Dealing with Dandruff

Dealing with Dandruff

Oh, that God-forsaken salon! Since I fixed my hair there 3 months ago I have developed dandruff, mussed a lady at a salon.

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Dandruff is certainly not new and most people that experience it have accepted it as their curse after getting tired of trying out different stuff with no avail. At the other spectrum, some people believe that dandruff is even hereditary. Truth is, dealing with dandruff can be pretty frustrating, and the reason is simple: when dandruff comes around, it intends to stay around! So let us deal with this thing once and for all.

Dandruff is the colloquial name that describes a condition of the scalp wherein it is continuously shedding flakes of dead skin. It has been found to be precipitated by a fungus (Malassezia yeast) that normally resides on the scalp; more like the combination of its by-product and the individual’s susceptibility causes this excessive skin shedding.

The thing is as part of the everyday day characteristic of every living thing (MR. NIGER D), it is perfectly normal for the skin to shed its outermost dead layers as it constantly renews itself to reveal newer cells underneath- this mini-skin flakes if you may call it so, is usually not visible, just like you cannot visibly measure each length increase on your hair while it grows. With dandruff, this process is sped up causing high dead skin turnover that result in the visible dark flakes. They are often present all over the scalp and openly flaunt themselves to your embarrassment as clumps of various sizes gallantly falling off as you comb the hair, often accompanied by severe itching around areas with the largest clumps.

Dandruff is very common, and although commoner during the teen years to twenties, it can occur at any age and is said to affect over 50% of a given population (seems like it is more likely to have a dandruff than not to), and males are affected just as much as the females, in fact, statistics in the US shows that their males are more affected than females. Dandruff is clearly not a respecter of ethnicity either.

While dandruff as a medical disorder will not literally make a person sick, no guy wants to ever get too shy to comb his hair in public, nor does any lady want to find herself irresistibly scratching her perfectly adorned hair-do. Not to mention that the dark brownish dirty looking flakes subtly creates the impression of an unclean person. So these tangible reasons often inspire treatment.

Treatment is by the regular use of Medicated Anti-dandruff shampoo. Next time a sales rep is offering you an ‘anti-dandruff’ shampoo or your hair stylist recommends one, smile as you take it and carefully read the tiny prints looking out for either of these two words: “Ketoconazole” or “Pyrithione Zinc (PTZ)”- they are both anti-fungal agents. Here is a little secret: most ‘anti-dandruff’ shampoo are just a mix of regular shampoo with lots of menthol so while it gives you an immediate cold/hot and peppery-like sensation with some soothing relief after much scratching of the scalp, the infecting Malassezia culprit did not get to share that feeling with you! So immediate soothing effect yes, but the dandruff is still very much intact. Hopefully, you should be bold enough to entirely toss any un-labeled anti-dandruff agent. The most readily available products in standard stores include Head and Shoulder Shampoo (contains PTZ), while Nizoral Shampoo and Haicneal Conditioner (both contains Ketoconazole). In all instance, simply use as directed- usually twice a week for an average of 3 weeks.

Dandruff does not cause hair loss or baldness. Dandruff is not directly caused by dry scalp either in fact, excessive oiling of the scalp in our intensely hot tropical environment creates a customized habitat for the entire Malassezia group of species.

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