Your Dandruff Shampoo Might Be The Cause Of Your Dandruff
Approximately one out of five people have dandruff, which probably also means about one out of five people are buying dandruff shampoos. Yet, what they don’t realize is that those shampoos might actually be making their dandruff worse—or even causing it.
What Causes Dandruff?
Dandruff starts when your skin reacts to the yeast that’s already on it and that reaction leads to inflammation. You’ll notice the effects by the large yellow or white flakes coming from your head. That, and the itching.
This is different from dry scalp, which usually occurs when your scalp isn’t moisturized and the skin on top of it flakes. You can also tell by the color and size of the flakes. Dandruff is often larger and yellow or white while dry scalp flakes are smaller and white.
If the irritation and inflammation worsen, they can lead to seborrheic dermatitis, which is inflammation of the scalp and oil glands. This usually happens when dead skin cells build up on your head—either due to a lack of exfoliation, stress, bacterial and fungal infections, or even specific ingredients in hair products.
How Can My Shampoo Cause Dandruff?
Normally, your skin can take care of itself without much help from cleaning products. It only needs a little shampoo now and then to help it battle the buildup of oil and styling products. Unfortunately, many shampoos contain sulfates.
Sulfates are surfactants that strip all of the gunk off your skin and out of your hair. They’re incredibly good at their job, too.
While they clean your hair, sulfates remove moisture and natural oils from your hair and scalp, which damages it and makes it more susceptible to bacteria—bacteria that love yeast. Which leads to dandruff.
When this happens, your body reacts by creating more oil which can—and most likely will—clog your pores and hair follicles, trapping the bacteria and oil and dead skin inside. In turn, you get more dandruff.
When it’s all said and done, the sulfates in dandruff shampoos begin to create a cycle of dependency by making your dandruff worse.
Using An All-Natural Shampoo For Dandruff
While dandruff and dry scalp isn’t a major medical concern, it can be annoying or even embarrassing. After all, who like white flakes all over their dark clothing?
If you’re looking for a solution that will actually stop dandruff, you’ll need to use a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates come in many forms, but the more popular ones are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), and ammonium laureth sulfate (ALS).
Basically, if it has “sulfate” in its name, you’ll want to steer away from it.
Just switching to an all-natural, sulfate-free shampoo can be enough to get rid of dandruff (and many other ailments!). Although, if you really love your shampoo, or there’s a reason you have to use it, you can always try other solutions, such as drinking more water, using less shampoo, or running a humidifier in your home.
Are Sulfate-Free Shampoos Any Good?
A lot of people are worried about switching to an all-natural product. And we understand. Some of them don’t work as well as their more chemically-engineered counterparts. But sulfate-free shampoos have been proven to work just as well as those with sulfates.
For starters, sulfate-free shampoos use similar ingredients to clean your hair. They just happen to be far gentler and don’t dry out your hair and skin as much. They also have another benefit—color preservation.
For those of you whose hair color isn’t your natural color, sulfate-free shampoos are a far better option. Sulfates not only strip oil and dead skin, they also strip color molecules. So, if you want that color to last longer, go with a sulfate-free shampoo.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that a sulfate-free shampoo will get rid of your dandruff. There’s also no guarantee that a shampoo with sulfates will, either. But we can say that people have reported positive results with a sulfate-free version and have even said they clean better.
However, if you do decide to give it a try and don’t see improvements within eight weeks after switching shampoos, you should consider seeing a doctor, as they might be able to better diagnose the cause.
And while you’re looking for a new shampoo and conditioner, we’d like to mention our Puretanica Cool Bliss Shampoo and Conditioner. Both are sulfate-free, continuing natural botanicals and essential oils—many of which actively fight dry scalp and dandruff.