Dandruff is a common condition that affects the skin of the scalp. It is characterized by a few specific symptoms, which include the appearance of skin flakes on the scalp, hair, and shoulders. Some men and women who have severe cases of dandruff will need to see their primary care provider or a dermatologist for advice. Many people, however, can care for their dandruff in the comfort of their home.
If you are looking for a solution for your dandruff or dry scalp, read this guide. We will explain why these symptoms occur, as well as mention the most common signs that you have the condition. You will also learn about the different options for improving scalp health, as well as the appearance of your hair.
What Causes Dandruff?
According to Medical News Today, the exact cause of dandruff is unknown. There are several different factors, however, that can contribute to developing flakes. It is important to know that it is not related to a lack of proper hygiene. You cannot get dandruff from simply not shampooing enough.
Many people who have the symptoms of dandruff take great care to find and use beauty and wellness products that treat their symptoms and promote healthier-looking hair. There is an increased risk, however, that you can get it as a result of certain hereditary predispositions or lifestyle factors. In some cases, other health conditions contribute to flakes or an unhealthy scalp.
The following are just a few of the risk factors that can contribute to developing dandruff:
- Hormones: A body of research indicates that dandruff is linked to hormone production, as many people see the symptoms start to appear around puberty. Both young men and women may see an increase in flakes in adolescence and early adulthood, with the severity of symptoms decreasing as they get older. Many young adults who have hormonal imbalances that cause acne or oily skin can also have more problems with the conditions that lead to dandruff.
- Dry skin: Dry skin can also cause dandruff. When this is the cause, the flakes often look smaller than those that contain more oil. Some people who do not have dandruff most of the time can develop it as a result of a dry scalp in winter. Protecting your head in cold weather and using hair products that moisturize the scalp can help to relieve these seasonal symptoms.
- Oily scalp: When many people think of dandruff, they imagine dry skin. However, you can also get flakes and itching from having an oily scalp. Excessive oil and sebum can cause a buildup of skin on the head, which could lead to clogged hair follicles. This can impact your hair health and even impede hair growth. Another cause of oily flakes is called seborrheic dermatitis.
- Seborrheic dermatitis: This skin condition causes scaly patches and red skin on oily parts of the body. The most common place that people see symptoms is the scalp. According to the Mayo Clinic, the condition can be difficult to treat. Stubborn, greasy dandruff may require the care of a physician.
- Yeast production: Everyone’s skin contains a small amount of yeast. While it usually does not cause any issues, it is still possible to develop an infection. According to Healthline, yeast infections occur on multiple parts of the body, including on your head. A minor case of excessive yeast production on the scalp is what is known as dandruff. When yeast production is the cause of your dandruff, treating it as soon as possible can help to avoid severe symptoms and infection.
- Wrong hair regimen: Sometimes, dandruff results from the wrong hair care routine. For example, brushing your hair too little can cause flakes to build up on the scalp. If you shampoo too much, it can also irritate and dry out your head. This is especially true if you use a formula that zaps moisture. Some people have skin reactions to products that can cause itching, redness, or scales.
- Skin conditions: A few skin conditions are linked to the symptoms of dandruff. This includes psoriasis, an autoimmune condition that causes excess cells to develop on the skin. People who have eczema are also more likely to develop dandruff on their scalp. In the event that you develop ringworm, it is also possible to see flakes.
- Medical conditions: People who have Parkinson’s disease or some other neurological illnesses are more prone to developing dandruff or the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. It is also possible to have more dandruff if you have HIV, have a heart condition, or have suffered a stroke in the past.
- Stress: For people who are prone to dandruff, stress can cause symptoms to become even worse. An article on stress and dandruff says this is because worrying or anxiety can cause a compromised immune system. Many people who have flakes as a result of stress also notice a substantial amount of itching.
Signs & Symptoms of Dandruff
The appearance of flakes on the hair and scalp is one of the most obvious signs that you have dandruff. There are also a few other symptoms that are commonly seen in people with a dry scalp. These are:
- Itchy scalp: Since the scalp is dry, it may feel itchy. The itching sensation can tempt you to scratch or pick at your head. A hair regimen with specially formulated hair products may be able to help with these symptoms.
- Cradle cap: Infants who have dandruff often have crusty scales on their head. The condition is harmless and often clears up after the newborn stage. Parents can treat cradle cap with the help of special brushes or combs. Talk to your baby’s pediatrician if you have questions.
- Flakes in other areas: While flakes on the hair, scalp, and shoulders are most common, you can see flakes on other parts of your body. This includes facial hair like your beard or mustache. You could even see flakes on your eyebrows.
- Oily or dry scalp: When you have dandruff, the scalp is usually excessively oily or extremely dry. You will not have normal scalp health. Itching can occur as a result of both conditions.
