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07 April 2008

Down with Dandruff

Since dandruff affecting a lot of people, including me...
I would like to share this article by
John Ng.

The sign and symptoms of dandruff are unmistakable. The itchy, scaling scalp and white, greasy-looking flakes of dead skin that dot your hair and shoulders make her think twice about tousling your hair. having dandruff also rules out black attire because it shows up dandruff in a most embarrassing way. Luckily for men, it's a common problem and the solutions aren't tall that complicated either. Here's what you need to know:

Many factors has been attributed to dandruff such as; dry and oily scalps, infrequent or over shampooing, poor nutrition, stress and use of inappropriate hair products. But beneath all these, the real culprit may be a yeast-like fungus called malassezia (formerly known as pityrosporum). "Malasezia ives on the scalps of most healthy adults without causing problems," explain Ricca Tee Hon Ling, customer service manager at TrichoKare. "But sometimes it grows out of control, feeding on the oils secreted by your hair follicles and causing irritation that leads to increased cell turnover. The results is a large number of dead skin cells," she adds. The cells then falls off and tend to clump together with oil fro your hair and scalp, causing them to appear white, flaky and embarrassingly visible.

The exact cause of an overgrowth of malassezia is still unknown. Nonetheless, fingers are pointing at increased oil production, hormonal fluctuation, stress, ilness, neurological disorder like Parkinson's disease, a suppressed immune system, infrequent shampooing and extra sensitivity to the malassezia fungus as contributory to the development of the dandruff-causing fungus.

When fighting against common dandruff, your first, and most convenient, line of defense is with an over-the-counter shampoo. Tee suggests lookig for one with the following active ingredients:
  • Zinc pyrithione: Antibacterial and antifungal agent, which reduces malassezia and seborrheic dermatitis
  • Coal tar: Helps conditions such as dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis by slowing cell turnover
  • Salicylic acid: Eliminates scale but may leave your scalp dry, leading to more flaking. Use a conditioner to keep your scalp moisturized
  • Selenium sulfide: Controls cell turnover and reduces malassezia. Use only as directed because they can discolor blonde, grey or chemically colored hair.
  • Ketoconazole: This newest addition to the list of dandruff solutions is a broad-spectrum antifungal agent that you should try when the others fail.
  • Tea Tree oil: A popular natural antiseptic, antibiotic and antifungal agent.
Use one of these shampoos daily until your dandruff problem is tamed before cutting back to two or three times a week. "Be sure to leave the shampoo onfor at least two minutes to allow the ingredients time to work." says Tee.

However, if you don't see any noticeable result after using these products for several weeks, talk to your doctor or dermatologist. You may need prescription-strength shampoo or more aggressive treatment with a steroid lotion. "When itching from dandruff becomes severe and causes redness, lotions containing mild steroids, such as hydrocortisone or triamcinolone, maybe prescribed. These should not be used for more than two weeks in a row as longer use may lead to skin damage," says Tee.

You can't prevent dandruff, but there are steps you can take to effectively control it. First, watch your diet. Reducing your intake of food containing sugar and yeast while pumping up zinc, vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids will help keep your scalp healthy. Second, cut back on styling products and "heavy" conditioner. They can be difficult to rinse off and increase the severity of dandruff. Third, be gentle anddon't exacerbate your scalp by scratching or using hot water on it. Finally, get some sunshine on your scalp. Measured sun-on-scalp exposure has been found to reduce dandruff.


About the styling product mentioned, I wonder what kind of hair styling product which provide dry look style but easy to wash off and wont hard to wash off.
Im sure Gatsby and wax will be out of list...

Any suggestion from you? I'm listening ;p