Dandruff is a harmless, chronic condition that occurs when the scalp becomes dry or greasy and produces white flakes of dead skin that appear in the hair or on the shoulders. People most often think of dandruff as anything that produces a flaky scalp.
Although it is harmless, dandruff can be embarrassing for those who have it. Dandruff usually starts between the ages of 10 and 20 and affects up to 40% of people over the age of 30.
MYTHS & FACTS
- Switching brands of shampoo: Shampoo doesn't cause dandruff. However, medicated shampoos like KETOMAC can help.
- Changing hair-care routines: There is no right shampoo or conditioner. What is more important is the frequency with which these agents are used. The more frequently one shampoos, the better the result. Seborrhea and dandruff are not caused by excessive shampooing (misconception with drying out the scalp). Hair dyes and conditioners do not cause or aggravate dandruff.
Split ends occur when the protective outermost layer of hair (the cuticle) is damaged and peels back. Excessive styling and heat can aggravate the condition. Some cures for split ends include:
- Apply a serum or spray having heat protective properties before styling or drying hair.
- Use conditioner when washing your hair, concentrate especially on hair ends.
- Brush hair gently with a soft, flexible hairbrush.
The scalp contains a natural oil called sebum, which helps keep the skin lubricated. Sebum is produced by the sebaceous glands. Sometimes these glands work overtime and produce too much oil, leading to a condition called seborrhoea, or greasy scalp. Greasy hair can look dull, limp and lifeless, and it may be more difficult to manage. To treat greasy hair, try washing with a gentle shampoo that is specially formulated to control sebum.
Hair needs moisture and a certain amount of oil to keep it looking healthy. A number of things can dry out hair, including use of harsh shampoos and washing too often, excessive use of curling or straightening iron, chlorine in swimming pools etc. Try these tips to avoid hair from becoming too dry:
- Don't wash your hair every day. When you do wash your hair, use a gentle shampoo that is designed to infuse moisture into dry hair. Also use a conditioner daily.
- Limit blow-drying and the use of hot irons, hot rollers and curling irons.
- Increase the time between hair treatments such as dyes and perms.
- Wear a hat on cold, windy days and put on a swimming hat when swimming in a chlorinated pool.