Help Me Choose: Dandruff Hair Care

    What Is Dandruff?

    Dandruff remains a mystery and there is no commonly agreed upon theory about what actually causes dandruff. Hormones may play a role in dandruff and since it seems to run in families, genetics may be a factor.

    Natural Organic Nettle Shampoo BarWhile a dry scalp can cause flakes, dry scalp and dandruff are not the same things.

    We know that true dandruff is not caused by a "dry scalp," because people with oily scalps often to suffer from dandruff the most.

    Since the treatments for dry scalp versus dandruff differ, it is important to learn to tell the difference between the two. A quick look at the flakes may give you the answer.

    • If you are suffering from dry scalp, the flakes are smaller in size, have a whitish in color and fall off the hair and scalp easily.
    • Dandruff flakes are larger and due to the oil content have a yellowish tint and tend to stick to the hair and do not fall off the scalp as easily.


    Recommended Products for Dandruff


    Symptoms of Dandruff


    What To Look For

    The symptoms of dandruff are easy to spot--white flakes of dead skin that are visible in your hair and on your shoulders. The scalp may also be red and feel irritated and itchy.


    Symptoms Vary Depending On The Cause

    • Cold dry air
    • Age
    • Hormones
    • Contact dermatitis: This is a skin inflammation that occurs when the skin comes in contact with a substance that is an allergen or irritant. Ingredients in harsh detergent shampoos, hair care products or hair dyes can often cause a red, itchy, scaly scalp.
    • Infrequent Shampooing: How often you need to wash your hair varies from person to person. For some, infrequent shampooing allows hair oils and dead skin cells to build up, which results in flaking or dandruff.
    • Seborrheic dermatitis: This condition, one of the most frequent causes of dandruff, is a skin condition that causes white-to-yellow greasy scales to form on the scalp and may affect the ears, eyebrows, nose and other places rich in oil producing glands. If it occurs on the scalp in babies, it is called "cradle cap." While researcher don't know the exact cause, some believe it may be due to a yeast-like fungus called malassezia that is in the natural oil secretions on the skin and scalp.
    • Malassezia (a fungus): Dried skin that flakes off the scalp is often caused by an overgrowth of a fungus called Malassezia. While Malassezia is a normal inhabitant on the scalp, for some, this yeast-like fungus grows out of control, irritates the scalp and causes excess skin cells to grow. As these extra skin cells are shed, you see the white flakes in your hair or on your clothes.
    • Dry scalp: The flakes we see on our shoulders may not be dandruff, they may be due to a dry scalp. While dry skin flakes can be annoying, they are generally smaller and less oily and there is usually no redness or inflammation.
    • Check out our products for Dry Scalp & Hair.

    Helping with Dandruff


    Suggestions Vary Depending on the Cause

    Treatment Varies Depending on the CauseContact Dermatitis: One of the causes of dandruff is actually, contact dermatitis--your scalp is experiencing an allergic or sensitivity reaction to a hair care product. Natural hair care products can help decrease the chance of contact dermatitis.

    Grab your nearest bottle of shampoo and check out the ingredients. If your scalp reacts to any of the ingredients listed, the results could be hair loss, dandruff, dermatitis or an irritated scalp. For more information click here to read "Why Use Natural Shampoo Bars."

    Dry Hair: Commercial shampoos, conditioners, and hair styling products are loaded with synthetic chemicals. Although detergent based shampoos will clean the hair and scalp well, they often cause over-drying which will make the condition worse. Read "Help Me Choose Products for Dry Hair."

    Oily Hair: Oily hair, the result of overactive oil glands, can also be a problem. Excessive production of sebum can clog the hair roots and may cause excessive shedding, hair loss, and dandruff. Read "Help Me Choose Products for Oily Hair."

    The Rosemary Mint Charcoal Shampoo Bar (shown in the picture) is a great shampoo bar for those with an oily and flaky scalp. Bamboo charcoal cleans and refreshes the scalp, removes impurities, and adsorbs (yes adsorbs) excess oils without stripping hair of natural oils. Rosemary essential oil is one of the best oils for your hair; it controls dandruff, balances natural hair oils, promotes hair growth, and stimulates the scalp.



