A person’s skin is practically ”renewed” every month. In this process dead skin cells are replaced with new ones. Usually it is impossible to see the detached cells with the naked eye. However, if the growing cells form too quickly, the upper cells are unable to break apart from each other and stick together. If 500 or more of these cells clump together then they become visible on the scalp as flakes.
There are many causes of dandruff. It is often a combination of different factors such as stress, dry air from central heating, the wrong care or climatic changes which irritate the skin and scalp and can alter their environment. Genetic predisposition can also be a reason for excessive skin cell regeneration. The result: an unattractive cascades onto clothes and shoulders. Nearly everyone is familiar with this type of temporary dandruff. Irritating, but harmless, it is more a cosmetic than a medicinal problem.
Nonetheless both men and women want to get rid of it as soon as possible. And incidentally, it effects all people, irrespective of gender.
It is often erroneously believed that a lack of hygiene is behind the unpleasant phenomenon. Quite the contrary! Too frequent hair washing can dry out the scalp even more, which leads to the formation of dandruff flakes. A vicious circle, which is an increasing emotional burden on the parties concerned.
Firstly it is necessary to differentiate between dry and oily flakes. Dry flakes are characteristic of a too low-fat scalp, caused by the reasons already named. They are recognizable as the typical white cascade. Dry flakes can also occur as symptoms of illness such as psoriasis or a contact allergy. Because of their tendency to dry skin, especially during menopause, women are more often plagued by this form or dandruff than men. Those affected should avoid dehydrating measures, e.g. should avoid washing hair daily and should air dry it if possible – not with a hair dryer.
Oily flakes frequently affect those people who tend to have an oily scalp. These flakes are recognizable by their yellowy-oily appearance. Often it is a yeast fungus by the name of malassezia furfur that is responsible. The fungus can live largely unnoticed on a healthy scalp. With an increased sebum production however, it can rapidly multiply as it feeds on the fats in the sebum. The fungus converts fat into an aggressive fatty acid which irritates the scalp leading to itchiness and flaking. Because of this those affected scratch their heads more often, which results in inflammations and infections and creates an ideal breeding ground for other yeast fungi or bacteria. Oily flakes are usually larger than dry ones and they stick to the scalp and hair.
Another cause of oily flakes is seborrhoeic dermatitis. In this case it is only the excess sebum production – not aided by a yeast fungus – which is responsible for the flake formation. The oily flakes are usually accompanied by severe redness of the scalp. It generally affects people with an increased lipid production from the sebaceous glands on the scalp, due, for example, to hormonal change during puberty.
Here’s the good news: there are effective long-term ways to combat dandruff! Mild hair care products combined with the right body care ritual, customized to the specific problem together with ideally optimized lifestyle habits and nutrition, and you can soon bid a permanent farewell to an irritating dandruff problem.
Here the particular steps which are necessary: firstly you need to question your own habits. Do you get enough sleep? Do you take time out? Do you eat healthily with plenty of variety? Do you drink enough water? Experts dissuade just as much from drinking too much coffee or alcohol as from smoking too much. Bear in mind that healthy hair originates from a healthy scalp. You can positively affect this through your own lifestyle habits. Here a few tips:
- eat healthily and conscientiously and use good quality foodstuffs
- if possible avoid sweets and products containing alcohol or nicotine, or consume in moderation
- give your body and soul enough sleep and occasionally some quality leisure time
- avoid long hot showers and don’t wash hair daily
- use care products tailored to your specific needs – if necessary consult a dermatologist or ask your pharmacist for advice.
For sufferers of dry dandruff we recommend a shampoo with a high proportion of natural extracts such as coltsfoot and horsetail. First of all it is important that the shampoo is a mild, non-irritant cleanser, which wont dry out the scalp. A useful supplement is a second step which conditions the scalp. Allowing a few drops of olive oil to work into the scalp overnight is a boon for a stressed, dry or irritated scalp and can work veritable wonders, especially for stressed “beanie-wearers” in winter. Healing earth and volcanic clay are a real detoxification for the scalp. They disinfect and calm itchiness.
not only cleanses the scalp mildly and gently, it also reduces the growth of yeast fungi, so the scalp can regenerate itself and restore its natural balance. Coltsfoot extract, a main ingredient, is rich in mucilages and is both anti-irritation and anti-inflammatory. In addition burdock root extract disinfects and frees the scalp of surplus dry flakes. The shampoo can be used with confidence over a long period of time. Skin tolerability and product mildness are top priority. Pure chemical active ingredients often show faster results but usually they’re short-lived and cause even more disruption to the scalp.
A good scalp tonic is important as a supplement to your shampoo. is a combination of dermatological elementary sulphur, coltsfoot extract, lemon balm distillate and burdock root extract which gently loosens even crusted clumps of flakes from the scalp. This lotion, with the highest possible percentage of natural active ingredients, should be allowed to work into the scalp for several hours or overnight. It disinfects and eases redness and itchiness. Its continuing and efficient effectiveness has been proven in independent dermatological studies. Dandruff flakes were reduced by 83% in just four weeks. This has been confirmed repeatedly by many satisfied customers.
For those who tend towards an oily scalp and oily flakes there is a different line of products: in this case light de-greasing and antiseptic natural ingredients are called for. A shampoo based on willow bark extract is both effective and beneficial. The sulphur contained in the shampoo frees the scalp from excess fat and eases irritation. The willow bark extract used is produced with a special benzo[a]pyrene-free purification process, and, like the thyme oil ingredient, has a gently antiseptic and flake-loosening effect.
There is a competent solution for every type of dandruff. It is just necessary to get the right comprehensive advice and to be personally willing to confront the problem and react to it with a change in lifestyle habits: more sleep, healthy eating and trust in the nature’s proven active ingredients.