It starts slowly. Your black clothes are the first to be banished. Then comes the embarrassment. The awkward dance of your hands with your hair – tucking it behind your ears, rolling it up in a bun, spreading it out strategically to conceal those pesky white flakes that lay beneath. Dandruff.
Ask anyone around you what hair condition they are most wary of getting and a majority of them will give you the same answer – dandruff. This skin condition that is mainly characterized by white flakes is also accompanied by symptoms like inflammation and an itchy scalp. And although it is a frustrating hair condition to have, the good news is that it is treatable. But before you start any treatment, it is important that you figure out what type of dandruff you have to nip the problem in the bud.
Different Types Of Dandruff
1. Dry Skin-Related Dandruff
Dandruff often develops on people who generally have dry skin. This dry skin could be a result of winter months or not shampooing your hair regularly. People with curly hair also suffer from a drier scalp than other hair types. Using sulfate shampoos that create a lot of foam can also cause and aggravate dry skin-related dandruff.
Symptoms: A feeling of tightness on your scalp and small, round, white flakes of dandruff falling from your head.
2. Oily Scalp-Related Dandruff
Sebum is the natural oil that is produced by the sebaceous glands to moisturize your hair and skin and prevent it from drying up. It is also meant to keep the signs of aging at bay. However, sometimes your body may start producing excess sebum. This overproduction could be a result of puberty, pregnancy, stress, or irregular shampooing. When the excess sebum mixes with dirt and dead skin cells, it forms dandruff
Symptoms: Yellow patches on the scalp, big yellowish dandruff flakes, itching, greasy hair.
3. Fungal Dandruff
Fungal dandruff is caused by the infection of Malassezia globosa on your scalp. This fungal infection spreads quite rapidly when your scalp is excessively oily or has a pH imbalance. It is also highly contagious and can spread through sharing items like combs, towels or hats with an infected individual. What Malassezia does is, it produces oleic acid, which increases the turnover of skin cells, thus causing dandruff.
Symptoms: White or yellowish dandruff flakes, itchiness.
4. Dandruff Caused By Product Buildup
If you are someone whose hair styling routine consists of like five different products, you need to stop. Immediately. Using excessive amounts of styling products like leave-in conditioners, gels, serums, pomades, mousses or hair sprays can cause them to build up on your scalp. This build-up can combine with dirt and dead skin cells to form dandruff. In fact, it could also lead to hair loss.
Symptoms: Big whitish or yellowish flakes of dandruff, irritation, hair fall.
5. Dandruff Caused By Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that can develop on parts of your body where there’s a higher concentration of sebaceous glands. This includes your scalp, neck, behind your ears, face, and eyebrows. Studies show that it is usually caused by an inflammatory reaction to yeast that is naturally found on your skin’s surface. Stress and hormonal changes could trigger seborrheic dermatitis.
Symptoms: White or yellowish dandruff flakes, scaly patches, greasiness, redness, irritation.
6. Dandruff Caused By Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition in which the immune system starts attacking healthy skin tissues. This leads to a rapid production of new skin cells before the old dead skin has had a chance to flake off. What results is the formation of thick silver-colored scaly patches on your scalp, neck, knees, and back.
Symptoms: Silver-colored scaly patches, thick white dandruff flakes, redness, mild itching.
For someone who suffers from dandruff, it can become an all-consuming part of their life. Not only do you fixate on it endlessly, you also feel embarrassed or ashamed when among company. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Dandruff can be treated fairly easily with the help of a few products and by following some simple tips. So just keep reading…
Tips To Prevent Dandruff
With Hair Products
- There are tons of over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoos that you can use to get rid of dandruff permanently. All you need to do is pick one up that contains one of the following ingredients:
- Salicylic acid
- Selenium sulfide
- Coal tar
- Zinc pyrithione
- Some vital nutrients that you need to include in your diet to prevent dandruff are zinc, B vitamins, and fats.
- Avoid going in for chemical hair treatments like perms, hair colors, and relaxing.
- Brush and wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo regularly.
- Abstain from piling on hair styling products onto your hair and scalp.
With Natural Methods
- Fenugreek seeds: Soak 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds overnight and grind them into a paste. Apply this paste all over your scalp and leave it on for 30 minutes. Wash it off with soapnut (reetha) and water.
- Olive oil: Massage your scalp with olive oil for 10 minutes and leave it on overnight. Wash it off with water and a mild shampoo the next morning.
- Apple cider vinegar: Mix 2 cups of apple cider vinegar in 2 cups of water and pour it all over your scalp after shampooing it. Massage it in for a few minutes before washing it with water.
- Baking soda: Mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice into a bowl of apple cider vinegar. Apply this paste all over your scalp and leave it on for 10 minutes. Wash it off with water.
- Tea tree oil: Add a few drops of tea tree oil to coconut oil and massage it onto your scalp and hair. You can leave it on overnight before washing it off with a herbal shampoo.
So, as you can see, you don’t need to spend a bunch of money to get rid of dandruff. Just making a few changes in your hair care routine and making use of home remedies can help you put an end to this problem effectively. So, comment below to let us know if this information helped you gain insight on your particular dandruff problem.
Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions
Does washing your hair with hot water cause dandruff?
Washing your hair with hot water can cause dandruff as it dries out your scalp.
Can washing my hair every day cause dandruff?
No. In fact, the opposite holds true. You need to shampoo your hair more often to get rid of the oil buildup that could aggravate your dandruff.
How many times should I use dandruff shampoo in a week?
Follow the directions given on the bottle as the frequency with which it is supposed to be used varies from shampoo to shampoo.
How do I know if it’s lice or dandruff?
Dandruff just appears as white or yellow flakes on your scalp. Lice, on the other hand, can give rise to nits (tiny white specks on your hair shafts), nymphs (small, tan-colored lice), and adult louse.
Does dandruff spread from one person to another?
Dandruff can spread from person to person if it is caused by a Malassezia infection.
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