Dandruff is a common medical complaint especially amongst women. It may very well be a symptom of another underlying health concern, which is why it is important to get a proper diagnosis
There are a number of possible causes for a scaly scalp. Contrary to the stigma, dandruff is not caused by poor hygiene. Although less frequent washing of hair can cause or worsen scaling. In most instances, dandruff is caused by dry hair and dry scalp, leading to excessive shedding.
Majority of women at some point in their lives will experience some form of itching or scaling of the scalp. There are many reasons for this and these may include; dandruff or irritation from hair care products, less frequent washing of hair while frequently applying oils to hair. It has been reported that black women wash their hair almost every two weeks compared to Caucasian/Asian women who tend to wash their hair every other day, this may be due to fear and the inconvenience of disrupting their hairstyles like weaves, braids or plats. This form of practice certainly needs to be reviewed if one is suffering from dandruff or scaly scalp.
Underlying skin and hair conditions that can cause a scaly scalp:
- Seborrhoeic dermatitis:An inflammatory condition of the skin that also affects the scalp. When occurring on the scalp it is called Seborrhoeic Capitis.Seborrhoeic capitis presents with a range of symptoms from a mild flaky scalp to a thick greasy yellowish scale that may cover the whole scalp. It is important to note that, the use of hair care extensions has been directly associated with Seborrhoeic dermatitis.
- Psoriasis: A common condition that causes a dry thick silvery adherent scale especially along hairline and above ears. Psoriasis can be severe and affect whole scalp, often flakes will be seen on the shoulders, neck and on clothes
- Tinea capitis (scalp ringworm): Localized areas of scale to the affected patch. Commonly seen in children but tinea capitis can very well occur in adults
- Eczema: Dry itchy white scale, affecting the entire scalp, patient can have isolated scalp eczema or other lesions of eczema elsewhere in the body.
- Irritant contact dermatitis: Recurrent use of hair products may cause inflammation or irritability to the scalp leading to dandruff. Chemical relaxers, hair dyes, heat dryers can cause an irritant contact dermatitis of the scalp leading to eczematous reactions, chemical burns, dryness and severe scaling. Also the use of hair extension (weaves, artificial extensions) has been shown to have a direct relationship with an itchy and scaling scalp.
6.Malassezia infection: Closely linked to Seborrhoeic Dermatitis, Another cause of dandruff lies in the naturally occurring yeast microbes (Malassezia) that form part of the scalp. Due to an overproduction of sebum, they flourish and overpopulate. This leads to irritation, as mentioned above, which also causes flaking and shedding of yellow scabs or white flakes of skin.
It is therefore very important to address any excessive scaling of the scalp with urgency. Without addressing the underlying cause, the condition may persist and grow in severity. Underlying conditions if they are left untreated can cause significant disease, scarring of the scalp and eventually hair loss.
It is therefore very important to get a diagnosis for your scale.
What are the symptoms of dandruff?
- Dandruff commonly present with itching and dryness of the scalp. Those battling dandruff will be aware of white flakes of skin on the scalp, in the hair, and on the shoulders.
- There may thickened areas of the scalp and hair
- If other areas of the body are affected especially the nose, the eyebrows, the hairline, the ears, and the center of the chest or back showing excessive shedding of skin. Think of conditions like Seborrhoeic Dermatitis, Psoriasis or Eczema.
- In babies, most commonly newborns, dandruff is common and presents as a scaly yellow flaking on the scalp or cradle cap (seborrhoeic capitis)and is generally harmless, self-correcting in the first year of life without treatment.
How dandruff is treated
While it is important to keep to a good washing routine, beware of drying out the scalp with excessive washing as this will lead to further irritation and exacerbate the problem.
Wash the hair regularly once a week for African hair (black hair), twice a week for Caucasian or Asian hair.
Typical therapy includes medicated shampoos containing:
- Coal tar – to slow the regeneration and shedding of skin cells. (Don’t go overboard with coal tar can be irritating and stain hair – not advised for blonde hair)
- Selenium sulphide and zinc pyrithione – to reduce fungal growth and slow down cell turnover to reduce build-up and shedding.
- Salicylic acid – (scalp scrubs) exfoliates dead skin cells before they build up and shed.
