– Dandruff is a common hair care problem that many people will develop at some point in their lives, but that doesn't make those flakes any less embarrassing. If your scalp is plagued with flakes, you can typically deal with the problem by making simple changes to your daily hair care routine. Anti-dandruff shampoos are an important part of hair care for problem scalps, and drugstore.com has many options available.
read more about dandruff »
A condition with many different causes, dandruff is marked by flakes on the scalp. The flakes may be white, yellow or even slightly brown. People with dandruff may develop flakes all over their scalp, or the flakes may be confined to one area. Regardless of how widespread the condition is, the flakes that are commonly called dandruff are usually dead skin that your body has shed; however, there may also be build-up or residue from hair care products mixed in with the skin debris. In some cases, the flakes are accompanied by itchiness or oiliness of the scalp. You may also feel scales or hard lumps on your scalp if you suffer from dandruff.
Causes of Dandruff
There are many potential causes of dandruff. Dry skin is one of the most common causes of the condition and typically results in very small flakes. Oily skin and infrequent shampooing can result in dandruff as well. In some cases, a fungus known as malassezia contributes to the appearance of dandruff. This microbe is present on everyone's scalp, but in some people, levels of the fungus become too high, leading to irritation. This may result in an excessive production of skin cells that become flakes. If you're unsure what is causing your dandruff, you can talk to your doctor about your concerns.
Common Anti-Dandruff Ingredients
Dandruff shampoos may be formulated with a number of active ingredients to reduce flakes. Some products use zinc pyrithione or ketoconazole to kill fungus on the scalp, alleviating irritation and over time reducing the number of flakes. Products may also help to control the rate at which your scalp produces new skin cells with ingredients like coal tar or selenium sulfide. By slowing down the rate of skin cell production, the shampoos can reduce flakiness over time. Another way of addressing dandruff is with salicylic acid shampoos. These products exfoliate the scalp to reduce the number of flakes. If your dandruff is caused by dry skin, using moisturizing dandruff shampoos can help make a difference.
Getting the Most from Your Shampoo
If you want to get the best possible results from your shampoo, there are some additional things that you can do to address problems with flakes. Follow up your shampoo with a conditioner designed to address dandruff to further fight flakes. For an oily scalp, be sure to shampoo daily and consider reducing the number of styling products that you use until you have flakes under control. Dry hair may need to be shampooed less often once you have dealt with flakes. Be sure to eat a well-balanced diet to ensure that you are supplying your body with the right nutrients to promote a healthy scalp and talk to your doctor if your dandruff doesn't respond after a few weeks of using dandruff shampoo.