How does your hair care routine affect dandruff?
There are many lifestyle factors that can affect your scalp health such as diet, sleep and hygiene practices. The steps you take on a weekly basis to take care of your scalp and hair have a direct impact on your scalp health.
The temperature of the water you wash your hair with can have an effect on your hair and scalp health. It can be tempting to turn the water temperature up, especially during the colder months, but there are pros and cons to washing with hot or cold water:
- Using hot water to wash your hair can encourage blood flow to the scalp and remove dirt, grime & product build-up. However, hot water can also dry out your scalp and strip your hair of its natural oils. Stripping your hair and scalp of the natural oils can lead to your scalp becoming dry and dehydrated.
- As uncomfortable as washing with cold water can be, surprisingly there are some benefits for your scalp health. Coldwater can actually help to preserve the hairs natural oils, as well as closing the hair cuticles which helps your hair to stay smooth, silky & frizz-free!
For a healthy scalp and hair care routine that will preserve natural oils and keep your hair hydrated, it’s recommended to wash your hair with lukewarm water.
There is no strict rule on how often you should wash your hair, as it can vary from person to person. The main factors that influence how often you should wash your hair include oil production, hair type, use of styling products and how much you sweat.
For example, some people naturally produce more oil than others, which may require them to wash their hair daily. However, for most hair types, washing two or three times a week is adequate.
Overwashing your hair can sometimes cause the scalp to become dry, so it's important to pay attention to the condition of your scalp. Ultimately, how often you wash your hair is a personal choice.
Excessive heat near the scalp can damage the moisture barrier and cause the skin to become dry and flaky. This excessive heat can come from straightening tools, hair dryers or hair curlers. It’s thought that your hair begins to experience damage when heated tools reach temperatures of 130 degrees or more, but frequent use at temperatures lower than this could also result in damage.
There are a few ways to reduce the risk of damaging the moisture barrier when using heat tools on your hair, these include the following:
- Keep the heat setting low
- Ensure hair is 100% dry before applying heat tools
- Be gentle with heat tools and don’t pull on the hair
- Apply heat protectant products before heat styling
People with thicker, more coarse hair may choose to detangle their hair with conditioner in the shower. This shouldn't affect dandruff as long as the product is applied to the lengths, and not to the scalp area. If you choose to detangle your hair after your shower instead, ensure you’re gentle and don’t tug on your hair as this may cause damage to the root of your hair and scalp.
The products you use to style or colour your hair can all have an effect on the overall health of your hair and scalp. Some ingredients may cause dryness, while others may lead to product build-up.
Bleaching products can cause dryness and flaking, and in some cases burn the scalp. Bleach can also damage the hair by causing breakage, inelasticity and dry, brittle ends. Always carry out a patch test before applying any hair dye or colouring products to your scalp. This involves dabbing a small amount of the dye behind your ear and following the instructions on the product. If you’ve previously had an adverse reaction to a product or develop symptoms of feeling unwell then do not use the product.
It’s important to thoroughly wash out styling products, such as gels, creams and sprays, that are applied to your hair or scalp, to avoid product build-up as this can also irritate the scalp.
The products you use cannot cause dandruff directly, but they can contribute to it if you are prone to the symptoms.
What does a healthy hair routine look like?
Your routine should be personal to your hair and scalp profile (find out more about your hair and scalp profile by taking our scalp quiz). Here's a round-up of our top tips for creating a healthy hair schedule:
- Wash your hair with lukewarm water at least once a week - more often if needed.
- Look for products with gentle ingredients where possible and avoid harsh products that may cause irritation.
- Keep the heat setting low on appliances and allow your hair to dry naturally as often as you can.
- Handle your hair with care when styling or detangling - avoid tugging!
Nizoral Dandruff Shampoo treats and prevents the cause of dandruff and seborrhoeic dermatitis as well as the symptoms, such as itching and flaking. To find out more about Nizoral and how you can incorporate it into your hair routine, you can find out more here.
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