While most people think that all flaky scalps are the result of dandruff, this isn't true. They have different causes and even slightly different symptoms.
Do you know how to tell if you have dandruff or dry scalp? We're here to discuss these two scalp conditions so you can determine which one is causing your flakes. We'll also teach you how to treat them!
Keep reading to learn more.
What Causes Dandruff or Dry Scalp?
Because dandruff and dry scalp are different conditions, they also have different causes.
Dandruff is fairly straightforward. People of any age or gender can be affected by dandruff, but it's more common in men, young adults, and anyone with a weakened immune system.
Dandruff comes from a fungus called Malassezia. While that might sound unpleasant, it doesn't mean that you're dirty. This is a fungus that's similar to yeast and it thrives off of oils that everyone produces in their scalp.
Dandruff is a kind of seborrheic dermatitis. It may also be related to psoriasis and eczema. So if you have either of those skin conditions, you may be predisposed to dandruff.
A dry scalp can have many causes. Some of them correlate with dandruff, but others are unique.
Some people experience dry scalps because of the products that they use for their hair. It's common for hair care products to contain sulfates that dry out the skin. Dry scalp may also be the result of products that you have a mild allergy to.
If you live in a dry environment, your scalp may dry and flake. Many people find that they have flakier skin during a dry winter.
Remember that your scalp is part of your skin. The same things that cause dry skin can also cause a dry scalp.
Is Dandruff From Dry or Oily Scalp?
Dandruff is most often the result of an oily scalp. While this is sometimes due to someone not shampooing often enough, some people just produce excess oil.
The fungus that causes dandruff causes your skin to produce too many skin cells, causing buildup.
Seborrheic dermatitis can also increase your oil production. It can make skin red, inflamed, and itchy. It breaks off into the hair until it becomes noticeable.
Some people produce more oil when their scalp is too dry. With this in mind, it's possible for dandruff to be caused by both a dry and oily scalp.
Signs of Dandruff or Dry Scalp
Dandruff and dry scalp have similar signs and symptoms.
Both dandruff and a standard dry scalp will result in itchy skin. They also both cause skin to flake off and show up on your hair or on your clothing. Flaking is almost always the first indication that you're dealing with dandruff or a dry scalp.
There are a few symptoms that are specific to dandruff, though it can be hard to tell for sure. When you're trying to determine if you have dandruff vs dry scalp, look for specific symptoms.
If you're dealing with dandruff, you may notice that your roots are more oily than they once were. Dry scalps won't give you oily roots (unless they've caused you to produce too much oil, in which case the answer would still be dandruff).
If you pay attention to the flakes falling from your scalp, you'll notice that they're bigger if you have dandruff. They may also have a yellowish tint. Flakes from a dry scalp are often small and flat unless you've been scratching too hard.
If you look at your scalp, you may notice that it's cracked or inflamed. If this is the case, you're likely dealing with dandruff.
Dandruff and Dry Scalp Remedies
There are a few things that you can do to treat dandruff and a dry scalp, as well as a few things that you can do to prevent them from happening at all.
Both of these conditions are manageable. You can avoid those pesky flakes!
Here are some tips to prevent a dry scalp.
- Use a humidifier: Having extra moisture in the air will keep your skin from drying out. You should also protect your scalp from excess sunlight and wash your hair less often.
- Avoid any products that can dry your skin out. Sulfates are known to dry out your skin, so they should only be used when you're doing a clarifying wash.
- Nourish your skin with oils. The Wild Curl Fortune Scalp Oil Treatment mimics the natural oils from your scalp without causing buildup. Give yourself an occasional scalp massage with oil to clear up those flakes.
Dandruff requires some extra care. You're trying to manage the condition, not cure it.
Tea tree oil is a common ingredient in products for dandruff. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Our Fortune Scalp Oil contains tea tree oil as well as ylang ylang oil, which has antimicrobial properties.
Make sure to use products that won't irritate your scalp. It's tempting to use harsh products in an attempt to rid yourself of flakes, but you'll do more damage.
That's How to Tell If You Have Dandruff or Dry Scalp
Once you figure out how to tell if you have dandruff or dry scalp, you can start treating your condition and getting your scalp in tip-top condition.
Send the flakes and itchy scalp away for good with a few handy products and lifestyle changes!
Are you looking for high-quality hair products for wavy to curly hair? Whether you're dealing with dry hair, a dry scalp, dandruff, or even healthy hair that you're trying to improve, we've got you covered!
Check out our shop to find your new favorite product today.