Posts Tagged ‘scalp buildup’

Dealing With Scalp Buildup

Your head itches and scalp flakes snow onto your hair and shoulders. Uncomfortable and unsexy. Is this dandruff or just scalp buildup?

While dandruff is a chronic scalp condition, scalp buildup is conditional and easy to treat.

Dandruff is caused by a yeast (Malassezia), which inflames the scalp and speeds the rate of skin cell production and shedding on the scalp. It causes visible scaling on the scalp along with itching and flaking.

Scalp buildup causes scalp itching and flaking as well, but without the scaling or flake composition of dandruff. It is brought on by the following:

  • Overuse of hair styling products and heavy conditioners, particularly those containing wax fillers.
  • Inadequate cleansing. If you do not shampoo regularly, or your shampoo does not clean thoroughly, in time, the combination of dead skin cells and oil will cause scalp buildup.

If you experience symptoms of scalp buildup, do the following:

  • Shorten the amount of time between cleansing and conditioning. Note that when you do, you will need to shampoo twice, particularly if you are heavy handed with the styling products. (The first shampoo will loosen oil and product residue on the scalp while the second shampoo will cleanse it from your hair.)
  • If more astringent cleansing is needed, use a clarifying shampoo no more than once a week. These shampoos typically contain acetic acid, which makes for a potent cleanser that can dry the hair if used too often. Alternately, if you need a more intensive treatment, ask your hair care practitioner about a professional clarifying treatment.