Dandruff and Dry Scalp Issues: A Dermatologist Tells All

Dealing with dandruff and scalp issues can be a pain! Check out how to get some relief with these expert tips.

For a lot of us, figuring out whether we’re dealing with dandruff vs dry scalp issues can be a challenge, especially if we’re faced with similar symptoms. The difference between dry scalp and dandruff can be nuanced indeed, and as with many issues related to hair, the wrong course of treatment for either can sometimes make things worse!

To better understand these common issues and whether we were indeed addressing dandruff or dry scalp the right way, we had the pleasure to speak with Dr. Francesca J. Fusco, an expert in Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Hair and Scalp Care, to help shed more light onto this much-contested topic. Read on to learn more about these common hair care issues, and most importantly, learn how you can finally get some much-needed relief:

All Things Hair: What’s the best way to promote a healthy scalp?

Dr. Fusco: It’s important to cleanse your scalp and have good scalp hygiene. This includes cleaning the scalp by removing dirt and debris that can build up and spread, making the hair dull and flaky. Think of the scalp as dry skin of the head, where, like with the face, you wash every day and will need the right products to fight the effects of dryness.

Do dry scalp and dandruff impact a certain age?

Anyone can suffer from dandruff. It’s strongest in young girls from ages 9 to 14 who are experiencing hormonal changes. It can also affect women when they are pregnant, or during periods in their life when their hormones fluctuate.

dandruff vs dry scalp loose hair sans product
The scalp needs to “breathe” from time to time, sans product.

Is there anything we can do to prevent dandruff?

I wouldn’t use the word preventable, but you can control it by using the right shampoo and conditioner, like Dove DermaCare Scalp Dryness & Itch Relief Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and Dove DermaCare Scalp Dryness & Itch Relief Anti-Dandruff Conditioner.

What are some of your tips for someone who has severe dandruff?

Some of my tips include:

1. Go easy on heating tools as direct high, hot heat for prolonged periods of time will dry out the scalp and hair.

2. When shampooing, use Dove DermaCare Scalp Invigorating Mint Shampoo and take the time to work up a thick lather over the entire scalp, gently massaging with fingertips to really make good contact with scalp and rub the formula in.

3. Avoid wearing hats or caps all day long. Scalps need to “breathe,” and a sweaty, warm scalp is not a great environment.

4. The night before coloring hair, apply Dove DermaCare Scalp Dryness & Itch Relief Anti-Dandruff Conditioner to your scalp as you would a mask. Leave it on for five minutes to intensely hydrate and nourish your scalp.

How is the Dove DermaCare line different from what’s currently on the market?

It is a “home-run hit,” because women receive flake-free, beautiful hair and a nourished scalp, all in one solution. There is no compromise with this formula: It contains Active Pyrithione Zinc to control dandruff and a blend of oils to protect the scalp, resulting in beautiful hair. You can also use the Dove DermaCare Scalp Clean & Fresh Anti-Dandruff 2-in-1 system regularly, as it works to hydrate, nourish and provide flake-free hair.