How to Get Rid of Dandruff in African American Hair
Beyond hair loss itself, nothing is more embarrassing and frustrating than dandruff. You feel discouraged from leaving your house and living life as you fear the flakes scattered throughout your hair or sitting on your shoulders stealing the show.
This is something that all races struggle with. But because of the inherently dry nature of the African American scalp, we suffer from it in greater concentrations.
The good news, though, is that treating dandruff is easier than you may think. And by the time you finish reading our article on how to get rid of dandruff in African American hair, you’ll feel confident in making this unsightly, stressful condition a problem of the past. We’ll cover all your options below. But first, let’s talk about what causes dandruff in black hair.
What Causes Dandruff in Black Hair?
If you're one of the many African Americans who struggle with dandruff, you might be wondering what's causing those pesky flakes in your hair. The truth is, dandruff can be caused by a number of different factors, and it's important to understand what's behind your particular case so you can treat it effectively.
First of all, let's talk about what dandruff actually is. Dandruff is a common scalp condition that causes flaking and itching. It's usually caused by an overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia, which is naturally present on the scalp. When this fungus grows out of control, it can cause inflammation and excess shedding of skin cells, which leads to dandruff.
Now, when it comes to African American hair, there are a few things that can make us more prone to dandruff. For starters, our hair tends to be drier and more brittle than other hair types. This can make the scalp more susceptible to irritation and inflammation, which can in turn lead to dandruff.
Another factor that can contribute to dandruff in African American hair is the use of harsh hair products. Many of the shampoos and conditioners that are marketed to us contain harsh chemicals like sulfates, which can strip the hair of its natural oils and cause the scalp to become dry and itchy. This can create the perfect environment for Malassezia to thrive and lead to dandruff. You can learn more about the stuff in shampoo that causes hair loss and dandruff in our blog.
But beyond the shampoo itself, it could be your washing habits. If you wash too frequently, you’re stripping the scalp and hair strands of vital nourishment and moisture - contributing to flakiness. So, how often should black hair be washed? This is something we’ll discuss later when we provide you tips on how to get rid of dandruff in African American hair. However, our complete guide linked above will provide an answer if you’re interested.
In addition, many of us also use heat styling tools like flat irons and curling wands, which can further dry out the hair and scalp and exacerbate dandruff. And of course, wearing tight hairstyles like braids or weaves can put pressure on the scalp and make dandruff worse.
So, if you're dealing with dandruff in your African American hair, know that you're not alone. It's a common condition that many of us struggle with.
Is There a Way to Get Rid of Dandruff in African American Hair Permanently?
No matter what causes your dandruff, one thing is for sure. You want to fix the problem fast so you can get back to living life without limitations. With that said, is there a sure-fire way to get rid of dandruff in African American hair permanently?
Unfortunately, no - there is no magic cure that will make that dry, flaking scalp you’re suffering from disappear altogether. This is something you’ll have to commit to treating for the long haul. Any time you fall off your regimen, those flakes will start to reappear.
However, we’ll share a few simple techniques you can incorporate into your regimen below. Follow these guidelines and you’ll never stress about dandruff again!
How to Get Rid of Dandruff in African American Hair: Become Flake-Free With These Treatment Tips
Looking down at your chest and shoulders to discover a white dusting can be frustrating and embarrassing. You can find solace knowing you’re not alone. But even the realization that millions of people suffer from dandruff might not be enough to put you at ease. You want the problem to stop.
So, to empower you on your journey to becoming flake-free, we’ll teach you how to get rid of dandruff in African American hair below. First things first - let’s talk medicated shampoo…
Use a Medicated Shampoo
One of the most effective ways to combat dandruff is by using a medicated shampoo. These are proven to help nourish your scalp and kill dandruff at the source: the fungus that causes it.
With that said, not all medicated shampoos are created equal. Look for shampoos that contain ingredients like salicylic acid, coal tar, ketoconazole, or selenium sulfide. These ingredients help to control the growth of the yeast that causes dandruff.
