A dry scalp and dandruff are often confused one for the other, considering that both cause you to suffer from flaky white pieces falling from your scalp. Even with a small scratch, you might find white little pieces sitting on your hair that have been lifted from your scalp.
What’s important to know is that a dry scalp has different symptoms than dandruff. And if you’ve struggled with either, but haven’t found the solution quite right for you, then perhaps you’re trying to solve the wrong problem. By identifying the difference between a dry scalp and dandruff, you’re one step closer to discovering the solution and products suitable for your hair and scalp type.
1. Identify the flakes and scalp texture
Identifying the size, texture and color of the flakes coming from your scalp is a great first step to knowing if you have a dry scalp or suffer from dandruff.
Here are the basic characteristics of a dry scalp: Small white flakes, itchy scalp, less odor, and often have other dry areas on the body. If you can identify these characteristics, you likely have a dry scalp.
Basic characteristics of dandruff include: Yellow flakes that vary in size, itchy scalp, oily/red/acne prone scalp
Starting to identify these characteristics of a dry scalp or dandruff will help you understand what you will need to do next, which is finding the right products.
2. Dry Scalps Need More Moisture
Just like the way we moisturize our skin by using lotions and creams, we are in fact trying to get more hydration into our skin to achieve softness and smoothness. We want to get rid of that flake and scaly skin! The same goes for our scalp. What is often misunderstood is that hydration is what we really need to get that baby soft skin and a healthy scalp. Moisture is more widely misconceived as the key practice to getting smooths skin, but it is in fact hydration that dry scalp individuals need to prioritize.
Creams and oils only go so far with their individual benefits for adding hydration to the scalp. In fact, they barely hydrate at all. What your scalp truly needs is water! This is why water-based solutions soak into the skin deeper and faster than oils and creams - which tend to sit on the scalp or hair shaft without fully penetrating and/or hydrating the scalp or hair.
Now that you know that you need more hydration into the scalp and products that protec the scalp’s natural moisture barrier, its time to consider how to find the right products for this. Using water-based products that are lighter and more easy to absorb, pose a better opportunity for hydration and some moisturization. The scalp needs as many vitamins and minerals as possible to get the scalp into top condition to then help the overall hair health.
3. Scalps with Dandruff Need Anti-Fungal Care
Now that the simple differences between dandruff and a dry scalp have been identified, its important to note that one major difference is that dandruff is a medical condition, also known as seborrheic dermatitis, which a fungal condition.
Before we go further, it is important to know that in some cases, dandruff cases vary and some need professional medical advice. Please see your local practitioner if you have a severe case of seborrheic dermatitis.
However, identifying what dandruff really is and understanding that is a fungal issue, not a dry skin issue, then we can begin to find possible solutions to help reduce bacterial and fungal growth. It is important that we not mask or put a bandaid over the problem, but rather tend to the underlying concerns.
If you have a bacterial overgrowth, then introducing antibacterial, antiseptic and antimicrobial ingredients into your scalp and hair routine may help decrease the growth and can aid in reducing signs of dandruff.
Natural remedies such as applying Tea Tree oil is a popular way to try and help reduce bacterial growth and dandruff. However, as we have previously learned that oil takes longer to penetrate into the skin and scalp, using water-based products with similar and even more potent antibacterial ingredients pose a better chance at reducing the fungal growth while penetrating the skin more deeply and effectively.
4. Herbal Rinsing for Dry Scalp & Dandruff Scalps
Herbal Rinsing for the scalp and hair is the ideal solution for attending to each concern for a variety of reasons. Not only is Herbal Hair Rinsing 100% natural, with zero preservatives or additives, but it is a water-based solution that can absorb into the scalp and skin faster than oils.
Herbal Rinses become a powerful liquid that activates a plethora of vitamins and minerals once prepared, because of the potent herbs in each Rinse. Think of each Rinse like an incredible shot of green juice you might take to add those extra minerals into your system. It is a similar concept of adding those missing vitamins and nourishment that your other hair products cannot successfully deliver on their own.
Herbal Rinsing for Dry Scalp:
We recommend for anyone that suffers from a dry scalp and hair, that introducing our Hydrate & Repair Herbal Hair Rinse adds minerals, amino acids, hydration and replenishment to the hair follicles and hair shaft that has been dried out or stripped of its natural oils, as well as for damaged hair from treatments and hot ironing tools. By adding back in essential nutrients to the scalp, the hair can then also reap the benefits and soak in the nourishment it needs to help repair itself. Ingredients such as Marshmallow Root, Comfrey Leaf, Calendula and Everlasting Flower work harmoniously to help protect the scalp’s natural moisture barrier while also allowing the skin to rebuild itself and improve hair lustre and smoothness.
Herbal Rinsing for Dandruff:
We recommend for anyone suffering from sebum overproduction, dandruff, acne prone and itchy scalps, to introduce our Detox & Decongest Herbal Hair Rinse into their regular hair care routine. It is is loaded with antiseptic properties that aid in reducing bacterial and fungal growth (they key reasons why dandruff exists). By slowly and safely breaking down sebum overproduction and bacteria, it helps support reducing dandruff without drying out the scalp skin. In addition, it contains soothing ingredients such as Eucalyptus Leaf which allows the scalp to feel refreshed and restored with each use. Ingredients such as Parsley, Oatstraw, Indian Gooseberry, Rosehips, Patchouli Leaves and more are key ingredients to reducing dandruff, lowering fungal and bacterial growth, and repairing the scalp by helping it restore its natural pH balance.