How to Get Rid of Dandruff and Properly Care for Hair?
We shall tell where dandruff comes from and what to do if the problem becomes catastrophic.
What determines the condition of hair?
Hair — it is part of the protective cover of mammals, a derivative of the outer layer of the skin. The hair consists of the visible part — the so-called rod — and bulbs surrounded by a pouch — follicle.
Hair shaft — it is a dead tissue which condition cannot be seriously affected. There are no muscles, nerves or blood vessels in the hair. Everything, from the shine of the hair and ending with whether or not they curl, depends primarily on the condition of the bulbs. Hair is beautiful and healthy when enough protein, trace elements, and vitamins enter the follicles.
A lack of protein in the body directly affects the health of the hair: the visible part of the hair consists of keratin fibers, and keratin is protein. Therefore, it can become weaker with a sharp change in diet.
For healthy hair, it is recommended to eat eggs, meat, oily fish and nuts more often. Weakness and hair loss can be symptoms of something more serious, such as kidney disease...
There is something we can’t do anything about — genetic predisposition. If parents have problems with their hair, then you should be especially careful about your own: to take care of hair correctly, do not abuse dyes and perms.
What is dandruff and how to distinguish it from something else?
Dandruff — this is a disease in which dead particles of the scalp in large quantities exfoliate, adhere to each other and turn into flakes in the hair. These are just symptoms, and the cause of dandruff lies in the fungi of the family Malassezia.
You should not be ashamed of dandruff — up to half of the adult population of the planet faces this problem. And dandruff is less common in children because its appearance is usually associated with hormonal changes in the body occurring in the prepubertal period.
If something white falls from the hair, it is not necessarily dandruff. Most often, it is confused with manifestations of seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, or simply the effects of dry scalp. there is an option and worse — what seem like harmless scales of dandruff may be louse eggs.Dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis
As a rule, these two diseases mean the same thing, and even «Wikipedia» calls dandruff a mild clinical form of seborrhea. Due to the fact that they are really similar — caused by similar causes and treated equally with antifungal drugs.
But seborrheic dermatitis — more extensive and dangerous disease. It may be accompanied by itchy redness — erythema, lead to baldness and rash of blackheads on the face. Therefore, it is necessary to consult a dermatologist if redness appears on the scalp.Dandruff and Psoriasis
Psoriasis — This is a serious dermatological disease characterized by rashes not only on the head but on the whole body. Psoriatic plaques can spread to the back, arms, stomach, the disease can go to the nails. Also, rashes can be a sign of pityriasis Versicolor. Therefore, if you find strange redness outside the hairline, put off dandruff shampoos and make an appointment with a dermatologist.Dandruff and dry scalp
Lack of moisture — A common cause of irritation and exfoliation of skin particles that could be mistaken for dandruff. Dry skin can be caused by a dry climate, old age, or poor-quality shampoo. You can visually distinguish dandruff from dryness. Dandruff flakes are larger and fatter. If it’s just dryness, changing shampoo or using a moisturizing balm for the scalp will help.Dandruff and Lice
You can distinguish dandruff from lice eggs yourself, armed with a comb with small teeth and a magnifying glass. Lice eggs are always about the same size, and dandruff flakes are different, as they randomly mate. The eggs have a rounded shape, and if there is live nits inside, they click when pressed. Dandruff does not make any sounds. Well and temporarily getting rid of regular dandruff is much easier — just wash your hair or comb. Lice eggs just do not disappear.
And where does dandruff come from?
The sebaceous glands are adjacent to the hair follicle, through which sebum is excreted. It mixes with the secret of sweat glands and forms a water-fat layer that protects the skin from the appearance of pathogens. If the proportion of fat becomes larger, a favorable environment for the development of fungi.
The fact that fungi of the genus Malassezia can cause dandruff was discovered back in the 1846 year. The presence of this fungus does not lead to any consequences, most people have it. Dandruff occurs when the concentration of Malassezia exceeds the norm one and a half to two times.
How to get rid of dandruff?
The action of dandruff is based on the work of the active substances contained in them. Here is what you can find in special shampoos and preparations:
- Zinc pyrithione — One of the most popular anti-dandruff remedies: it has an antibacterial effect and fights against fungus.
- Selenium sulfide — This compound fights the fungus and slows its spread. Side effects — hair may become greasy.
