Why dandruff gets worse in the winter and how to fight it?

Nov 19, 2021

One in every five people, of the adult population, deals with this problem on a daily basis. Often termed as a disease/disorder, dandruff is said to be one of the most commercially exploited skin and scalp problems.


And dandruff is known to increase a lot during the winter season. Expert, Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS), sheds light on what is dandruff, factors that boost it and six ways to help control dandruff during winters.


Let’s begin with the basics.


What is dandruff?

Dandruff is the flaky skin on your scalp, eyebrows, moustache and beard that causes itching. When the dandruff condition is severe, it is called seborrheic dermatitis. Usually, people deal with this problem yearlong but it increases during the winters.


Here are four reasons for this:


1. Improper hygiene or not shampooing your hair properly

2. Fungal or yeast infection on your scalp

3. Using unsuitable hair products

4. Hormonal changes


During winters, the amount of moisture in the air reduces due to which the skin and scalp tend to get dry. This also leads to the scalp releasing excess oil which in turn captures dirt and organisms that aid in dandruff increment. In addition to this, the hot showers during winters give rise to moisture on the scalp. Here are six ways to control dandruff during the winter season:


1. Hair Products: Avoid using hair products that are harmful to your scalp. Apart from this, avoid using any heat-based styling tools like dryers, hair iron, etc., especially during winters. Instead, use a gentle shampoo that will help in moisture retention and use a conditioner to keep your hair soft and smooth. If you use a harsh shampoo, it is critical that you do not shampoo your hair more than twice a week.


2. Moisturization: To ensure that your hair is moisturized, it is important that you oil your hair twice a week in the winter season. It is recommended to use a gel-based moisturizer after washing your hair. You could also use aloe vera for this purpose. Apply this directly onto your scalp to ensure that your scalp regains any moisture that was lost.


3. Diet: Include zinc, vitamin B and some fats to your diet. These are easily found in food items like milk, dairy products, leafy green vegetables, yogurt and cashew nuts. Apart from this, cutting down on sugar is a good remedy, and this shall be good for your overall health.


4. Stress: We all experience stress at some point in our lives. Running away from it is not a solution. Controlling your stress should be your focus as excessive stress can lead to increase in dandruff. Make yoga a part of your daily routine to relieve stress. Keeping a tab on your stress is essential all-round the year, however, controlling your stress to reduce dandruff is equally important.


5. Sunlight: Sunlight suppresses the fungus that causes dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. Try to give your hair enough sunlight exposure. Especially in the winters, sunlight can help control dandruff.


6. Understand your problem: Solutions are as important as finding the root cause of the problem. Consult a hair specialist to completely understand the best way to take care of your scalp, the products that would best suit your hair, and if you require any medicinal help.


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