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Dandruff and Dry Itchy Scalp Trouble Shooting

How Diagnose and Treat Dandruff and Dry Itchy Scalp Issues

Reportedly, about one in five people have tried at least one hair remedy for dandruff sometime in their life. Even though dandruff is a harmless condition, it can be both annoying and embarrassing for people who have it. Dandruff can be caused by a variety of things, including an overproduction of a type of yeast on the scalp, stress, sickness and even the change of seasons.

Sometimes, what’s believed to be dandruff is simply shampoo residue from sloppy rinsing or flaking from that gel you’re hooked on. Or it could be dry scalp caused by dry indoor heat, harsh shampoos, too-frequent shampooing, conditioners or gels applied directly to the scalp, hair processing, or a too-hot blast from a hair dryer.

Dandruff and Dry Itchy Scalp

Flaking Scalp

It probably doesn’t matter much to you whether your problem is dandruff and dry itchy scalp, or seborrheic dermatitis. What does matter is that you’re afflicted with a flaky, itchy, tight, or inflamed scalp, and you just want to fix it.

Dandruff and dry, itchy scalp are both considered forms of dermatitis. Dandruff is often mistaken for a dry scalp, but it can afflict an oily scalp just as easily as a dry one. It’s believed that dandruff is caused by an overgrowth of yeast that’s found in moderation even on healthy scalps. The yeast, Pityrosporum ovale, irritates the oil glands below the surface, and the scalp responds by accelerating the cell turnover. Dandruff results when the skin cells divide and multiply at such an accelerated rate that they reach the surface before they die and clump there, These flakes of white, scaly skin look bad, and they itch.

Sometimes, what’s believed to be dandruff is simply shampoo residue from sloppy rinsing or flaking from that gel you’re hooked on. Or it could be dry scalp caused by dry indoor heat, harsh shampoos, too-frequent shampooing, conditioners or gels applied directly to the scalp, hair processing, or a too-hot blast from a hair dryer.

If you’re coloring, perming, relaxing, or straightening your hair, your scalp can become oily, flaky, and inflamed, which may mean that you have a more severe form of dermatitis called seborrhea. One common mistake is to treat seborrhea with a harsh dandruff shampoo–that only makes it worse. So, first of all you need to know what kind of problem you have. Here’s how you can tell:

Dandruff and Dry Itchy Scalp

Dandruff Test

Turn your head upside down and brush or vigorously rub your scalp, back and forth with fingers over a sheet of dark paper. If you see tiny, dry, powdery hits, you have dry scalp. If the flakes are larger and look slightly moist or greasy. they’re dandruff. If you have large greasy flakes and your scalp is irritated and red, chances are you have seborrhea. If the scales stick to the scalp, it may be psoriasis, and if it doesn’t clear up, consult a dermatologist.

If what you have is dry scalp, first use a clarifying shampoo with cider vinegar to remove any buildup of shampoo or conditioner on the scalp. Then try an oil treatment or scalp cream designed for dry. Itchy scalp: Kiehl’s Enriched Massage Oil for Scalp, Phyto Therathrie Phytopolleine. or René Furterer Carthame Intensive Oil Supplement for Dry Hair & Scalp.

Although dandruff is generally believed not to be caused by microbes, most anti-dandruff shampoos are germicides. Go figure, most contain one of the five ingredients approved by the FDA for fighting dandruff: salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione, sulfur, selenium sulfide, and coal-tar. All of these ingredients will really dry out your scalp and your hair along with it, which puts you in the front seat of the beauty roller coaster: you got rid of your dandruff, all right, but now your hair looks like straw. Why go through all that when you can prevent dandruff in the first place?

Dandruff is seasonal, occurring more frequently and more severely from October to March, when your hair is exposed to dry indoor heat. So use the following simple rinse every couple of weeks to stay on top of the flakes.

Head Lice

Beating Dandruff the Gentle Way

Tea tree oil is an herbal antiseptic that many physicians now believe fights bacteria and yeast buildup. Try a tea tree oil shampoo like Desert Essence Keep-the-Clean Wash Shampoo, Nature’s Gate Rainwater Herbal Tea Tree Oil Shampoo, or Terrain Tea Tree Shampoo. Alphaworks by ABBA is a little stronger, because it contains AHAs along with the tea tree oil. You can also mix two drops of tea tree oil in your palm with your regular shampoo. Try this three times a week for three weeks and see if it helps.

Other herbal shampoos that work for dandruff: Penny Island Wild Lavender Shampoo, Beauty Without Cruelty Aromatherapy Daily Benefits Shampoo, Ecco Bella Dandruff Therapy Shampoo, and for the cheapest alternative, try Dr. Bonner’s Peppermint Pure Castile Soap (it will flatten your hair, but it will also squelch your dandruff).

