There are many schools of thought on the causes of dandruff and what can be done to prevent, alleviate or completely eradicate it. In my readings, I have found that some trichologists do not even agree that there is such a thing as Dandruff. For the purpose of this post, we will assume that Dandruff does indeed exist. Whatever the case may be, cosmetic companies have made a killing from selling us anti-dandruff products.
Our scalps always sheds dead cells (these are called corneocyte squames). This happens to everyone and usually goes on without any notice on our part. However, when something happens to throw the body’s balance off, this shedding becomes evident/visible and we call it dandruff.
Trivia: The average person sheds about 4kgs of corneocyte squames per year.
So what causes Dandruff?
The scientists that can’t agree that Dandruff exists do agree that if indeed it exists, it has varying causes. Here are highlights of the various causes:
- Yeast Infection
- Fungal Infection
- Sensitivity to Hair Care Products
- Dry Skin
- Irritated Oily Skin
The list goes on and on!
Trivia: Dandruff is also known as: Pityriasis Capitis or Seborrheic Dermatitis.
So now a quick check on what we know:
- Dandruff may or may not exist
- There is no one cause of Dandruff.
With something this elusive, how does one pursue a natural solution?
- Use essential oils that are anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial in your shampoos, oils, conditioners. The best of the lot in my opinion is Tea Tree Essential Oil.
- Shampoo hair/scalp regularly with a gentle shampoo. I do not mean several times a week. Look at your schedule. If you are active (you sweat often), then you need to wash your hair more than someone whose days are not spent sweating up a storm.
- Drink plenty of water. Hydration of your insides helps a great deal.
- You may need to check your reaction to your Hair Care Products and change out any that you have a sensitivity to.
- Use your own combs and brushes. Don’t share.
- Due to the fact that Dandruff, mild Psoriasis and Atopic Dermatitis manifest in nearly the same way, it is important to get medical diagnosis to know which one the user is actually suffering from.
Trivia: Dandruff is age related and is rarely seen before puberty. It usually comes at the onset of puberty, peaks in the early twenties and declines in middle and old age. It does appear to pick up again after the age of 50.
I know I haven’t exhausted this topic by a long shot. Leave me your questions in the comment section and I will use that to do a follow-up topic on Dandruff.