Why Flakes Appear
Most of the time, skin shedding happens without notice. Dandruff – or seborrheic dermatitis — happens when dead skin cells are shed at a faster-than-normal rate. They tend to be white or light yellow and easy to rub off your head.
The cause of dandruff is unclear. Hormones are suspect, because dandruff peaks in the teen years. Or a type of yeast that over-grows on your scalp may play a role. But it has nothing to do with poor hygiene.
Flakes run in families. You’re more likely to get them if you’re a guy, are overweight, or have oily skin. Some conditions, like Parkinson’s disease, can also cause dandruff.
Other things can cause the skin on your head to flake and fall, too:
6 Tips to Fight Flakes
- Wash your hair often. This helps take the flakes off your head. Some people need to shampoo daily; others, less often. You can use a regular shampoo if you have mild dandruff.
- If lots of washes with a regular shampoo aren’t working, try dandruff shampoo. Start by using it daily. As flakes flee, shift to using it every other time you wash hair. Use regular shampoo in between. Different brands of dandruff shampoo contain different ingredients, so you may have to try a few to find one that’s right for you. Look for selenium sulfide, tar-based, zinc pyrithione, or salicylic acid shampoos.
- When using dandruff shampoo, lather twice and let the lather sit for 5 minutes. This helps the shampoo work better.
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