    Neem & Tea Tree OilThe ancient healing properties of Neem and Tea Tree Oils are well known.

    Neem oil has countless benefits for the hair and scalp. It is used to treat dry, itchy, irritated scalps, dandruff and other scalp problems.

    Tea tree oil has natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that are especially helpful in treating dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis caused by a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia.

    Try our Neem & Tea Tree Body and Hair Shampoo



    Apple Cider VinegarApple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties that are well-supported by research. It can help ease scalp problems related to fungus or bacteria and thereby prevent an itchy scalp.

    ACV has a low pH due to malic acid. This creates an acidic environment that may help destroy seborrheic dermatitis causing fungus.

    An Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse also removes scaly build-up and residue from hair shafts to cleanse and clarify the hair and scalp without stripping the hair of its natural oils.

    As residue builds up on the scalp it can clog hair follicles which can lead to or exacerbate scalp issues. ACV allows the scalp to breathe naturally. A healthy scalp can help prevent dandruff build-up.

    We infuse our Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with certified organic herbs and organic essential oils that are great for the hair and scalp.

    Read our blog, "The Benefits Of An Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse & How To Use It"



    Herbal Hair Tea RinsesHerbal hair rinses have been used for centuries to treat scalp conditions. Our Dandruff Blend herbal hair rinse is designed to relieve flakiness and calm the itchy scalp.

    This blend of specially selected organic herbs and botanicals will help soothe the irritated and inflamed scalp from conditions such as dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.

    • Burdockhelps soothe irritated scalp conditions like dandruff, decrease breakage and repair hair while adding sheen
    • Thyme has antiseptic and antifungal properties that cleanse, heal and soothe the scalp
    • Peppermint leaves are widely recognized for their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and astringent properties
    • Chamomilepromotes healthy hair growth by correcting issues with scalp inflammation

    Read our blog about "Hair Care Herbs"

    Things to Avoid


    Over Drying Hair

    Many believe that drying out their oily scalp will help decrease dandruff. However, oily hair is actually made worse by drying shampoos. The chemicals in these products strip natural oils and dry out the scalp, which then encourages the oil glands to produce more oil. It becomes a vicious cycle.


    Recommended Products for Dandruff

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Do Herbs Infused In Vinegar Do?

    Why Do We Infuse Herbs Into Our ACV Rinses

    Nature's herbs and botanicals have a life force of their own.
    The vinegar extracts the healing and soothing phytochemicals from medicinal herbs and botanicals.

    Natural Organic Herbal Skin Care Basil, Ocimum basilicum, stimulates hair follicles, increases scalp circulation and promotes hair growth. Basil helps protect hair from breakage, its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe the roots and it adds luster to dull hair.

    Burdock, Arctium lappa, nourishes and strengthens hair follicles, to promote healthy hair growth and improve the condition of hair. It helps soothe irritated scalp conditions, decrease breakage and adds sheen, body & luster. The mucilage in burdock root adds “slip” to hair to make detangling easier.

    Horsetail, Equisetum arvense, is nourishing and hydrating, stimulates the scalp and has been used for centuries as a hair growth herb. The silica in horsetail helps to keep hair strong and adds shine and luster to hair.

    Lavender, Lavendula officinalis, has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antifungal properties that may help with irritated scalp conditions and hair loss. It helps balance oil production as is a great herb for all hair types.

    Nettle, Urtica dioica, stimulates the scalp, improves circulation, helps decrease breakage and promotes body, bounce, and shine. Nettle hair rinses are an old remedy to help reduce hair loss and encourage hair growth. Nettles balance oil production and help with dandruff.

    Rosemary, Rosemarinus officinalis, encourages the growth of strong healthy hair by improving blood flow to the scalp. The stimulating and revitalizing properties of rosemary help increase manageability, add shine, and condition the hair and scalp.

    View Answer Page
    How Often Can I Use An Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse?

    Since everyone's hair is unique you must use your own judgment. 

    Remember--dry hair likes less vinegar and oily hair likes more.

    For most people a using a vinegar rinse every day will be quite drying. It is best to restrict use to 1 to 2 times per week.

    The amount of water you add to the vinegar, the dilution rate, will also affect how often it can be used as well as whether it is drying to your hair. You will need to experiment to find a dilution that works best for your hair type. Always start with a very dilute rinse in order to find the proper ratio for your hair.

