You have just left an important meeting with a new client feeling confident–then you notice a speckled field white flakes on your blazer.
A common scalp problem, dandruff affects more than half of the U.S. population. An itchy, irritated scalp is more than a nuisance, the constant presence of visible flakes can be an embarrassment. If severe, dandruff can potentially contribute to hair loss.
The main dandruff-causing culprit is Malazzesia globosa, a yeast-like fungus that depletes the scalp of necessary oils. When the scalp is dry and scaling, it is hard to resist scratching. But constant or excessive scratching can damage and weaken the hair shaft, leaving it more vulnerable to breakage.
Tips to Relieve Dandruff
Although dandruff can be difficult to treat, many cases can be managed with daily care. Here are some tips to help ease scalp inflammation and keep dandruff in check:
- Use an over-the-counter medicated shampoo. Washing your hair daily with a gentle shampoo that contains active ingredients such as zinc pyrithione or salicylic acid can help bring your dandruff under control. For extra benefit, leave the shampoo in for five minutes. When symptoms improve, you can reduce your use of a medicated shampoo to two or three times a week.
- Apply natural remedies. Salt, lemon, and olive oil are common household items that can be used on the scalp to loosen dead skin, balance pH levels, and calm inflammation.
- A salt or baking soda scrub can stimulate the scalp and act as a gentle exfoliant. The removal of dead skin cells clears the way for healthy skin regeneration.
- An olive oil soak is an excellent way to infuse the scalp with moisture so it can heal. Organic cold-pressed coconut oil is another option.
- A lemon juice rinse, rich with citric acid, can neutralize dandruff at the roots of the hair by balancing acid-alkali levels in follicles.
- A few drops of tea tree oil moisturizes and soothes the scalp. The hydrocarbons found in tea tree oil give it anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties.
Dandruff can increase your risk of hair loss, so don’t let it go untreated. Already suffering from hair loss? Visit Dr. Yael Halaas are our New York City office to discuss hair loss treatment options such as hair transplant, non invasive laser cap and more.