Dandruff is considered as a common condition that affects the scalp. It is not a major nuisance but can be embarrassing especially if the dry flakes drop on the shoulders. If the individual has mild dandruff, the condition is easy to deal with.
Measures to manage dandruff
- The individual can wash the hair on a daily basis using a mild shampoo until the dandruff clears up. The shampoos that contain tea tree oil are usually effective.
- Avoid scratching the scalp when using the shampoo. You have to gently massage the scalp without scratching since this will not damage the scalp or hair.
- Avoid using hair products such as gel and hairspray until dandruff completely clears.
Always remember that spending time outdoors under the sun can also help minimize dandruff. Nevertheless, it is vital to ensure proper protection with a sunscreen that has the suitable sun protection factor (SPF) for the skin type of the individual.
In severe cases of dandruff, an anti-dandruff shampoo must be used. These are readily available over-the-counter in most pharmacies and supermarkets. Some of the commonly used anti-dandruff shampoos include the following:
- Salicylic acid helps soften and shed dead skin cells on the scalp
- Zinc pyrithione works by eliminating the malassezia fungi which is believed to be partly responsible for causing dandruff
- Ketoconazole sulfide has a potent antifungal effect
- Selenium sulfide works by slowing the production of skin cells while at the same time eliminating fungi
- Coal tar shampoo works by slowing down the production of dead skin cells
Remember that not all shampoos are suitable for everybody. Take note that selenium sulfide might not be suitable for those who have blonde or chemically-treated hair since it can lead to discoloration.
As a precaution, using certain types of anti-dandruff shampoos might not be recommended if pregnant or breastfeeding. With this in mind, it is vital to carefully read the instructions on the packaging. If uncertain, it is best to consult a doctor for advice.
How to apply the shampoo
It is usually advised to apply the anti-dandruff shampoo used on a daily basis or every other day. When it comes to ketoconazole shampoo, it is an exception and must only be applied two times in a week.
Once the symptoms start to improve, the shampoo must only be used 2-3 times in a week. Gently massage the shampoo into the hair. Allow to stay in place for at least 5 minutes so that it will be effective.
In case only one type of shampoo is not effective or starts to lose its effectiveness, it is best to utilize another type. If the individual does not experience any improvement in the symptoms after a few weeks of using a particular shampoo, consult a doctor.