    If you like a bit of vinegar with each washing, a spritz with a very dilute rinse may work.


    Some Helpful Hints
    • While you can use any container to make your vinegar rinse, I like a plastic squirt top bottle. It is easier to squirt it all over my scalp and then massage it through, rather than pouring it all over my head from a cup. Recycle any clean plastic bottle with a squirt top.

    • Pouring a cold rinse on your hair may be a more invigorating experience than you would like. (Although if you're feeling brave, the cold water will give your hair added shine.) If you would like a warmer rinse, make it just before you step in the shower using very warm tap water.


    View related natural skin care blogs

    Browse our full collection of Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinses

    Make Your Own Natural Vinegar Hair Rinse

    Using Chagrin Valley Vinegar Hair Rinses

    View Answer Page
    Why Chagrin Valley Organic Vinegar Hair Rinses Better?
    When comparing vinegar hair rinse products
    and prices please read the label ingredients

    • Our ACV Rinses do not contain no water they are a pure concentrated vinegar rinse so you can add your own water to create the perfect rinse for your hair type.

    • Many vinegar rinses are not concentrates, they are made with water--often as the first ingredient--which means that you are paying for a product that is mostly water.

    • Our apple cider vinegar (ACV) finishing rinses are made with only USDA Certified Organic ingredients.

    • Our ACV rinses are made with only raw apple cider vinegar which contains the "mother," the storehouse of natural bacteria and enzymes that make this product so wonderful.

    • We infuse our organic vinegar with certified organic herbs and organic essential oils that are great for the hair and scalp.

    • Our ACV Rinses contain no water and therefore need no artificial preservatives.

    View Answer Page
    Why Raw Apple Cider Vinegar?

    Why Raw Apple Cider Vinegar for the Hair Rinses?

    Although plain white vinegar may work, Apple Cider Vinegar seems to be the favorite hair care vinegar. Some say that wine vinegars may be less drying for those with dry scalp conditions.

    The process for making apple cider vinegar begins with the juice of fresh apples. Bacteria and yeast added to the juice begin the fermentation process which breaks down fructose, the naturally occurring fruit sugar, into alcohol.

    The alcohol is converted to vinegar (which means “sour wine” in French) by acetic acid-forming bacteria.

    The natural raw non-pasteurized vinegar is packed with nutrients. It appears cloudy with stringy stuff and sediment on the bottom due to the "mother" which contains the natural bacteria and enzymes that make this product so wonderful.

    We only use organic raw apple cider vinegar with "mother." The difference between raw apple cider vinegar and a commercial clear vinegar brand is that the commercial vinegar is heated, distilled, and clarified. This processing removes much of the naturally occurring bacteria, nutrients, and living enzymes, thus stripping away the natural benefits.

    View related natural skin care blogs

    Make Your Own Natural Vinegar Hair Rinse

    Using Chagrin Valley Vinegar Hair Rinses

    View Answer Page
    What Is A Natural Shampoo Bar?

    Shampoo Bars Are One Of Our Favorite Discoveries!

    The wholesome goodness of our handcrafted soap is available for your hair.

    Shampoo bars are an all natural conditioning shampoo in a solid bar form. Yes, this is real shampoo in a solid bar. Shampoo bars are not a new idea.

    They were commonly used before liquid detergent shampoos and conditions were invented in the 1940s.

    Although the process for making a shampoo bar is the same as making soap, our shampoo bar "recipes" are specially formulated with natural plant oils, butters, botanicals and essential oils that nourish your hair and scalp.

    Our shampoo bars contain no artificial fragrance, color, preservatives, detergents, alcohol, urea, formaldehyde, sodium lauryl sulfate, DEA, propylene glycol - or any of the other synthetic hair care additives.

    Each of our shampoo bar selections contains a different blend of natural plant oils, essential oils, and herb infused oils. No two recipes are the same.

    Which Shampoo Bar Is Best For My Hair?

    Click here for help choosing an all natural shampoo bar!

    Everything You Want To Know About Shampoo Bars!

    Please read "Everything About Shampoo Bars!"

    View Answer Page

    Still Need Help

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