6 Dandruff Do’s and Don’ts

Dandruff is a common condition that almost everyone has had at one time or another. How many times have you worn a dark shirt or jacket and realized, at the end of the day, that your shoulders were covered with little white or yellow flakes? And, if you noticed, others might have, too.Dandruff can be caused by many things, from genetics, to climate, to stress. Whatever the cause, there are ways to deal with and control this condition.

Shampoo Regularly

When dandruff is ignored, the flaky scales build up on the scalp and cause itching. An oily scalp can also cause it.

One way to control dandruff is to shampoo regularly, perhaps even daily. Use a mild, nonmedicated shampoo to start. That might be enough to get your dandruff under control.

Try an Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

If the mild, nonmedicated shampoo isn’t enough to get your dandruff under control, consider using an anti-dandruff shampoo.

Different anti-dandruff shampoos contain different active ingredients, which do different things. For example, shampoos that contain sulfur and salicylic acid loosen dandruff flakes, making them wash away more easily. Shampoos that contain zinc pyrithione or selenium sulfide decrease the rate at which scalp cells multiply, which helps keeps those flaky scales from building up on your scalp. Antibacterial shampoos help keep your scalp from getting infected.

Many doctors recommend such shampoos that contain tar for really tough dandruff. You can find tar-based shampoos that aren’t smelly. But, if you have blond, gray, or silver hair, a tar-based shampoo could stain your hair.

If it seems like your shampoo has stopped working after a few months of use, that means your skin has adapted to its active ingredients. Simply switch to another anti-dandruff shampoo.

Since some products, especially those that contain tar, can be harsh, you don’t have to use them every day. You can use the anti-dandruff shampoo one day, and your regular shampoo the next. Read the label for usage suggestions.

Don’t Scratch

Dandruff and an itchy scalp often go hand in hand. But don’t give in to the temptation to scratch your scalp with your fingernails. This could cause sores and wounds that could become infected. If you simply must do something to relieve the itch, try rubbing the area gently with your fingertips.

Say No To Beer

Many homemade hair treatments use beer as an ingredient. And beer can have beneficial effects on the hair. But it can also dry out the scalp and cause dandruff.

Get Your Vitamin B

Some believe biotin, a B vitamin, can help control dandruff. Some foods that contain biotin are peanuts, lentils, egg yolks, sardines, mushrooms, bananas, liver, and cauliflower. You can also take biotin supplements.

When Should You See a Doctor?

If none of the home remedies you’ve tried have managed to control your dandruff, you should see a doctor. They might be able to prescribe something that will help.

Your dandruff might be a condition called seborrheic dermatitis, which requires medical treatment. You should also see a doctor if:

• There’s a yellow crust on your scalp.
• Your scalp is sore and irritated.
• There are red patches on your scalp, along your neckline, or behind your ears.