This post is a little lengthy but it is so important that this is discussed!
I know that everyone has heard someone say that if you have dandruff that means your hair is growing or that you have growing dandruff!. That is one of the craziest myths ever told! Dandruff is a very unhealthy skin disorder and if left alone and not taken care of, it could eventually get worse or even cause hair loss! Let's talk a minute about what dandruff really is and where it comes from?
Dandruff is a particular type of yeastlike fungus that lives on the scalp known as Malassezia Ovalis. This yeast can cause both inflammation and excessive growth of skin cells on the scalp. Your skin constantly produces new skin cells and sheds old cells but when the cycle of skin renewal speeds up, dandruff can occur. These extra skin cells shed at a much faster rate than normal and then stick together and fall off in flakes, causing dead skin to form on the scalp along with itching, tightness, and redness of the scalp.
Dandruff can be caused by various things like stress, skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, hormones, too much oil on the scalp, weak immune systems, irregular shampoos, using hair products that are toxic and chemical based which could cause product build up on the scalp, and poor eating habits.
There are many different forms of dandruff and they are:
1. Dry Skin Related Dandruff
Dandruff often develops on people who have dry skin. This dry skin could be the result of not drinking enough clean water, dry winter months, or just not shampooing your hair regularly with the correct shampoos. Some shampoos and other products contain sulfates which is a chemical and any type of chemical in hair products can aggravate the scalp, dry it out, and make the dandruff even worse!
*The symptoms of dry skin dandruff are a feeling of tightness on the scalp and small white dry flakes in the hair.
2. Oily Scalp Related Dandruff
Sebum is the natural oil that is produced by the sebaceous glands to moisturize your hair and skin and prevent it from drying up. It is also meant to keep the signs of aging at bay. However, sometimes your body may start producing excess sebum. This over production could be a result of puberty, pregnancy, stress, or irregular shampooing. When the excess sebum mixes with dirt and dead skin cells, it forms dandruff.
*The symptoms of oil related dandruff are yellow patches on the scalp, yellowish large dandruff flakes on scalp, itching, greasy hair, and possibly a slight odor.
3. Fungal Dandruff
Fungal dandruff is caused by an infection on the scalp which is what I was speaking of up top. The fungal infection spreads quite rapidly when your scalp is excessively oily or has a ph imbalance. It is also highly contagious and can spread through sharing items like combs, towels, or hats with an infected individual. What this fungal dandruff does is it produces oleic acid, which increases the turnover of the skin cells, thus causing the dandruff.
*The symptoms are white or yellowish dandruff flakes and itchiness and also could have a slight odor.
So as you can see, any form of dandruff is not healthy for the scalp or the hair. It is impossible to have healthy growing hair with out a healthy scalp because hair grows from the scalp, the scalp is the growing grounds for healthy hair.
There are certain foods that you can eat that will help with getting rid of dandruff.
First of all, you need to drink plenty of clean water to keep you hydrated and flushed from the inside out. I suggest good natural Spring water which is loaded with minerals and nutrients that have not been chemically removed, its naturally alkaline, its free of toxins, and the minerals in it makes it have a good refreshing taste.
You need plenty of protein, fiber, omega 3's, omega 6's, zinc, whole grains, and iron. A lot of people believe that these nutrients come from eating animals especially protein and iron but that is so far from the truth! You do not get protein from animals, they do NOT have protein, you are getting the protein, fiber, etc from the plants and veggies that they have eaten, the food from their diet, and not from the animal itself!
I strongly believe in eating only plant based foods period. Plant based foods are God made and grow in nature containing all the nutrients and minerals that are needed to not only fight and heal dandruff but to help heal and restore our over all wellbeing back to health!
You can eat plant based foods like legumes, beans, spinach, kale, avocados, walnuts, and other dark green leafy vegetables to get all the nourishment that your hair and scalp needs to be healthy.
And you should be visiting the Salon regularly to see a Natural Hair Specialist that's well educated in the science of the hair and scalp care where you can get good quality plant based products and treatments to help clear your scalp. Remember, no chemical based shampoos, conditioners, or nothing because chemicals are toxic and drying and they will irritate the scalp and make the dandruff worse!
A monthly scalp detox/exfoliation is needed to help remove any dead skin cells and impurities. A scalp detox unclogs the pores , and removes buildup on the scalp that comes from having dandruff. And all of these things should be covered by a good Natural Hair & Scalp Care Specialist.