Let me guess… some things work a little, some things make it worse, some things work for a while, and an awful lot of money has disappeared on lots of different kinds of dandruff shampoos and treatments.
Well, here's the thing. No-one really knows why dandruff affects one person and not another, and there are a number of conditions that can cause the scalp to flake. The main reason you can spend a lot of time and energy on dandruff treatments is because there is in fact no definitive cure - that's why they talk about dandruff control.
The basic overview is this:
- Dandruff is an over-production of skin - it grows fast, it dies, it flakes off a lot
- Fungal infections are often at least a part of the problem
- Forms of dermatitis are also often involved (and so stress can be too)
- Very dry skin (more likely in cold weather) can look like dandruff or for many be a contributing factor
Step one to controlling dandruff: eliminate the irritants
The main misconception about dandruff is the focus on hair. The fact is: it is entirely a skin problem but our hair and oil-rich hair follicles add to the issues of build-up.
Having a culture which is focused on beautiful hair means that many dandruff products are also marketed as beneficial hair products.
Unfortunately, when dermatitis or dryness is the underlying trigger to your flakey scalp, many ingredients in shampoos can irritate the skin even further. This is why some people have reported an instant cure by switching to a very simple, natural shampoo.
Step two: balance sebum and cleanse the follicles
If fungal infection is behind your dandruff, the build-up of moist dead skin cells on your relatively hot scalp will make a perfect breeding ground for more. Whatever you use to fight the infection, you will have a better chance of beating it if you can really cleanse deep at the pores and balance the production of oils.
Jojoba Oil: Golden as a virgin plant oil extract is a liquid wax (very like sebum) that has the remarkable quality of both deep cleansing and helping to balance natural sebum. It also has the genuine benefit of being packed with highly nutritious compounds that can add shine and condition to your hair.
Step three: treat the fungi, dry skin, irritation and inflammation in a healthy way
Though dandruff is technically an overproduction of surface skin cells, many people find that treating related issues gives them a greater measure of control and sometimes with amazing results.
By using beneficial natural products to maintain a cleansed and balanced scalp you can enjoy therapeutic skin care for irritation, infection and inflammation, and you can nurture a healthy head of hair too.
Rosemary essential oil has anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It is also generally a tonic to the skin and hair growth.
Since dandruff has been linked to immune issues, healthy balance and non-aggressive natural ingredients are definitely worth considering before stepping into the world of chemicals and steroids (which can undermine healthy immunity).
As well as Jojoba (mentioned above), there are a number of carrier oils such as Argan and Avocado that are especially good for the skin and hair, and these can be used in synergy to incorporate a deeper range of therapeutic benefits (anti-inflammatory, cleansing, moisturising etc.).
Add it all up for a natural approach to healthy hair and dandruff control
Frequent washing helps to shift the build-up of skin flake but can be drying, which creates more flaking… so careful balance is needed.
To care for your scalp/hair with optimal cleansing and conditioning, you will need:
- An un-fragranced, simple shampoo
- Rosemary Cineol pure essential oil
- Hair Restorer (including Rosemary, Jojoba, Argan and Avocado)
- Wash your hair 3-4 times a week with the natural shampoo adding:
- 5-10 drops of Rosemary (to a palm-serving of shampoo) massage the scalp and rinse (Rosemary is an invigorating oil so use in the morning, not before bedtime).
- Condition your scalp 1-2 times a week with:
- up to a teaspoon of Hair Care Oil massaged into the scalp, leave overnight, wash and rinse.
- Keep hair moist and conditioned:
- massage a little Hair Care Oil through damp hair after washing.
It is also good to brush the hair well and frequently with a quality hairbrush to help loosen the accumulation of skin flakes.
Medicinal-grade essential oils must be 100% pure. At Absolute Essential we use certified organic or wild grown (sustainable) plants to produce our oils and all extraction processes are strictly controlled to produce the best quality oil with a maximum purity and therapeutic value. See more at Absolute Essential