Dandruff is a common condition that affects the scalp, causing it to shed dead skin cell flakes. Men and women both can be affected by the condition, as can children over the age of 12. For people with short hair, dandruff can be a major inconvenience and can cause insecurity, as the flaking associated with the condition is very easy to spot in shorter hair. Dandruff can be cause by both internal and external factors, but it can be easy to treat, depending on the severity of the case.


Dandruff

Dandruff is identified by excessive itching and flaking of the scalp, which can cause unsightly white flakes that are apparent in the hair and on dark clothing. Dandruff can be cause by many different things, including poor diet, styling products, stress, hormones and heredity. Dandruff causes the scalp to excessively shed dead skin cells, and in severe cases, can take on a scaly, reptilian-like appearance. Dandruff is especially obvious in short hair, and is very easy to see in dark hair.

Types

There are two types of dandruff. One type causes the entire scalp to dry out and flake, while the other causes the scalp to produce excessive oil and flake. Both types result in itching and flaking into the hair. Short hair can be affected by either type of dandruff.

Prevention/Solution

While dandruff can result from a number of factors, several can be prevented with short hair. Allow your hair to air-dry as often as possible instead of using a blow dryer, because the heat can dry the scalp, resulting in dry flaking associated with the condition. Avoid excessive use of styling products such as gel and hair spray on your short hair, since these products will have direct contact with your scalp and can cause dandruff. If your short hairstyle requires styling products, regularly wash your hair with a dandruff shampoo to thoroughly remove the product residue and prevent the scalp from flaking. If your scalp appears oily with flakes, instead of using a liquid dandruff shampoo, use a dry dandruff shampoo to absorb the oil.

Misconceptions

It has been speculated that germs and poor hygiene are the cause of dandruff, but this is not true. According to HairBoutique.com, bacteria can aggravate the condition, but germs are not the initial cause of dandruff.

Treatment

For minor cases of dandruff, a simple dandruff shampoo can clear up the condition and restore the scalp to health. For more severe cases, dermatologists may prescribe specialized cremes or lotions containing sulfur and salicylic acid to restore the scalp and eliminate itching and flaking. Changes in diet and nutritional supplements may also be needed.

References and Resources

Hair Boutique: Dandruff FAQ