Stress can cause all sorts of terrible things, from hair loss to greys, so why not dandruff? To find out if dandruff causes stress, and what to do about it, we reached out to Theadora Guzman, Maria Nila NA Education Manager.
Before getting into the nitty-gritty, Theadora has us take a step back to explain what dandruff really is. “We tend to describe dandruff as any scalp issue that causes flakes to fall off. True dandruff is seborrheic (seb-o-REE-ik) dermatitis which is an oily, waxy buildup that flakes, and can occur in oily areas of the body. The scalp being oily can cause dandruff. Dry skin conditions that cause flakes have become common to refer to as dandruff because we see flakes and assume it’s the same thing. Both are inflammatory skin reactions, and for the sake of simplicity, we can say dry dandruff vs. oily dandruff,” she says before elaborating.
The Difference Between Regular Dandruff and Stress Dandruff
“Oily dandruff often becomes worse due to stress because it’s caused by fungus on our scalps. If you’re under stress, our bodies can have difficulties combating the fungus, thus leaving your scalp with oily, waxy flakes. Dry dandruff can be caused by skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis or environmental stressors like weather or products that cause dryness can create dry dandruff. Both eczema and psoriasis react and inflame the skin when someone is experiencing stress in their life, causing more flakes and dryness,” Theadora explains.
Dandruff of any kind needs to be treated. Theadora recommends the brand’s Head and Hair Heal Series. “The series has a shampoo, mask, and conditioner, all of which have the same active ingredients that will resolve different dandruff-causing issues. Piroctone Olamine will balance the bacteria on the scalp and combat any fungus that causes buildup. Aloe Vera is an anti-inflammatory that will soothe any issues that stress causes. Vitamin E will nourish and hydrate the scalp,” she states.
Why Stress Can Wreak Havoc on Our Scalps
Stress is a hormone that can affect all parts of our body. Including our scalp—which is just an extension of the skin. “If you have any skin disorder on any part of your body that is aggravated by stress, your dandruff is most likely also aggravated by stress. Our skin is an organ that is affected by stress like anything else in our bodies. Stress can inflame your skin, which in turn inflames your scalp and cause flakes. So having Maria Nila’s Head and Hair Heal series in your shower is a must for anyone whose scalp reacts to stress,” Theadora says.
How to Combat Stress-Related Dandruff
The best way to ward off stress-related dandruff is to stop stressing. If only it were so easy. “First thing is to take time to destress if you can. Exercise, deep breathing techniques, or any other stress management tools that you have,” Theadora notes. “Make sure to use Maria Nila’s Head and Hair Heal series regularly in your haircare routine. Even if your dandruff doesn’t seem like it’s bad, it will help to prevent any issues from arising. Simply just incorporating the Head and Hair Heal Mask from the scalp to the ends one to two times a week for five to 10 minutes after you shampoo but before you condition can help to treat and prevent dandruff issues,” she adds.
Don’t fear dandruff shampoos if you have dandruff. The right products won’t wreck your mane, even if you have a treatment or fresh color. “Most clients who receive professional color services or have battled with dandruff long term shy away from dandruff shampoos because they negatively affect their hair color and leave their hair in a poor, fragile condition. Which is another reason that our Head and Hair Heal formula is perfect for them. It has our patented color guard complex that will protect their hair color and leave their hair feeling conditioned while treating their dandruff,” she says.