Dreaded Dandruff! (Yep, double entendre)

Dandruff is hard enough without the maze of natural hair kinks and/or curls for it to be trapped in. Whether you are battling a chronic problem or dealing with a random dandruff attack, this is the post for you!

What causes dandruff?

The Mayo Clinic lists the following possibilities for your dandruff problem:
  • Dry skin. Simple dry skin is the most common cause of dandruff. 
  • Irritated, oily skin or seborrheic dermatitis is the most frequent cause.
  • Not shampooing often enough thus causing oils and dead skin to build up.
  • Other skin conditions like eczema — a chronic, inflammatory skin condition — or psoriasis — a skin condition marked by a rapid buildup of rough, dry, dead skin cells that form thick scales — may seem  to have dandruff.
  • A yeast-like fungus or malassezia, which can irritate your scalp and cause excess skin cell growth. After which, the extra skin cells die and fall off, making them appear white and flaky in your hair or on your clothes.
  • Sensitivity to hair care products or contact dermatitis can be caused by various hair care products including hair dye.
  • Poor Diet. A diet low in zinc, B vitamins or certain types of fats, you may be more susceptible to dandruff.
  • Certain Illnesses. For reasons that aren't clear, adults with neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, are more likely to develop seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. So are people with HIV infection and those recovering from stressful conditions, particularly heart attack and stroke, and those with compromised immune systems.
dandruff and natural hair

How to win the battle against dandruff?

Depending on the root cause of your dandruff, the following lifestyle and home-remedies should help control or prevent that pesky dandruff:
  1. Shampoo Regularly. Get on a regular shampoo routine with a natural light cleansing/clarifying shampoo. You can either make or buy one. If you have one already, add an essential oil like tea tree which is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. (Learn more about essential oils here or try Aubrey Organics Clarifying Shampoo)
  2. Cut back on or change your styling products. If you have sisterlocks (like me), you really shouldn't be going overboard with the products. But Traditional locs, curls, and straight hair can come with an army of styling options. What worked for you and what works for another is not important, if your scalp is complaining, please discontinue!
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar, the miracle product! I use ACV for everything from cleaning to cooking to creating the best hair and skin care products. Mix a solution of 1/4 cup ACV with 4 cups water, add to a spray bottle, saturate hair, cover with plastic cap and let sit for up to 30 minutes. Beyond just traditional dandruff, this helps with many skin conditions, including psoriasis and eczema! ACV removes product build-up, leaves hair shinny and restores your pH. (You may also add peppermint, tea tree, or rosemary oils to the mix for some extra kick)
  4. Coconut Oil! Like ACV, coconut oil is my go to products for many DIY projects. A great way to combat dry skin is to incorporate natural oils. Coconut oil has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and it absorbs easily into your skin. 
  5. Jojoba oil, another oil option, most closely resembles sebum or the oily secretion of the the sebaceous glands that acts as a lubricant for the hair and skin while providing protection from certain bacteria.
  6. Manage your stress! I battle stress regularly myself. Stress does weird and terrible things to our mind and bodies. So yes, stress can trigger dandruff. 
  7. Eat a healthy diet. A diet rich in certain fats, zinc and vitamin B like those found in leafy greens, I have a wonderful green smoothie I make every morning that has freed me from coffee!
  8. Sun light! A little sunlight helps with dandruff.
  9. See your doctor. If you have a severe and chronic dandruff condition maybe indicative of a more serious problem, so see your doctor. 
Hope this helps. If any dandruff remedies work you that I missed or otherwise, please comment below! 

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