So What's the Differnce? Dandruff vs. Dry Scalp

Hello Blog lover! I still focusing on the scalp and in this blog post I will discuss the differences between dandruff and dry scalp. There is a major difference and many people have been treating one of the two issues under the misconception that it is one thing and is something totally opposite. Dry Scalp is always mistaken to be Dandruff and because some don't know the difference they often mistreat the problem making the problem worse.

What's the Difference?

Dandruff is actually caused by bacteria and is very contagious.  It is a mixture of sebum, sweat, and scalp tissue and is either yellow or orange in color because of the sebum and sweat. It can flake out on the hair or stick to the scalp (this kind of dandruff is called honey comb dandruff) it appears in large areas on the scalp at a time, and is different than dry scalp if you see the two side by side.

Dry Scalp is an over shedding of dead and dehydrated skin cells of the scalp caused by itching, scratching, over combing and dehydration of the sebaceous glands. The shedding is white in color and sometimes there is no bacteria present because the skin has not yet combined it self with the sebum and sweat. Dry Scalp is usually attributed to bad products being used on your hair. Although dry scalp is opposite from dandruff, you can use similar treatments.

Cause of Dandruff
What are the causes of dandruff? Let's get to the root of the problem:

1. Overactive Sebaceous Gland: I recently discussed what an overactive sebaceous gland was in my Oily hair and Oily Scalp post.  If you have an overactive sebaceous gland you should avoid products that cause waxy build up, hair grease, hair balms, and oily styling products. 

2. Bad Hygiene: Yes, bad hygiene can cause dandruff. If you do not wash your hair often you will more than likely develop dandruff because of a bacteria buildup. This build up will sit on the scalp and will mix with your natural sebum and cause dandruff. African Americans are more susceptible to dandruff because of the natural thickness and over curly hair pattern.  Both oil and sweat do not dehydrate form the scalp easily due to the thickness of the hair and will not allow the air to hit the scalp easily. 

3. Hair Grease, Oil Balm, Vaseline: I know you guys remember back in the day when we used to scratch our scalps with the comb and grease the scalp with Vaseline. SMH. What was the real reason behind that? Why was is supposed to help with the dandruff but never actually did anything but make the hair look a hot mess? I found the answer to the question as to why it never really did anything for our hair (the reason behind the action remains unknown.



4. Scratching and digging into the scalp: You should never scratch the dandruff or dry scalp on your head because it will make it worse and cause it to spread.  Damage to the scalp from scratching will allow bacteria to get in to the scalp such as the bacteria that causes staff infection amongst others. 

5. Sharing Combs and Hats: Because dandruff is contagious you can pass it on to someone else or get it from someone else if you are sharing combs and hats.

Cause of Dry Scalp
1. Low Productivity of Sebum: Believe it or not this is actually true and can be caused by genetics. Your sebaceous glands can work both ways. Your body could produce little to no sebum to tons of sebum, thus resulting in oily scalp and oily hair. If you have Psoriasis you may have a problem with this.  The only differnence in Psoriasis and dry scalp you would have red scaly patches on your scalp. Dry scalp is white in color (occurs when skin cells become dead). You should see a dermatologist for this problem (if you have a low productivity of sebum) Try using a tea tree shampoo and conditioner that will help to keep the hair and scalp moist.

2.  Using Bad Shampoos and Conditioners: Most over the counter shampoos have fillers in them (alcohol and wax) that will leave your hair dry and brittle and without shine. Professional hair products (little to non) contain no fillers and can be used to correct this problem. Using dandruff shampoos on your hair will make the dry scalp worse.

3. Not using conditioner: If you are not using conditioners on your hair for whatever the reason my question is why? I think the majority of us have gotten the idea that conditioning the hair is important. Because shampooing can be drying to the hair it is important that you condition the hair to maintain moisture on both the hair and scalp.Keep this in mind that when it comes to oily scalp you apply your conditioner to only your hair and not your scalp.

Always use products that are formulated to help you and your hair condition. Never use products because they work for others. Steer clear of products that contain alcohol and wax for fillers (this is what helps make the product think in consistency) Never use dandruff shampoo on dry scalp. Figure out what your condition is and treat it accordingly. If you are using something that  is making your scalp dry stop using it and try something else. Same thing goes for your dandruff issue if you have one.
 
Hope this helps!
 
Thanks for reading! Tell a friend! and Leave Comments!! ~♥ Miss Nic ♥~