Hair Restoration Blog

Understanding the Difference Between Dry Dandruff and Oily Dandruff
February 14 2018

Understanding the Difference Between Dry Dandruff and Oily Dandruff

Dandruff. It's one of those things that lots of people have, but nobody ever talks about in polite conversation. Those who have it are usually embarrassed by it, and estimates about how many Americans have it fluctuate wildly, with some estimates as low as 10-15 percent and some as high as 70 percent! There are a few facts about dandruff that are a bit more concrete, however. First of all, it affects more men than women, and there are a couple of different types of dandruff. Here's how to know which type you're dealing with.

Dry Dandruff

If your scalp is dry and itchy, it may be what many refer to as dry dandruff, which is technically not dandruff at all, but simply skin cells that are flaking off due to dry skin. A moisturizing shampoo and conditioner may help, as will wearing a hat when it's cold outside.

Oily Dandruff

If your scalp is oily, you may be more prone to one of the most common causes of dandruff, which is known as seborrheic dermatitis -- a skin condition that manifests as red, irritated, oily patches on the skin covered with white or yellow flaky scales. Although it's a common cause of dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis isn't the only possible culprit. You could have eczema, or dermatitis caused by a reaction to something you're using on your scalp regularly.

What Role Does Hygiene Play?

Hygiene can play a role, since people tend to forget sometimes that their scalp is skin that needs to be cleaned and protected just as the skin on any other part of your body does. When you wash your hair, the majority of your efforts should go towards washing your scalp rather than your hair, and care should be taken to address often overlooked areas like the nape of the neck. It takes longer than you might think to rinse shampoo out of your hair -- and off your scalp -- than you might think too, and leaving soap residue on your scalp can both irritate it and dry it out. That may result in a dry scalp that flakes. But, the flakes from an overly-dry scalp are not technically dandruff, although both dry scalp and dandruff can make your scalp itchy. In short, dirty hair doesn't really cause dandruff, but it can certainly exacerbate the problem.

Scalp Analysis/Trichology Testing

When you have a tendency toward earaches, it makes sense to see a doctor who specializes in ear/nose problems, and when you have severe allergies, it's wise to see an allergist. The same is true of scalp problems like dandruff. If you've tried over-the-counter dandruff remedies and the problem persists, there could be something more serious going on. That's the time to see a professional who specializes in treating hair and scalp problems, also known as a trichology practitioner.

There are hair loss clinics all over the country staffed with professionals including practitioners, and if you're living in the San Jose region of California, it's time to learn more about New Look Institute. We offer a free consultation and have a licensed practitioner of trichology on-site who can perform a trichological test on your scalp to determine exactly what you're dealing with, eliminating guesswork and trial and error. Once we know what's causing your dandruff problem, we'll develop an individualized protocol to restore your scalp to a healthy condition, eliminating flaking and making it feel a lot more comfortable too!

If you've got a dry, itchy scalp, or an oily scalp that's flaking, it's time to see a specialist and deal with the problem once and for all. Contact us at New Look Institute and schedule your free consultation today!