Once you find the right shampoo, make sure to follow the instructions carefully. Most of these require you to massage the shampoo into your scalp for at least 5 minutes to allow the ingredients to work their magic. However, keep in mind that medicated shampoos can be harsh on your hair, so it's important to follow up with a good conditioner. Speaking of harsh hair products…
Avoid Harsh Hair Products
As we mentioned earlier, harsh hair products can irritate the scalp and worsen dandruff. Some products like gels and hair sprays contain alcohol, which can strip the hair and scalp of its natural oils and cause dryness.
Try to avoid these types of products and opt for natural hair products that are gentler on the scalp. If you're not sure which products to use, try doing some research online or ask your hairstylist for recommendations. Our article on what increases hair growth and thickness for African Americans is a good starting point.
Practice Good Hair Hygiene
Good hair hygiene is important when it comes to preventing and treating dandruff. Wash your hair every 2-3 days depending on your activity level and the products you put on your scalp. This will help cut back on Malassezia’s ability to breed and reproduce in your scalp.
And while it feels really good, avoid using hot water as it can dry out the scalp. Instead, use warm or cool water to wash your hair. Also, make sure to rinse your hair thoroughly to remove any product buildup that can contribute to dandruff.
Use a Scalp Scrub
Exfoliating your scalp can help to remove dead skin cells and prevent dandruff. Look for scrubs that contain natural ingredients like tea tree oil, witch hazel, or aloe vera. These ingredients can help to soothe the scalp and prevent irritation.
Make sure to use a gentle touch when scrubbing your scalp, and don't use the scrub too often as it can cause dryness and irritation. There’s a fine line between too much and not enough - and our article on how to take care of natural black hair can help you find the balance.
Keep Your Scalp Moisturized
Dry scalp can contribute to dandruff, so it's important to keep your scalp moisturized. Use a natural oil like coconut oil or olive oil to massage your scalp after shampooing. This can help to hydrate the scalp and prevent flaking. You can also look for shampoos and conditioners that contain moisturizing ingredients like shea butter or argan oil.
Try a Natural Remedy
If you prefer natural remedies, there are a few things you can try to help control dandruff. Apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice are all-natural ingredients that may help to reduce dandruff.
Mix these ingredients with water and apply them to the scalp before shampooing. Be careful not to use too much of this natural concoction, as it can be harsh on the scalp if used in excess.
Avoid Wearing Tight or Damaging Hairstyles
Wearing tight hairstyles like braids or weaves can put pressure on the scalp and worsen dandruff. We know your hairstyle is something you’ve come to associate with your identity - but it could be harming your hair health more than you think. So, try to wear looser hairstyles and avoid leaving styles in for too long. Make sure to take breaks between hairstyles to give your scalp a chance to breathe.
And if your hairstyle is one that relies on chemical treatments and heat styling tools, consider a change to something natural and healthy. While change can be scary, it’s usually a good thing! We have an article offering some of our favorite pregnancy hairstyles for African Americans if you’d like a recommendation.
Visit a Dermatologist
If dandruff persists despite trying the methods we’ve shared with you today, consider visiting a dermatologist who can prescribe a stronger medication or treatment. They can diagnose the cause of your dandruff and recommend a personalized treatment plan.
In some cases, dandruff can be a symptom of a more serious scalp condition, so it's important to get professional advice if you're concerned. This is rarely the case, though, as most issues with dandruff can be remedied through the simple tips above!
Final Thoughts on How to Get Rid of Dandruff in African American Hair
We hope that the advice above helps you make your dandruff woes a thing of the past. You can learn more about how to treat dry scalp in African American hair in our blog. We cover other dry-scalp-related conditions like eczema on scalp black hair in our blog as well along with many other hair-care topics. You can learn about the best hair growing products for African Americans, how fast does black hair grow, hair breakage vs new growth, how black hair is different from white hair, and a whole lot more.
At Allurium Beauty, we’ve made it our mission to empower black women everywhere along their unique hair care journey. Whether you want to repair black damaged hair or regrow bald patches in African Americans, you can count on us to provide not just the quality hair serum you need - but the knowledge necessary to make your goals a reality.
And now that you know how to get rid of dandruff in African American hair, it’s time to apply the tips we’ve laid out for you today and make flakiness a thing of the past!