WHAT IS DANDRUFF (i.e. DRY SCALP?)
Dandruff is a very common condition that can be cause for some embarrassment. By the age of 20, about 50 percent of Americans have suffered an outbreak. A small amount of flaking is normal as skin cells do die and flake off your scalp, but some people experience an unusually large amount of flaking, either chronically or as a result of certain triggers. Dandruff may also be accompanied by redness and irritation.
Dandruff is believed to be caused by a fungal infection, specifically a species called pityriasis capitis. Another yeast-like fungus, malassezia globosa, has also been implicated. The fungi live on your scalp, feeding on skin oils.
The malassezia globosa fungus uses enzymes called lipases to metabolize the oils, creating a by-product called oleic acid. The acid penetrates your skin and triggers skin cell shedding.
Grossed out yet? Me too.
The most commonly used treatments for dandruff and dry scalp are Selsun Blue or Head & Shoulders. In its basic formulation, these shampoos contain selenium sulfide as the active ingredient. Selenium sulfide is an anti-fungal agent which may be helpful in treating the skin yeast infection tinea versicolor, scalp ringworm (tinea capitis) and athlete's foot (tinea pedis).
Why would you look for a treatment besides Selsun Blue? While they can be affective at stopping dandruff, some of the harsh chemicals can cause more sensitive scalps to burn, itch more, and possibly result in chemical burn (some blog recommend overnight use of these shampoos which can definitely trigger an unwanted reaction).
AN EFFECTIVE, NATURAL SOLUTION
Here is a testimony where essential oils (Tea Tree & Lavender) were used to not only combat the symptoms of dandruff (dry itchy scalp and flakes), but attack the underlying issue as well. Results were immediate plus lasted longer in between shampoos than over the counter dandruff shampoos.
"Don’t let anyone tell you different, Dandruff is massively embarrassing. For about the last three years I’ve been struggling with a persistently dry and itchy scalp. You’ve probably detected I’m avoiding calling it what it is - DANDRUFF. It’s become both infuriating and highly embarrassing to constantly see specs of white on my shoulders or when I look in the mirror to see snowflakes in my hair.
The only treatment that worked for me was Selsun Blue, even Head & Shoulders regular shampoo wasn’t tackling it. The main problem I had with Selsun Blue was that it felt hot against my scalp to the point I felt a mild burning. And like crack cocaine, once you started you couldn’t use anything else, otherwise it would come back with a vengeance. Admittedly, the feeling on my scalp was quite nice, that cool burning sensation! That being said, one read of the ingredients in the treatment was frightening. We blindly put all kinds of crap onto our skin, or into our bodies especially when there doesn’t appear to be any alternative to it and I’m no different.
So when my wife came up with one of her “blends” I was excited if a little skeptical. I’m not sure why (I suppose a resignation that I would be using Selsun Blue for the remainder of my hair’s days) as I’ve born witness to the most amazing results with her blends, from anxiety to sleep disorder, and appetite suppressants. So unsurprisingly, it’s worked an absolute charm. I now use a combination of Tea-Tree oil and Lavender, with argan oil as a carrier oil and for additional moisturizing and rub into my scalp liberally after shampooing with a natural mild shampoo.
No oily mess or residue, and not so much as a flake has extracted itself from my head since. "
- Ward, age 39