You get up in the morning and put on a clean, black shirt. You reach up and scratch an itch on your scalp. Suddenly, a cloud of dusty, white flakes falls across your shoulders, standing out on your black shirt like city lights on a dark night.
Maybe you have a beard. You stroke your beard in thought, not realizing that the same flakes fall from your chin like snow across your chest. If this sounds familiar to you, you may have dandruff.
What is dandruff?
Dandruff is a generic term that refers to the flaky white stuff that falls from our scalps. These flakes have two common causes. The first is dry skin. People with chronically dry, ashy scalps may see fine, white flakes fall from the scalp when it’s agitated. Curing this kind of dandruff is as simple as using a hydrating shampoo and conditioner. The other, trickier form of dandruff is actually an overgrowth of bacteria that lives on our skin.
The bacteria, often Malassezia, live all over our body and feed on the oils naturally secreted by the glands in our skin. When the bacterial population becomes overgrown, it irritates the skin and triggers itching, flaking, and even redness on the scalp. The condition may go away on its own, but once dandruff takes hold, it is common for it to live on the scalp for years. The only way to get rid of it is with treatment.
How do I get rid of dandruff?
The key is a two-pronged approach. Because dandruff is caused by bacteria, it’s essential to get the bacterial growth under control. You may try medicated shampoos, which can include ingredients like ketoconazole or zinc pyrithione. These ingredients slow the growth of bacteria on the scalp by killing the bacteria directly or inhibiting its growth. The fewer bacteria there are multiplying on the scalp, the sooner it will return to normal.
This allows users to get their scalp’s microbiome back under control with regular shampooing, the second prong of dandruff treatment. To keep the dandruff from coming back, it’s important to get the scalp clean and free of excess oil. Failing to do this will result in a dandruff case that reemerges every few weeks, with no real relief in sight. While medicated shampoos are a great way to get quick relief from dandruff, most are not recommended for daily use, particularly prescription strength versions. You’ll need to switch between medicated soap and another shampoo.
What kind of non-medicated shampoos work best?
Look for something that removes oil without causing too much dryness. If itching and redness are an issue, it may be best to use a soothing, healing shampoo. Pine tar shampoos are a perfect solution for conditions like dandruff. Pine tar shampoo offers a natural relief for itching and inflammation, so you can take care of the flakes and feel better fast. Additionally, it removes the oils from the scalp and even provides natural anti-microbial protection. This gives extra coverage against the recurrence of dandruff.
Pine tar shampoos are a great option for relieving a variety of skin and scalp conditions. Pine tar has been used as a topical remedy for more than 150 years, and it’s still being used to this day. Because it’s free of harsh chemicals, completely renewable, and smells like a majestic forest, Packer’s Pine is a perfect way to keep your scalp feeling fresh and looking clean.
How do I keep it from coming back?
The most important thing to do is stay on top of your hygiene. This is why it’s so important to get a shampoo that you enjoy using daily. If your hair tends to be greasy, you should use shampoo daily. Allowing grease and oil to accumulate in your hair creates an environment that bacteria love. You should also avoid hair treatments that involve applying other oils to your hair, whether it’s olive oil, coconut oil, or similar products. While those products are great ways to keep hair soft and supple, they’re not necessary if you struggle with dandruff as your scalp is actually overproducing oils. Adding additional oils does nothing but feed the bacteria causing your dandruff.
Packer’s Pine is a perfect shampoo for daily use. It will remove the oils from your scalp without turning your scalp into a desert. If you have a sensitive scalp to begin with, harsh ingredients like sulfates and detergents can increase irritation and dandruff. Using soaps without those ingredients, like Packer’s Pine, will help you maintain your hygiene and save you from scalp irritation or eczema.