Just like the end of autumn anticipates the appearance of snowflakes in the New York skies, this time of year can also signal the increased appearance of another, more embarrassing kind of flake: dandruff.
New Yorkers’ fondness for wearing black in the winter isn’t to blame for the increase of shoulder snow. Instead, blame the humidity-free winter weather, which dries out the scalp, making it itchy and flaky. Shampooing habits are also a major factor for dandruff: shampooing too often or not enough, or using the wrong shampoo for your hair type might also lead to increased flake-age. Keep in mind that the shampoo that leaves you feeling fabulous in the summer might not be your best winter bet. Switch it up once the mercury drops.
For some people, dandruff isn’t related to the weather at all, but rather is their reaction to a yeast-like fungus called malassezia that lives on the adult scalp. It may sound like an Italian curse, but actually everybody’s got this fungus; its just that for some people, it is literally irritating, causing more skin cells to grow than normal. These excess cells eventually die and fall off, resulting in the dreaded white flakes.
One at-home tip that may nip your dandruff in the bud is to invest in a humidifier. That little extra moisture in the air may be all that you need to stop dandruff before it starts. Try increasing your intake of water as well; surely a hydrated body can help hydrate your scalp (plus it’s good for about a zillion other things, too). And if that isn’t enough, start experimenting with some anti-dandruff shampoos. Remember to give every “remedy” a few weeks to see if it starts working, and if you still find yourself dusting off your shoulders, it may be time to see a dermatologist.