|10 shocking secrets you didn't know about dandruff|
Many of the clients in my salon have asked me what causes dandruff and how to get rid of it. The truth is that a lot of women, myself included, have suffered from dandruff and/or flaking at some point or another. But what exactly is dandruff anyway? Dandruff, also technically known as Pityriasis simplex capillitii, is a common issue among both women and men. It is a common myth that dandruff comes from having dry scalp, but that is not necessarily true. Dry scalp can result in flaking, but most forms of dandruff are not caused by dry scalp. It is very possible to have an oily scalp and have dandruff. The definition for dandruff is small pieces of dead skin in a person's hair. It is actually the shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp. The scalp is also considered to be skin, and skin cells are constantly renewing themselves. Therefore, when the new skin cells emerge, the old ones are pushed to the surface of the scalp, causing dandruff appear. Some people shed more dead skin cells than others, which results in more dandruff appearing. Dandruff often causes itching, but most dandruff can be cured or kept under control with more frequent shampooing, sometimes with a shampoo formulated especially for dandruff. I recommend my clients with mild cases of dandruff shampoo weekly with a clarifying shampoo (like this one), and follow up with a moisturizing shampoo (like this one)
|what causes dandruff and how to get rid of it.|
Now that we know exactly what dandruff is, I want to go over ten shocking secrets that you didn't know about dandruff. You may notice that your dandruff is not what you would consider to be mild. In that case, there are different kinds of dandruff or you may have an underlying condition. Excessive flaking could be caused by seborrheic dermatitis, a fungal infection, psoriasis, or possibly head lice. Let's take a closer look at each of these that you may not know about dandruff.
- Seborrheic dermatitis- This is a more severe type of dandruff in which the skin becomes inflamed and flaky. People with seborrheic dermatitis notice larger, greasier flakes. It can also affect the skin in other areas such as ears, eyebrows, forehead, cheeks, and armpits. You may also notice that the head feels tight, tingly, sore, and/or itchy. If you notice that your scalp becomes red, swollen, and none of your home remedies have worked, it may be best to see your doctor.
- Cradle cap- is a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis that only affects infants. It normally clears by the time the baby reaches age 1. Until then use this shampoo to help with the cradle cap.
- Malassezia (fungal infection)- This is a yeast-like fungus that lives on the scalp and can be caused by an allergic reaction, stress, illness, changes in hormones, or just not shampooing often enough. It feeds on oils secreted by your hair follicles (sebum) and can irritate your scalp. It can resemble seborrheic dermatitis in the way it looks.
- Psoriasis- Psoriasis can lead to the most serious form of dandruff. It is accompanied by an accumulation of dead skin cells that appear as thick, silvery scales. Psoriasis can also occur on the knees and lower back, but most often happens on the scalp. It results in a very rapid shedding of skin cells, and when this happens on the scalp, dandruff appears. However, unlike seborrheic dermatitis and malassezia, it is not contagious.
- Head lice- Head lice is NOT dandruff, however, they can appear to look similar. Head lice attach their eggs to the person's strands of hair. The eggs are tiny like dandruff, but it is not a form of dandruff. If you try to brush the hair or shake the head and item easily comes out, most likely this is dandruff. If the item is mostly uniform and looks oval shaped, it is most likely head lice. Dandruff flakes are not uniform, instead they are all shapes and sizes. Head lice on the other hand is uniform and oval shaped. Lastly, if the item is mostly only close to the root of the hair, it is most likely lice. Dandruff can be located at the root as well as further down the hair shaft. If you suspect you have head lice, treat this immediately at home! Don't go to your stylist asking them to treat if for you..
|how to get rid of dandruff|
Other facts about dandruff:
- It's contagious!- It is not wise to share combs and/or brushes with anyone because dandruff can spread. Also if you have dandruff, wash your combs and brushes with hot water and soap.
- It can be worse in winter, extreme temps can aggravate dandruff- Winter months have much less moisture in the hair. If your flaking is caused by dry scalp, winter months will make it much worse unless you shampoo weekly with moisturizing products (like these).
- Kids can have dandruff also-Yes your kids can have dandruff and you can spread it to them if you share combs and brushes.
- Keeping the scalp covered does not reduce chance of getting dandruff-Some people believe that if you keep your hair wrapped or covered that it will help with your dandruff. This is false!
- You may need to see your doctor for severe cases- If your dandruff seems abnormal to you head to your dermatologist to get to the bottom of the issue.
Dandruff is very common, I even experience it myself. But I find that shampooing my hair weekly keeps it to a bare minimum. So the good news is that it can be cured! Now that you have been introduced to what causes dandruff, you can more clearly identify which case yours falls under, fight it, and get rid of it for good.
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