Dandruff Vs. Dry Scalp

By Erma W.


There are times when we're unclear on what we like when it comes to our hair. We may kinda like a product. We may kinda like a technique. We may kinda like a hairstyle. However, it's rare that we're unclear about our hair's dislikes. When we don't like something involving our hair, we usually know rather quickly. For example, we don't have to figure out how we feel about dandruff and dry scalp:  we don't like 'em. What we need clarity on are the differences between dandruff and dry scalp, and how we can give them both the boot.

Although the terms "dandruff" and " dry scalp" are used interchangeably, they are not the same. Many people think that dandruff is caused by dry scalp, but it is actually due to an excess of oil or sebum. Jessica Wu, M.D., a Los Angeles dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Southern California Medical School, explains further:  "It is usually due to an overgrowth 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." (dailyglow.com)

Dry scalp is the result of moisture loss from the skin. The dryness can come the use of harsh detergents, as well as exposure to hard water and product buildup.  The two also differ in appearance. Dandruff is greasy and has a yellow-white color and is larger than dry scalp flakes.

Wanna kick them to the curb? Of course you do! The frown-worthy truth is that dandruff can't be cured. It can be reduced, though. Dermatologists recommend medicated dandruff shampoos. Look for ingredients like selenium sulfide, zinc, and ketoconazole. They recommend dandruff conditioner for those with coarse hair who don't use shampoo. More frequent shampooing can be used for mild cases of dandruff. Additionally, it helps to ditch foods high in fats and oils as they exacerbate the effects of dandruff. Instead, opt for fruits, vegetables, and a probiotic (found in yogurts) to combat the overgrowth of yeast.

Say goodbye to dry scalp with natural oils like jojoba and olive oils, as well as pH-balancing treatments like apple cider vinegar.

Now that you know the difference between dandruff and dry scalp, go forward in good scalp health!

I'sha GainesComment