Winter is here and it is the season of cool overcoats, warm sweaters, and dashing jackets. But will they look good with the white flakes all over? Winter holds the key to a variety of outfits but dandruff can potentially ruin your appearance more than you can imagine. As we know, dandruff and winter are an inseparable pair, and if you do not treat them well, people will recognize you as the man from the ‘Head & Shoulders' commercial. Dandruff though a simple issue has complex roots. There are many reasons why they happen thus making it difficult to tackle it but not impossible fellas. We bring you some simple effective steps to root out the problem all at once.
But first things first,
What is dandruff?
Dandruff is actually a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp, a condition that causes the skin to scale, flake and itch. It is generally triggered by an overgrowth of fungus in the scalp—specifically, a type of single-celled microbe called Malassezia yeast—which triggers an immune response on the skin and causes lingering discomfort. To get specific, this yeast feeds off your scalp’s natural oil (sebum) and then breaks it down into other components, including oleic acid. Oleic acid is what causes the immune system to attack and want to shed irritated skin. The tiny white and yellow skin flakes that the skin has shed are collectively called dandruff. While we mostly associate dandruff with the scalp, this reaction can actually happen all over the body, including on the eyebrows, the nose, and the beard
1. Oil Massage
Using oil to counter dandruff is one of the oldest weapons in the arsenal. Even, though it is an approved method by doctors. Flakey dandruff is a characteristic feature of a dry scalp. Take some virgin coconut oil in a pan, add a few drops of lemon, and then apply the mixture evenly throughout the hair. Keep it on for a few hours and then wash it off with a mild shampoo. With coconut’s nourishment and lime’s anti-fungal properties, you won’t see those white flakes on your black sweaters. But do remember to repeat the process at least thrice a week to get the best result.
2. Bath Daily
Skipping baths is one of the major root causes for dandruff to thrive so well on your scalp. We men go days without bathing during winter which can exponentially trigger dandruff growth. Our scalp naturally secretes an oily substance known as sebum and also sheds skin. These two combine to give rise to the problem we know as dandruff. Taking baths daily can prevent these build-ups and keep your scalp fresh and protective against any infection. Dandruff is a potential indicator that you need to wash your scalp now.
3. Know Your Shampoo
Be a little aware while using any anti-dandruff shampoo. Various companies are now using marketing gimmicks to sell any shampoo as an anti-dandruff shampoo. Do a little research on your part and see which ingredients can fight dandruff better and check if your bottle has those ingredients. Tea-tree oil shampoo or neem-infused ones will seemingly help you cope with the situation better owing to their anti-fungal properties and as always, parabens and sulfates are a big no.
Let me bust another myth that you always need anti-dandruff shampoo to fight dandruff. This is not true. Sometimes a simple hydrating shampoo can do the trick. The majority of dandruff that originates from a dry scalp simply needs some hydration and these shampoos get the job done efficiently.
4. Stimulate your Scalp
Giving yourself a deep scalp massage may be one of the best activities to add to your anti-dandruff routine. Stimulating the scalp increases blood circulation thus increasing the secretion of oils that keep hair and scalp healthy. A little bit of scalp stimulation can do wonders for the overall health of the scalp, aiding in the removal of dead skin cells and providing relief for those struggling with extreme itch. A well-nourished scalp implies one that is free of flakes.
5. Limited Hair Products
Sometimes excessive use of hair products can lead to an increased amount of dandruff production and scalp health degradation. It is often better to limit the use of products and if you are using then make sure you wash up the product built from your scalp properly. These products' residue can become a feast for the yeasts and various fungi. If you are so into products, then make sure you chose quality ones and take well care post product usage.
6. Good Bacteria, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Water
Good bacteria (probiotics) found in fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, and beer work in opposition to the yeast and bad bacteria that cause scalp discomfort and dandruff, and what could be better than finding a reason to chug down that extra pint every night. Omega-3s are the fatty acids found in fish, seeds, nuts, and oils that are good for your health in a ton of ways. Packing your diet with mighty, little omegas can help lock in hydration and moisture, especially in the winter when your dry scalp is worsening the flaking. During winter, we often forget to drink water; something that dehydrates the skin and hair, causing more dandruff. So, make sure you are completely hydrated.
7. Clean Your Brushes, Towels, and Covers
Last but not least, clean your brushes, and change your towels and pillow covers frequently. We can’t emphasize the importance of this point more. If you are using the same brush daily to comb, the same towel to wipe dry your hair, and the same pillow cover to sleep on, without cleaning them or changing them at least once a week, then following all of the above points will not matter much to you. The dandruff residue that will be present in these, will cling back to your scalp for a reunion that you will not love to attend.
Just as we said, dandruff is different from one case to the next, and not all sufferers will get the same results when they use the same treatments. But these steps overall will help you get effective results with simple dandruff. But if you are suffering from severe dandruff and an uncontrollable itchy scalp, you should prefer to visit your dermatologist rather than experiment yourself. Prolonged untreated dandruff can cause baldness as well as several severe fungal infections both on the scalp as well as skin. Hope this guide helps you deal with the biggest enemy of the season. For more fashion-related tips and information follow us on Instagram and Facebook, and subscribe to our Youtube channel to get all the latest updates about men’s fashion and grooming. Join our WhatsApp Community for regular updates on men's style.