Do you look like you've just come in from the snow but it's summertime? If so, you may have a dandruff problem.

Here at, you can get the information you need to eliminate dandruff. Or help a friend with dandruff by anonymously emailing them a message. Below is the information you need to understand why you and others are sometimes flaky and what you can do about it. And in the sidebar to the right, you can send off an email letting someone else know they've got dandruff — and they never have to know it came from you!

Dandruff causes

Many mistakenly believe that dandruff is caused by poor hygiene, but don't worry — while it may make the condition worse, it isn't the cause. Prepare to be grossed out: there's a yeast-like fungus that thrives on fat called "malassezia" that's to blame. You'll find malassezia on the scalps of plenty of healthy adults who don't suffer from dandruff. However, it can sometimes grow uncontrollably and when it does, it irritates your hair follicles and encourages increased cell turnover. Since the rate of cell turnover is so much quicker than it should be, the dead skin cells clump together rather than fall off naturally (and usually unnoticeably) — and that's what those white dandruff flakes are!

How to get rid of dandruff

A natural dandruff remedy

Are you skeptical of over-the-counter dandruff treatments? Try this all-natural recipe:
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon pure apple juice, 3 tablespoons warm water. Mix and massage into your scalp 3 times a week.

Get yourself some anti-dandruff shampoo, available at any store selling your typical shampoos and condiitoners. To start, you'll want to use it daily until you see improvement, then you can cut back. Be sure to follow the directions on the packaging. There are different ingredients available in different shampoos that all address the dandruff problem. One active ingredient is "zinc pyrithione, found in the ubiquitous Head & Shoulders." This will help reduce dandruff-causing fungus. Another type of shampoo to look for is a tar-based shampoo, such as Neutrogena T/Gel. Tar-based shampoos work by slowing cell turnover. Salicylic acid works by "scrubbing" your scalp, but you'll want to be sure to use a conditioner to counter the dryness that results. Another ingredient available in other shampoos which works by slowing cell turnover is Selenium sulfide, but stay away if you have blond, gray or dyed hair as it can discolor it. If you've tried all of the above products by still haven't had success, look for shampoo with ketoconazole, which is available over the counter as well as by prescription.

There are other things you can do to control dandruff as well. Shampooing often will reduce the oil on your scalp and deprive the fungus of its food source (yuck!). Cool it with the styling products — these cause build-up on your scalp and lead to a friendly environment for dandruff-causing fungus. Don't get too stressed out in life (easier said than done). Stress can sometimes trigger dandruff or make it worse. Eat well - good nutrition will help control dandruff.

When to see a doctor about dandruff

If you've tried anti-dandruff shampoos for several weeks and you're still suffering from it, see your doctor. You may have a condition called seborrheic dermatitis, in which case your doctor may prescribe a stronger treatment.

Send an anonymous email and help someone with dandruff!
Just enter your flaky friend's name and email address below. Click here for the full text of the email message.

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