Have you ever heard of lifting dandruff or exfoliating dandruff from the scalp?
It used to be a very common treatment for mild to heavy dandruff or related dermitits. When I was growing up, my Aunt Margie was a hairdresser. She had a hair salon right in the basement of her home in South St. Louis.
Although I didn't have dandruff, the mother of one of my friends did. One a regular basis she would have it "lifted" when she went to see my aunt for a wash and set.
Lifting dandruff which is now probably known as exfoliation of the scalp, was performed with the goal of helping to remove excessive flakes.
It should also be noted that what might be considered dandruff could actually be other skin conditions. However, the treatment was the same in terms of removing the scales.
It was also considered to be relaxing for some since it was performed as a type of scalp massage either with the tail of a comb, the teeth or sometimes tips of the fingers or the nails. Some people with heavy dandruff might actually lift their own dandruff by daily scratch or picking off of the flakes from the scalp.
Although removing the dandruff would ultimately help eliminate flakes, the scalp would often become very dry, inflamed and even more itchy then before the dandruff was lifted.
Was the increased itching due to the removal of the flakes and air hitting the scalp? Or was it due to the development of a brand new case of dandruff which popped up after the previous flakes were removed?
The reality? The scalp was responding to the damage inflicted by the dandruff lifting. Depending on the individual and their level of dandruff, lifting the flakes could cause the scalp to become tight, tender and sensitive.
Continuing to lift dandruff on a continual and regular basis did not allow the scalp time to heal. Each lifting would trigger yet another cycle of tenderness, irritation and in some cases pain. The more scratching that was done to the scalp, the more damage would be inflicted to an already inflamed scalp.Some people have confessed to becoming addicted to scratching off the dandruff or picking off the flakes. Really? Addicted? Yes, actually needing to constantly scratch and pick off flakes is a known addiction, but its definitely not a good habit for allow your scalp to heal.
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