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The Truth About Dandruff And What To Do About It

Dandruff happens even to the best of us at some point in our lives. A dry, flaky or itchy scalp is nothing to be embarrassed about, and you’re not alone. There are many proven products for treatment available on the market today. Dandruff is a condition where the skin on the scalp flakes. There are two types of dandruff; common dandruff and a more severe type known as seborrheic dermatitis. In this blog, we talk about dandruff and some links it may have to hair loss.

Types Of Dandruff

Moderate dandruff is easy to treat with over-the-counter shampoos and scalp creams available in most major supermarkets and pharmacies. The most common type of dandruff usually comes and goes, commonly flaring up during stressful times. It is known as ‘pityriasis capitis simplex’ or ‘pityriasis steatoides’. If the build-up of skin flakes is severe and causing some irritation, more potent prescription medicines are available to keep it under control.

If you have any concerns about your dandruff or it does not respond to the regular anti-dandruff shampoos and conditioner, you should speak to a trichologist. Another indication that your scalp issue is not dandruff is when there is inflammation, redness or soreness. A trichologist will help with arriving at a diagnosis and getting you the treatment you need to restore your scalp and hair to good health.

What Is The Science Behind Dandruff

The skin is always shedding and regrowing in a constant cycle, but if everything is ok, you don’t even notice it. This happens even on your scalp. When you wash and shampoo your hair, the dead skin cells are washed away. When the balance of bacteria on your scalp shifts or you’re not washing your hair frequently enough, then dandruff happens.

Millions of bacteria or germs make their home in your hair and scalp. A healthy scalp produces secretions such as sweat and sebum create a protective barrier which controls the growth of this bacteria. Hormonal changes, stress or diet may cause this protective layer to break down. The result is a rapid multiplication of bacteria and excessive skin shedding, aka dandruff.

The causes of dandruff include the following:

  • Pre-Menstrual syndrome
  • Dry or cold weather
  • Changes in hormones
  • A fatty, salty or sugary diet
  • Poor hygiene and irregular hair washing
  • Physical or psychological stress

Below you will find some of the most common symptoms of dandruff you can look out for. Catching dandruff early before it turns severe often means over-the-counter products will work to restore your sebum and protect your scalp.

Symptoms Of Common And Severe Dandruff

Scalp irritation and itching leading to flaking are the most common signs of dandruff. You’ll often start seeing white flakes on your shoulders or your scalp through the year. When dandruff becomes severe, you’ll begin noticing redness and soreness on your scalp, as well as flakes throughout the length of your hair.

How To Treat Dandruff

Because a symptom of dandruff is a flaky scalp, most people make the mistake of assuming its because the scalp is dry. This leads them on to try and reverse the condition by oiling their scalp, which is the wrong approach to take.

Shampoos And Toners

Shampoos, scalp toners and masks are the perfect way to get dandruff under control. Daily use of a flaky or itchy scalp shampoo and toner until dandruff clears and then alternating with your regular washing products will keep your scalp clear.

Sulphur And Salicyclic Acid

A chemist can help by making cream of 1% of sulphur and salicylic acid mixed in an oil-in-water emulsion for severe cases of dandruff. Applying the cream directly to the scalp before shampooing will help resolve your dandruff problem.

Diet And Lifestyle Changes

Diet and lifestyle contribute to some cases of dandruff. If you notice dandruff coming on after you have made changes to your diet, then perhaps therein lies the cause. Restrict dairy products, cut back on salt, fats and sugar for a few weeks and monitor how the condition develops over time. Managing stress and relaxing may also help if the cause is due to stress.

Scalp Conditions And Hair Loss

Severe dandruff may lead to temporary hair loss in some cases. However, with the right anti-dandruff treatment, the hair will grow back. If you’re unsure about whether you’re losing your hair or it’s just dandruff, use the dandruff shampoo for two weeks. If the problem does not go away then perhaps it’s time to visit a trichologist.

Vinci Hair Clinic offers a range of hair loss treatments and each treatment starts with a consultation. This is the time when the specialist will get to get some medical history and examine your scalp. Get in touch today and start your journey back to beautiful hair.