Dandruff is actually incredibly common – 1 in 2 people in the world have had it at some point. Dandruff occurs when a microbe called malassezia globose (a natural oil referred to as sebum) and a sensitive scalp combine. Malassezia breaks down the natural oils present on your scalp and can irritate it, causing dandruff. Malassezia is part of the scalp’s skin flora, so completely normal and present on everybody (which is why everybody is at risk of developing dandruff) but it’s usually harmless; it’s only when the natural protective barrier of the scalp is weakened that it becomes an issue.
A dry scalp is slightly different to dandruff – the flakes will be smaller and whiter and fall off the scalp more easily than dandruff flakes which are larger. Dandruff isn’t contagious, but it also won’t go away on its own so you will need to treat it with an anti-dandruff shampoo.
A dry and irritated scalp can really impact on confidence as well as feeling uncomfortable, but you can solve this with a very quick and easy solution, simply use a good anti-dandruff shampoo on a regular basis, and try to reduce the scalp’s exposure to factors that can weaken the natural barrier. Dandruff can be aggravated by everything from product build up, parabens, not washing your shampoo and conditioner out properly, your health, medication you’re taking, wearing a hat (especially if you’re trapping heat in with sweat), overloading products, the cold weather and stress is another factor.
Stress causes the blood vessels to our scalp to constrict as we tend to hold tension in our scalp before anywhere else, which reduces the flow of blood to the follicles leaving them vulnerable. Get into the habit of massaging your scalp to release tension as part of your daily routine – it’s easy to do while washing your hair. Your scalp is skin basically, so it’s sensitive just like your face is. It may seem counterintuitive, but it is always recommended to use a conditioner – it’s a must because this is what will moisturise your scalp and soften the skin. Many men skip this step; but think of how you cleanse, tone and moisturise your skin – when it comes to the scalp the shampoo is your cleanse and tone, and the conditioner is your moisturiser.
Don’t scratch – you can make it worse and aggravate the skin. And don’t leave hair wet as this can encourage the right environment for dandruff; blow dry on a low setting. Diet and sleep also have an effect, the more nutritious your diet, the healthier your scalp will be. Try and get 7-8 hours of sleep a night and include oily fish and plenty of leafy green veg in your diet. If you’ve got thinning hair you can address this while tackling dandruff – MR. Thickening Anti-Dandruff Shampoo includes a patented thickening complex System-PPX. It helps keep hair thicker, fuller and stronger while fighting the flakes. Win Win.