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WHAT EXACTLY IS DANDRUFF AND WHAT CAN YOU DO TO STOP IT?

No one wants it appearing on their shirt, and most people don’t even realize they have some form of it. Dandruff, or any type of flaking on the scalp, is extremely common and more prevalent than ever. It can appear due to a variety of factors. Most commonly it’s a result of improper or infrequent shampooing, which leaves behind both product build-up and sebum on the scalp. Improper washing refers to not applying enough shampoo to the scalp, not using a deep enough scrubbing action, not shampooing twice, missing the entire scalp, or using a super mild shampoo that is incapable to cleanse sufficiently (most natural and sulfate-free shampoos). Build-up on the scalp can lead to many issues, namely a sore scalp, weakened hair growth, and eventually hair loss due to clogged and inflamed follicles. 

Dandruff can appear dry or oily and sometimes be very itchy. When the flaking is from a dry scalp with no sebum or product build-up, it is most likely the result of harsh cleansing agents in your shampoo or even excessively hot water in the shower. So if you’re still seeing flaking even though you’re washing really well, using a scalp scrub frequently, or even a scalp exfoliating brush, it’s safe to say your flakes are from a dried-out scalp. Be mindful of the quality of your shampoo and the water temperature so you’re not stripping the healthy microbiome on your scalp (and the rest of your skin!). When the flaking is from an oily scalp, you may not be effectively shampooing your hair, but if that’s not the case, diets high in fat and even stress can cause overproduction of sebum and make your scalp act out. Show your scalp some extra TLC this week!

Other reasons to consider:

Dandruff itself is created out of a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia that feeds on sebum. Neglecting your scalp the slightest bit can easily increase dandruff and it’s important to act fast and prevent damage to your hair growth down the road. The environment we live in changes everywhere, whether you’re staying put or changing locations frequently. The air and the water change and you’re left with different types of build-up on your scalp.  Even the change of season can have a dramatic effect on your scalp especially at the early onset on a season. For example, the combination of indoor dry heat and harsh cold in the winters can cause a temporary adjustment for your scalp and create dry flaking until the body balances itself and adapts to the new season. 

A few recommendations of my fave products to combat dandruff:

If you wash your hair frequently, you can use a deeper cleansing shampoo or scalp exfoliator once a week. If you lean more towards 1-2 shampoos a week, I would recommend incorporating the same into your routine only 1-2 times a month. One of my fave scalp exfoliators at the moment is the Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Scrub by Inkeylist. It’s super gentle, simple, and will combat and control dandruff without the use of harsh chemicals that can strip your scalp and hair. You simply apply it onto your scalp and rub it in anywhere from 10-20 minutes before you jump in the shower. It will help clear and protect your scalp by maintaining a balanced pH and breaking up any build-up/flakes.

Another excellent way to help remove buildup and give your scalp the extra clean it deserves is with the Tangle Teezer Scalp Exfoliator and Massager. Everyone has been loving it (including me)! It’s really small so it doesn’t take up much room in the shower or in your travel bag! The tiny teeth are so flexible, they can get into your scalp easier than your fingers and the feeling is magical even on a sensitive scalp. You can use this to spread your exfoliant or shampoo all over your scalp and enhance the cleansing process. 

To finish I would just like to say, if your scalp is always oily, it shouldn’t be and if you’re not sure if your scalp is flake or build-up free, just ask someone (even your hairstylist) to take a closer look for you all over the scalp to ensure you’re cleansing properly or that you’re not overdoing it. I cannot stress this enough – Take the best care of your scalp! Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp and a healthy scalp starts with you and your washing habits.

Be clean and flake-free, my friends.

Here for your always,

Shab

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