Have you put your favorite black clothes permanently in a cupboard? Do you hesitate to wear it? Are you continually sneaking glances at your shoulders and geared up to brush away embarrassing white flakes? Are you tired of your constantly itchy scalp? Are you wondering what is going on? If the answer to these questions is yes then in such a situation you might find yourself using the words “dandruff “and “dry scalp” interchangeably. You might be thinking these mean the same thing. However, they are completely different and require to be managed in different ways. Therefore, understanding dandruff vs. dry scalp is very much important.
By understanding it, you can decide whether you should use dry scalp shampoo or dandruff shampoo and other products related to your hair care issues. So, if you want to figure out what is the difference between these two situations and how to treat each one then you can do it by reading this blog. In this blog, we have covered everything related to dandruff vs. dry scalp issue that you need to know about these two flaky concerns.
So, without further ado, let us get started.
First, we will understand what dandruff is, its causes, symptoms, treatments, and prevention.
What is Dandruff?
Dandruff is totally different than a dry scalp issue. Usually, dry scalp is caused by a lack of moisture. But, dandruff is actually caused by the overproduction of oil on the scalp. Dandruff is generally caused when your body has an inflammatory response to an overabundance of yeast production on the scalp. This dandruff is caused by a condition called seborrheic dermatitis or by a fungus called Malassezia.
This dandruff flakes usually stick to the scalp and to your hairbrush more readily than the powdery white flakes related with dry scalp. Dandruff flakes are large and look oily and it can make your scalp oily, red, scaly, and itchy. However, you should avoid scratching as this could introduce bacteria to the scalp and cause infection.
Causes of Dandruff
- Dandruff is merely not dry skin build-up but it is associated with many factors incorporating the presence of a naturally occurring fungus on the surface of the scalp.
- When a scalp is suffering from a skin condition it becomes extra sensitive to hair care products and often feels tight and itchy. Even in some cases, it can show the patches of redness.
- As a regeneration process, all skin naturally and continuously sheds but for a few people it because of dandruff. So, skin cells can cluster and start producing white flakes of dandruff, no matter how often you wash your hair.
- Most of the time the condition known as seborrheic dermatitis or fungus called Malassezia can be the main cause of dandruff. This fungus usually lives on your scalp but some people have too much of it. So, it causes skin cells to multiply more quickly than usual. Certain factors such as age, hormones, and stress can cause this fungus to multiply rapidly.
Symptoms of Dandruff
The following are the main symptoms of Dandruff.
- If you are suffering from the large, oily flakes that is yellow or white in color then it is dandruff.
- If you have oily, red, and scaly skin then it is a symptom of dandruff.
- When you are constantly suffering from the itchy scalp it can due to dandruff.
When to See a Doctor
Generally, you can treat dandruff yourself by using a dandruff shampoo or a few home remedies. But, if you have tried everything and still you cannot see any improvement in your situation, it is getting worse, or the skin on your scalp looks red, itchy, scary, or swollen then it is the right time to consult a dermatologist. A dermatologist is a doctor that specializes in treating the skin.
Maybe you have another skin condition that needs to be treated. So, your doctor will diagnose your dandruff by looking at your scalp and hair. They can also treat conditions like eczema and psoriasis, which can be the main reason for flaky skin on the scalp.
One way to identify dandruff vs.dry scalp is by applying a moisturizing conditioner before you go to bed. If you have dandruff then your flakes will not disappear when you shower the next morning.
If you are suffering from mild dandruff, then you should wash your hair with a gentle shampoo. It will reduce the amount of oil on your scalp. However, if you have more severe dandruff then your regular shampoo will not work. In such a condition, you have to use dandruff shampoo.
Once you identify that your unwanted flakes are due to dandruff, then as per medical experts’ recommendation, you should use an anti-fungal shampoo that contains salicylic acid or zinc pyrithione. It will help in removing the build-up of dead skin cells and fungus that causes dandruff.
If you do not like the smell of the dandruff shampoo or prefer natural remedies then you should try tea tree oil shampoo. It has antimicrobial properties.
How can you prevent it?
Some people think that poor hygiene cause dandruff. However, it is a myth. But, if you do not wash your hair for long periods of time without doing shampoo then it may make your dandruff more visible.
In most people, dandruff is a chronic condition and it usually goes away and then comes back again. However, some people think that lifestyle changes can improve their symptoms. But, there has to be done some research on this topic.
Still, by using an anti-dandruff shampoo as your regular shampoo frequently and regularly, you can prevent it.
Best Products to Use When You Have Dandruff
When you are suffering from dandruff you can try some natural home remedies to get rid of dandruff.
- You should not oil hair and if you do then you should not keep it for long.
- You can make use of vinegar as it helps in treating itchy, dry skin. It also helps in killing dandruff-causing fungus and bacteria.
- You should also use baking soda as it can scrub and exfoliate the scalp gently.
- Use a very diluted version of neem for your scalp.
- Make use of one-two drops of tea tree oil in your shampoo as it has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
- Aloe Vera always provides you with cooling and soothing effect. It also has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
Top 5 Dandruff Shampoo to Get Rid of Dandruff
- Shampoos that contain pyrithione zinc
- Shampoos having Selenium Sulfide
- Shampoos containing Ketoconazole
- Shampoos having Salicylic Acid
- Shampoos that contain Coal tar
Now you have a proper understanding of what dandruff is. So, let us move to the next issue – dry scalp. For this issue also, we will follow the same flow. Let us get started.
