Easy Ways To Shake Off Dandruff

Admittedly, dandruff is not one of the most serious problems in life. Not at the scale of deficit budgets or global warming.

But it's sure it's a nuisance.

Fortunately, nuisances are usually easier to manage than serious problems. No need to scratch your head. Here are 10 tips from a dermatologist on how to get to the root of dandruff:

1. Do not ignore it. Whatever you do, do not ignore a bad case of dandruff, or fall into a scratch-and-itch cycle. Dandruff will not disappear on its own and ignoring it invites scaling. This can cause itching, which can lead to scratches. Strong scratches can injure the scalp and leave it open to infection.

2. Shampoo often. Wash your hair often, even every day. Generally, the more you shampoo frequently, the easier it is to control dandruff.

3. Start sweet. Often a mild, non-medicated shampoo is enough to control the problem. Dandruff is often caused by too much scalp. Daily shampoo with a gentle brand can control the oil without aggravating your scalp.

4. If you have to fight, then change. If regular shampoos do not do the job, switch to an anti-dandruff formula. Dandruff shampoos are classified by their active ingredients, which work in different ways. Those containing selenium sulfide or zinc pyrithione act the fastest, delaying the rate at which scalp cells multiply. Those with salicylic acid and sulfur loosen the flakes so that they can be washed easily. Those with anti-bacterial agents cut bacteria on the scalp and reduce the risk of infection. Those with tar cell growth.

5. Be a lathering idiot. No matter what kind of dandruff shampoo you choose, lather up twice. Work up the first lather as soon as you step into the shower. Gently massage your scalp with your fingertips to help loosen scales and flakes, but don't rub so hard that you scratch your scalp. Leave the shampoo on until you're just about finished with your shower. Then rinse your hair very thoroughly and follow that with a quick second lather and rinse. The second rinse will leave just a bit of the medication on your scalp so it can work until your next shampoo.

6. Cap it. New York dermatologist Diana Bihova has another approach to improving the effectiveness of medicated shampoos. After you lather up, put on one of those hotel shower caps over your wet hair. Leave it on for an hour, then rinse.

7. Get into conditioner. Dandruff shampoos are effective, but they can be harsh on your hair. If your hair becomes unmanageable, alternate a dandruff shampoo with your regular brand. Apply conditioner after every shampoo to counteract its effects.

8. Strike oil. Although excess scalp oil (from the oil glands) can cause problems, an occasional warm-oil treatment helps loosen and soften dandruff scales. Heat a little oil until just warm. Wet your hair, and then apply the oil directly to your scalp. Section your hair as you go so you treat just the scalp. Leave the oil on for at least 30 minutes, and then wash it out with a dandruff shampoo.

9. Expose yourself. A little sun exposure is good for dandruff, say dermatologists. But by all means, use sun sense. Don't sunbathe; just spend time outdoors. Limit sun exposure to 30 minutes or less per day. And use a sunscreen on exposed skin.

10. Don't let stress go to your head. Emotions can play a role in triggering or worsening skin conditions such as dandruff. These conditions are often made worse by stress. So if your emotions are overtaxed, look for ways to counteract the stress. Exercise. Meditate. Read a book by a flake and laugh your head off.

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