Dry hair and dry scalp are not fun to deal with, especially when winter rolls around. We love to see snow flakes falling around in a beautiful scenery, but not on our shoulders. That can be the most embarrassing thing to happen to a person, specially when wearing black. Many people resort to special creams or treatments, when all you really need is a good shampoo for dandruff and dry scalp. It may seem difficult to choose the best shampoo. Luckily, there are a few shampoos, which are all affordable, effective and will take care of your condition. Here I will write down some good, trusted names for you to choose your best shampoo for dandruff and shampoo for dry scalp.
Dandruff VS dry scalp
Just the word is enough to provoke embarrassment in those who struggle with it. But what is dandruff? Simply put, it’s an overproduction and buildup of sticky skin cells of the scalp which shed either as clumps or as individual flakes. One thing is sure, that none wants those white flakes landing on their beautiful black clothes.
Dandruff, medically known as pityriasis capitis or seborrheic dermatitis confined to the scalp, is a disease that has been around for centuries. Sometimes dandruff is associated with itching and crusting on the scalp. Unfortunately, this nagging scalp disorder is rather common. Several studies across the world have shown a prevalence of dandruff of up to 50 percent in the general population. And many other studies show that the main cause of this skin disorder is a fungus Malassezia. This fungus lives naturally on the scalps of many people, but it is overly abundant on those who have dandruff.
The tricky part is, not all the flakes on your head are caused by dandruff. Dandruff is not caused by dryness but rather too much oil (sebum) on the scalp. It is usually due to an over growth of harmless yeast. In some people, the yeast starts to feed on the excess oil and dead skin cells on the scalp, causing the skin cells to shed more frequently and clump into flakes. However, many people mistake dry scalp and dandruff.
Signs and symptoms of dandruff
Dandruff is greasy and yellowish white in color. Dandruff flakes are larger than dry scalp flakes and are harder to come off the scalp. You will experience itching and usually have scalp odor.
Causes Of Dandruff (internal causes)
- Excessive consumption of sugar, fat, starch
- Improper nutrition
- Heredity predisposition
- Allergic hypersensitive
- Lack of rest
- Emotional stress
- Hormonal imbalance
- Poor health
Causes Of Dandruff (external Causes)
- Excessive use of hair products
- Improper use of hair-coloring products or excessive use of hot hair curlers or curling irons
- Cold weather and dry indoor heating
- Stress and anxiety
- Infrequent shampooing of the hair or inadequate rinsing of the scalp and hair
Dandruff: The flakes caused by dandruff are white, and tend to have a thick, heavy texture. Itching, if it occurs, tends to be all over the scalp, not just in localized areas. Flakes are noticeable on the scalp as well as in the hair.
Did you know there was a difference between dandruff and dry scalp? Dry scalp, a buildup of styling products (like hairsprays and gels), and medications like Rogaine (minoxidil) all can cause flaking. To treat the problem, you need to know what you’re dealing with.
The skin on our scalps renews it cells like any other skin cell on our bodies. They renew every 24 days by forming new skin cells underneath while the old cells slough off to uncover the new ones. Furthermore, dry scalp is due to loss of moisture from the skin and due to frequent use of soap, strong detergents, cold weather, product build up, hard water, and diet.
Signs and symptoms of dry scalp
Signs and symptoms of dry scalp are:
- small white flakes that come off easily.
Dry scalp: Flakes caused by a buildup of styling products tend not to be white (they’re more translucent), and will appear on the hair and usually not the scalp. Itching can occur all over the scalp, especially if the styling products you use are highly fragranced.
Shampoo for dandruff
There are a number of active ingredients that can help control and prevent dandruff. They all act differently from one another and are geared towards eradicating different types of dandruff. Without knowing what these active ingredients were designed to combat it is almost impossible to make an informed decision on what shampoo for dandruff is best for you. Here are the most effective ingredients that your shampoo for dandruff should contain:
Coal tar, as the name suggests, is a by product of coal, formed when the coal is converted to coke or gas. The most well-known coal-tar shampoo for dandruff (and one that works) is Neutrogena T-Gel. Coal tar fights dandruff by slowing the rate at which the skin cells on your scalp die and flake off.
Salicylic Acid is one of the most common and oldest active ingredients found in a shampoo for dandruff. Rather than get to the root cause of the shampoo, Salicylic Acid exfoliates the skin by softening and stripping the flakes on your scalp. It also has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, making it a great option for addressing flaky scalp from multiple causes. Unfortunately, Salicylic Acid can cause irritation to some people, can increase sensitivity to the sun and shouldn’t be taken by those allergic to aspirin.
This is another antifungal topical medication, which does double duty by also discouraging bacteria. It works by inhibiting the growth of the yeast Malassezia that cause serborheic dermatitis. As such, it regulates the yeast and oiliness that is responsible for serborheic dermatitis. Selsun Salon and Head & Shoulders (shampoo for dandruff) rely on this ingredient for their dandruff-busting effects.
Antifungal agents (ketoconazole)
As mentioned above, fungus is the common culprit when it comes to dandruff, so attacking the problem with a broad-spectrum antifungal ingredient can be helpful. The most effective antifungal ingredient is ketoconazole which is the main key ingredients in the famous shampoo for dandruff Nizoral. In addition, Ketoconazole also contains anti-
Selenium Sulfide controls dandruff in two ways. First, like Zinc Pyrithione, it is an anti-fungal agent effective at killing and controlling the Malassezia yeast. In addition, like coal tar, it inhibits skin cell regeneration. As such, it can be effective in fighting both serborehic dermatitis and psoriasis induced dandruff. You can find selenium sulfide in Selsun Blue shampoo, among others.
Shampoo for dry scalp
There are shampoos that are labeled for dry scalp. But while many give you relief, only some of them really heal your scalp. There are some really good shampoos available that will do both. Using an organic shampoo for dry scalp is a good way to both get fast relief and heal your scalp quickly.
When you have a dry scalp, it is itchy and can be sore, as well. The pores on your scalp become clogged, and the natural oil in your skin can’t come through. Having a shampoo for dry scalp that contains ingredients that can mimic the natural oils in your skin will help your scalp to heal faster. The main ingredients that should be present in your shampoo for dry scalp are essential oils. These oils have natural healing qualities, and they can penetrate through the layers of dead skin cells plus the layers of your skin and clean out the clogged pores that are drying out your skin. Your shampoo for dry scalp should contain one or more of the following essential oils:
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Argan Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Carrot Seed Oil
These essential oils are very important for your overall health. In fact, taking a daily vitamin will help you to get some nourishment back into your system. But, the oils will not only put this nourishment back into your skin, but will stop the itching almost immediately. Therefore, the best thing to do is to choose a shampoo for dry scalp that contains these healing essential oils.