A hair remedy that I recommend to my clients for dandruff and itchy scalp is Redken Dandruff Control. The active ingredient, pyrithione zinc, works to reduce flaking, irritation and itching according to Redken. The Redken Dandruff Control line also has a conditioner and leave-in treatment. For stubborn dandruff, try René Furterer Melaleuca Shampoo (tea tree oil with zinc pyrithione—it’s strong), Avon Controlling Dandruff Shampoo, or Phvto Therathrie Phytocyres, Philip B. Anti-Flake.

Dandruff and Dry Itchy Scalp

Dandruff Defying Rinse

A few sprigs of rosemary, 2 cups water
1. Boil the rosemary in the water and cool.
2. Rinse through the hair and massage into the scalp.

Antiseptic botanicals like tea tree Oh (aka melaleuca) are terrific alternatives to harsh dandruff shampoos. But they remain a big secret because they’re not FDA-approved for use as “dandruff shampoos.” Nonetheless, gentle shampoos that include tea tree oil, rosemary, or sage can really work to control dandruff, and they won’t dry out your scalp or hair. If your flaking is severe, you may need a true dandruff shampoo. In that case, alternate your dandruff shampoo with a gentle herbal shampoo to go easier on your hair and scalp. It’s worth the splurge for a better-quality dandruff shampoo especially since it will last longer because you won’t use it for every shampoo.

If none of the above treatments works see a dermatologist because you may have seborrhea or psoriasis which mimic dandruff but often require medical treatment.

Barb Quinn on Google+  



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Head Lice Pictures Help to Identify Nits

Head lice pictures are creepy, but you should know!

When kids go back to school, they are susceptible to bringing home many different ‘catchy’ ailments of one type or another and head lice is one of them. Having head lice is NOT a result of poor hygiene, so don’t beat yourself up! It’s an extremely contagious condition as the lice easily transport from one person to another. Signs of head lice can be itchy and tiny yellowish-white eggs or lice that look like small sesame seeds attached to the hair.

If you have young children in school or daycare, you probably have received a letter from the school about head lice. Each year as soon as the weather starts to change and through the winter months, the cases of head lice start to appear. I have found it to be more common when children start to wear hats for the winter.

Once the first case of head lice is reported at school, it can spread like wildfire if it is not nipped in the bud right away. Here is how to check your kids for head lice if you have the slightest doubt.

About head lice, it is the active head lice walking around and hosting on the scalp that creates the itching. Often, it starts in the warmer places, behind the ears and the nape area. The active head lice lay eggs that are called nits. The nits attach themselves to the individual hair strands that hatch in 7 to 10 days, producing more active head lice. Here is what you should be looking for:

Head Lice Pictures 1 Head Lice Pictures Head Lice Pictures 1 Head Lice Pictures

The nits are protected by a hardened shell around them, meaning head lice products will not penetrate the shell. When a specific product is used, the active head lice will die and the nits will need to be physically removed with a fine tooth comb. It is a tedious process, especially if the hair is thick. The nits are hard to spot, especially on lighter hair. They have a light pearly look and can often appear to look like dandruff in both light and dark hair.

Hair remedies for head lice include the tried and true over-the-counter head lice treatment shampoos like Nix. Nix Complete Lice Treatment System has proven to be the go-to shampoo for head lice for years! After using the shampoo, run a lice comb through your child’s hair to remove any lice or eggs and then be sure to wash all bedding, clothing, hats, etc. in very hot water to make sure you are rid of all the little creatures!

There are many other over-the-counter products for head lice that work quite effectively, as long as the directions are followed. Ask for the advice of your pharmacist, they stay on top of what’s new and what works best. I would not want to be held accountable if their child has an adverse reaction to the head lice product being used. I definitely would guide them in the process to follow to eliminate the little creatures.

Now, if the eggs hatch in 7 to 10 days, the whole process must be repeated to ensure all the nits are gone and there are no longer active head lice. That is the biggest mistake parents often make – not repeating the process and thinking they are all taken care of. BIG MISTAKE!

And parents, please don’t worry that you did something wrong that resulted in head lice on your child! Head lice do not distinguish between rich or poor, clean or not – it does not matter to them – they just want a host! (And I hope these head lice pictures didn’t creep you out too much!)

Barb Quinn on Google+  



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Oily, Greasy Hair Remedies

See How Easily You Can Conquer Oily Greasy Hair

A little oil on your scalp is great for shine, but too much makes locks limp and difficult to style. More commonly associated with fine, straight hair, oily, greasy hair can also be genetic and hormone-related. Just as you pay extra attention towards the look of your skin, it is equally important to care for your oily greasy hair as well. Your hair, being the crown of your visual presence plays a major role in one’s personality and beauty. There are various steps that you need to follow to keep oily hair at bay and maintain that sheen in your hair.

