No one likes seeing flakes of skin on their favorite shirt. Better yet, no one really likes to see flakes of skin anywhere! As far as hygiene and cosmetics are concerned, dandruff can be like the unwelcomed guest that doesn’t want to leave.
Not only can dandruff be a persistent nuisance for people, many of us do not know what causes it. There have been many myths surrounding the cause of dandruff. For one thing, many people think that dandruff is caused by dry scalp; however, this is not true. Indeed, it is possible to experience much flaking due to dry scalp or eczema, but the flaking associated with dandruff is much more pronounced. Dry flaking scalp can be caused by a number of conditions, but the extreme flaking of dandruff is caused by a yeast-like fungus called malassezia.
According to Mayo Clinic Staff, malassezia resides in the scalp of most adults. The fungus generally presents no problems, but there are instances, as is the case with dandruff, where the fungus grows out of control. This irritates the skin cells in the scalp, causing the cell turnover that results in dry, flaky skin. Factors such as age, sex, oily hair and scalp, and illness are all factors that make individuals more susceptible to dandruff.
Fortunately, there are convenient ways to control it. Quality dandruff shampoo is highly recommended. A natural way to help fight dandruff and fungus is to use products that have Peppermint and Tea Tree essential oils in them. Peppermint and Tea Tree oils are natural astringents that help kill the fungus that causes the flaking and dandruff. Nyraju Skin Care and Eden Body Works both have natural shampoos that contain peppermint and tea tree oil to help relieve fungus and flaking. If the natural route doesn’t work for you, you may need something a little stronger and possibly medicated. Zinc pyrithione is an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent, which has been shown to reduce dandruff. Common zinc pyrithione based shampoos include Selsun Salon and Head & Shoulders. Tar-based shampoos, such as Neutrogena T, are also effective in reducing the flaking because they help reduce cell turnover. Other types of dandruff shampoo that consist of salicylic acid, such as Lonil T, are known as “scalp rubs.” The only issue with salicylic acid based shampoos is that they can exacerbate dry conditions on your scalp, causing more flaking. Selenium sulfide based shampoos, such as Selsun Blue, are also an option. While these help reduce cell turnover, they must be used with caution, since they can discolor blonde, gray, or chemically treated hair. These should be used only as directed and for a limited time. The final type of dandruff shampoo is Ketoconazole based shampoo. These shampoos are presumed to work when all other dandruff shampoos fail. They can be found over-the-counter or they may be prescribed. Shampoos on the market that are Ketoconazole based include Nizoral.
When controlling the dandruff in your scalp, use the dandruff shampoo as instructed. When you see the dandruff begin to subside, you should only use the dandruff shampoo about two to 3 times a week, alternating between that shampoo and your non-dandruff shampoo. Then you can smile and rest assured in the fact that your dust is now bust.
Healthy Scalp, Healthy Locs !
Nyesha Samuel – Master Loctician