What is dandruff?
Dandruff is a condition of the scalp that causes white flakes, itchiness and redness. Dandruff occurs when your scalp sheds dead skin cells.
Causes of Dandruff:
- The weather: Not usually the exact cause, but it can aid in worsening the condition during dry, cold-weather months.
- Dry skin: People with dry skin tend to get dandruff more often. Winter cold air, combined with overheated rooms is a common cause of itchy, flaking skin.
- Seborrheic dermatitis (itchy, scaly skin caused by an overproduction of oils in the skin and irritated malassezia.): People with seborrheic dermatitis are very prone to dandruff often in the scalp, backs of the ears, the breastbone, eyebrows and the sides of the nose. The patient will have red, greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales.
- Not enough shampooing or too much shampooing! Some experts believe that if you don’t shampoo enough there can be a buildup of oil and dead skin cells, causing dandruff. On the other hand, if you shampoo too often, the skin may get irritated. It may also produce more oils since your scalp gets over-dried from excess washing, making your scalp feel greasy by the next day.
- Certain skin conditions: Conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, etc. can also trigger dandruff for some people.
- Some illnesses: Adults with Parkinson’s disease and some other neurological illnesses are more prone to having dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. Patients recovering from heart attack, stroke or a weak immune system may also have dandruff more often than others.
- Reaction to hair/skin care products: Some people react to some hair care products with a red, itchy, scaling scalp. Many experts say that shampooing too often may cause dandruff as it can irritate the scalp.
- Diet: Some experts say that people who do not consume enough foods that contain zinc, B vitamins, and some types of fats are more prone to dandruff.
- Stress: Experts believe there is a link between stress and many skin problems.
How To Prevent Dandruff
Brushing your hair regularly helps distribute the oils throughout your scalp and hair that are naturally produced by your skin. It also massages your skin, which increases blood flow to the area and improves circulation. We recommend brushing your hair upside down as it works best and helps distribute the oils better.
Other things that may help reduce dandruff include:
- Avoid stress and stressful situations. When we are in stress it can feel as if our body is in meltdown – our heart is racing, difficulty sleeping, our head often gets itchy and dandruff develops as you itch.
- A balanced diet that includes both acidic and alkaline foods can help elevate a weakened immune system and prevent a build up of unhealthy acid in the body.
- Get in the habit of washing your hair no more than 2-3 times a week. If your hair gets very greasy after 1-3 days, you might want to take a leap and try this technique: Stop washing your hair for 2 weeks straight. Your hair will feel very greasy, but it gives your skin enough time to adapt and learn to take the matter into it’s own hands and produce oils gradually. After the 2 weeks, begin washing your hair 1-2 times a week. You might be surprised! You may not “need” to wash as often as you normally did.