Should You Scratch Dandruff Before Washing Your Hair?

Ideally, you should get rid of dandruff as fast as possible. There are many treatments that can help you. One of the more popular treatments is washing your hair with anti-dandruff shampoos. A good question that I am being asked regularly is, should you scratch dandruff before washing your hair?

If you did not know yet dandruff can be caused by various conditions.

They include [1]:

  • Dry scalp
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Scalp Infection

Many of these conditions have different causes, but some of them show very similar symptoms. The main commonality that these conditions have is that they leave patches of dry, itching and inflammatory skin.

An itching sensation is completely normal. There are many irritants that can cause an itch. Your natural reaction would be to scratch that itch. That is completely fine, as long as you don’t overdo it.

If you scratch already inflamed skin, the result can be much different. It is much worse! I used to think that scratching off dandruff vigorously would not only offset the itch but also get rid of dandruff. However, this turned out to be completely wrong. In fact, scratching dandruff off before washing your hair can backfire extremely badly.

When you scratch dandruff off your scalp with force (with fingernails or a comb for example) the already inflamed skin will become much more irritated.

For me, this meant that the patches became redder and extremely itchy. So it was a vicious cycle. Scratching made my scalp more irritated and inflamed, which in turn worsened my dandruff condition. It can even become so bad that you feel the inflamed red patches of skin pounding. So please don’t scratch your dandruff off vigorously, even though the urge to resist is insurmountable.

Another important tip for you (something that I had to learn the hard way) is to not scratch your scalp just before showering.

What happens is that your fingernails or even your comb often penetrate the top layers of your scalp. Scratching your scalp creates tiny lesions on your skin. You do not usually feel any pain initially, but when you start running water and shampoo across your head you will feel a lot of stings.

These stings are extremely painful and are caused by the already inflamed skin reacting to the chemicals. So please try to keep touching the inflamed skin to a minimum and try to resist the urge to scratch completely.  I know it’s sometimes impossible to do, but I’d rather you rub it than scratch it.

Should You Scratch Dandruff During Your Hair Wash?

No, you shouldn’t! In fact, try not to scratch your dandruff out at all. Doing that only irritates your scalp even more.

What you should do instead is get the right anti-dandruff shampoo and slowly massage it into the scalp. Most of the shampoos have clear instructions on how to use them most effectively. I recommend following them. If you are unsure how to use them, the safest way is to gently massage your scalp with it.

Make sure that you get the right shampoo for your condition. I made the mistake of using a random anti-dandruff shampoo that I found on the shelf and it did more bad than good.

How do You Get Rid of Dandruff without Scratching?

There are plenty of ways to get rid of dandruff. You can try each method on its own, or you can use them in combination. I’ve been using them for many years and they have all worked great!

How to Get Rid of Dandruff Without Scratching

Getting the Right Shampoo

When it comes to picking the right anti-dandruff shampoo, make sure that you do some research. Each skin condition has several ingredients that work well. The last thing you want to do is waste your time and money on something that is not going to work at all.

If you are interested, you can read some of my shampoo reviews. I have personally used these shampoos myself. Common ingredients include Selenium Sulfide, Ketoconazole, sulfur, Ciclopirox Olamine, Climbazole, zinc pyrithione and coal tar.

Try Natural Dandruff Treatments

There are also many home remedies that can help you with dandruff. They usually consist of natural ingredients and do not contain any chemicals. I usually use these dandruff home remedies after I wash my hair.

The home remedies that work best for me are

  • Tea tree oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Coconut oil

Eat the Right Nutrients

Good food also plays an important role when it comes to dandruff. Make sure that you include a good amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin D and Vitamin E.

As far as minerals are concerned, it’s always good to include sufficient amounts of zinc and omega-3 fatty acid in your diet. These minerals are known to have a positive effect on your scalp health and are also good for your body.

Develop a Good Routine

So, back to the question. Should you scratch dandruff before washing hair? I hope that I have encouraged you not to do so. I know it can be hard to resist the urge of scratching, especially if your scalp is extremely itchy.

I’ve had dandruff for over 15 years now. At the point of writing this, I can happily tell you that even though dandruff us a chronic condition, is very easily manageable if you know what to do. Browse through this website and read up as much as you can. I have created it for people like you. I once was in your shoes, but trust me, it gets much better the more you understand.

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