Some of the basic procedures you might consider regularly include combing, brushing, conditioning and shampooing. The best brand and type of oily hair shampoo will depend upon the texture of your hair. There are many people who have dry hair and many others who have oily hair.

Oily greasy hair and scalp are an issue seen regularly in the salon. Typically I tell my clients to go at least two days without shampooing, but my clients who have oily, greasy hair, complain that they can’t without looking like an oil slick.

Did you know that frequent shampooing can actually contribute to oily, greasy hair and scalp? Shampooing everyday can strip the hair and scalp of its natural oils and protectants, which triggers your hair follicles to produce more oil. . . and the pattern goes!

Try using a ‘dry shampoo’ like Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo in-between shampoos to soak up excess oil. Also, when applying conditioner, stay away from the roots of your hair (this is a common mistake). Instead, concentrate the conditioner only on the ends or the effected hair.

Another option is to do a vinegar rinse every few weeks before shampooing. Using one part vinegar to four parts water, apply the solution to your hair (avoiding scalp) and then shampoo and condition as normal.

More Tips for Oily, Greasy Hair

  • To get rid of the excessive oily, greasy hair you can massage your hair with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Leave it on for a few minutes and rinse.
  • Shampooing your hair everyday will lessen the secretions of oil on your scalp. But make sure you do not use too much of shampoo on your scalp as it may lead to dryness of the scalp thus causing hair damage. Make sure you thoroughly rinse all of the shampoo residue from your hair.
  • Cleanse your hair with a mixture of lemon juice and distilled water. This greatly reduces the oily hair.
  • Do not over use hair products like gels, sprays, creams and mousses. They make the hair oily and create excessive build up on the hair.
  • Diet also plays a major role in treating oily greasy hair. If you tend to eat excessive amounts of oily foods, the level of oil secretion in your scalp is likely to increase. So its better you stick to fresh fruits and vegetables to give you hair the necessary nourishment.
  • Limit the use of conditioner on your hair if you have oily hair. Conditioners are best suited for dry hair.
  • Rinse or soak your hair with weak tea, a lemon’s worth of juice mixed with a cup of water, or 1/4 cup of vinegar with two cups of water to correct your hair’s pH, remove residue and add shine.

 

Why Bangs Get Greasy and How to Prevent It

Greasy Bangs

There are many different reasons your bangs might begin to look oily or greasy. You’re bound to be the best judge of what is weighing you down. Common reasons include:

  • Oils from your face/skin - Whether you have an oily complexion or your bangs gets oils from constant touching and fiddling with your hair, this is a common cause of greasy bangs. Fixing the underlying problem,  be it blotting your face with blotting paper or finding a way to stop fidgeting will cut down on oily bangs. It can be difficult not to touch your bangs, but the more you fidget, the more they’ll shine.
  • Too much product - If you regularly apply styling products to your bangs, they can become greasy from product buildup. Ditto on conditioner, which your bangs don’t actually need. Cut way back on the product to enjoy oil-free bangs.
  • Sweat: Sweat from excess humidity or a power workout will bring grease to your bangs. You can’t stop yourself from sweating, so the key here is prevention. You may want to grow your bangs out for summer so you can pin them back and hide your sweat, or else pull your hair back when you’re hitting up the gym.
  • Oily hair - If your hair runs oily in general, you are more likely to experience greasy bangs. Washing your hair and your bangs with a shampoo formulated for oily hair will help, as will following the other suggestions mentioned above.

Oily Greasy Hair Bangs

Top Fixes for Oily Greasy Bangs

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your bangs can still get greasy. If this happens, you have a few options for fixing your style quickly. Proven methods include:

  • Pinning back your bangs - Definitely the simplest fix if you’re out and about, pinning back your bangs doesn’t remove the grease but it does camouflage your bangs (and grease) from sight.
  • Dry shampoo – If you keep dry shampoo in your purse or your car (hint: If you don’t, you should), a quick spritz will take the grease and oil right out of your bangs.
  • Wet shampoo - If you’re at home, you can give your bangs a quick shampoo (and towel/blow dry) with your regular shampoo. This is certainly more hands-on than either of these other methods, and will require you to re-style your bangs when they dry, but it will de-grease the bangs. As a rule here, don’t condition your bangs as that will only make them more oily.

Bottom line is, bangs can be difficult and they may not be right for everyone. Hopefully these hair care tips will be helpful for keeping oily greasy hair to a minimum. What other tips do you employ for keeping your bangs free of oil?

Barb Quinn on Google+  



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