Dandruff? It Could be Your Shampoo

Strangely enough, one of the most common causes of dandruff is… shampoo.

Many people with sensitive skin or eczema find that their skin reacts to a group of chemicals called sulphates. The most common – Sodium Laureth Sulphate – is found in the vast majority of shampoos, shower gels, toothpaste and other foamy things. The foam is pretty, but it’s literally irritating. It can cause dry flaky skin (dandruff), itchy skin, and even ulcers when applied in the mouth. The problem is common enough that health food stores contain whole ranges of sulphate-free products.

So if you have a problem with dandruff, or an itchy scalp, or persistent mouth ulcers, maybe your first step doesn’t need to be the anti-dandruff shampoo (which usually also contains sulphates) or the specialist cream. Maybe your first step should be to ditch the sulphates for a few days.

Bettina has posted some simple recipes she tried out recently.

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12 Responses

  1. Interesting. I might have to check out the sulphate free shampoos and see if they get rid of the itchy bumps on my scalp.

  2. I was reading somewhere, that’s it’s better fro your scalp to ditch shampoos altogether. Can’t bring myself to do that personally, but some people swear by it.

  3. Riayn – I used to get those. Bluck. Sulphate-free worked for me.

    Suze -Does wonders for some. I use shampoo about once a week, just conditioner the rest of the time. The theory is that conditioner – being made up of water-soluble oils – will take dirt and excess oil out of your hair without stripping it like shampoo does.

  4. That’s really interesting.

    Uh, when they say ditch shampoos – do they mean use NO shampoo at all? Cause that’s a little … gross.

  5. Katie – apparently just water will wash out the dirt, and the scalp will adjust itself so that oil content stabilises. From what I’ve seen, it works for many but not necessarily all.

    Suze – sorry, you were talking about using nothing, not using conditioner-only, weren’t you? My brain’s been on a kind of autopilot lately 😛

  6. I read your article and it has definitely helped me to know about the harm that shampoos can cause.The article is nicely written so has to make a layman understand the various problems caused due to chemical based shampoos.In my opinion your article is surely informative but it would be great if you would have added some of the other remedies that can be used to get rid of dandruff…as you suggested shampoo can be harmful to our hair you could also give us some stating what could be the other ways of getting rid of shampoo…[:)]

  7. Thanks for the comments and suggestion, Piyu 🙂 There’s definitely material for at least one more article there!

  8. interesting.

    My scalp is always nicest when I’ve been using a locally made shamp/conditioner that is based on olive oil. But I can’t always afford it 😦

  9. Bettina – yup, know THAT feeling well. One of the joys of short hair, though – can justify buying expensive shampoo/conditioner because I only use a bottle every 3 months or so, even if I’m washing it every day 🙂

  10. I will forward this to Teen Shamrock.

    She has dandruff and mouth ulcers.

  11. WS – I hope it helps! It’s such a simple thing – I was quite frustrated when I realised that all these things contain an irritant because… *drumroll* … otherwise they won’t FOAM as prettily! Grrr.

  12. […] and motivation………… Until reading Naomi’s blog post the other week on dandruff & shampoo. So last week I gathered some basic supplies so that I could experiment a […]

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