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Dandruff Myths: True or False? Read on…

A few white flakes on the shoulder of your favourite dark shirt is sometimes enough to depress you for the rest of the day. Dandruff is an issue that we have all dealt with at some point in our lives. While medicated shampoos and treatments are available easily, it is still surprising how many myths exist about this common scalp condition. Let’s take a look at some commonly circulated myths about dandruff and understand if they are the truth or not.

Myth # 1 Dandruff is contagious.

Verdict. False

Contrary to popular belief, dandruff isn’t contagious at all. You can’t catch dandruff from the person sitting next to you in the train, or from sharing a comb or a scrunchie with a friend.So, don’t fret the next time you’re standing in a crowded elevator.The only way that you are going to ‘catch’ dandruff is by maintaining poor hair hygiene.

Myth # 2A dry scalp causes dandruff

Verdict. False

Dry skin flakes are often confused with dandruff due to their similar appearance. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that people with an oily scalp are more prone to dandruff. Just like the rest of our body, our scalp too has skin cells that shed regularly. Dandruff is caused by the yeast-like fungus Malassezia, which feeds on the excess oil produced in our scalp. This causes skin cells to shed faster than normal and results in dandruff flakes.

Myth # 3 Dandruff is seasonal

Verdict. False

Your stylist may tell you that you are more prone to dandruff in the winters; your best friend may say summers are worse for your scalp. Just turn a deaf ear. Advice flows freely but may not necessarily be the truth. No season is bad for your hair if you take good care of it all year around.

Myth # 4 Dandruff leads to hair loss

Verdict. True

Unfortunately, this one holds true. While dandruff does not directly cause hair fall, it is one of the primary factors that aggravates hair loss. The main causes of hair fall remain stress, excessive use of styling products and chemicals and diet. Dandruff acts as an instigator to the problem. A flaky scalp is an itchy scalp. Constant fiddling with the hair by pulling out flakes or scratching will lead to hair breakage and thus cause hair fall.

Myth # 5 Dandruff is hereditary

Verdict. False

While many scalp and hair conditions such as premature greying and balding are caused by genes, dandruff isn’t one of them. Dandruff is purely caused due to the yeast-like fungus Malassezia irritating a sensitive scalp. This means that getting rid of dandruff is completely in our hands. Now, isn’t that fabulous!

Myth # 6 If you have dandruff, you need to wash your hair daily

Verdict. False

Washing your hair daily will simply leave you with a dry, irritable scalp. Moreover, a daily wash will merely reduce the number of visible flakes on your scalp but not kill the actual fungus that causes dandruff. The wiser way out is to invest in a good medicated anti-dandruff shampoo and wash your hair every 2 days.

Myth # 7 Hot oil treatment helps cure dandruff

Verdict. False

Now that we know that an oily scalp causes dandruff, using oil to solve the problem – whether hot or normal – isn’t going to help much. If you are used to oiling your hair, go ahead and do so, but make sure to limit it to once a week and wash the oil out thoroughly. Leaving any oil in will attract dust and worsen your scalp condition. Your best bet is investing in an anti-dandruff shampoo to handle the problem.

While dandruff can’t be cured, it can be controlled to the extent that it doesn’t trouble you anymore. For a minor dandruff condition, do invest in a good anti-dandruff shampoo and keep your scalp clean. Try to cut back on the amount of saturated fats that you consume in your daily diet. Oily foods cause our glands to secrete more oils and this causes many skin and hair issues. For a severe dandruff condition, do consult your doctor immediately. Homeopathy has shown great results in treating dandruff naturally and providing permanent recovery from it.

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