Most people have incorrect information about the causes of dandruff and how to treat it. Many people assume dandruff is the result of a dry scalp; though, this is not always the case. In order to treat any medical issue, you need to start by learning more about the condition. This also applies to dealing with dandruff.
Dandruff presents itself as white flakes when your hand brushes against your hair. These white flakes can end up along your collar or your back. This is an embarrassing issue to have to deal with, as it promotes the image that you do not properly care for yourself.
Dandruff is a harmless occurrence, but it can be annoying. If you have detected the signs of dandruff or want to take steps to prevent it, then use the following information.
What is the Cause of Dandruff?
There are a lot of misconceptions about dandruff. As mentioned, many people think it has to do with having a dry scalp. This is partly truly, but not entirely. Some people also think that dandruff may have something to do with their hair. The truth is, dandruff is a scalp issue and not a hair issue. Dandruff is also not always its own condition. It is often the result of existing medical conditions.
Dandruff is dead skin cells. When skin cells grow too fast and are not properly removed from your head, they dry out and flake to the surface. A dry scalp can increase your dandruff problem, but it may not be the cause.
In many cases, a fungus called Malassezia is the primary cause of the problem. This fungus naturally lives on the scalp. When the fungus spreads out of control, then you may notice dandruff or other issues with your scalp.
Dandruff can become worse when you are sick, stressed, or when it is cold outside. When you are sick or stressed, your immune system may have trouble dealing with the fungus on your scalp. Cold weather can dry your scalp out, which may promote dandruff, even if it is not the root cause of the problem.
Another potential cause of dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis. This condition often affects the face, chest, and the scalp. If you have seborrheic dermatitis, then you may notice dry, flaky skin on other parts of your body.
Dandruff should not result in an itchy scalp. If you notice an itchy scalp, the problem is typically unrelated to dandruff. It may be the result of not properly drying your hair or not thoroughly washing your shampoo or conditioner out of your hair.
How Can You Treat Dandruff?
How can you treat dandruff? Dandruff is a harmless problem. This means that you should be able to treat the issue on your own without medical assistance. The treatment for dandruff is fairly straight-forward. There are two basic methods of treating dandruff – brushing your hair and using a dandruff shampoo.
When brushing your hair, brush from the scalp down to the ends of your hair. Always start from the scalp and work outward. This will help remove oil from your scalp and pass it along the strands of hair. Removing this oil could help your scalp breathe and prevent a buildup of fungus or yeast. At the same time, this oil will help keep the rest of your hair shiny and healthy.
Along with learning how to properly brush your hair, you may want to consider using a dandruff shampoo. Most dandruff shampoos contain active ingredients that are intended to attack fungus or protect your scalp against conditions that could promote the growth of skin cells. The primary types of dandruff shampoos include:
- Coal tar preparations
- Pyrithione zinc
- Salicylic acid and sulfur
- Selenium sulfide
These dandruff shampoos contain various active ingredients to combat dandruff. If you use one of these dandruff shampoos, be prepared to switch to another if it loses its effectiveness. It is perfectly natural for a dandruff shampoo to work for a while and then have your body adapt to it.
Depending on the thickness of your hair and the amount of dandruff you are dealing with, you may need to wash your hair with dandruff shampoo every day or a couple of times per week. You will need to monitor the impact that the dandruff shampoo has on your condition and adjust your shampooing schedule accordingly.
Whenever you shampoo your hair, you should thoroughly massage and rub the shampoo into your scalp. The shampoo is used for more than cleansing your hair. It is also used to cleanse your scalp. Leave the shampoo on your scalp for several minutes before rinsing it.
When you rinse the shampoo, make sure that you completely rinse the shampoo from your hair. Leftover shampoo can dry out and irritate your skin. This can cause itchiness, which many people connect with dandruff – even though the two conditions are unrelated.
As your dandruff issue begins to pass, you should continue using dandruff shampoo. Wait until you no longer detect any signs of dandruff before you switch back to your regular shampoo. If using a dandruff shampoo and properly brushing your hair does not treat dandruff, then you may need to consult with your doctor.
Is it Possible to Prevent Dandruff?
Using these suggestions for treating dandruff, you should be able to help prevent dandruff from occurring in the first place. If you have not yet detected any dandruff but want to ensure that you do not have to deal with it, then use some of the recommendations for treating dandruff.
You should also try not to wash your hair too often and make sure that you thoroughly scrub your scalp. This will prevent the buildup of the fungus that often results in dandruff and keep your scalp from becoming itchy.
It is not difficult to deal with dandruff. You just need to realize that the primary cause of dandruff may not be what you imagined. While you should still thoroughly wash your scalp and avoid washing too frequently, the best way to prevent and treat dandruff is with proper brushing techniques and a dandruff shampoo.