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6 Helpful Tips To Get Rid Of Dandruff In Babies

6 Helpful Tips To Get Rid Of Dandruff In Babies

Dandruff can make your baby’s scalp itchy, flaky, and dry. In some cases, this condition can also make them fussy and uncomfortable. However, dandruff in babies is less common than in adults and appears due to various reasons like exposure to extreme heat, overgrowth of fungus, over or under-usage of shampoo, skin disorder, and sensitivity to hair products.

In some cases, your baby might also suffer infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis (cradle cap) affecting the seborrhoeic parts of the body. However, you shouldn’t confuse this condition with baby dandruff, as their symptoms are a bit different. While dandruff is restricted to the scalp, seborrhoeic dermatitis is commonly seen on the gland-rich regions of the face, trunk, as well as scalp. 

Nevertheless, an itchy scalp can bring discomfort to your little one, so it’s a good idea to recognise the signs of dandruff at an early stage and implement treatment methods to cure it. You should also focus on following preventive measures as well to avoid dandruff on your baby’s scalp in the future.

Common Symptoms Of Baby Dandruff

dandruff in babies
The common symptoms of dandruff in babies include flaky and itchy scalp

There are several symptoms that could indicate dandruff on your baby’s scalp. Some of the common signs include:

  • Dry, flaky skin without inflammation on baby’s scalp
  • Itchy scalp
  • Dry patches that may be rough or scaly to touch
  • Red or yellow patches on and around your baby’s head

Possible Causes Of Dandruff In Babies

The exact cause of dandruff in babies is still not known. However, the common factors associated with this condition include genetics, irritants, chemicals, overproduction of sebum or skin oil, or dry and cold weather conditions. Additionally, dandruff can be caused due to frequent shampooing which renders the scalp dry due to moisture loss. In some cases, dandruff appears due to the overgrowth of a fungus called Malassezia, which may cause the skin cells in the scalp quickly. In this condition, you may notice white or grey flakes on your baby’s head. 

6 Helpful Ways To Get Rid Of Dandruff In Babies

dandruff in babies
Oiling your baby’s hair and using natural baby shampoo for hair wash can help get rid of baby dandruff

Brush The Baby’s Hair

Use a gentle bristled brush to comb your baby’s hair before shampooing. Brushing your baby’s dry hair will remove large and visible flakes of dandruff on their scalp and will help easily remove them during hair wash. However, do ensure to be gentle while brushing their scalp and not tug on their hair. This may hurt your baby and make them irritated or fussy.

Use Organic Coconut Oil To Massage Their Scalp

Coconut oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects that may help soothe and nourish your baby’s scalp. It can also help loosen the flakes stuck to the scalp. Opt for an organic hair oil made with cold-pressed, extra virgin coconut oil to hydrate your baby’s scalp and remove dandruff. 

Take a little bit of oil into your palm and gently massage it to your baby’s scalp before shampoo. Let the oil stay on their scalp for a little while before cleansing their scalp. You can also consider brushing their scalp during this time to remove all the dandruff flakes.

Use A Natural Baby Shampoo

Under-usage of shampoo can make your baby’s scalp oily and itchy, whereas, over-usage of shampoo can make their scalp dry, leading to itchy scalp and dandruff. Therefore, you should wash your baby’s hair not more than 2-3 times a week. 

Also, you should consider using a natural baby shampoo formulated with plant-based ingredients like organic curry leaf oil, rosemary oil, sandalwood oil, and aloe vera and hibiscus extracts. These natural ingredients help treat dandruff and also prevent it from recurring. Additionally, the natural baby shampoo soothes your baby’s scalp and makes their hair soft and shiny. 

Add An Antifungal Scalp Cream To Your Baby’s Haircare Routine

In some cases, the doctor may prescribe an antifungal scalp cream and lotion for the baby. These creams are available over the counter and help in relieving redness, irritation, and inflammation in your little one’s scalp. However, they must be used only under paediatric guidance, preferably for correct usage and dosage. 

Try To Keep Your Baby’s Scalp Oil-free

If your baby is prone to dandruff, then you should focus on maintaining the normal pH of their scalp. This can be done by ensuring an oil-free and clean scalp. However, this doesn’t mean you avoid using oil to massage their scalp. Instead, after oiling, make sure to rinse their scalp thoroughly with a plant-based and organic baby shampoo.

Use A Medicated Shampoo If Needed

For severe dandruff, your paediatrician may recommend using a medicated dandruff shampoo on your baby’s scalp. These shampoos are also available over the counter and should be used once or twice a week, depending on the severity of dandruff and the doctor’s recommendation. Also, while washing your baby’s hair, leave the shampoo for about two minutes and gently massage their scalp using your fingers. Rinse off the shampoo with lukewarm water and do not use any conditioners.

Tips To Prevent Dandruff In Babies

dandruff in babies
To avoid the recurrence of dandruff in babies, you should implement precautionary measures like regularly oiling their hair and having a fixed shampoo routine 

Even after treating dandruff in babies, the condition can recur. Hence, it’s wise to follow some preventive measures to keep your baby’s dandruff at bay.

  • Regularly oil their hair: Regular oiling can help avoid the build-up of stuck-on dandruff flakes. Using organic, virgin oil such as coconut oil will be good for your baby’s scalp. Its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties will help treat and prevent dandruff, as well as condition your baby’s scalp. 
  • Have a regular shampoo routine: Both over and under-shampooing can disturb the pH of your baby’s scalp. Therefore, the number of times you shampoo your baby’s scalp should depend on the severity of the condition. For instance, if your baby suffers from cradle cap, shampooing daily could help remove excess oil and loosen the flakes on their scalp. However, if they already have a dry scalp, regular hair wash will only make the scalp drier, leading to itching. In such a case, you should limit shampooing to twice a week. 

Dandruff in babies can lead to itchy, rough, and scaly scalp which can cause irritation and discomfort. Hence, you should fix a regular haircare routine complete with a natural and plant-based hair oil, and shampoo to treat and prevent recurrent episodes of dandruff. If the condition is not resolved with these remedies, consult your child’s paediatrician for alternative solutions. 

16 Jun 2022

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