It first became apparent I had a problem while getting my hair cut- I looked down and gasped at the small little winter wonderland on the cape. Awesome. Weirdly enough, the hairstylist recommended a dandruff shampoo.
Let's get one thing straight- dry scalp and dandruff are two different things. Dandruff is usually oily flakes that are being shed due to three possible reasons:
- Skin oil commonly referred to as sebum or sebaceous secretions
- The metabolic by-products of skin micro-organisms (most specifically Malassezia yeasts)
- Individual susceptibility (wiki)
Atreyu guaring my moisturizing arsenal.
Of course, changing shampoos isn't really the best answer either. Shampoo is for your hair, and although some shampoos have extra "stuff" (i.e. chemicals) for your scalp, the main purpose is hair. My hair is actually dry-oily and adding an uber moisturizing shampoo or conditioner will simply make my hair oily and my scalp will remain dry. Yum.
What I needed is a moisturizer for my scalp. I searched around everywhere and found some people who use olive oil and... that's about it. Although really weird, I decided that oil in some manner would be the solution, but I had another obstacle: time. I really don't have enough time in the morning to massage oil in my scalp and leave it long enough to do anything before showering. Also, washing the oil away might also negate the moisturizing effects.
The only way would be an overnighter of oil. This means I really didn't want my hair to smell like olive oil all night (ew). My final solution? Five Seed's Lavender Moon Balm. Yep, the stuff smells amazing and the ingredients consist of nice and natural coconut oil, soothing lavender and vanilla. Perfect.
The result? It definitely helped! I haven't been consistent and should probably be doing this once a week until winter finally goes away (it's a bit embarrassing to come to bed with a "hi honey, like my oily, spiky, yummy smelling hair??"), but the few times have been a success. It has helped with the sensation of itching and my hair appears healthier and happier too.
Do you have any other suggestions that might help?
*******Beware of Dandruff Shampoo:
Most dandruff shampoos have icky toxic ingredients like coal tar- linked to cancer in miners, asphalt workers and chimney sweeps (plus the actual mining of the stuff is ridiculously bad for the environment). They also have zinc- which a Swedish study found that when they poured dandruff shampoo (3 millilitres) in a 1000 litre aquarium waited 24 hours and added fish, half the fish died within 4 days.... where do you think your dandruff shampoo goes after you rinse it out? (Ecoholic, 2006)
Also, strangely enough, most dandruff shampoos contain a scalp irritant- SLS (Sodium Laurel/laureth Sulphide).
Alternatives: cutting back on sugars and refined foods, taking antifungal oregano oil or washing with tea tree oil shampoos (or add a few drops in your regular shampoo). I've read that apple cider vinegar can really help too.