If you have dandruff, you probably suffer from embarrassment on the days you glance down and notice a flaky white coating on your shoulders. You’re not alone! Most people experience occasional dandruff. The problem with dandruff is that it can be a symptom of an underlying condition which may also cause thinning hair and eventual hair loss.
Dandruff occurs when the scalp sheds dead skin cells more frequently than usual: weekly or every few days rather than monthly. When so many skin cells are shed so quickly, they don’t flutter discretely to the ground. Instead, they build up in visible layers of dandruff. There are three primary reasons why it flares up.
There’s a Fungus Among Us
The yeast fungus Pityrosporum ovale lives on all human skin, usually without causing any problems. These organisms do become problematic when they’re exposed to excess oils produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin. Pityrosporum ovale thrives in oily environments. On an oily scalp, the fungus reproduces more rapidly than usual, which speeds up the skin renewal-and-shedding process (causing a dandruff flare-up.)
There’s a Chill in the Air
Another pervasive cause of dandruff is the environment. It is more common in winter, when the weather is cold and there is little moisture in the air. Ironically, cold is not usually what causes most cases of winter dandruff. More often, heat is the cause. Indoor heaters create dry, warm air that dries out the skin. Dry skin on the scalp, just as anywhere else on your body, becomes flaky skin if it’s not moisturized.
Sometimes, the quest for beauty backfires. When it comes to highlighting, coloring, drying and heat styling your hair, your mantra should be, “Less is more.” The more you mess with your hair and your scalp, the more likely you are to throw their delicate pH balance out of whack. Subjecting your scalp to chemicals and heat can damage it. The scalp’s physiological reaction to damage is to slough off skin cells so new, healthy ones will emerge.
Dandruff Is More Than an Aesthetic Problem
It’s not attractive to go about your day with flakes visible in your hair and on your clothing. It’s also not attractive to suffer from bald or thin patches on your scalp. While dandruff is not a serious disease, it does cause serious symptoms: itching and inflammation. Scratching and attempting to alleviate dandruff-related inflammation can lead to hair loss.
Dandruff can also exacerbate more serious skin conditions, including seborrheic dermatitis. If you thought dandruff flakes were embarrassing, they’re nothing compared to the thick, scaly scalp patches caused by seborrheic dermatitis. If you want to keep your hair and want people to notice it rather than flakes embedded in it, take steps to keep your scalp healthy!
An unhealthy scalp can lead to hair loss. If you’re suffering from hair loss, it’s time to reach out to a hair loss center. At Transitions Hair Loss Centers we will help determine which hair loss restoration procedure is right for you. To set up a free hair loss evaluation with one of our hair loss specialists visit one of our locations by clicking here.