Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Build-Up in Hair

We see endless hair commercials talking about how dirty our hair is and how to eliminate build-up within the hair, seemingly weighing it down, almost like a toxin that needs to be removed. Yes, too much build-up is not healthy for your hair and will make styling difficult and cause an overall weighing-down, but is it really as dramatic as distributors make us want to believe or is there a healthy limit of “gunk” allowed throughout your follicles no one bothers to tell you about?
 
It is all about making a dollar and it is quite easy to prey on those who feel that their hair is their most valuable asset. Companies can say a buzz word like “oil” and we immediately run out to purchase their product to eliminate this supposed oiliness that they speak of because clearly, this is bad for us and we need to get rid of it ASAP.
 
That is not always the case! I am here to debunk some of the myths that go along with oil and dandruff, while letting you know what should cause you concern so that you can have the best hair ever and also erase some of the stress that may come with having different types of hair aside from what is deemed “normal.”
 
Dandruff is not something that anyone is walking around with, so happy that they have it. Those pesky little white flakes can be uncontrollable and obnoxious and prohibit you from wearing your favorite darker shirts, dresses, or jackets. You think that everyone can see it, especially if you have darker hair and it can make you super self-conscious and, along with that, make you feel somewhat dirty.
 
Microscopic view of hair

 
Dandruff is anything but dirt so we will start with exactly what it is: the oil from the scalp forces skin cells to bind, thus giving the white flake effect. It can also be attributed to dry skin; a sensitivity to hair products (not uncommon at all, some can cause an itching reaction); a skin condition such as psoriasis or eczema; and/or an overgrowth of yeast.
 
So, technically, if you already have a skin condition on your body like psoriasis or eczema, which are very common, it can affect your scalp thus giving the appearance of typical dandruff when in reality, it is actually something else. If you are noticing patches of white dead skin and have tried anti-dandruff shampoos or you know that you have a pre-existing condition, you may want to consult your dermatologist who will find the most gentle yet effective treatment for whatever is plaguing you. You do not have to live in whites and lighter colors forever, trust me.
 
There are a number of underlying causes that make build-up accumulate in your hair and on your scalp and you may not even be aware of it. If this build-up is not removed, adding shampoo, conditioner, and additional styling products will only add to what is layering your follicles and make your hair even harder to style.
 
Here are a few of these underlying ways that dirt can sneak in and be a pain in the hair: chlorine (always shampoo your hair after you leave the pool); hard water; dirt and oil which can be found in the environment as you walk through your daily life and do your everyday activities; shampoos with silicone (read those ingredients); and extreme infrequent washing.
 
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