Dandruff is incredibly common, yet so many of us are embarrassed about it. We find people often scrub their scalp before coming into the salon to try and hide it. This is no good! Because you cannot resolve a problem if you don’t talk about it, and we’re here to tell you, dandruff is nothing to be embarrassed about. We’ve gathered some information to help you understand dandruff and to help get it under control.
What is dandruff?
Dandruff is a scalp condition that causes flakes of skin to appear, it is commonly very itchy, sometimes causing the scalp to be red and irritated. Most dandruff is easy to treat with the right shampoo, whereas you may need medication for more severe cases.
What causes dandruff?
The exact cause is unknown, although most experts agree that it is not caused by poor hygiene.
“Dandruff has a number of causes, and having it doesn’t mean that you are ‘unclean’ – it can be because of a few bad hair habits, or can be an imbalance in the body that needs to be addressed,” said Maurice Meade General Manager, Claire Vlahov. “In this day and age, dandruff is something that people really shouldn’t have to deal with as it is so easy to treat. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for advice!”
There are a number of factors that put you at risk for developing the condition, including:
Dry Skin: is the most common cause, if your skin is dry it will flake, dry skin dandruff flakes are usually smaller than oily dandruff.
Oily skin: or Seborric Dermatitis is caused by excess oil on the scalp
Not enough shampooing: oil and dirt will build up and can result in dandruff
Fungal infection: Malassezia is on most adult scalps. For reasons unknown, it irritates some people and not others.
Infrequent hair brushing: this increases the risk of dandruff as you are not helping remove dead skin.
Diet: people with diets lacking certain vitamins, minerals and fats are at a higher risk of dandruff.
Bad reaction to hair or skin products: sensitivity to some ingredients can cause skin to become red, irritated and flakey.
Medical condition: there are a variety of skin conditions that cause dandruff. If oily or dry dandruff treatments don’t work, contact a doctor or dermatologist.
“To prevent dandruff, make sure you keep your scalp dry whenever possible – winter time in particular can cause a dandruff flare up as wet hair takes longer to dry, making the scalp damp,” Claire said. “Add your favourite snuggly beanie to the mix on top of damp hair and it’s a recipe for disaster!”
Diagnosing your dandruff
In order to know how to treat your dandruff, we need to know what kind of dandruff we’re dealing with. We recommend asking your hairdresser for a scalp diagnosis using the specialised Kérastase diagnostic camera to assess the scalp and determine whether your dandruff is dry, oily or fungal.
While some dandruff is caused my medical conditions, mental stress and poor diet, there are treatments for the more common causes of dandruff.
There are formulas for dry and oily dandruff, so make sure you are diagnosed correctly to ensure you are using the right treatment. For Oily Dandruff we recommend Kérastase Bain Purifant and for Dry Dandruff we recommend Kérastase Bain Hydrant. You can also use Kérastase Sensidote Masque & scalp drops to help sooth any irritation associated with dandruff.
If your dandruff is caused by a fungal infection, you should contact your GP and discuss a treatment plan.
For good measure, you should up your intake of fruit and veg, and include foods rich in omega-3, omega-6, zinc and biotin, which could potentially improve your dandruff. Also, don’t forget to drink lots of water! This will help prevent your skin from drying out.