More Snow in Your Forecast? Dry Scalp or Dandruff?


As dry winter weather drags on, you may notice more white flakes on your hair and shoulders. Is it dry scalp or dandruff?

Dry scalp is often accompanied by small white flakes caused by dry weather, excessive heat, blow drying, hot water, too much shampooing or product residue. A diet lacking in essential fatty acids or a high consumption of diuretics like coffee and alcohol can dehydrate the skin. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water. To reduce flaking, try to moderate all of these causes and massage your scalp when shampooing to really clean your scalp and hair and remove buildup of oil, hair products and skin cells. You can also try an oil treatment for your scalp followed by a gentle shampoo and conditioner for dry hair.

Dandruff is usually indicated by slightly yellowish and oily flakes and excessive itching. It can be triggered by stress and hormones but is most commonly caused by an overactive fungus called malassezia. The best treatment is a gentle pre brush and a vigorous scrub with a dandruff shampoo that you let soak in for about five minutes followed by a thorough rinse to remove all of the flakes and old product residue. A red and irritated scalp accompanied by thicker flakes may indicate eczema or psoriasis and you should consult your dermatologist for treatment.

Dandruff shampoos fall into five categories depending on their active ingredient. They are coal tar (T-Gel), pyrithione zinc (Head and Shoulders), salicylic acid, selenium sulfide (Davines Naturaltech Purifying Shampoo), or ketoconazole. Everyone reacts differently to these ingredients so one may be more effective than another. Effectiveness may decrease after prolonged use, so don’t use a dandruff shampoo if you’re not experiencing itching and flaking. If symptoms return during use, try a different shampoo.

( Tags ) Hair Care