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When it comes to scalp irritation, flakes and dandruff tend to get the spotlight but pimples and breakouts along the hairline can be just as annoying. Much like any other pimple, scalp acne can be caused by a mixture of oil and dead skin cells that get stuck in hair follicles. But things like travel, stress, and lack of sleep can also cause scalp acne because when your cortisol levels rise, your body is more likely to produce oil which can cause breakouts. Medical dermatologist Nava Greenfield, MD, explains, "Blemishes on the scalp can be caused by a wide range…

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Dandruff vs. Dry Scalp Appearance Dandruff vs. Dry Scalp When to See a Doctor The Final Takeaway Itchy, flaky scalp? You might think it’s dandruff—but dandruff and dry scalp are two completely separate issues. It might be hard to tell the difference between the two, especially when you’re struggling to make your scalp feel better. But that’s where we (and our trusty experts) come in. They’ve given us all the tea on dandruff v. dry scalp, below. What Is Dandruff? According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Blair Murphy-Rose, dandruff is a chronic condition—often considered to be a mild form of seborrheic…

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Hair Types Clarifying Shampoo vs At-Home Scalp Scrubs How to DIY Final Thoughts Frequently Asked Questions We know the basics of a good haircare routine: shampoo, conditioner, and the occasional hair mask. However, if you want a healthy scalp, a scalp scrub may be what your regimen is missing. After all, the scalp is the foundation of your hair health. We know what you’re thinking… “great, something else to buy,” but actually, DIY scalp scrubs can be just as effective as your favorite store-bought ones. Pretty much everything you could want for an effective at-home scalp exfoliant can easily be…

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“While we don’t know exactly why dandruff occurs, in many people it is thought to be due to a mixture of genetics, allergies and sensitivities, and an imbalance of skin microbes,” says trichologist Dominic Burg, MD. According to Burg, experts believe that the common condition is driven by an overgrowth of microorganisms—like bacteria, yeasts, and fungi—that live on the surface of the scalp. When these microbes consume the natural oils on your skin, they can produce byproducts that the body reacts to, leading to shedding and inflammation. At least, that’s the hypothesis. “We do know it has nothing to do…

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While it's an annoying problem that feels difficult to remedy, scalp buildup can affect all of us—and it might be caused by something fairly innocent, like too much dry shampoo. Scalp buildup could also be caused by environmental factors or even excess oil in the scalp. Whatever the contributing factor, rest assured that it can be remedied. It's often easy to see (and feel) scalp buildup when it occurs, but removing it isn't always that simple. If you have ever had the experience of washing your hair, but still not feeling like it's fully clean, scalp buildup was likely the…

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Frequently Asked Questions Why Trust Byrdie If you haven’t tried a scalp scrub, get on it, stat. After all, your scalp is just like the rest of your skin—dead cells can pile up, and pores can get clogged. Plus, there’s also tons of residue that builds up from the styling products we use day in and day out. “Regular exfoliation can help remove product residue and environmental pollutants that can build up and potentially even affect how well your hair is growing,” explains Shelly Aguirre, a stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. The easiest way to exfoliate your scalp? A…

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Dry, flaky dandruff affects all of us—but that doesn’t make it any less of a nuisance. can A change in weather, a new shampoo, or a loss of moisture can all result in the little white flakes that seem near-impossible to get rid of. But according to the experts, there are remedies—you just have to figure out the root of the problem first. The most commonly known dry dandruff is white, which sheds from the scalp. But there's also oily dandruff, which typically appears to be yellow and adheres to the scalp, says board-certified dermatologist Sumayah Jamal, MD. "It is…

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Wash days may just be the most dreadful part of your hair care routine. The amount of time and patience required to get your strands squeaky clean only to restyle them with product or still have oil to deal with is an exhausting cycle. Unfortunately, some hair types and textures are more prone to oily hair than others, but that doesn't mean they should spend all their time in the shower. So, when a thorough shampoo session leaves our strands just as limp and greasy as before, we're perplexed (and annoyed) to the point of action. To demystify this common…

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Treating Hairline Acne Acne doesn’t discriminate and will gladly grace any and every patch of skin (for us, it’s usually the most visible and hard-to-cover spots, IYKYK). Pimples can pop on your chin, forehead, cheeks, and even on your back or chest. But have you heard of hairline acne? It’s not out of the norm for breakouts to crop up right in the area where your hair meets your forehead. This type of acne can feel quite difficult to treat, especially when you’re not sure what causes it, but luckily with the right treatment, you can make it a thing…

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It goes without saying that the best part of going to the hair salon is the scalp massage, right? It eases tension, reduces product buildup, nourishes the scalp, and just feels really relaxing. The caveat is that it’s really hard to replicate on your own—unless you have a scalp massager. Scalp care is a relatively new category in beauty but one we’re wholeheartedly embracing. Scalp massagers, in particular, are an easy but effective add-on to your existing hair care routine; all you need to do is run the tool across your scalp. To help you narrow down the massage tool…

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