Even those who opt for expensive hair care products and only sleep on silk pillowcases have experienced dandruff. Whether you’re dealing with an itchy scalp or flakes on your t-shirt, we promise it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
Still, you may be wondering how to treat it, and we can’t blame you. Scientists have researched why people with different hair types experience dandruff, but the truth is that the root cause (get it?) can vary person to person.
The good news? Dandruff is easy to treat. And with the right scalp and hair care routine, you can say goodbye to the flakes for good.
Keep reading to see how to help soothe a case of dandruff as quickly as possible.
What Is Dandruff (Really) And Why Does It Happen?
If you’ve had dandruff before, you probably know what it looks and feels like.
Simply put, dandruff is the flaking that occurs when your scalp is irritated. But finding out why you see the flakes is the first step to figuring out how to treat them. Ask yourself the questions below to see if you can pinpoint what’s happening on your noggin.
Has Your Skin Been Feeling Dry?
If your skin lacks moisture and is prone to conditions like eczema or simply dry skin, your flakes may start there. Just like you can experience dry skin on your hands, face, or other parts of your body, dry skin can occur on your scalp and lead to flaking, itching, and irritation. The season and weather may also leave your scalp feeling dry, and many are more prone to flakes in the cooler, dryer winter months.
Are You Feeling Stressed or Sick?
Like every other part of your body, the scalp can be impacted by high stress levels. Stress can impact your hormones and throw your immune system out of whack. This can lead to flare-ups of skin conditions like eczema and seborrheic dermatitis, which can all cause scalp irritation, dryness, and flaking. Deficiencies in vitamin D and zinc have been known to cause dandruff too.
Are You Experiencing a Yeast Overgrowth?
We know — tough question. But many researchers believe that dandruff can be caused by an overgrowth of a naturally occuring yeast called Malassezia, which is generally found all over our bodies and likes to snack on our skin’s natural oils. When there’s an overgrowth, it can lead to scalp irritation and flaking.
Are You Washing Enough?
It may not be surprising, but not washing your hair often enough can cause oils and dirt to collect on your scalp, resulting in buildup that can lead to flaking and irritation.
Are You Washing Too Often?
On the other hand, washing your hair too much can lead to a dry scalp which, as we mentioned before, tends to lead to dandruff.
Scalp care can be an inexact process that takes trial and error before finding what works for you and your lifestyle. But once you have a sense of what’s causing your dandruff, you can find the right way to treat it.
Choose a Shampoo That’s Made for Dandruff Care
So you’ve determined why you’re experiencing dandruff, and now you’re looking to ditch the flakes, and fast. Well, there’s only one place to start, and that’s with your shampoo.
Scientists have been working to address dandruff for decades now. As a result, we tend to feel a little overwhelmed in the shampoo aisle.
How do you know what’s proven to work? And how can you be sure that the product isn’t treating your dandruff while also causing a slew of other scalp issues?
Short answer: You have to know what to look for and what to avoid.
Skip the Sulfates
Not all dandruff shampoos are made equal. While they may have attributes that help soothe itchiness and flaking, they may also be full of ingredients like sulfates, parabens, or phthalates.
These ingredients work a little too hard at cleansing your hair and actually strip it of its natural oils. If you’ve been experiencing dandruff (which we have a feeling you have, if you’re reading this), losing those oils can make your scalp drier and itchier, two symptoms of a very unhappy head.
That’s why it’s so important to read the label carefully for the hair care products you purchase.
The most important ingredient you should look for in your dandruff shampoo is Zinc Pyrithione. It may be a mouthful of molecular material, but it is very effective at helping relieve the itch and reduce flaking.
Zinc Pyrithione actually helps prevent yeasts like Malassezia from growing. And studies show that even after rinsing off your shampoo, the material will stay on your scalp, continuing to dispel bacteria and fungi in between washes.
There’s no magic cure to dandruff, but with a Zinc Pyrithione dandruff shampoo on our side, we can get one step closer to a healthy scalp and head of hair.
That’s why Jupiter’s Balancing Shampoo is formulated with Zinc Pyrithione; it’s the star active ingredient to treat flakes, itching, and irritation. In addition to smelling fantastic (hello, mint, vanilla, sage, and lavender), our shampoo is also filled with all the stuff you want (Zinc Pyrithione, coconut oil, and squalane) and none of the stuff you don’t want (sulfates, parabens, and phthalates).
The most important ingredient you should look for in your dandruff shampoo is Zinc Pyrithione.
Take a Closer Look at Your Shower and Scalp Care Routine
Equally as important as what we put on our heads is how we do it. Here are a few tips for treating your scalp the kindest way you can:
Avoid Really Hot Showers
While a steamy shower may sound like a good way to increase moisture in your skin, hot water can actually worsen existing conditions and cause dryness. Opt for a lukewarm temperature, especially when you’re rinsing your hair. If you’re up for it, a cold water rinse is one of the best things you can do to lock in moisture on your scalp and prevent frizzy hair.
Go on a Hair Exploration
It’s possible that you’re washing your hair too often or too little. Try switching up your routine, swapping in a dandruff shampoo every few washes, and apply serums and scalp masks to help soothe itch and irritation.
When in Doubt, Don’t DIY
Some things are best left to the professionals, and hair and scalp care is no exception. Be wary of homegrown solutions. While ingredients like green tea or apple cider vinegar may be somewhat effective, they’re also easy to overdo, throwing your scalp’s microbiome out of balance which may exacerbate your scalp’s irritation.
Our best advice? Look for professionally formulated products that feature the raw ingredients widely suggested on the internet. That way, you’ll know they have passed rigorous tests and are correctly dosed for safety and hair health.
Last Thoughts on Dandruff Care
We get it. When you’re experiencing dandruff, it can feel frustrating.
While those flakes can be a struggle, it’s thankfully an issue that most people have experienced and is relatively easy to manage once you have your routine down to a science.
By understanding how to help soothe and restore balance to the microbiome on your head, you can take the guesswork out of finding a remedy.
Look for shampoo and hair care products formulated with ingredients proven to prevent fungal and bacterial growth, like Jupiter’s ”Triple Threat Set” that includes our Balancing Shampoo, Nourishing Conditioner, and Restoring Serum. Remember to think zinc and ditch anything that includes the word “sulfates” on its ingredients label. Trust us, your scalp and hair will thank you.
The “Triple Threat” Set
When you need support beyond the shower, this set has the goods. Ideal for those experiencing consistent or severe flaking, redness, irritation, or excess oil production. The medicated shampoo and serum target your flaking with the active ingredient Zinc Pyrithione, and the conditioner keeps your locks bouncy and beautiful. Consider The "Whole Darn Set" Set if you're looking for maximum control and comfort.
The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, nor is it a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have about the information contained herein, as well as the risks or benefits of any treatment.