You may have noticed some white stuff peeking at you when you part your hair

and are wondering “does dandruff mean my scalp is unhealthy”.  First, you have to know if you have dandruff or a dry scalp. Second, dandruff is a highly complicated topic.  There  are so many reasons it may be in your hair, a thorough look of your habits is necessary. 

As a stylist, we see many types of dry scalp on a regular basis.  From thick to small particles.  A lot of times we only know the person has an issue when performing a service for the client.  The hair will come carefully coiffed to hide the evidence and you get this surprise when you open it!  Many times the problem can be easily solved by a behaviour change.  In the more serious cases, it is best that you contact a dermatologist.  

I have listed here some of the instances where the problem of a dry scalp can happen:

  • Nowadays, the persons making the hair for many of the braid styles use a large amount of gel to keep the style shiny.  It does keep it shiny but when the hair is taken down, there is a large amount of build up.  A gentle clarifying shampoo followed by a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner is helpful.
  • When a person who normally washes their hair every day does styles that last a while e.g. dreadlocks, the scalp will react by becoming very dry and flaky.  It usually takes three months of washing the hair once a week for it to return to normal.  Cleaning the scalp with witch hazel on a cloth helps during this period to make the transition more bearable.
  • Using certain over-the counter-shampoos when you get a dry scalp to remove them. Yet, months later you are still having the problem!  It is better to speak with a pharmacist for suggestions of what to buy.  When shampooing, I find it is better to wash once with the dandruff shampoo and once with a moisturising shampoo then using the conditioner.
  • Using the same type of products on your hair and scalp for a long time, can cause a build up on your scalp.  Changing the products and having the scalp lightly scrubbed after a deep treatment or oil treatment will help to lift them off.
  • Stress is probably the most avoided reason that causes dandruff or dry scalp.  It is a silent problem.  Many people look surprised when I ask if they are stressed.  They will say no at first but when the question sinks in, you learn they have weird work times, barely sleep and never rest.  Correcting one or all of these stresses will usually fix the problem.

Paying attention to our habits can help us figure out what is causing the problem. “Does dandruff mean my scalp is unhealthy”, only a thorough investigation will tell. 

By Paula Barker, Silkie Locks Hair Design

Call (613) 789-2179 For An Appointment If You Are In The Ottawa, Ontario Area.