Our reader Valerie asked:

I have a serious dandruff problem. It’s so bad that when I scratch at my scalp, dry skin flakes out. I’ve started using an anti-dandruff shampoo, which seems to help make the condition better, but it doesn’t resolve the problem totally. Also, in cases when I can’t bring my shampoo along (e.g. when I travel), the serious dandruff problem returns almost immediately. This is causing me a lot of embarrassment and annoyance. Is there a better way of resolving this? I’m hoping for a more permanent solution.

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dandruff

What causes dandruff?

There are multiple causes of dandruff with varying degrees of severity. Sometimes multiple causes can come into play and they aggravate the situation and cause severe flaking and irritation. Dry or excessively oily scalp, scratching, using harsh chemical products, improper scalp cleansing, and fungal growth all contribute to the skin cell production going into overdrive and causing them to shed excessively, forming unsightly white flakes that is commonly referred to as dandruff.

What can help reduce dandruff?

Most anti-dandruff shampoos will target removing the flaking with their deep cleansing properties. However, removing the flaking might not completely alleviate the problem of dandruff as you need to find a scalp cleanser that not only rids the scalp of the flaking, but also moisturise the scalp, build up its resistance against sensitivity, and most importantly, regulate skin cell production. Only then will you be able to find a long-lasting solution.

It is definitely good to travel with an anti-dandruff shampoo if you are prone to dandruff. Travelling might entail temperature and diet changes, which may lead to changes in your scalp and sometimes, dandruff. Also, changing a shampoo to one that you have never used before might be risky if you are prone to dandruff. However, with a good anti-dandruff shampoo, you can build your scalp’s resistance over time and enable it to defend itself against such aggressions.

PHS hairscience

For quick relief and in-depth analysis of the scalp, we recommend heading down to PHS Hairscience labs where the trichology-trained scalp professionals can point out your scalp situation and customise treatment programmes and/or products to cater to your needs.

For dandruff, a dandruff detox treatment can quickly provide soothing relief to the scalp by deeply exfoliating dead skin cells and eliminating bacterial and fungal growth. The scalp then undergoes a detoxifying cleanse to rid it of any chemical build-up or metabolic wastes. A custom concoction of powerful plant extracts and essential oils is then applied using advanced technologies that help to improve the absorption of the active ingredients. This treatment helps to soothe the scalp and regulate its skin cell production levels for a purified and fresh scalp.

Final tips for preventing dandruff

To prevent dandruff, have a good scalp regime and ensure that you use products that deeply cleanse and provide nutrients for your scalp. Avoid allowing harsh chemicals to get in contact with your scalp and see a professional once you are unable to control the situation using over-the-counter products.

The Expert

Louella Chng, the resident trichologist of PHS Hairscience

 

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