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About Your Hair: You May Not Have Dandruff

By Dr. Linda Amerson

Is Your Scalp Constantly Flaky?

Many consumers automatically assume they have dandruff when they see a scaly condition on their scalp. The term “dandruff” is a rather loose term that consumers give to all scaly conditions of the scalp. Everyone has microorganisms on the skin and scalp, which is termed the normal skin flora. In some cases, these microorganisms multiply at a more rapid rate, further affecting the skin and scalp regeneration process, showing thicker scales on the eyebrows, inside and outside of the ears, forehead and scalp. Furthermore, some of the scaly conditions are combined with inflammation, erythema, scalp discoloration, and excessive itchiness.

Is all dandruff alike?

It is possible for a consumer to have a scaly scalp disorder and not have knowledge of it. Some consumers may assume they have dry scalp, or that a scaly scalp is something they inherited from their parents, thus trying numerous over the counter products with no results. This occurs because, in many cases, a consumer may have two or more scaly scalp conditions and the over-the-counter product is only effective in treating only one of the scaly conditions, while the other scaly conditions require a different treatment.


A dry scalp condition is not the same as dandruff. This condition does not result in scales that you can lift or move on the scalp. Most importantly, a dry scalp is best corrected with moisture — not heavy oils or pomades applied to the scalp. Heavy oils or pomades can clog the pores of the scalp, further resulting in slow hair growth.

Scalp Conditions

There are actually several types of unattractive scaly scalp conditions. I have listed a few scaly scalp conditions below:

Psoriasis is a common scaly scalp disorder that affects people of all ages. Get an accurate diagnosis from a scalp specialist expert for all scalp issues. Neurodermatitis is a disorder that usually occurs in women. Seborrheic Dermatitis can be either dry or oily scaling on the scalp. Pityriasis Ameantacea is a severe scalp condition. Do your flakes look like layers of cornmeal? All scaly scalp conditions can range from mild to severe and can be listed as pityriasis capitis, atopic eczema, pyogenic granuloma, or seborrheic eczema to name a few. Please DO NOT attempt to make a self-diagnosis.

Other factors of scalp disorders, in addition, a contributor to scalp disorders include a poor diet, medications, health conditions, fluid retention, and stiff hair designs & braids (worn for two weeks or longer). Actually 98% of Americans are nutritionally deficient, which also affects scalp health.


To conclude, are you tired of feeling embarrassed or ashamed when scales appear on your scalp, and/or shoulders, eyebrows, forehead, ear area, clothing or neckline area? Help is available.

Dr. Linda Amerson, Board Certified Trichologist, LA’s Hair & Scalp Clinic, Arlington, TX 76013 817 265 8854 

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