Dandruff is a very common condition; whatever your hair or skin type, it’s very unlikely that you’ll go through your life without having it at some stage. Unless you’re very lucky, you’ll know the symptoms well. The scalp gets dry, starts to itch and become inflamed, and you’re left with the tell-tale flakes in your hair – and often on your shoulders too. The condition isn’t contagious and isn’t harmful, but it can be very annoying and embarrassing. It’s caused by many different things, and it can strike at any time, but if your scalp’s starting to get a little dry, itchy and flaky as we go into winter, then you could have a case of seasonal dandruff!
You may not have heard of the condition, but scientists have known about the phenomenon for many years. Winter plays havoc with our hair and scalp – cold winds can make the skin and scalp feel rough and dry, while we expose our bodies to often freezing temperatures, alternated with bursts of central heating, which has a drying effect. We also tend to sweat less in the winter, which can create a moisture imbalance and a dry scalp. All this creates ideal conditions for seasonal dandruff to flare. While it can’t be cured, you can take steps to prevent it. If the only flakes you want to see this winter are made of snow, then read on…
If you’ve never suffered from dandruff, then it is unlikely that dehydration will cause the problem. But if you are prone to it, keeping your scalp in the best possible condition is your first line of defence against it. This is true all year long, but especially important during the winter. We tend to drink less water in the winter months than the summer, simply because we sweat less. But if you don’t drink enough, your scalp will become dry, which can weaken it, allowing various irritants to trigger dandruff. Give your scalp the moisture it needs by drinking plenty of water, regardless of the season.
Icy arctic air and freezing winds will rob your hair and scalp of precious moisture. Defend your locks by wearing a hat. Make sure the hat is not tight – too tight and it might lessen circulation in your scalp. While the hat’s primary function is to keep your head warm, you do want air to flow. So, choose one with a breathable fabric. Put any fears about “hat hair” out of your mind – your locks and scalp will thank you for it, and you’ll be smiling when spring arrives.
When the temperature drops it’s only natural to want to turn the heating dial up. Many of us switch the heating on in October, and it doesn’t come off until at least April! However, central heating systems tend to create a very dry heat. While keeping you snug, this pulls moisture out if your skin and scalp, quickly making them much drier than usual. Keep them hydrated by turning the dial down and put on a jumper. If you really can’t bear to drop the heat, then get yourself a humidifier. This will help to rehydrate the air around you and stave off seasonal dandruff.
If you’ve come home on a sub-zero day, a hot shower can be just the thing to help thaw your frozen bones out. But, while it might be just what your insides want, it’s not so good for your outside. Hot water can strip moisture from your hair and scalp, creating an imbalance where dandruff can occur. Wash your hair with tepid water and if you can bear it, a cool rinse. Brave - but it will help in the battle against seasonal dandruff.
To keep your scalp in the condition needed to combat dandruff, hair masks are an essential weapon in the fight. While they are brilliant at softening, hydrating and revitalising your tresses, they also have great health benefits for your scalp – including helping reverse the effects of dryness. Our Hair Mask, scientifically formulated with the unique AnaGain™ ingredient, will help nourish and hydrate your scalp, while stimulating your locks to shine with vitality. Easy to use, and only needs to be left in for 10 minutes. Make our Hair Mask part of your weekly regimen, and for maximum effect - go the whole hog and use it as an integral part of a home scalp facial.
It’s important you take care of yourself and look after your scalp from the inside as well as the outside. Eat healthily, take regular exercise and take time daily to destress and decompress. Use mild shampoos and conditioners with natural ingredients. Go easy on the hair dryer (use cool settings) and avoid overstyling with heat tools. When you have a flare up – don’t scratch! It will only damage your scalp more and create more dandruff. Whatever happens, don’t give up on your seasonal dandruff routine – if you’re prone, it can’t be cured, but it can be prevented!