Is That Dandruff Or Something More Serious?

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Have you ever had a flake fall from your head onto your clothes in front of someone? Super embarrassing, right?

Dandruff dry scalp, psoriasis and eczema are often used interchangeably to describe similar symptoms associated with flakes seen on the scalp and in the hair. Though they all may have some common traits, each one of these scalp issues is different.

You can be experiencing one scalp issue or any combination of them all. Knowing what you’re actually dealing with is the best way for you to combat the symptoms and develop a method of hair care that will allow you to prevent the recurrence of the issue.

What is dandruff?

By definition, dandruff is described as the shedding of dead skin cells. Those dead skin cells appear as flakes. The flakes may show up in your hair or directly on your scalp.

That definition is vague and a little over broad. Skin cells shed daily, so shedding, in and of itself, is not an issue but rather, a normal part of day to day life. The difference between ‘normal’ shedding and dandruff is the amount of skin cells that are shedding. Excessive shedding of dead skin cells would be a better definition.

With that, the next question has to be: What would cause an excessive amount of skin cell production? That is the key question. For there to be excessive shedding, there has to be excessive production.


Symptoms and treatments

Dandruff can be caused by a number of things and no one trigger has been identified as a definite cause. Also, everyone has different body chemistry, which could throw a million other factors into the mix. Typically speaking, dandruff is a result of your scalp being too dry. The dryness causes flakes that settle in your hair strands.

If you are confident that you have dandruff and not any other scalp issue, you can remedy it fairly easily. Washing your hair, moisturizing your scalp more frequently or with a more effective moisturizer, or using a shampoo to combat the flaking should be sufficient. Over the counter shampoos and treatments are readily available and reasonably priced.

Be mindful, however, that most dandruff clearing shampoos and scalp treatments tend to contain ingredients which cause your hair to become dry and brittle. During the course of treating dandruff, be sure to up your moisture game.

The ingredients which counter the over production of skin cells on your scalp, also strip the hair strands of sebum. This is the cause of the after effect of dryness seen when treating dandruff. The products are overall safe to use, just be mindful and replenish your thirsty strands.

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About Kaye Wright


Kaye Wright is a short hair lover and pixie perfecter. With 3 instructional eBooks, a short hair blog and a growing YouTube channel, she covers all things short relaxed hair. From the latest styles, to products, to money saving tips, she has got you covered.

About Kaye Wright


Kaye Wright is a short hair lover and pixie perfecter. With 3 instructional eBooks, a short hair blog and a growing YouTube channel, she covers all things short relaxed hair. From the latest styles, to products, to money saving tips, she has got you covered.

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Meena Rashi

This is caused by bacteria. Ketoconazole shampoo will fix it quickly.

Akosua Nicol Asamoah

I used listerine to treat my dandruff and it worked like magic.

Akosua Nicol Asamoah

I googled it and found out that listerine was first made to treat dandruff. I just put it in my dry hair and wait for about 5 minutes and rinse it out.

Rachael Otiegbe
Rachael Otiegbe

I thought it was a fungus called malassezia not a bacteria, was I taught incorrectly?