Is dandruff seasonal? 

During the summer months, I don’t have an issue with dandruff but in the winter I have to be more careful about wearing black. I wondered is dandruff seasonal?

I asked Katrina, my hairdresser, about it and her answer was yes and no.  It isn’t seasonal as such, it has more to do with the temperature of the water we use to wash our hair.

According to Katrina, “Dandruff is just dry skin like anywhere else on your body but the hair traps the flakes and it can’t get away. In the winter, we use hotter water and this dries the skin more so you end up with more dandruff.”

People with oilier hair and hence less dry skin have less dandruff but are likely to use hotter water and wash their hair more frequently. Hormones can also affect the amount of dandruff a person has.  People with thick hair also tend to get more dandruff for two reasons – extra hair traps more flakes and there is also less airflow around the scalp.

To help with this type of dandruff you can try massaging your scalp. Massage stimulates the skin and increases blood flow and the secretion of natural oils which will moisturise your scalp. Using cooler water will also help.

For some people, dandruff is more than just dry skin. More serious forms of dandruff are caused by fungal infections, psoriasis or dermatitis. To deal with these issues you will need to use medicated shampoos. These shampoos can strip the colour from your hair so Katrina recommends you use them every second wash.

There are plenty of fancy treatments around but more natural ones include massaging small amounts of tea-tree oil or coconut oil into your scalp to improve hydration.

Here are a few websites that give you some ideas of how to deal with dandruff.

Nine home remedies to get rid of dandruff https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ways-to-treat-dandruff

If you’d prefer a more medical approach have a look at the video and information provided by the American Academy of Dermatology.

 

PS I warned you the Sunday Post was going to be a lucky dip of ideas!

Grey hair? Embrace it!

Every four weeks, I go to my lovely hairdresser, Katrina, and get my grey hair cut and coloured. I walk away feeling a million dollars with super sleek and shiny tresses. The greying temples and roots are successfully hidden once again and for a week or so can be completely forgotten.  While thankfully, it does not cost me a million to feel like a million – it is still a hefty commitment of money and time. For me, hairdressing is an essential service and my monthly trips have survived the budget cuts imposed by my  Year of Zero.

I am not really sure what my natural colour is. Neither can I remember when I began dying my hair. It’s something I have been doing in the salon or at home for, it seems, forever. I think the first time I changed my hair colour was back in high school, perhaps in Year 9? At that time, we used a product called Magic Silver Rose[1] or Magic Silver White undiluted. My bestie, Annette and I used to dip our fringes straight into the bottle to make it bright pink or purple. These products were initially designed for older women (“the blue rinse set“) to cover up the grey.

The bright hair trend is being repeated now. I giggle when I see young people with their hair dyed brilliant blue, green and pink thinking they are all original and rebellious. We did that – back in the ’70s.

I take my hat off to those women, like Helen Mirren, who wear their grey locks with style and elegance. Of course, being a celebrity and having a stylist on hand helps a little too! Some of my friends also have spectacular white or grey hair that looks very funky and they wear it with class. Perhaps it’s time for me to embrace the grey and stop dying my hair.

The question is, how do you go cold turkey on the dyeing front? Nothing says tacky quite like regrowth!

Step number one would be to move to a deserted island and come back in a year when your hair has grown enough so you can just cut it off in a cute little pixie style.

I chatted with Katrina about how to go about it. It is a long process, and once you start, you need to be committed. It combines cutting and colouring. Cutting off the previously dyed hair and re-colouring the new growth to match the grey coming through. After a year or so, voila – you have stunning grey hair that requires less maintenance. Or so the story goes.

And so far we a have only been speaking about head hair! (here’s a fun look at dyeing pubic hair!)

STOP! STOP! This is where you need to be able to insert sound effects in the written word.

Play the sound of a needle being scratched across a record as it is suddenly stopped.

SCREEEEETCHHHHHHHHHH……

This is not what my blog is about! This is not a representation of my values! Martha Stewart-like advice on how to change your hair colour! I feel like a fraud. Once again, I am drawn into this murky world of ageism and sexism. Where youth is queen, and older women become irrelevant and invisible. Where grey hair is synonymous with undesirable or unf@#kable.

Why is grey hair such an issue in the first place? I am reluctant to take the plunge and my own discourse around the whole grey issue is contradictory. I don’t think I should feel bad about being grey from a sociological standpoint, but I still have to live in this world!

We call men with greying temples distinguished. We call them silver foxes. Women are declared “brave” for letting their hair grey. Brave being code for “I wouldn’t do it”.

Why don’t women wear it as a badge of courage?

I got here! I survived! I didn’t do anything too stupid! I raised children!

The reasons are, of course, all tied up with marketing, consumerism and money. The hair dye industry is a multi-billion dollar industry globally. Seventy-five per cent of women colour their hair at some stage in their life. The number of men dying their hair is increasing.

Let’s not even get into a discussion about whether hair dye is toxic or harmful in any way to ourselves or to the environment. That’s a whole other ball game!

There is no way that sort of consumerist pressure is going to let us feel good about going grey. Not in my lifetime, anyway.

Let’s start chipping away at this ageism. One strand at a time!

 

Shampoo v Conditioner.

Bottles of Shampoo and conditioner on a supermarket shelf

A few weeks ago I posted a flippant comment on Facebook:

I doubt this is an original thought but: First World Problem 125: Why doesn’t the conditioner come in a bigger bottle compared to the matching shampoo?

One of my friends commented she runs out of shampoo first. I told her she was weird. That EVERYONE but her ran out of conditioner first. She thought I was weird. We bantered. Then the comments started coming thick and fast.  I posted a poll asking our combined friends which they finished first, shampoo or conditioner?

Image 2-1-19 at 20.01.jpg

The results were interesting with a 50:50 split. Being good scientists we understood we needed a bigger sample size, so I re-posted the poll to a bigger group (<30K members) and over the next weeks the poll received over 1000 votes and close to 50 comments.

It elicited some very interesting discussion… who’d of thought…

Tubes of hair products on supermaket shelf
Frizz-less, blonde more but still all the same size!

In the end the results were close.

Image 2-1-19 at 19.12

My friend’s hypothesis was supported and I had to agree she wasn’t weird.

It would seem the ratio of shampoo to conditioner use depends on a number of factors.

  1. Hair length which seems quite obvious. The longer the hair the more conditioner is needed.
  2. Curliness. One factor I didn’t know about is that a significant number of people (and we are talking mainly women here because they are the ones who responded) with curly hair do not use shampoo at all, only conditioner. There is in fact, a whole (secret to me) Curly Girl Method for looking after wavy/curly/coiled hair.

and an almost equal number of people

  1. Who have short, thin or oilier hair who don’t use conditioner at all that balances out the no shampoo people.
  2. Another new (to me) concept is the reverse shampoo method which uses conditioner first and then shampoo which is (apparently) good for fine hair.
Bottles of Shampoo and conditioner on a supermarket shelf
All the same size! We need a social movement here!

So there you have it. It would seem that my original sample size of 100% of the people in my household who finish the conditioner first was not supported. I can see the need for a whole new social movement. Hair Buddies: Those who finish the shampoo first need to be introduced to those who finish the conditioner first so they can swap their excess product!