlusive components such as paraffin.

– An aggressive coloring for the hair and repeated often.

– Trauma to the hair: aggressive brush strokes, tight hairstyle.

– Stress, fatigue, air pollution, etc.

– Dietary excesses (including a diet rich in carbohydrates) but also dietary vitamin or fatty acid deficiencies can promote dandruff.

– A cold snap with cold weather but also a dry interior atmosphere.

– Hormonal variations: puberty, pregnancy, menopause (excess estrogen or testosterone)

 Other causes like:

Seborrheic dermatitis, which is not a disease but a natural condition of the skin in some people, then causes inflammation: tingling, itching, unpleasant feelings of warmth and tightness, sometimes redness, and sometimes dandruff and scales in the scalp. It is then this microscopic fungus of the genus Pityriasis or Malassezia which is involved.

Psoriasis, which is considered an autoimmune disease, can also affect the scalp in the form of a thick and raised plaque with adherent and yellow scales resting on an inflammatory base. The itching is constant and the unsightly appearance is usually significant.

The causes of this disease are not known, it is genetically determined and corresponds to an accelerated renewal of the epidermis evolving in flare-ups with a chronic inflammatory state.

This disease is aggravated under the effect of stress, fatigue, overwork, and the taking of certain medications and are especially aggravated by friction, whether wearing motorcycle helmets, hats, scrubbing the scalp, friction with a towel, and the simple fact of scratching …

– Eczema which can be localized on hairless skin can be found on the scalp and manifest itself in the form of dandruff and flaking.

Finally, do not forget that dandruff can also affect infants during the first 3 months of life by manifesting itself in the form of a “cradle cap”.

Dandruff: how to prevent them?

It is possible to limit and prevent the appearance of dandruff, for these simple daily actions can help you!

– A  healthy lifestyle with particular attention to food. Indeed, excessive consumption of sugar (carbohydrates) favors a breeding ground for the development of the fungus, while a diet rich in vitamin A (which cleanses the scalp and calms irritations) and vitamin B6 is preferable because it provides all the nutrients necessary to maintain the balance of the scalp.

–  Alcohol and tobacco should be avoided because they promote the development of dandruff.

–  Correct nights of sleep to limit the risk of stress and fatigue which are 2 factors strongly involved in the appearance of dandruff.

–  Wash the hair with lukewarm water which does not attack the scalp, unlike hot or very hot water, the ideal being a final rinse with cold water to slow down the production of sebum.

–  No too aggressive brushings: the hairdryer must be kept at least 20 cm from the hair and set to the least hot air possible.

–  Prefer soft tone-on-tone type colorings which are less aggressive and if possible spacing them out by at least 15 days.

Be careful with styling gels and hairsprays because they are often alcohol-based, which is drying for the scalp and can cause the appearance of dry dandruff. It is necessary to massage the scalp without rubbing at the time of the shampoo during the pose of the 3 minutes to stimulate blood circulation and relax the scalp.

– Loosen caps, beanies, or hats and be careful when wearing motorcycle helmets: the scalp must breathe!

– Cleaning the hair accessories helps to get rid of traces of sebum, skin particles, and any bacteria that may be present. A simple wash with soapy water is enough for brushes, combs, rubber bands, barrettes, etc.

– Do not scratch: resist the temptation to scratch as this could aggravate the dandruff situation by causing associated micro lesions.

Unattractive, this dandruff is an embarrassing problem and if dandruff tends to decrease with age, there is no reason to wait with this discomfort and these small white skins on the hair, on the clothes, and especially on the shoulders. or they may trickle like snow!

So to eliminate this dandruff and slow down its appearance, solutions exist with an arsenal of treatments adapted to each type of dandruff, do not hesitate to ask your pharmacist for advice to finally make them disappear!


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