Dandruff is a very common scalp condition in which small pieces of dry skin flake off of the scalp. Dry scalp, on the other hand, occurs when the scalp does not produce enough moisture.
Dandruff causes the scalp to flake and If you have dark hair or you're wearing dark clothing, it’s easier to notice the flakes in your hair or on your shoulders. While some people believe dandruff is a result of poor hygiene, this is actually not true. In some cases dandruff is caused by a fungal or scalp infection however it’s important to remember that dandruff can be remedied.
Understanding the difference between dandruff and a dry scalp is important for choosing the right treatment. So let’s unpack both conditions.
A dry scalp, as the name implies, is the product of a scalp that does not have enough oil for the skin to feel lubricated.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, people with dry skin are prone to dry scalp which includes itching, flaking and irritation. This also means that many of the things that cause dry skin can also cause a dry scalp including:
● dry air, particularly during the winter months
● skin conditions like eczema
● excessive washing
Dandruff is the product of dead skin cells in excess production. Like the rest of the skin, the scalp sheds dead skin cells. Dandruff occurs when this process speeds up.The faster the scalp sheds dead skin, the worse dandruff becomes.
Unlike dry scalp, researchers do not fully understand what causes dandruff however here are some potential causes:
- fungal infections of the scalp
- oils secreted by the scalp
- sensitivity to certain hair products
Dandruff is tricky because these three factors can work together to make some conditions worse. For example, someone with a fungal scalp infection may develop worse dandruff if he/she/they have sensitive skin or a very oily scalp. Depending on the severity, we recommend that you visit a dermatologist to help with treatment options.
If you’re wondering, how you can prevent dry scalp & dandruff, try the below:
Switch to a moisturizing, less irritating shampoo
Wash your hair less frequently
Base your scalp to keep it moisturised
Drink more water
Here’s to healthy scalps!