The Dandruff Guide - Leading Causes, and How to Avoid it

  • 3 min read

What is dandruff?

Dandruff - a common name for a common condition - is caused by dry scalp and is easy to spot because of the little white flakes it leaves behind, which are in fact flakes of dead skin. Dandruff is often brought to light by an acquaintance who recognizes the white spots and points them out, which can make for an embarrassing encounter. 

While dandruff is not a serious medical issue, it is something that needs to be addressed. Excessive, unchecked dandruff will only get worse, and severe dandruff can irritate the scalp and cause itchiness, which can lead to weak and thinning hair.

Many people turn to dandruff treatments and remedies (queue the "head and shoulders shampoo" commercial) rather than getting to the root of the issue, which is dry skin. If you have flakes of skin falling from your head, your body is telling you that it's dry and it needs moisture, it needs help

What causes dandruff? And, why is your scalp dry?

While theoretically there are many causes, including inflammation which can cause fungus, the most common causes are related to simple mistreatment of the scalp with foreign substances that your head does not like.

Washing your hair with shampoos that contain ingredients like sulfates and alcohols that dry out your skin, using cheap hair styling products that cause irritation (contact dermatitis), or simply washing your hair too frequently, which can strip oils from your hair and scalp, are the major culprits causing dandruff. In fact, 99% of dandruff cases can be resolved just by switching to natural hair products (more on that later). 

person wondering if they have dandruff

How to Get Rid of Dandruff, Fast:

1. Stop using cheap hair styling products and shampoos. Ingredients like parabens, sulfates, silicone, sodium chloride, or formaldehyde (amongst others), are bad for your body, and will lead to dry scalp.  Another commonly irritating ingredient to avoid is labeled “fragrance”, a catch-all term that companies use to get around having to spell out all of the lab-made ingredients they use in place of real plant oils, for scent purposes. These foreign ingredients are the primary contributors to scalp trouble. Avoid them at all costs. 

How to read an ingredient label.

2. Stop shampooing every day. Your body naturally secretes healthy oils which care for your hair and scalp, and if you shampoo too frequently - especially with shampoos with any of the ingredients listed above - you will strip your body of these wonderful oils and dry out your scalp, which is the leading cause of dandruff.  Note: switching to a natural, non-stripping shampoo without sulfates and silicones will mostly negate the necessity to shampoo less often.

3. Switch to natural hair styling products, and natural shampoo and conditioner. 

Church California'sshampoo bar features ingredients like our fermented rice water and olive oil which battle dandruff and heal your scalp, and ourconditioner bar uses broccoli seed oil, vitamin E, and mango butter, for increased hydration and shine.

Usingorganic pomades like the ones we make at Church California, which are loaded with ingredients like olive squalene and coconut oil, will heal your hair and scalp, while styling. They are a true win-win.

natural hair pomades for scalp health

Dandruff treatment - Natural Home Remedies

If you have dandruff now and want to speed the healing process along, there is an easy, natural remedy you can try:

Apple cider vinegar is anti-fungal and full of live cultures and minerals that will restore your body's PH balance. For those with dandruff, it will give your scalp a healthy bath and can speed the healing process along. Start by shampooing with a natural shampoo free of alcohols and sulfates. After rinsing, pour a splash of apple cider vinegar over your head and massage it through with lukewarm water. Then, use a moisture-rich, natural conditioner, and massage through the hair. If you’re using Church California Conditioner (you should be), it’s good to leave it in your hair for a few minutes before rinsing out. 

Apple Cider Vinegar as a home remedy for Dandruff

In Summary: Switch to Natural Hair Products

The long term solution to dandruff, is to trade the cheap, synthetic hair products for natural and organic hair products, including natural shampoo and conditioner, and natural hair styling products

While dandruff is annoying and unpleasant, if it has lead you to find this article, you might be in luck. Switching to natural products is also better for your health and well being. Cheap, unnatural ingredients that cause skin irritation can also cause larger issues, from cancer to hormone distribution.

Remember, you get what you pay for!