What is Dandruff

What is Dandruff? All about what Dandruff is and the symptoms of dandruff, seborrheic dermatis and seborrhea.

What Dandruff is

Dandruff is a common hair problem that occurs when cells on the scalp harden too quickly. Your hair is actually 97 percent protein and 3 percent moisture. Nonetheless, hair in itself is not alive; only the root deep within the hair follicle is alive. When there are too many hardened, keratinized scalp cells to be removed by normal hair wash, these hardened cells will stick together and fall off in small white flakes.

Dandruff, Seborrheic Dermatis or Seborrhea?

Seborrheic dermatis and seborrhea are closely related to dandruff, but also distinctly different in several ways. While dandruff does not cause any redness and inflammation, seborrheic dermatis leads to not only flaking but also redness, inflammation and itching. Seborrhea does not lead to redness or inflammation, but causes flaking and creates a very thick oiliness.

Symptoms of Dandruff

Do you notice flakes on your shoulders? Or on your pillow when you wake up? These are dead skin cells that indicate the possibility of dandruff.

However, as Paula Begoun pointed out, having flakes on your shoulders can result from dandruff-like conditions, but not necessarily dandruff. For example, you might have used too much conditioner, washed your hair too infrequently, used too many styling products or consistently failed to rinse thoroughly after shampooing your hair.

Sometimes, dandruff-like conditions can arise due to changes in weather. In dry environments, such as in extreme heat or cold, we might wash our hair less often for fear of drying the scalp further. However, a healthy scalp requires moisture. In addition to regular shampooing, consider massaging moisturizer on your hair a few hours before washing your hair.

More on What Causes Dandruff.

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