DANDRUFF PROBLEMS IN SUMMER
Find out how summer can aggravate a dandruff problem and what you can do to tackle it.
The worst possible scenario on a hot summer day is for you to develop an itchy scalp and see those flakes of dandruff floating down onto your shoulders. Combined with sweat, dirt and pollution, you just want to hit the showers, hoping that it will take care of your problems.
But dandruff in summer is not that easily handled. It is a tricky beast that needs to be understood before it can be tamed. The first thing you need to know about dandruff is that the summer heat cannot cause dandruff. It’s easy to think this way, as many people notice that their symptoms are aggravated during warmer weather.
Dandruff is in fact a year-round problem for those who suffer from it. The cause of dandruff is a microbe found on your scalp, called Malassezia Globosa. This feeds on the oil secreted by your scalp and breaks it down into constituents that you might be sensitive towards. Almost half of the world is. This leads to an itchy scalp, patches of red skin, and white-yellow flakes of dead skin cells. Your oil levels can vary across the year, but it might be provoked by hormonal changes or weather fluctuations.
Causes of dandruff in summer
The summer months bring their own stressors that can cause massive movements in your body constitution. Although it can’t cause your dandruff, it can aggravate the conditions that increase dandruff in summer. These can make your symptoms much worse:
Sweat –Everyone sweats during the summer - it’s completely normal. But sweat is just water and salts that your body wants to get rid of. When the water evaporates from your scalp, it leaves behind salts that can clog your pores. This can lead to inflammation and an unhealthy surface. And when your scalp dries out, your body starts secreting more oil to compensate. A constant cycle of this can cause a spike in the oil build-up on your scalp and be one of the reasons for dandruff in summer.
Heat –The summer heat can increase the temperatures on your scalp. If you have curly or thick hair, it can act as a stronger heat trap. This causes excessive amounts of sweating on your scalp and dries it out faster, leaving behind salts and any other products that you might have used. When your body releases more oil to moisturise your skin, it creates an unhealthy mess on your scalp surface. This leads to a spike in the dandruff-causing fungus on your head and cause a flare up of dandruff in summer.
Humidity –If you live in a place that has high humidity, this can be worse than a dry climate for your scalp. Humidity prevents the sweat on your scalp from evaporating, thereby increasing the temperature of the scalp even further, which in turn leads to more sweat. You end up with a scalp that has a build-up of sweat, oil, dirt and minerals. This warm and moist environment is an ideal ground for the dandruff causing microbes to thrive and grow.
Pollution -In warmer weather we tend to be outside more, and this puts us in contact with more pollutants which can damage your scalp’s natural defences. If your scalp is dried out, it is more vulnerable to pollutants and germs from the external environment. This can lead to inflammation and infections on your scalp. It can disrupt the natural flow of oil and help the growth of dandruff causing microbes.
Over-washing your hair –This almost sounds like a method on how to remove dandruff, but it can actually cause a flare up. During the summer months, the number of showers we take increases dramatically. Who wants to be sweaty and dirty, when you can cool off with a shower. But over-washing your hair and scalp with shampoos strips the natural oils off your head. This can severely dry out your scalp and again trigger your body into producing more oil, allowing dandruff a chance to show its face again.
Lifestyle and stress –We don’t want to think about it, but our lifestyle during the summer months has a large impact on how our scalp behaves. Heat-stress and discomfort might cause a spike in our stress hormones that can disrupt our oil production. Exercising during the summer months also leads to an increase in the body temperature, which can further increase sweating. All these factors are important to consider when we think about the reasons for dandruff in summer.
Some tips to keep your scalp protected all summer
Finding a way to keep your scalp cool is probably one of the best dandruff in summer remedies. You can make small changes to your life that might stop dandruff from flaring up.
- Cover your head when you go out, as the sun can damage your scalp and increase the temperature drastically.
- Use a dry shampoo occasionally, which can absorb sweat and keep your hair dry. This can also help prevent over-washing of your hair.
- Shower regularly with gentle shampoos that keep your scalp clean, just don’t over-do it.
- Hydrate and replenish the fluids in your system. Combine this with cooling foods and a healthy diet .
- Wear clothes with cooling fabrics like cotton or linen.
- Identify the activities that make you sweat excessively and track them.
Dandruff in summer remedies
If for some reason your dandruff has flared up in the summer, there are certain steps you can take:
- The easiest and most effective way to keep dandruff at bay is to use an anti - dandruff shampoo every time you wash your hair.
- Massage oils like Argan oil into your scalp. This can calm down the itching, curb the growth of the fungus, and act as a heat protectant.
- Aloe vera gel can act as a coolant for your scalp, allowing its enzymes to clear any oil build-up and get rid of microbes. It moisturises your scalp at the same time.
- Creating a paste of Neem or using Neem oil has shown to be an effective dandruff remedy. It can calm down any itching and clear off the dandruff causing fungus.
- You can also apply lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil in a diluted version, to help with your dandruff problems.
Home remedies might work for you depending on how your body reacts. The safer and more efficient route is to use products like the Head and Shoulders Neem, that can cleanse your scalp of build-up and dandruff causing germs. For a cooling and revitalising effect on your scalp, you can use the Head and Shoulders Cool Menthol . Always visit a dermatologist if you feel unsure, as each body responds differently. The summer months should be stress free and fun. Using the right treatment can make them dandruff free as well.