Dandruff is a very common scalp condition that is incredibly annoying and definitely unattractive. While you may hate the tiny whites specks it leaves on your clothes, it can get even worse.
Dandruff can sometimes lead to itchy, red patches that can scab and even bleed. Yup, that bad.
No matter how much you’re suffering, you’re not going through this embarrassing affliction alone. Trust me, there are an awful lot of black sisters out there struggling with it too.
But here’s everything you should know about dandruff.
1. Dandruff is not caused by dryness or dirty hair
When your scalp is flaky it’s usually the result of too much oil rather than too little. It’s a common misconception that dandruff is caused by dryness when really it’s usually due to an overgrowth of a harmless yeast on the scalp.
In some people, the yeast starts to feed on the excess oil and dead skin cells on the scalp, causing the skin cells to shed more frequently and clump into flakes.
Normally you’re warned against shampooing your hair every day, the concern being that you’ll strip the scalp and hair of natural oils and cause irritation. Dandruff poses the opposite problem.
Not shampooing enough will only make your dandruff worse, it causes more oil and dead skin cells to accumulate on your scalp, which the yeast and fungi just continue to feed on. To rid your scalp of dandruff, you need to clean out all the dirt, which a regular shampoo won’t do. It’s highly recommended that you use a medicated dandruff shampoo as often as you can.
3. A flaky, itchy scalp does not always mean dandruff.
If you don’t see any improvement after washing for a week or two with a medicated shampoo, there might be another culprit. Some hair treatments and certain products with harsh chemicals can create an allergic reaction or sensitivity that dries out your scalp. So then, in this case, the flakes would have nothing to do with dandruff.
4. You can get dandruff on your face and body too
Those oily flakes are not necessarily restricted to your scalp. It’s not uncommon for women to discover dandruff flakes in their eyebrows, around their ears, and along the sides of their nose basically anywhere a lot of oil is produced.
Usually such scaly patches occur in addition to a flaky scalp, if you have these extra skin-shedding spots, use your dandruff shampoo to gently clean them when you wash your hair.
5. Dandruff can’t be cured, but it can be controlled
Unfortunately, if you’re prone to dandruff, it’s most likely a problem that will continue to recur. Still, you don’t have to wait for flakes to make an appearance to start treating them, you can take preventive measures to avoid flare-ups.
Diets high in saturated fats cause your sebaceous glands to produce more oil, which makes dandruff worse. Avoiding these fats, as well as incorporating varied fruits and veggies that contain zinc and B vitamins, will help keep the dandruff at bay.