By Toia Barry
Wondering about the difference between dandruff and dry scalp? Dandruff and Dry Scalp are similarly related,but there are some key differences. There are some overlapping characteristics and symptoms but have underlying differences and causes. Many people think that they don't have to treat their scalp, but taking care of the scalp is important to hair growth and overall hair health. Understanding the differences between them will help you treat it and help you achieve your hair goals. To discover how to spot their different symptoms, causes, and how to properly care for your scalp, keep reading.
Dry scalp is a condition when your skin on the scalp doesn’t have enough moisture and becomes overly dry. Similar to having a dry skin type, when your face doesn’t produce enough oil, it becomes dry. Your scalp is less likely to dry out than other parts of your body or face because of the hair on your head that protects it. Another reason dry scalp isn’t as common is that the hair follicles produce a lot more oil than other parts of your body.
It’s important to understand what causes dry scalp in order to effectively treat it. When your scalp is not producing enough natural oil, the scalp dries out. This can happen due to:
Dandruff is a skin condition that produces flakes of skin on the scalp. Dandruff is very common, with about 1 in 5 Americans experiencing this condition.
Dandruff flakes are a result of the build-up that occurs on the scalp due to the overproduction of sebum or oil. Learning how to get rid of scalp build-up is one of the most important steps in addressing dandruff.
There is still research being done to understand the underlying causes of this condition, but some potential causes include:
Some additional factors may make you more prone to experiencing dry scalp or having dandruff including:
Dandruff is most common during the teenage years. However, you can also get dry dandruff later in life. Some people may experience it just throughout their teen years and puberty, and some may have lifelong dandruff.
For example, contact dermatitis is a sensitivity to specific ingredients in hair products that can lead to dry scalp.
Ladies, you won't have to worry about this risk factor. If you are a male, then you are at higher risk for experiencing dandruff. Researchers think this is due to the production of natural oils and hormones.
Some overlapping symptoms can occur both in having a dry scalp and dandruff. Here are some common symptoms caused by both:
Even though they both share some similar symptoms, there are some key factors to identify which one you may be experiencing. You can have dandruff without having a dry scalp and vice versa. Some things you will want to look out for include:
It’s important to identify these differences since learning how to get rid of dandruff and dry scalp will require different methods.
To maintain a healthy scalp and prevent dry scalp or dandruff, learn how to moisturize your scalp by choosing the right products for your hair type. Dandruff is not curable, but there are many different steps and remedies to help treat the itchiness and flakiness of the scalp. If you have dry hair or dry scalp, you will need to cut back on shampooing your hair and apply moisturizer more often to hydrate the scalp. If you experience dandruff, you will need to find an anti-dandruff shampoo that's right for you and wash your hair more frequently to prevent an oily scalp.
Dry scalp or dandruff can usually be managed at home, but if over-the-counter products or remedies are not working, see a dermatologist. A dermatologist can give you prescription shampoos and treatments, with stronger ingredients to relieve your symptoms. See a doctor if you’re experiencing:
Both dry scalp and dandruff can be an inconvenience and annoying, but are usually not dangerous and can be treated. Dry scalp is easily manageable with the right products and treatments. Dandruff is a more serious condition but is commonly treated using medicated products and the right routine. If symptoms do not subside, consult your doctor. Now that you know what dry scalp and dandruff are, the causes of each, how to identify them, and how to properly treat them, you are one step closer to achieving a healthy scalp, and all your hair goals!
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