Every day, we dress up to make an impression on others, but when dandruff appears, it can ruin someone’s appearance. It makes us wonder, what can we do to fix that?
The skin is the largest human organ, with each skin cell cycle lasting around 28 days. Under normal circumstances, the top layer of the skin, the epidermis, is shed naturally through cell regeneration. These dead skin cells are not visible to the naked eye, but when skin cells on the scalp regenerate too quickly, the dead skin cells shed as bigger visible flakes. Fixing dandruff is more than just washing hair more often – it needs to be treated at the root of the problem, and the methods of treatment might not always be the same.
Causes of dandruff
The skin on the scalp can be categorized as dry and oily. As the names suggest, dry scalps are caused by a lack of sebum production, making the skin dry and itchy. Oily scalps, on the other hand, produce excessive amounts of sebum that causes hair to become greasy.
Dry scalps are sometimes caused by the overuse of harsh products, where the scalp is stripped of its natural oils. Without these natural oils, the scalp becomes fragile and prone to peeling or even wounds. Oily scalps can be caused by an unbalanced diet or frequent consumption of greasy foods. Both of these situations cause clogged pores, blocking hair follicles and preventing healthy hair growth and cell regeneration. Dandruff can happen with both scalp types, but the ways of treating dandruff for dry scalps will be different than oily scalps. Once the problem is identified, it is best to consult a doctor or a professional to seek solutions as soon as possible.
Will washing hair more often solve the problem?
The simple answer is, no. Washing hair more often will only dry out the scalp further, and external heat from blow dryers will worsen the problem.
To reduce dandruff, it’s important to first understand the cause of the problem and understand what your scalp type is. Choosing the right shampoos can make a huge difference as well. With the selection of products available on the market, many advertise themselves as “silicon-free” or “hypoallergenic”. However, based on a recent test of 60 shampoos done by the Hong Kong Consumer Council, it was found that more than 60% of these shampoos contained excessive amounts of dioxane, a harmful and drying chemical. If left behind on the scalp, dioxane can cause the skin to feel dry and tight, further worsening dandruff.