Doctors discuss alopecia and other conditions that need attention

Tatiana Ayazo /

Your scalp is flaky, inflamed and irritated…

If you have white flakes on the scalp, you probably have seborrheic dermatitis. It is one of the most common scalp conditions. You probably know it by its other name: rose. Consider improving the situation at home with these natural treatments for dandruff. “Yeast lives on everyone’s skin, but in some people it can promote inflammation,” explains Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

“This clinically looks like white flakes at the base of the hair around your scalp.” dr. Zeichner suggests using medicated shampoos, such as Head and Shoulders, which contain an ingredient that helps lower yeast levels on the skin. By reducing the amount of yeast, you can reduce the inflammation and then reduce the amount of flakiness. (Note how cold showers benefit your scalp health.)

illustration of a person's scalp indicating itchingTatiana Ayazo /

If you suffer from itching…

An itchy scalp can have several causes. But if your itching isn’t accompanied by redness or scaling, it’s probably because you’re not cleaning your scalp properly. For this reason, Penny James, an International Association of Trichologists-certified trichologist and the owner of Penny James Salon in New York City, says it’s important to wash your hair and scalp at least four times a week. “The shampoos on the market today aren’t as harsh as they were in decades past, so look for a line of products that contain active ingredients and botanicals, and that don’t contain sulfates, silicones, or parabens.” For a dry scalp and hair, she proposes the all-natural and organic line Aloida. These products work hard to nourish and moisturize the hair and scalp.

illustration of a person's scalp indicating thinningTatiana Ayazo /

Your hair is thinning…

Genetics, as well as life changes, pregnancy, menopause and weight loss, contribute to the interference of hair growth and other scalp conditions. So it’s not uncommon for women to experience loss at certain stages of life. “As we age, most hair is reduced in the form of balding, receding, or thinning hair,” explains Dr. Engelman out. “In addition, lifestyle habits, including chemical treatments, hot tools, brushes and other styling tools, can reduce or damage the hair.” She recommends oral supplements, such as protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12, to support hair follicles. “If you’re not getting enough nutrients from your diet, supplements can increase low levels,” she says. “These nutrients help support hair structure, growth and breakdown of carbohydrates and fats, and they hydrate the scalp and distribute oxygen to the cells.” Her favorite brands to combat hair loss: Reserveage Keratin Booster and Nutrafol.

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