“I have dandruff and it makes my scalp so itchy! I know I’m not supposed to scratch it but what am I supposed to do besides cut my fingers off?!” – Sabrina
We know you want to scratch your scalp, who wouldn’t? But we want to keep emphasizing that you shouldn’t. It’s bad for your scalp, but there are a few things you can do to alleviate or completely eliminate the itchies from dandruff all together. Our go to scalp expert, Trichologist Dr. Kari Williams advises a coal tar shampoo, If your scalp itches constantly shampoos that have the active ingredient coal tar are effective,” she says. “Coal tar is antipruritic and most effective when used on a consistent basis. Similar to other medicated shampoos, a coal tar shampoo should be applied directly to the scalp and allowed to sit for about 10 minutes but read the label for accurate instructions.
In addition to incorporating a coal tar shampoo like Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo in your regimen, I personally recommend that you may also want to try spraying your scalp when itching starts, as scratching will certainly make the problem worse. A good pre-shampoo treatment that is soothing and effective is Lush Superbalm Scalp Treatment. Lush co-founder Mark Constantine is also a trained Trichologist and has come up with this supremely soothing ointment of coconut oil, candelilla wax and salicylic acid (formed naturally from meadowsweet) to soothe and moisturize your scalp while softening and ridding your hair of loose flakes. It’s perfect for anyone with a dry, troubled scalp. You can also pick up a scalp elixir with ingredients designed to soothe and balance your scalp while attacking fungus that is causing the condition such as Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap Dandruff & Dry Scalp Elixir or Aveda Scalp Remedy Anti-dandruff Tonic which is a leave-in daily treatment with salicylic acid, sugar beet extract, rosemary, echinacea and sage to help soothe and calm your scalp. You should also try our Activated Charcoal And Salicylic Acid Dandruff And Acne Mask recipe which you can also use on your scalp.
Though these conditions are not contagious, you should see a Dermatologist or Trichologist immediately if you are experiencing any symptoms related to dandruff, eczema and dry scalp to be properly diagnosed and treated. Failure to do so can result in chronic progression of the disorder and premature hair loss.
Cheers to your hair and to a healthy scalp!
Dr. Kari is a Licensed Barber, professional hair designer and stylist, natural hair care specialist, educator and consultant on proper hair care and products, Board Certified Trichologist through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners’, as well as the Founder and CEO of Mahogany Hair Revolution Salon and Trichology Clinic. Find Dr. Kari on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and her website.