Dandruff is a condition of the scalp that causes flakes of skin to appear and is often accompanied by itching which can be embarrassing especially when the urge to itch the scalp hits in public spaces.
This however doesn’t apply to females alone as men experience itchy beards and babies also develop a kind of dandruff known as cradle cap.
Dandruff is not related to hygiene, but washing the hair with the right hair product can help remove old skin flakes.
Underlying causes of dandruff include:
Dry Skin: People with dry skin are more likely to have dandruff.
Dandruff that stems from dry skin tends to have smaller, non-oily flakes.
Seborrheic dermatitis: this is a common skin condition that mainly affects the scalp.
It causes scaly patches, red skin and stubborn dandruff.
The skin will be red, greasy, and covered with flaky white or yellow scales.
Diet: Lack of zinc, B vitamins, and some types of fats in ones diet may increase the risk.
Sensitivity to hair products: certain hair care products can trigger a red, itchy, scaling scalp. Frequent shampooing may cause dandruff, as it can irritate the scalp.
Irregular combing/brushing: combing/brushing the hair regularly reduces the risk of dandruff, as it aids in the normal shedding of skin.
Below are some lifestyle changes and home remedies that can help get rid of dandruff:
Shampoo and scalp preparation: there are a thousand and one anti-dandruff shampoos on the shelves but before using any, ensure that there are no crusty patches on the scalp and around the jaw(for men), if you discover any, try removing as this will make the shampoo more effective.
After washing the hair, ensure it is dried and well combed before oiling to ensure that some stubborn flakes fall off and not stick back.
Most anti-dandruff or anti-fungal shampoos contain at least one of the following active ingredients: Ketoconazole, Selenium sulfide, Zinc pyrithione, Coal tar, Salicylic acids, Tea-tree oil.
The best strategy is to select a hair product that contains one or more of these ingredients.
Ensure regular application until the dandruff is under control.
Regular Oiling: oiling or applying cream to the hair regularly helps fight dandruff as dry hair is prone to developing dandruff.
Managing stress: managing stress is one of the possible ways to reduce dandruff as studies have shown that stress can trigger dandruff in some people.
Avoid sharing combs and brushes: when visiting the salon, ensure you go along with your personal combs and hair oil/cream to avoid contracting dandruff.
Dandruff in Babies
Newborns and young infants often have a kind of dandruff known as cradle cap.
These appear as yellow, greasy, scaly patches on the scalp.
These patches often appear within the first 2 months after birth and lasts a few weeks or months.
Washing the scalp with baby shampoo and applying baby oil can help prevent the scales from building up.
However, if there are signs of skin cracking or infection, swelling or bleeding or if it spreads to other parts of the body, it is important to see a doctor immediately.
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