Dandruff is caused by the overgrowth of a fungus on the scalp called malassezia. This fungus causes the skin cells to shed abnormally. When scalp oil clumps the white flakes together, dandruff becomes noticeable. Although uncommon until puberty and the teen years, dandruff is sometimes present in young children. Even though dandruff in children is unsightly, it does not usually signal a serious medical problem and can be remedied at home.
Brush your child’s hair right before shampooing it to get rid of any noticeable flakes.
Wash with a medicated shampoo that has salicylic acid or tar in it two times a week. This will reduce scaling and allow the medication to work on the scalp. Talk to a doctor or pharmacist to double check that the shampoo you choose is safe for a child’s use.
Clean hair with a regular child’s shampoo on days when you are not using medicated shampoo. This should be done until dandruff subsides.
Skip the conditioner. Be sure that a child who has begun to style her own hair avoids oily and greasy hair products. These can exacerbate dandruff symptoms.
Eliminate stress from a child’s life, because it can provoke scalp conditions like dandruff. Be present in your child’s life, keeping the lines of communication open. Consider learning relaxation methods together such as yoga or breathing exercises.