Frequently Asked Questions on Mens Hair Care
(No responsibility is implied or taken for any consequences of following advice given on this page)
There’s nothing more embarrassing or annoying than a mini snow storm sitting on the shoulders of a black jacket. It’s worth remembering that the scalp is a continuation of the skin on your face and that your follicles need as much TLC as your pores. Most of us suffer from dandruff at some point.
The key to prevention? An easy-to-follow, healthy-scalp plan.
What is dandruff?
Dandruff is a common condition in which the scalp is covered with flakes of dead skin that can then fall onto the shoulders. Some cases of dandruff are caused by an increase in natural yeast on the scalp, which results in a disturbance in the normal shedding of skin cells. The skin cell-shedding process can also be speeded up if you’re under stress or during times when you’re not eating enough fresh fruit and vegetables.
Insufficient rinsing of shampoos and conditioners can also give rise to an irritable scalp.(This in itself can be a cause of dandruff.(Dried Soap!!)So make sure you rinse your hair and scalp sufficiently especially with rich shampoos.
Wash your hair daily or every other day with a mild, frequent-use shampoo or a shampoo specifically formulated to control dandruff. Rinse away the shampoo thoroughly. Contrary to popular belief, if you regularly suffer from dandruff your scalp is more likely to be oily than dry. If you use a conditioner, only apply it to the ends of the hair. Avoid scratching the scalp as this may lead to irritation and even infection. If your dandruff does not clear up quickly, seek medical advice as a specialised hair care programme may be needed.
Tips for a healthier scalp
Above all, ensure that you are eating well because some cases of dandruff are thought to be connected with a lack of several vitamins, including A and B6. Try to keep your stress levels low as nervous tension can lead to skin dryness and, in turn, flaking. For healthy circulation, gently massage your scalp with your fingertips when shampooing. A relaxed scalp should move beneath the fingertips whereas a tense scalp will feel as tight as a drum skin!
Combing and brushing
Generally speaking, it’s gentler to use a comb on short hair rather than a brush. Avoid cheap plastic or metal combs that can cut into the hair shaft, and yank skin cells from the scalp and ultimately weaken the hair. Most hair professionals recommend a wooden or strong plastic, saw-cut comb in which each tooth is cut into the comb and filed smooth.
Cleansing and conditioning
Lathering up frequently (every day or every other day) is essential for healthy-looking hair. Look for a shampoo suited to your hair type and avoid washing and rinsing your hair in dirty bathwater. A daily conditioner is also a must, particularly if you spend time in the sun, in the pool or if you tend to have dry hair. If your hair seems too limp, though, cut back on the conditioner, using it just once a week instead.
Head Lice and Nits
Where do they come from?
Head lice can’t jump or fly. They walk from one head to another. You catch head lice by having your head alongside the head of someone else who is infected with head lice. Once you are infected, you can pass head lice to any close friend, or family member, whose head is in contact with your head. Head lice die if they are not kept warm. It is very unusual for lice to be found on hats, scarves, brushes or combs. They don’t survive on pillows or towels. Really, the only way of catching them is to be in head to head contact with an infected person.
How common are they?
Head lice are very common. In primary schools in the UK, probably one child in ten is infected every year. Young children tend to put their heads together, with friends or other family members, and lice are easily spread from person to person. This problem has got worse recently, and head lice are much more common than they used to be. Lice can live on long hair, short hair,and dirty hair and on very clean hair.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptom of head lice is a terrible itching of the scalp. Children are more bothered with itching than adults. Infected children will scratch their heads vigorously, and will often scratch during their sleep. Some infected adults hardly itch at all.
The lice are small, dull brown in colour, and move very quickly. It is very hard to see them and almost impossible to catch them.
How can I find out if I have nits?
By using a very fine-tooth comb you may be able to comb dead lice and nits out of your hair. You can buy a special nit comb from the pharmacy. If you comb your hair over a piece of white paper, any nits or lice will be easier to spot.
A better way to find head lice is to comb your hair while it is wet. You will need to use a special nit comb. Wash your hair in the usual way and apply plenty of hair conditioner. Comb your hair while it is still wet and before you wash the conditioner off. Keep checking the comb for lice. The conditioner makes your hair slippery, and the lice find it hard to escape from the comb.
Another way to check your hair for lice is to look for the old eggs (or nits). The hatched nit eggs can be seen fairly easily. You will need to get someone else to check your hair for you. The nits are very small (smaller than a pin head), white in colour, and will be firmly stuck to the hairs, about an inch or two away from the scalp. They can be mistaken for dandruff, but you can’t brush them away because they are firmly stuck to the hair.
What is the treatment?
Some common treatments used in the UK are – Derbac-M, Prioderm, Quellada-M, Sulleo-M, Lyclear and Full Marks.
Ask the pharmacist for advice if you need treatment for young babies (under 6 months), pregnant women,and people with asthma.
Always read the instructions carefully.
Unfortunately, these chemicals don’t always work. Lice can become resistant to these treatments. The repeated use of these chemicals may be harmful to your health.
“Wet combing” method
(It is best to ask someone to help you.)
Wash your hair with your usual shampoo
While your hair is wet, apply plenty of hair conditioner
Comb your hair using a fine nit comb.
Comb from the roots upwards check the comb for lice, and clear them away, after each sweep comb all your hair, a little at a time, carefully.
Repeat this every 3 days for 2 weeks to get rid of any newly hatched lice.
Remember to check everyone in the family for lice and nits, using the methods described above.
With a little time and effort, you can get rid of lice, safely, cheaply, and without using any chemicals.