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Dandruff and Dry Itchy Scalp Trouble Shooting

How Diagnose and Treat Dandruff and Dry Itchy Scalp Issues

Reportedly, about one in five people have tried at least one hair remedy for dandruff sometime in their life. Even though dandruff is a harmless condition, it can be both annoying and embarrassing for people who have it. Dandruff can be caused by a variety of things, including an overproduction of a type of yeast on the scalp, stress, sickness and even the change of seasons.

Sometimes, what’s believed to be dandruff is simply shampoo residue from sloppy rinsing or flaking from that gel you’re hooked on. Or it could be dry scalp caused by dry indoor heat, harsh shampoos, too-frequent shampooing, conditioners or gels applied directly to the scalp, hair processing, or a too-hot blast from a hair dryer.

Dandruff and Dry Itchy Scalp

Flaking Scalp

It probably doesn’t matter much to you whether your problem is dandruff and dry itchy scalp, or seborrheic dermatitis. What does matter is that you’re afflicted with a flaky, itchy, tight, or inflamed scalp, and you just want to fix it.

Dandruff and dry, itchy scalp are both considered forms of dermatitis. Dandruff is often mistaken for a dry scalp, but it can afflict an oily scalp just as easily as a dry one. It’s believed that dandruff is caused by an overgrowth of yeast that’s found in moderation even on healthy scalps. The yeast, Pityrosporum ovale, irritates the oil glands below the surface, and the scalp responds by accelerating the cell turnover. Dandruff results when the skin cells divide and multiply at such an accelerated rate that they reach the surface before they die and clump there, These flakes of white, scaly skin look bad, and they itch.

Sometimes, what’s believed to be dandruff is simply shampoo residue from sloppy rinsing or flaking from that gel you’re hooked on. Or it could be dry scalp caused by dry indoor heat, harsh shampoos, too-frequent shampooing, conditioners or gels applied directly to the scalp, hair processing, or a too-hot blast from a hair dryer.

If you’re coloring, perming, relaxing, or straightening your hair, your scalp can become oily, flaky, and inflamed, which may mean that you have a more severe form of dermatitis called seborrhea. One common mistake is to treat seborrhea with a harsh dandruff shampoo–that only makes it worse. So, first of all you need to know what kind of problem you have. Here’s how you can tell:

Dandruff and Dry Itchy Scalp

Dandruff Test

Turn your head upside down and brush or vigorously rub your scalp, back and forth with fingers over a sheet of dark paper. If you see tiny, dry, powdery hits, you have dry scalp. If the flakes are larger and look slightly moist or greasy. they’re dandruff. If you have large greasy flakes and your scalp is irritated and red, chances are you have seborrhea. If the scales stick to the scalp, it may be psoriasis, and if it doesn’t clear up, consult a dermatologist.

If what you have is dry scalp, first use a clarifying shampoo with cider vinegar to remove any buildup of shampoo or conditioner on the scalp. Then try an oil treatment or scalp cream designed for dry. Itchy scalp: Kiehl’s Enriched Massage Oil for Scalp, Phyto Therathrie Phytopolleine. or René Furterer Carthame Intensive Oil Supplement for Dry Hair & Scalp.

Although dandruff is generally believed not to be caused by microbes, most anti-dandruff shampoos are germicides. Go figure, most contain one of the five ingredients approved by the FDA for fighting dandruff: salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione, sulfur, selenium sulfide, and coal-tar. All of these ingredients will really dry out your scalp and your hair along with it, which puts you in the front seat of the beauty roller coaster: you got rid of your dandruff, all right, but now your hair looks like straw. Why go through all that when you can prevent dandruff in the first place?

Dandruff is seasonal, occurring more frequently and more severely from October to March, when your hair is exposed to dry indoor heat. So use the following simple rinse every couple of weeks to stay on top of the flakes.

Head Lice

Beating Dandruff the Gentle Way

Tea tree oil is an herbal antiseptic that many physicians now believe fights bacteria and yeast buildup. Try a tea tree oil shampoo like Desert Essence Keep-the-Clean Wash Shampoo, Nature’s Gate Rainwater Herbal Tea Tree Oil Shampoo, or Terrain Tea Tree Shampoo. Alphaworks by ABBA is a little stronger, because it contains AHAs along with the tea tree oil. You can also mix two drops of tea tree oil in your palm with your regular shampoo. Try this three times a week for three weeks and see if it helps.

Other herbal shampoos that work for dandruff: Penny Island Wild Lavender Shampoo, Beauty Without Cruelty Aromatherapy Daily Benefits Shampoo, Ecco Bella Dandruff Therapy Shampoo, and for the cheapest alternative, try Dr. Bonner’s Peppermint Pure Castile Soap (it will flatten your hair, but it will also squelch your dandruff). As well as these herbal shampoos and the use of tea tree oil, the use of another oil like cbd oil may have the benefits you have been looking for when it comes to managing or getting rid of dandruff. As there are some of the best CBD oil in UK, there shouldn’t be any excuses as to why you shouldn’t give this a go to help stop the itching!

A hair remedy that I recommend to my clients for dandruff and itchy scalp is Redken Dandruff Control. The active ingredient, pyrithione zinc, works to reduce flaking, irritation and itching according to Redken. The Redken Dandruff Control line also has a conditioner and leave-in treatment. For stubborn dandruff, try René Furterer Melaleuca Shampoo (tea tree oil with zinc pyrithione—it’s strong), Avon Controlling Dandruff Shampoo, or Phvto Therathrie Phytocyres, Philip B. Anti-Flake.