- Ketoconazole or Ciclopirox olamine – an antifungal treatment to reduce the growth of malassezia.
You may need to experiment with a few until you find one that works for you.
Using a conditioner after shampooing can help relieve dryness
Should symptoms continue after using anti-dandruff shampoos, make sure to consult a qualified dermatologist.
Belief Systems represent an invisible operating system, like our computers have an operating system that wires them. Belief systems, like computer operating systems, are invisible and are operating systems, and they shape how we relate to one another, it shapes how we relate to the world, how we respond to experiences, it defines the assumptions, the expectations and the perceptions that we have that are mostly not expressed but shape our relationships to a large extent. Belief systems are responsible for how we show up in the world.
Belief Systems represent an invisible operating system
Secondly, belief systems are either dysfunctional or they add value. And thirdly, belief systems develop to become strongholds in our lives primarily because they are passed down to us, we inherit belief systems from previous generations and we own them without questioning them and examining their relevance to our own lives, we just take them on and carry on with life without really understanding their relationship to how we engage with each other and engage with the world.
An example I can share is that I grew up in apartheid South Africa. I came from a home where my mother left her marriage in 1960s when women didn’t do that, women in the 1960s just didn’t leave their marriages. This had a huge impact on me, ‘what kind of a woman has so much courage to leave her marriage because it wasn’t working for her?’ I grew up realizing that I am not what society defines me to be, I am not less than, I am not unequal to someone else and that is how I came to live fearlessly in a in a male-dominated world.
My first career was in a car manufacturing company, which was completely male-dominated. I was one of the first women to work in that industry and over the last 30 years that has been my experience, living in a man’s world to demonstrate to myself that I am just as equal and I am just as capable.
And the reason I am able to stand is because I don’t compare myself to what they are able to do or what someone else is able to do. I compare myself to what I am able to do, because I truly believe that each one of us is fearfully and wonderfully made, so that’s the premise from which I live my life. That if we are all fearfully and wonderfully made, we each must have something really special to contribute to the world, and I can’t contribute that if my life is shaped by some belief system that someone passed on to me and conditioned me with.
I can only contribute to the world to the best of my ability if I step outside of that box, because all that it (someone else’s belief systems) offers is a box that is actually quite small. But if I step outside of that box and really explore, that is really when I can show up in the true measure of my potential and it’s when I can make a contribution to the world that can only be made by me. So the contribution that I have made to the world, no one who is sitting here or anywhere else in the world can make. In the same way I cannot make any of the contributions that all of you have made or that you are depriving us of, because if you are not making your contribution you are depriving the world of that contribution that can only be achieved by you.
…the contribution that I have made to the world, no one who is sitting here or anywhere else in the world can make.
Our Amina Deep Penetrating Moisturising Conditioner is the best deep conditioner for deeply moisturising, hydrating and softening the kinkiest, moist coily of 4c/z hair! It rewards your coils like no other. It is a thick, creamy conditioner, formulated with concentrated natural oils and natural conditioning agents that are extremely beneficial and responsive to kinky dry hair.
Why Deep Condition?
All hair types require deep conditioning or treatments or masks. But for African hair, deep conditioning or treating your hair is the most important thing you can do. It is a must to deep condition African hair, whether natural or relaxed, once a week. African hair is naturally dry and brittle and needs extra attention and assistance to thrive. Deep condition makes sure hair gets the moisture boost, nourishment and strengthening it needs to be soft and smooth. Deep conditioning is a process where a concentrated conditioner or treatment is applied to the hair and left on the hair for a period ranging from 20mins to 60mins. This is to ensure that the product gets into the hair. Most other products are applied and sit on the hair, not penetrate it. The length of time, plus heat ensure that deep conditioning happens.
How To Deep Condition Using Amina Deep Penetrating Moisturising Conditioner
There are several ways to deeply condition hair, but what is common amongst these methods is the stimulation heat. Heat encourages the hair cuticle to open up allowing the conditioner to PENETRATE each hair, ensuring silkier and hydrated hair strands.
Step 1: Cleanse Hair
The best way to use the Deep Penetrating Conditioner to deep condition is after you have washed your hair with a shampoo. Clarify your hair only when necessary or once a month, using raw and unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar (mixed with water) or a clarifying shampoo. Washing removes product build up allowing for easier penetration of the conditioner into your hair.
