Here's How To Prevent Those Dreaded Hairspray Flakes

After spending precious time carefully styling your hair, the last thing you want is for it to look like you have flakes of dandruff littered across your scalp. Although minor, it's a frustrating problem because these flakes might trick you into thinking you have a real issue, which only leads you to spend more time, effort, and money trying to get rid of dandruff for good. Contrary to popular belief, hairspray doesn't cause any damage to your hair as long as you only use it occasionally and wash your tresses regularly, per Jean Louis David

However, you may develop dandruff due to several unrelated factors. A good way to tell the difference between hairspray flakes and dandruff is to see if they're attached to your hair. According to New York Barbers, hairspray flakes cling to your locks while dandruff effortlessly falls off your scalp when you brush your hair. Another point of differentiation is the color. 

Dandruff has a yellowish tinge while hairspray flakes are white to resemble the product they came from (via Hairstyle Camp). Even if it's not dandruff, hairspray flakes can be annoying because your friends, family, and co-workers might just assume you're trying to write off dandruff as something else. But fortunately, with a few quick and easy tweaks, you can wave goodbye to those flakes for good. 

Preventing hairspray flakes is just as easy as curing them

A common cause of hairspray flakes is improper usage. You may be spraying too close to your scalp or spraying unevenly, as Sally Beauty warns. To remedy this, you should hold the can around eight inches away from your scalp and move it around as you spray for an evenly-spaced coat. Conversely, instead of directly applying the hairspray to your hair, you could spray it on a hairbrush and comb it through your hair, for optimal results and zero flakes (via Life Hacker).

Hairspray flakes can also be a result of excessive buildup of hair products caused by infrequent and improper washing. In this case, you should switch out your regular shampoo for a clarifying shampoo because it's specifically designed to wash away hair product buildup and other impurities for a deeper cleanse, per Harper's Bazaar

Dawna Jarvis, a seasoned hairstylist, shared her recommended haircare routine for hairspray buildup with Stylecraze. "It would be best to use a clarifying shampoo every other week to remove buildup, followed by a deep conditioning treatment to restore moisture," she suggested. 

Home remedies can effectively deal with hairspray flakes too

According to Hair Everyday, adding some baking soda to your shampoo is a simple way to rid your tresses of those pesky flakes. Dr. Anna Guanche, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist, informed Byrdie that baking soda is a fantastic ally for your hair, noting, "Some benefits of using baking soda for the hair include leaving it clean, shiny, and soft because the baking soda helps remove [the] buildup of oils, soaps, and any remnants of haircare products."

Further, the micellar water you typically use for taking makeup off can be equally beneficial for your hairspray flakes problem. Speaking to Elle India, Dr. Divya Sharma, a dermatologist and trichologist, explained how it gently cleanses your hair. "The lipid core (internal layer) attaches itself to (and cleanses) dirt and sebum, while the water exterior remains gentle to your hair," she confirmed. 

The deep cleanse doesn't result in overly dry hair either, thanks to the hydrating glycerin in micellar water (via Real Simple). If you want to draw out the impurities and hairspray flakes with a natural cleanse, you could also spray a mixture of equal parts water and apple cider vinegar onto your hair after you shampoo and then wash it out shortly thereafter, as Hair Club advises.