What is Dry Scalp?
When your scalp has too little moisture and oil, it becomes dry scalp. Just like the skin of the rest of your body, your scalp requires natural oil in order to remain supple and hydrated. When sebum production slows, your scalp feels irritated and looks flaky. Dry scalp can cause your hair to look dry.
Causes of Dry Scalp
Let us check out a few factors that can be the cause of dry scalp.
- External weather conditions like cold, dry weather, or hot dry forced indoor heat in the winter.
- Overuse of hats or wigs that prevents oxygen from reaching your scalp.
- Due to internal dehydration from your diet or lifestyle, your scalp becomes dry.
- When a build-up of styling products is there it can make your scalp dry.
- People who have dry skin are more prone to dry scalp.
Symptoms of Dry Scalp
Here are a few symptoms of dry scalp.
- Your scalp can be dry if it feels tight and itchy.
- Usually, dry scalp is associated with small and white flakes. It can look similar to dandruff flakes. If you have been itching it, your scalp could become sore. In such a condition, you might be able to see redness and scabs under your hair.
- If you have dry skin on the other parts of your body then it can be the symptoms of dry scalp.
When to See a Doctor
Just like dandruff, some scalp issues like dry scalp can be managed at home. However, in severe conditions such as scalp psoriasis, you should make an appointment with a dermatologist. This scalp psoriasis causes redness, flakes, and itching but here all these disorders are autoimmune. Even a form of severe dandruff called seborrheic dermatitis can be the reason for intense and painful inflammation.
If you are feeling the below symptoms then you should see a doctor.
- When you observe redness or soreness, it is time to visit a doctor.
- If any home remedies are not working then it is best to see a doctor.
- Do you have open wounds on the head or face? If yes, then you should visit a doctor.
Treating dry scalp is not just same as the treating dry skin. In dandruff, too much oil is produced whereas in a case of the dry scalp, not enough oil is being produced by the scalp. So, you can follow the below tips if you have a dry scalp.
- Make use of gentle shampoo – When you use a shampoo that contains harsh formulas in it, it can strip away your scalp’s natural oil. Therefore, you should look for shampoos that contain rich, moisturizing, and natural-origin ingredients.
- Shampoo less frequently – When you do not shampoo frequently enough, it can worsen symptoms of dandruff. However, too frequent shampooing can also aggravate a dry scalp. So, you should try to skip a few days between shampoos. You can even make use of a low-shampoo cleansing conditioner that will refresh your hair and scalp without stripping away your scalp’s natural oils.
- Oil Your Scalp – You should do a scalp treatment with oil in order to restore moisture and soothe irritation. All you have to do is apply a few drops of oil section by section and massage it into your scalp. Massaging is one of the best treatments for dry scalp.
- Exfoliate Your Scalp – Exfoliation can do wonders for your dry scalp. You can opt for an actual scrub or a hair mask that contains fruit enzymes, sugar, or salicylic acid which do not require tugging or rubbing.
- Drink More Water – Of course, it sounds simple but it is the quickest way to hydrate your skin and scalp. So, you should drink loads of water. As per the expert advice, you should drink at least 8-ounce glasses a day. Also, you should avoid sodas and alcoholic beverages because they can cause dehydration.
How can you prevent it?
If you want to prevent dry scalp then you do it by following the below strategies.
- You should use less irritating shampoo.
- Also, switch to a moisture-rich dry scalp shampoo.
- You should shampoo the hair less frequently.
- Make use of a humidifier to keep the skin from getting dry.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Do meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and other relaxation techniques to manage your stress.
Best Products to Use When You Have Dry Scalp
There are two methods through which you can tackle your dry scalp. Trying some at-home treatment and making use of some best readymade products available in the market.
- Moisture your scalp using coconut oil as this oil contains antifungal and antibacterial properties. You can buy it from the grocery store or online.
- Make use of tea tree oil as it has strong antiseptic, antifungal, and antibiotic properties. You can buy it from the drugstore or from online retailers like Amazon. Also, try to find a shampoo that has tea tree oil in it. Mix tea tree oil with coconut oil or olive oil and massage it on your scalp.
- Aloe Vera also contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help in reducing skin irritation and work as an effective moisturizing agent. You can apply it on your scalp or take oral supplements of aloe vera.
- You can even make use of apple cider vinegar as it can reduce the symptoms of dry scalp. It has antimicrobial properties that can eliminate the bacteria or fungus that can cause itchiness. You can mix it with two parts of water and apply directly to your dry scalp. You can purchase it from most stores or online.
- Apply mashed bananas with a few tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil on your dry scalp as it is the best treatment for dry scalp and dandruff.
Top 5 Dry Scalp Shampoo to Get Rid of Dry Scalp
You can use one of the below-listed shampoos to treat your dry scalp. It will keep your dandruff flakes at bay and soothe your scalp.
Both dandruff and dry scalp are annoying but not harmful. With home treatment, they usually go away. However, if you do not see any improvement in your situation with home treatments then you must visit a doctor because only he/she can decisively identify the cause of a flaky scalp.
In nutshell, in this blog, we have listed out a complete breakdown of dandruff vs. dry scalp, what are the causes of it, which products you should use it, and how you can treat it. Still, if you feel we forgot to mention anything you can connect with us via the comment section below. We would love to hear it from you. for more information, visit Healthclubfinder.