Step 2: Apply Conditioner Generously
After washing and rinsing shampoo, apply a very generous amount of conditioner to dripping wet hair. Do not dry your hair after rinsing off your shampoo.
Note: For that extra WOW FACTOR, simply add a small amount of our AfroBotanics Mukaya African Oil Blend to your conditioner in your hand before applying to wet, it is a blend of Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Avocado Oil, Marula Oil and Baobab Oil.
Step 3: Activate Conditioner Using Heat
Methods to Activate Heat:
- Heat Cap: the heat cap is an all-time favourite as it requires the least admin, and at R600.00 max, is worth the purchase. After applying the Deep Penetrating Conditioner put on a shower cap, and on top of the shower cap use a headscarf to protect the shower cap from melting from the heat of the heat cap. Put the heat on the highest level, bringing it down as time passes. Sit for 20 minutes, cool-off and rinse off the conditioner.
Hooded Dryer: So there are two kinds. There’s the one which we are familiar with and have probably used a few times, the one available at the salons – more professional. Then there’s the smaller portable one with a hair bonnet that needs you to connect your blow dryer to it. However they work similarly. After applying the Deep Penetrating Conditioner, put on shower cap and sit under the professional dryer, or connect your blow dryer to the end of the hair bonnet hooded dryer for 20 – 25 minutes. Cool-off then rinse off the conditioner.
- Body Heat and Microwavable Heat Caps: The most affordable and also effective method. After applying the Deep Penetrating Conditioner. Apply a plastic cap and go about doing your usual in-house daily routines. Try and get in contact with the sun as much as possible, ensure that your head heats up. The aim is to trap the natural heat that you produce in the cap, so you can wear a beanie or headscarf too. For assistance use a microwavable cloth or a microwavable heat cap that you heat up in the microwave as instructed. You can heat it up as many times as you like. This method takes between 40 – 60 minutes. You can also heat up the conditioner for 20 seconds in the microwave before putting on your hair to get that heat going.
Step 4: Detangle
Detangle or comb hair after the heating process, whilst there is still a lot of conditioner in hair. It is important to always detangle hair to prevent knots and tangling, these will later cause hair breakage.
Step 5: Let Hair Cool Down/Off
After deep conditioning let your hair cool off before you wash off the conditioner. This is to ensure that your cuticles close before you wash. The heat opens your cutiles to let in the conditioner and moisture, to ensure the moisture and the good stuff from the conditioner stays in, the cuticle must be closed first. Letting your hair cool down closes to cuticle trapping the moisture in it before washing.
Step 6: Before Moisturising
After rinsing off the conditioner, leave hair to air-dry for a while before applying any product. This allows for excess water to evaporate and only the water your hair needs to remain. Moisturise and seal only damp hair hair. Apply your leave-conditioner or moisturizer or oil to damp hair. If you moisturise hair whilst it is too wet, your hair may get dry because the products would have evaporated with the excess water that still remained in your hair.
The Nzinga Repairing & Strengthening Treatment is a powerful protein hair mask for protein deep conditioning. It repairs, strengthens and protects hair from heat damage, colour damage and daily wear and tear. It should used at least once a month but more times if you have damage or to prevent damage.
These are the main ingredients and what they do for the hair:
- hydrolysed keratin – a natural and main protein and building block in hair that repairs and strengthens hair
- hydrolysed collagen – a natural protein found in the body to strengthen hair from inside out
- ceramides – naturally occurring lipids found in our hair to prevent damage to hair
- hydrolysed wheat protein – increases flexibility and elasticity of hair by holding water inside hair for moisturised and conditioned hair
- pro-vitamin B5 – part of B vitamins, prevents loss of moisture and conditions hair
- vitamin E – promotes hair growth and reduces inflammation of scalp, repairs hair follicles and reduces hair dryness
- coconut oil, castor oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil, avocado oil for healthy, nourished strong hair
- Steamer: highly effective and worth the once off purchase of about R1200.00. We love the steamer because it really opens up the hair cuticles allowing for maximum moisture penetration. After applying the Deep Penetrating Conditioner, sit under the steamer for approximately 20-25 minutes, do not cover hair. Ensure to have a towel, as water will drop from the steamer. Cool-off then rinse off the conditioner.