Being pregnant is tough enough but facing dandruff during pregnancy often feels like adding salt to the wound. Yes, dandruff is not the end of the world, but why now? Besides, having dandruff while pregnant also feels so… unrelated, doesn’t it? After all, what does your pregnancy have with your scalp?
Well, like it or not, dandruff is a very common side-effect of most pregnancies and there are multiple perfectly logical reasons for that. So, let’s talk about dandruff during pregnancy and what are the key things every woman needs to know about it.
What causes dandruff in pregnant women?
Most pregnant women get tired of hearing one word more than any other but we’re going to have to take the risk and mentioned it here anyway, simply because it applies – hormones. Yes, it’s annoying when we blame them for everything during pregnancy, but it is what it is. A pregnant woman’s hormones can go so absurdly wild that they tend to cause all sorts of problems in her body – including on her scalp.
Still, let’s go over things in a bit more detail:
- Higher skin oil production. One of the chief causes for dandruff in general, not just during pregnancy, is the extra potent production of skin cells on the scalp. This is something that also tends to happen during pregnancy since a pregnant woman’s hormones can drive the skin to produce extra skin oil, which, in turn, increases the production of skin cells. That’s also why you can sometimes notice that your body’s skin is getting a bit more flaky, ashy or oily during pregnancy, but it’s even more apparent on the scalp as the dead skin tend to accumulate easier under our hair.
- Increased sensitivity to your standard shampoo, conditioner, oils, and other skin-care products. Your standard hair-care products and habits can also play you a cruel joke when you’re pregnant. A woman’s body will typically become oversensitive to all kinds of chemicals and compounds, including ones that it didn’t use to be sensitive to before. This is easily noticeable with skin-care products such as shampoos, oils, and conditioners. This doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with what you’ve been using before – they may be perfectly fine products. However, if you have dandruff during your pregnancy, chances are that you’ll have to change the products you’re using, at least for the time being.
- Standard overreactions of the pregnant body. Our bodies are not really intelligent on their own and they do tend to overreact over all kinds of things. Pretty much every allergic reaction, for example, is a “false alarm” type of reaction of our immune systems. Similarly, because a pregnant woman’s body becomes overly sensitive during those special nine months, it’s perfectly normal for it to start reacting to the various bacteria and microorganisms that are typically living on our skin. And the end result of that overreaction? Dandruff.
What should you do when you face dandruff during your pregnancy?
The immediate and most common question people have is “Can you use dandruff shampoo while pregnant?” And the answer to that is “Yes”, which pretty much solves the whole dilemma of what you should do in that situation. Still, let’s be a bit more thorough and take a look at the best pregnancy-safe dandruff shampoo options out there.
- Ketoconazole-based shampoos. Ketoconazole is an antifungal agent that’s both effective and caring for sensitive skin. Ketoconazole shampoos are typically available over the counter and are sold in a lot of pharmacies.
- Selenium sulfide-based shampoos. Selenium sulfide is a powerful agent that works by slowing down the aging and dying of skin cells, thus reducing the amount of dandruff on your scalp. It’s also quite a strong compound, however, and it’s known to fade chemically dyed hair, so rinse really well after using it.
- Tar-based shampoos. Similarly to selenium sulfide, tar slows down the aging and death of our skin cells which is great for reducing dandruff. Tar-based shampoos are also great for seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.
- Pyrithione zinc-based shampoos. These shampoos have both antifungal and antibacterial properties that are great for both dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. They are also sparing enough to not cause problems to ultra-sensitive scalps most of the time.
What natural remedies for dandruff during pregnancy can you try?
Now that we’ve got the shampoos out of the way, let’s go over some natural and mild, yet effective remedies that can also help you battle dandruff during pregnancy to an effective degree. There are many different things you’ll usually find when looking for natural dandruff remedies online, but there are just a few we’d say are both effective and sparing enough to be a good idea during pregnancy.
- Aloe Vera. One of the kings of skin-care, Aloe Vera is justly the first remedy we mention here. It has powerful and natural antifungal properties, it’s very moisturizing, and it has a strong soothing effect on your skin. It’s also filled to the brim with cleansing enzymes that easily remove dandruff cells from the scalp. It can be used both independently and in conjunction with another remedy or shampoo.
- Apple cider vinegar. This remedy continues to surprise and startle some people today but it has amazing anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that are great against dandruff. A 1-to-2 mix with water will easily remove all dandruff-causing fungus from your scalp.
- Sea salt. Adding a couple of teaspoons of sea salt to oily shampoo and exfoliating with it is a great treatment for dry and dandruff-infested scalp.
- Coconut oil. This is one of the most popular remedies because of how safe it is, especially for a pregnant woman’s scalp. It’s also surprisingly effective at soothing, moisturizing, and nourishing the scalp.
- Garlic plus Argan oil. Garlic is great at stimulating the blood flow to the scalp, as well as removing grime, dust, and other unpleasantries. The argan oil, on the other hand, helps the garlic reach the roots of your hair more effectively.