Everything About Dandruff and How to Deal with It

1. What is dandruff?

2. What causes dandruff?

3. How to remove dandruff

a. Get a good anti-dandruff shampoo

b. Brush your hair

c. Add good fats to your diet

d. Wash your hair often—and massage your scalp

 

Hair (and our scalp) comes with “issues” that are remarkably similar to the ones that our skin encounters. These issues can be either directly related to hair or our scalp condition, affecting our hair. Dry? Damaged? Greasy? Flaky? In hair terms, the latter usually means dandruff, which can make good hair days bad and will most certainly make bad hair days worse. These small, pesky white flakes are a very common condition; in fact, it’s estimated that one in five people experience dandruff. But what exactly is it, what causes dandruff and what can you do to control it? Regardless of the season, a flaky scalp can be an annoying problem. So, how do you get rid of dandruff? Discover tips and tricks for how to address dandruff head-on with the best dandruff treatments so you can finally start wearing black again—without the fear of snowlike flakes appearing on your shoulders.

1. What is dandruff?


Though many people experience it, most don’t realize what dandruff is. Most of us know that it’s a condition that affects our scalp, causing it to itch and flake, leaving bits of dead skin in our hair (and on our shoulders) and our scalp inflamed. Dandruff symptoms aside, our skin continuously replaces itself every 28 days, but for those with dandruff, the skin cells begin to replace more rapidly than the normal cycle, shedding skin in large, oily clumps that become visible. The severity differs from case to case; most are easy to treat with dandruff shampoo, while more aggressive versions might require a medicated approach.

2. What causes dandruff?


Dandruff is misunderstood. A lot of us think dry skin is to blame, and though it does play a role, the biggest cause is a yeastlike fungus called Malassezia that feeds on the oil on the scalp. You might be wondering since it’s a fungus, is dandruff contagious? Absolutely not. This type of fungus is a harmless part of your scalp and skin flora that feeds on the oil on your skin. But if it’s allowed to overgrow, usually due to lack of washing and a buildup of oil, it can cause an inflammatory response that leads to a buildup of skin cells that then flake off. Other conditions, like contact dermatitis, eczema and scalp psoriasis, can also lead to dandruff-like flaking.

3. How to remove dandruff


Plain and simple, dandruff is annoying. If you experience it, you probably want to deal with it immediately to avoid a full-blown shoulder snowfall. Looks aside, it also can be quite uncomfortable. Now here’s the good news: If you have the right products and behaviours, there are plenty of ways to remedy and prevent dandruff. Neutralize flakes once and for all with our easy-to-follow advice.

a. Get a good anti-dandruff shampoo


If you’re dealing with dandruff, it’s absolutely essential that you start using a proper shampoo. A good shampoo for dandruff is one that exfoliates visible dandruff from the very first application and helps prevent its return. Vichy Dercos Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for Normal to Oily Hair does just that and remains efficient for up to six weeks after you’ve finished the treatment.

If you’ve read that dandruff shampoos can be harsh and you’ve asked yourself “Will dandruff shampoo fade hair colour?” Well, it’s possible. Many are clarifying shampoos, which means they can slowly lift hair dye from your hair and fade it out over time—but that’s if you use it daily. Since the results of Dercos Anti-Dandruff Shampoo last six weeks, you can alternate between it and your colour-preserving shampoo.

b. Brush your hair


While dandruff shampoo is typically the first route people take to get rid of the flakiness on their scalp, it’s definitely not the only option. Start gently brushing your hair morning and night with a mixed-bristle (plastic and boar) brush. The bristles aid in distributing the oils evenly throughout the hair while exfoliating at the same time. Another option is to buy a dandruff brush. Usually circular with wide plastic or silicone bristles, these brushes are designed to be an in-shower tool to help break up flakes and wash them out of your hair.

c. Add good fats to your diet


Tweak your diet and start adding foods rich in vitamin B7 (a deficiency can actually cause dandruff) and omega fatty acids (like fish, nuts and plant oils), and eat a balanced diet in general.

d. Wash your hair often—and massage your scalp


If you like to stretch the life of your blowout for days but also suffer from dandruff, something’s got to give. Going several days between shampooing your hair can lead to product buildup and oils, which can then cause clogged hair follicles and exacerbate dandruff. Plus, it’s more food for the Malassezia fungus. So, make sure to give yourself a good shampoo session and a nice scalp massage every second day. Massaging with your fingers will help break up flakes and soothe your scalp.

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