Lessons of a Lifelong Dandruff Sufferer


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I can remember as far back as being 8 years old and my mom sitting me down to “grease my scalp” with Blue Magic hair grease to help alleviate my dandruff problem. I had done this for years. The dandruff and itching subsided for a few days but would return with flakes the size of a dime! Not to mention the itching, which left me scratching my scalp daily.

Now, I am in my twenties and have gotten my dandruff under control within the past year. I may have actually suffered from seborrheic dermatitis which is a bit worse than dandruff. But if you suffer from any of the two, you may find a resolution for your issue in the lessons that I’ve learned from years of embarrassment and agony.

Lessons of a Life-long Dandruff Sufferer

Dandruff shampoos suck!
At least for me they did. I have tried so many dandruff shampoos such as Head and Shoulders, Selsun Blue, and Sulfur 8 to name a few. Many of these formulas contain sulfates which dried my scalp out so bad! They definitely weren’t ideal to use as my scalp needed moisture. Instead of alleviating my scalp, they would strip my scalp of its natural oils and cause my scalp to become drier.

Oiling my scalp was counterproductive.
Greasing the scalp” is a fallacy known in the African American community to nourish the scalp and promote hair growth. I have found that unless I am lacking in sebum production, oils didn’t help with my scalp troubles. Instead, they made my scalp oily and made the dandruff stick even more.

If I have an itchy scalp which is sporadic, I will use essential oils like tea tree, lavender, and peppermint oil with a carrier oil like olive oil help to calm my scalp. I use a light amount every now and then which is a lot more effective than Blue Magic.

Massage your scalp girl.
Not only does this stimulate the scalp, but it helps to evenly spread sebum all over the scalp. Sebum is produced to prevent water from escaping skin too fast which keeps it hydrated longer; thus preventing dandruff. I noticed that even after I got the dandruff somewhat under control, I still had dry patches on my scalp. This was because the sebum wasn’t being evenly distributed all over my scalp and water was escaping from certain areas of my scalp. To combat this, I make sure to massage my scalp 2-3 times a weekly for a few minutes to evenly distribute the scalp’s natural oils.

If I can exfoliate my face and body, then why not my scalp? Though this was a temporary fix, this was a lot more effective and lasted a lot longer than shampooing. Just like the skin on our face and body, the dead skin cells need help through exfoliation to actually lift off of the skin’s surface. I haven’t had the need to exfoliate my scalp lately, but when I did I used the ORS Scalp Scrub.

Don’t scratch, it only makes it worse.
My scalp itched because it was dry. And the scratching only made it more inflamed. This was a bad habit, especially when I relaxed my hair. The relaxer made the abrasions from scratching not only burn, but also scab. If I just need to scratch, I use the pads of my fingers.

My skin is just sensitive.
It was important for me to not only know my skin type for my face, but also my scalp. Shampoos made my scalp dry and I didn’t need to put oil on my scalp because it produced enough oil on its own. When I figured this out, I turned to co-washing. And though this may not be the answer for everyone, it has helped me get rid of dandruff almost completely. I do have the occasional flake here and there, but I think it’s normal and not anywhere near what I used to go through. Co-washing is gentle on my scalp and keeps it at a balanced pH which prevents it from getting excessively dry like in the past.

What has helped you to get rid of dandruff?

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3 Responses

  1. Candra Evans says:

    I suffered with dandruff all of my life. “Greasing” my scalp only made things worse and more frequent washing made my scalp very dry. Coconut oil, tea tree oil, and rosemary oil have helped get my dandruff under control. The only thing is that it took several months of consistent application. As far as shampoos and conditioners, nothing has worked better for me than the Kera Care for Dry and Itchy Scalp products. Nice article!

  2. Nneka O says:

    Hi Ms.Rosie I just came over from watching your recent youtude vid, Cowashing Causes Balding and I just wanted to run it by you again about an update on your dry scalp regimen and a review of the deep cleansing shampoo from the Shea Moisture African Black Soap since a lot of us know that you like the conditioner and purification masque. It also seems like the line is getting harder and harder to find on the ground and this is probably because Shea Moisture might be phasing it out soon due to the new African Black Soap Dandruff Control line coming out. I’d also like to know your thoughts on the Dandruff Control line if possible. I first saw something like that called Review: Shea Moisture Dandruff Control Masque vs. Purification Masque by CurlyGirlJess here on Youtube and I wanted to know if you had an opinion. Thanks for having some really useful info. =)

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