How to Treat Dry Scalp
A dry scalp can be uncomfortable and cause embarrassing flakes. Thankfully, there are many ways you can help to relieve a dry scalp at home. These same activities can even improve your hair and scalp health. Your exact routine will depend on the severity of your condition, as well as the cause of the dandruff or dryness.
Here is how to care for your dry scalp at home:
- Use the Right Hair Products: Invest in shampoos, conditioners, and styling formulas that help to return moisture to your hair and scalp. There are products available that are scientifically formulated to nourish your head and hair follicles. Therapeutic ingredients such as botanicals and argan oil retain moisture to keep hair soft and shiny while relieving dryness.
- Brush Your Hair Regularly: Regular brushing will help to coax the flakes off your scalp and hair. It will also help to stimulate your hair follicles and promote better hair health. Be gentle while brushing. Careful, soft strokes will help to prevent an excessive loss of strands from your head.
- Avoid Extreme Weather: Cold or dry weather can affect the health of your scalp. When it is frigid outside or the air is zapping the moisture in your skin, take steps to protect yourself. Avoid going outdoors until conditions are better. If you must go outside, protect your scalp and hair. Wear a hat if it is sunny or snowing.
- Steer Clear of Chemical Treatments: Chemical hair treatments can make your scalp dry and cause itching. Ask your stylist to skip therapies that contain harsh chemicals such as alcohol or bleach. Instead, try a new hairstyle or purchase hair products that will improve the look of your hair and scalp from the inside out.
- Try a Home Remedy: There is a variety of home remedies for dry scalp. These include tea tree oil, coconut oil, and aloe vera. Other options include using apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, and jojoba oil. If you prefer using produce in your pantry, you can make a recipe with avocados, mashed bananas, or yogurt. Each of them can be made into a scalp massage treatment that you can do before a shower or when you have some time to yourself.
How to Treat an Oily Scalp
Treatment for an oily scalp aims to stop dandruff by helping to slow down the excess reproduction of skin cells. It also seeks to remove excessive oils without making the scalp too dry. Some of the most common remedies for an oily scalp include fish oil supplements, as well as tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar applied topically.
You may also see relief from using aloe vera, probiotics, or a shampoo that specially treats excess sebum and buildup. A hair care regimen designed for an oily scalp and the prevention of dandruff can help to relieve symptoms quickly and effectively. If you have any questions about how to use these home-based therapies, talk to your dermatologist or make an appointment with your family doctor.
When to Seek a Doctor’s Advice
While many people can relieve symptoms of dandruff with at-home care, there are some reasons to see a doctor. In addition to consulting with a physician when you have questions about treatment, you should also talk to someone if your dandruff will not go away. Severe dandruff is another reason to get a professional opinion.
For some people, it is necessary to treat an underlying medical condition to get the dandruff under control. Others may need guidance on how to alter their lifestyle or daily habits. No matter your concerns, your medical team is there to help you. If you are searching for a specialist, a dermatologist can help you with a variety of skin conditions, including dandruff. Search the internet for a board-certified skin professional in your area or get a referral from your health insurance plan.
Building a Foundation for Healthy Hair
By using home remedies and seeking a doctor’s advice as necessary, you can build a foundation for healthier hair. Whether you have oily skin or a dry scalp, the CAP+ Clinical Hair Therapy Bundle will gently cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize your hair to normalize the health of your scalp and nourish your hair follicles.
First, start with our CAP+ Clinical Hair Therapy Shampoo, which exfoliates the scalp and removes buildup. This scientifically formulated product also washes away environmental pollutants, which have been linked to poor scalp health and hair loss. Since there are no harsh sulfates in the ingredients, the shampoo will improve your scalp health without stripping away essential oils. Antioxidants and other therapeutic elements will help drive blood and oxygen to hair follicles, which can result in healthier-looking locks.
Next, hydrate and condition your hair with our CAP+ Clinical Hair Therapy Conditioner. This blend of botanicals, nutrients, and argan oil increases the moisture on your scalp without irritating the skin. Our CAP+ Clinical Hair Therapy Revitalizer will remove the excess buildup that can clog hair follicles and inhibit hair growth. The formula is designed to deeply cleanse, exfoliate, and release sebum and perspiration.
Finally, our CAP+ Clinical Hair Therapy Activator leave-in serum will infuse your hair and scalp with a blend of scientifically formulated antioxidants and nutrients. To further build a foundation for healthy hair, use our hair vitamins. This supplement, which includes biotin, cysteine, and saw palmetto, is made with optimal scalp and hair health in mind.
Each of these products can be used in conjunction with our laser therapy caps, which help to promote healthier hair and hair growth in both men and women.Whether you are experiencing dandruff combined with the signs of poor hair health or simply want to feel more comfortable throughout your day, a proactive approach to dandruff and flakes can help to enhance your confidence, health, and wellness.