- Salicylic acid — It is an antimicrobial compound and keratolytic — a substance that helps exfoliate dead skin cells and is often used to treat skin diseases. Often included in dandruff remedies along with antifungal agents...
- Ichthyol — Broad-action compound: normalizes the skin cell renewal cycle, has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects.
- Clotrimazole — Another popular antifungal agent. It violates the integrity of the cell membrane of fungi, especially effective in combination with keratolytic.
- Ciclopirox — An antifungal agent used to treat lichen and seborrhea. It acts immediately, but over time, the effectiveness of the substance decreases, so it is often included in the composition with another agent, such as ketoconazole.
- Hydrocortisone — A widespread steroid hormone that can help relieve itching.
- Ketoconazole — An effective disinfectant that kills the fungus. Usually, shampoos with ketoconazole in the composition are much more expensive than others.
Ketoconazole is safer than many other antimicrobials, such as selenium sulfide. If to explain in simple terms, ketoconazole prevents fungi from multiplying and kills them, preventing them from receiving substances necessary for life support from the outside. The effectiveness of shampoos and lotions containing ketoconazole increases if the substance works in conjunction with keratolytic — a special ingredient that exfoliates dead skin particles and affected fungal cells.
How to choose a shampoo?
If the shampoo contains the substances described in the previous chapter, the manufacturer adds a label «anti-dandruff» for good reason: these shampoos should cope with at least prevention.
All anti-dandruff shampoos are different: some help copes with the symptoms, while others fight the fungus. If you suffer from itching that accompanies dandruff, then hydrocortisone remedies are suitable. If the problem is exacerbated by skin irritation, try shampoos with salicylic acid and natural extracts in the composition. Tar shampoos slow down the development of dandruff, seborrhea or psoriasis, but they should be used with caution: tar can discolor light or dyed hair.
If the goal is one — To destroy the cause of dandruff then funds with antifungal substances: zinc, selenium, clotrimazole, ciclopirox or ketoconazole will work.
When buying shampoos not in pharmacies, but in ordinary stores, be careful. There is a blacklist of ingredients. Shampoos that contain sulfates, such as ammonium lauryl sulfate, are not recommended. They can excessively dry the scalp and exacerbate the problem of dandruff...
How to wash your hair?
To make dandruff shampoo really help, you need to follow the rules.
- Carefully read the instructions for use. Shampoos with different substances in the composition must be used in different ways: if it is written «wait five minutes», wait. If ordered to wash off immediately — act like that.
- Use dandruff shampoo regularly. Most shampoos should be applied once every two days. If ketoconazole is included, usually twice a week is sufficient — the exact instructions will be written on the label. BUT at as the main shampoo, you can choose a product with labeling «suitable for daily use».
- Be prepared to use a second dandruff shampoo. The effectiveness of active substances may decrease over time. Do not think that dandruff will never go away — just try a shampoo with a different composition.
- Use air conditioning. Moreover, it is desirable in that it is intended for use with a specific shampoo — so you can effectively remove the remnants of the product from the hair, but do not wash the active substance.
There are general rules for washing your hair, not related to getting rid of dandruff...
- Wash your head not with hot, but with warm water. Hot water expands the pores of the scalp and activates the sebaceous glands. Because of this, the skin will become oily faster and hair — dirty.
- Dry your head with gentle hairdryer mode. You won’t lose much time, and the hair will thank you.
- Do not rub your head with a towel. Wet hair is most sensitive to damage...
- If you use styling products, wash your hair at night. Gel and wax can clog the mouth of hair follicles, and stagnant products are more difficult to remove even with shampoo.
- Apply shampoo to hair twice. AT the first time the foam picks up particles of dirt, the second time — active substances begin to act in full force.
I got it. But what should I do with dandruff right now?
Here is a small checklist, the steps of which are worth going through to anyone who has experienced dandruff:
- Take a medical examination. So you will understand that hair problem — it's hair problems, not a symptom of any more serious illness.
- Normalize nutrition. Eat a healthy and varied diet, pay special attention to a sufficient amount of protein in the diet.
- Make sure the flakes in your hair — it's dandruff, not something else. The cause of dandruff may be advanced seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, lice, or simply dry skin.
- Choose a good shampoo. Or a few. AND not forget to read the instructions for use.
- End dandruff with professional products. If radical measures are needed, use a medication containing ketoconazole — proven substance.