Dandruff and Dry Itchy Scalp

Dandruff Defying Rinse

A few sprigs of rosemary, 2 cups water
1. Boil the rosemary in the water and cool.
2. Rinse through the hair and massage into the scalp.

Antiseptic botanicals like tea tree Oh (aka melaleuca) are terrific alternatives to harsh dandruff shampoos. But they remain a big secret because they’re not FDA-approved for use as “dandruff shampoos.” Nonetheless, gentle shampoos that include tea tree oil, rosemary, or sage can really work to control dandruff, and they won’t dry out your scalp or hair. If your flaking is severe, you may need a true dandruff shampoo. In that case, alternate your dandruff shampoo with a gentle herbal shampoo to go easier on your hair and scalp. It’s worth the splurge for a better-quality dandruff shampoo especially since it will last longer because you won’t use it for every shampoo.

Tea tree oil is an herbal antiseptic that many physicians now believe fights bacteria and yeast buildup. I would recommend that you look for the best tea tree oil made from natural and natural ingredients. Through the genuine tea tree oil, it will improve your scalp health and get rid of dandruff efficiently.

Try a tea tree oil shampoo like Desert Essence Keep-the-Clean Wash Shampoo, Nature’s Gate Rainwater Herbal Tea Tree Oil Shampoo, or Terrain Tea Tree Shampoo.

If none of the above treatments works see a dermatologist because you may have seborrhea or psoriasis which mimic dandruff but often require medical treatment.


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Itchy Scalp or Dry Scalp Remedies

Itchy Scalp

Dry Scalp Treatment Care Ritual

As the winter season kicks in, it’s important that we look after the scalp. The heating indoors can cause hair to become dry and it’s vital to restore care for the scalp and hair to prevent all sorts of unwanted nasties like itchy scalp, dry scalp or dandruff.

There are three common conditions of the scalp; itchy scalp, dry scalp and sensitive scalp. It doesn’t matter whether you suffer from dandruff or not – these conditions all need to be treated.

The skin on your scalp is the most sensitive skin on your body; it contains the most blood vessels and lots of nerve endings. Most people will agree that itching scalp is at best a very irritating problem, and at worst, a serious health ailment that can negative affect sleep, concentration levels, and ability to perform many day-to-day functions.

If you are a heavy user of chemical products or processes like hair coloring, bleaching, straightening and perms you can count that sooner or later you’re going to have some pretty strong reaction from your scalp.

Harsh shampoo which contain fragrances and preservative should also be avoided and certainly make sure that you rinse thoroughly after shampooing as excess shampoo residue can be a very common cause of dry scalp conditions.

Weather conditions can also cause many scalp irritations, so get in the habit of wearing a hat when outdoors. But whatever the cause the real question comes down to “what do I do with dry itchy scalp?” I got the inside scoop from Creative Beauty Director Peter Lux and celebrity head masseuse Nuz Shugga in a new video that talks you through maintaining a healthy scalp and how a good head massage and the right beauty ritual can work wonders.

Additionally, the Mayo Clinic has an abundance of information and resources about itchy skin and skin conditions.


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Seborrheic Dermatitis: Are Hair Dyes Safe?

Woman examining her scalp in mirror for seborrheic dermatitis

Hair Dyeing Not Safe When Seborrheic Dermatitis is Suspected

Nic asks:

Hair dyeing is not new to me. I’m a 23-year-old Caucasian female. I have long hair at the moment it’s a warm blonde colour due to foils for the last 3 years. My natural hair colour is medium brown.

I have seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp, with no rash or broken skin, just itching and hair fall. Not sure what caused it, but I think it may have been oil build up in my attempt to wash my hair less frequently, it worked against me . . . sad!

I feel that any additional peroxide in my hair may contribute to the condition, or worsen it. I want to bite the bullet and just dye all of my hair back to brown and then leave my hair alone for a long time so that my scalp can recover, as I feel it has thinned and has a lot of breakage.

Will it be safe to dye it? Demi-permanent or permanent hair colour?


Barb Responds

You’re on the right track asking questions, as you could considerably worsen your problem by having any chemical service done to your hair.  Any licensed professional will tell you not to use hair dye as long as long as any scalp condition is present.  Was it your primary doctor who diagnosed seborrheic dermatitis?  Most likely, he will advise you the same, or he may suggest a dermatologist to consult.

What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic dermatitis (aka: eczema or cradle cap) is a condition doctors still don’t have a definitive. They do know it’s not a contagious disease and that (this will make you feel better about shampooing less often) it’s not a sign of poor hygiene. The Mayo Clinic reports that although causes are not yet known, they may include symptoms as normal as stress, fatigue or even a change of season (of which winter tends to be the most common time of year for the onset of this condition.)

Shampoos for Seborrheic Dermatitis

Dandruff shampoos and other medicated shampoos containing ingredients like, coal-tar and zinc can be very effective. There are a number of over-the-counter products as well as prescription strength products (shampoos and lotions) that can be used, but your doctor should be the one to prescribe the right product for you. Different skin types and conditions respond differently and you could possibly make matters worse by using a wrong product.  Call your doctor for a prescription or over-the-counter recommendation. Seeing that he already diagnosed your condition, you shouldn’t need another appointment for the recommendation.

Be sure to use the shampoo as directed, leaving it on for the full recommended time. If it doesn’t seem to have positive effects shortly, get on the phone with your doctor again and have him prescribe another type of shampoo. Also be mindful to avoid scratching your scalp which could break the skin and cause an infection.



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