By Leah Fletcher
You are constantly brushing those irritating flakes of dandruff from your clothing. They just won’t stop falling from your hair. Some well-researched facts and a good hair care regimen might be key to helping you solve your problem.
What is dandruff?
A dry, flaky scalp is not always a sign of dandruff. Dandruff, also known as, seborrhea, is a condition that results in the flaking of the skin, most commonly on the scalp. It affects African Americans the same way it does other racial groups, and treatment options are also similar. According to WebMD, some believe the fungus malassezia that all humans are exposed to is the cause. But, some immune systems overreact to the fungus causing dandruff.
Develop consistent hair care routine
The tenets of good hair care recommend building a solid regimen to keep your hair healthy and vibrant. That routine ranges from the care of your hair follicles to your scalp. However, it is your scalp that is considered the foundation upon which your hair care regimen should be built. Overlooking this fact may result in a dry scalp and product build-up, both being hazardous to the overall health of your hair.
Most cases of dandruff can be treated with specialized shampoos. One major difference, however, is in the frequency African Americans are advised to shampoo their hair. Daily shampooing is often recommended for treatment of dandruff, but the hair of many African Americans is better suited for weekly or biweekly washings. Shampoo with dandruff-fighting shampoos, preferably those containing ketoconazole, zinc pyrithione, salicylic acid or selenium sulfide to stop scalp scaling. The scalp is technically part of your skin and is as sensitive, if not more so that other parts of your body. Just as fingernails will leave scratches elsewhere, they do the same on the scalp. For that reason, when washing, your hair, gently massage shampoo into your scalp with your fingertips, rather than harshly scrubbing and scratching with fingernails.
Select hair products carefully
Quite often, some hairstyling products cause the irritation, itching and flaking associated with dandruff. For instance, gels and hairsprays, if used daily, will build up and begin to cake on your scalp. Avoid dyes and hair straighteners. They contain harmful chemicals that dry and irritate the scalp and they kill the beneficial bacteria that control dandruff.
Some opt for a more natural approach and use hair products containing tea tree oil, a natural alternative to the harsher chemicals and additives found in popular shampoos. Other natural remedies include the use of aloe, baking soda and olive oil.
Seek doctor’s advice
In the end, if you have an excessive amount of white flakes or possible dandruff build-up you simply can’t get rid of after trying over-the-counter preparations, consider visiting a dermatologist to uncover the real root of your problem. There are skin diseases, like Psoriasis and Seborrheic Dermatitis that include dandruff-like symptoms.