So, with the Summer season winding down and the Fall in hot pursuit, you may start to notice a few changes with your hair. With that being said, we need to touch on something that everyone notices, but are afraid to admit: dandruff. For naturals especially, dandruff is literally the devil. Contrary to popular belief, dandruff may not be what you think it is.
What is Dandruff?
First, we’re going to give you the rundown of what dandruff is. A lot of people think it has something to do with being dirty or lack of good hygiene when in actuality, that’s not always the case. Dandruff is characterized with a person having an extremely dry, flaky scalp. The flakes on the scalp are what cause that itching that so many are accustomed to having with the dandruff. You may have heard that dandruff is contagious—thankfully, that’s not the case. If you want to get into the science of why dandruff occurs, dandruff is actually just a biological reaction in your scalp that makes your naturally occurring skin cycle happen more frequently. The culprit is a fungus called Malassezia. Although it lives on your scalp naturally, those with dandruff have way too much of it.
Think you have a grasp of what it is? Great! Let’s take a moment to talk about some of the causes. One of the most common is where you live. Does that surprise you? The less moisture that is in the air (i.e. places that are cool and dry) the more dandruff can flourish. The reasoning behind this is simple: cooler temperatures mean less water molecules in the air. Therefore, your hair and scalp is not able to get the proper moisture that it needs to act right. This also means that yes, you are more likely to have dandruff problems in the winter months than in the summer. Another factor when it comes to dandruff are the kinds of hair styles you rock. Although dandruff is not necessarily related to bad hygiene, it could be. When you wear braids, you can easily get dandruff buildup from excess product and/or simply not taking care of your natural hair. Other major causes of dandruff include something called seborrheic dermatitis, which is a condition that leaves the scalp inflamed.
Difference between Dandruff and Build Up
It’s an easy mistake to think that dandruff and buildup is the same thing. After all, you’re going to see flakes regardless of which one it is. However, they are quite different. Build up is when you have just too much product on your scalp and hair. Spritz, gel, or mousses could all be in charge of you having build-up in your tresses.
So, now here’s the big question: if dandruff and build up look so much alike, how can you tell the difference? We’ll start with dandruff. Typically, dandruff is mainly on your scalp and is white and itchy. Buildup on the other hand is a bit more clear or translucent in color, showing up in your hair more than on your actual scalp. Furthermore, buildup is usually only where you put product and the dandruff is flaked up all in your scalp—showing no mercy.
Natural Hair Remedies for Dandruff
So, maybe you have a dandruff problem, but you don’t want to use harsh dandruff shampoo. No worries! Because we know how women love natural remedies, we’re going to give you a few basic ingredients that you can put on your hair to help ease your dandruff problems. Check out our list below.
When life gives you lemons, use it for everything. The acid in lemons are good for restoring your scalp back to its normal pH. Simply add about 3 teaspoons of lemon juice to a cup of water and use it as a rinse.
- Aloe Vera
One of the best ways to naturally relieve the itchiness caused by dandruff is to use aloe vera. Take some gel and put directly onto scalp. Let it sit for as long as you want before rinsing out with water. If you want, you can even just leave it there.
Garlic has a slew of antimicrobial properties that is great for removing bacteria in your hair which can lead to dandruff. Now, don’t get crazy and put the garlic directly onto your head. It does have a strong scent after all. Get a little honey and add your crushed garlic to the mixture. Put directly on scalp and allow to sit for ten minutes. Wash out the garlic mixture regular shampoo. And you thought garlic was only for cooking!
- Tea Tree Oil
While tea tree oil doesn’t speed up hair growth directly, it can encourage hair growth by helping to unclog hair follicles and nourish the roots. If you suffer from dandruff as well as hair loss, there’s a very good chance it will help, as dandruff can clog pores as well as incessant itching and inflammation that can cause hair to fall out. Shedavi Elixir contains tea tree oil. Be sure to massage into your scalp as part of a healthy hair routine to alleviate and prevent dandruff and dry scalp.
Well, we think that covers all the basics of dealing with dandruff. Take this knowledge and get rid of those flakes once and for all!