Dandruff – Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Hair Problems

Hair Problems And Solutions

Split ends, dandruff and a dry, itch scalp are common problems that can detract from otherwise healthy hair. In most cases such problems can be overcome by giving the appropriate treatment.

Dandruff:

This consists of scaly particles with an oily sheen that lie close to the hair root. This condition should not be confused with a flaky scalp.

Causes:

Poor diet, sluggish metabolism, stress, a hormonal imbalance, and sometimes infection. These conditions usually produce increased cell renewal on the scalp, which is often associated with an increase in sebum.
Dandruff is actually commonly caused by an overgrowth of a certain type of yeast called ‘malassezia furfur’, and the best products that combat it are those that target the growth of the yeast itself.
If anti-dandruff shampoos, tonics, and/or masks don’t help, visit your doctor, as this suggests you may have psoriasis or eczema.

Solutions:

Rethink your diet and lifestyle.
Learn relaxation techniques if the problem appears to be caused by stress.
Brush the hair before shampooing and scrupulously wash combs and brushes.
Always choose a mild shampoo with an anti dandruff action that gently loosens scales and helps prevent new ones.
Follow with a treatment lotion, massaged into the scalp using the fingertips.
The treatment must be used regularly if it is to be effective. Avoid excessive use of heat stylers. If the dandruff persists, consult your doctor.

Flaky / Itchy Scalp:

This condition produces tiny white pieces of dead skin that flake off the scalp and are usually first noticed on the shoulders.
This condition can be often confused with dandruff but the two are not related. Sometimes the scalp is red or itchy and feels tight. The hair usually has a dull appearance.

Causes:

Hereditary traits, stress, insufficient rinsing of shampoo, lack of sebum, using a harsh shampoo, vitamin imbalance, pollution, air conditioning and central heating.

Solutions:

Choose a moisturizing shampoo and a conditioner with herbal extracts to help soothe and remoisturize the scalp.

Split Ends:

These occur when the cuticle is damaged and the fibres of the cortex unravel. The hair is dry, brittle and prone to tangling, and can split at the end or anywhere along the shaft.

Causes:

Over-perming or colouring, insufficient conditioning, or too much brushing or backcombing, especially with poor-quality combs or brushes.
Careless use of spiky rollers and hair pins, excessive heat styling and not having the hair trimmed regularly can also cause the problem.

Solutions:

Split ends cannot be repaired, the only long-term solution is to have them snipped off regularly. What is lost in the length will be gained in quality.
It may help if you reduce the frequency with which you shampoo, as this in itself is stressful to hair and causes split ends to extend up the hair shaft.
Never use a dryer too near the hair, or set it on too high a temperature.
Minimize the use of heated appliances.
Try conditioners and serums that are designed to seal split ends temporarily and give resistance to further-splitting.

Gray Hair:

Scientists have put a lot of effort into investigating the cause of gray hair, and they believe they’ve gotten to the root of the problem.
Hair gets its color from a pigment called melanin, which is produced by melanocyte cells in the hair follicles.
Researchers have discovered that melanocytes endure cumulative damage over the years, which eventually leaves them unable to produce melanin.
Studies have cited DNA damage and a buildup of hydrogen peroxide in the follicles as possible causes of this disruption in melanin production.
Without melanin, the new hair that grows in has no pigment, which makes it appear gray, white, or silver.

Hair Loss:

Normally, hair goes through a regular growth cycle. During the anagen phase, which lasts two to six years or longer, the hair grows.
During the telogen phase, which lasts about three months, the hair rests. At the end of the telogen phase, the hair falls out and is replaced by new hair.
As they age, men tend to lose the hair on top of their head, which eventually leaves a horseshoe-shaped ring of hair around the sides.
This type of hair loss is called male-pattern baldness. It’s caused by genes (from both parents) and it’s fueled by the male hormone, testosterone.
In female-pattern baldness, the hair loss is different — it thins throughout the top of the scalp, leaving the hair in front intact.

A number of disorders can cause the hair to fall out.

People who have an autoimmune condition called alopecia areata lose hair on their scalp, as well as on other parts of their body.
Other health conditions that can cause excess hair loss include: Medications such as antidepressants, retinoids, NSAIDs, blood thinners, birth control pills and other hormonal treatments, high blood pressure medications, chemotherapy, and radiation.
Certain hair care practices, such as wearing tight ponytails or weaves, or regularly bleaching or perming the hair, can also lead to hair loss.
When hair loss is related to a medication, stopping the drug usually prevents further hair loss, and the hair will eventually grow back.

Hair also tends to grow back after most illnesses, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
Hair lost to male-pattern and female-pattern baldness won’t grow back on its own, but there are medications that can help slow hair loss and even regrow hair.
Minoxidil (Rogaine) is a topical medicine that is available over the counter to treat men and women.
Finasteride (Propecia) is a pill that is available to men only by prescription.
Injectable cortisone may also help regrow hair lost to certain conditions.