RT Cunningham

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Dandruff, Dry Scalp, and Baby Oil

Tagged with baby oil, dandruff, shampoo on January 29, 2024

dandruff The most common type of dandruff is usually flakes of dead skin from a dry scalp, sometimes along with some flakes of dried skin oils (sebum). It’s nothing to be ashamed of, as it affects roughly half of the population. The dead skin is going to leave your scalp, whether you want it to or not. Various forms of dermatitis and other skin conditions can cause dandruff as well, and the treatments are more specific.

I’m only concerned with treating common dandruff when it’s excessive, which can be accomplished much the same way as treating cradle cap on babies.

My Own Dandruff Treatment

The simplest way to combat dandruff is to keep the scalp moist. Ironically, the shampoo we’re using to clean our hair can remove the natural oils that keep the skin of our scalps moist. For some of us, a conditioner can help offset that effect. For others, we need a little more help.

Writing from experience, using baby oil to remove dandruff and moisten the scalp is an extremely effective treatment for some people. I have found that I can massage a moderate amount of baby oil into my hair after I shower, and my scalp will soak it up. After a couple of hours, I can’t even tell I used any because my hair dries out quickly. This effectively keeps me from having a dry scalp.

I also use baby oil to combat dry skin in other places as well, like around my ears.

The “No Poo” Method

There are those who believe that using any kind of shampoo strips away the natural oils from the scalp, causing the scalp to produce even more of it. Some dandruff is only dried and flaking sebum, as opposed to dry skin. This effect can be reversed by using no shampoo at all, but the time it takes varies from person to person. Proponents of the “no poo” method swear it works for them.

I wash my hair with a mild shampoo when my hair gets dirty, but not because I like using shampoo. Many times, when I just want to wash out the perspiration, I’ll just wash with water and use a conditioner.

Testosterone and Estrogen

Testosterone has been shown to stimulate secretion of sebum, and estrogen has been shown to inhibit secretion. With older men, like me, the testosterone levels tend to decrease with each passing year. I’m still producing a lot of oil, so I must not be as old as I feel.

People with thin hair, like me again, tend to have more dandruff than people with coarse hair. I have never seen any dandruff in my wife’s hair, but I’m sure there has to be a little.

Over the last 20 to 30 years, older men have been increasingly wearing either short hair or shaving it off altogether. I cut my hair at least once a month, with a length of an eighth of an inch. This length makes it easier for me to keep dandruff at bay because I can feel it with my fingers or spot it in the mirror before anyone else sees it.

Image by Hmochoa95, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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