Here’s a startling number for you – Dandruff affects approximately 50 percent of the general adult population. So, if you’re wondering why dandruff occurs in hair, know that you’re not alone.
Dandruff is all too identifiable by the oily, white flakes found in your hair and on your shoulders. Additionally, you may find flaking in your eyebrows, see some hair loss, or even find red patches on the skin.
Dandruff isn’t a serious condition nor is it contagious, but the flakes, the itching and general discomfort can get in the way of your day and your mood. Moreover, dandruff can come back, like the sequel of a bad movie. So, why does dandruff occur?
Causes of dandruff in hair can vary, and both your scalp sensitivity and skin type can dictate the severity of dandruff you experience. Let’s look at what causes dandruff:
- Oily Skin – Oil on the scalp is both natural and nourishing. However, too much of anything can tilt the scales against you, and a healthy scalp quickly becomes the host for scalp conditions like dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. An increased production of sebum (natural oil) on your scalp is one of the key causes of dandruff in hair. The condition leads to irritated skin on the scalp, with red scaly areas. This brings us to another cause of dandruff.
- Malassezia Globosa – If you’re wondering why dandruff occurs, yeast is one of the biggest culprits. Here’s how it works – a naturally occurring fungus known as Malassezia Globosa feasts on any excess oil in your hair, breaking it down, leaving oleic acid behind. Many of us tend to be sensitive to oleic acid and our skin responds by increasing the rate at which skin cells renew. This is the scalp’s attempt to rid the scalp of the irritant, and as a result dandruff flakes are formed.
- Skipping Shampoo – It’s understandable that during a busy week you might find it hard to stick to a regular shampoo routine. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons why dandruff occurs. Infrequent hair washes lead to – you guessed it – a build-up of oil and dead skin on your scalp. This attracts germs and pollutants that can spike your dandruff troubles. Treat this cause of dandruff by regularly shampooing with a range of scalp shampoos from Head & Shoulders, which clean and protect the scalp, preventing dandruff from coming back.
- Dry Skin – We’ve understood that oil can be the cause of dandruff, but funnily so can dry skin. Your scalp can dry out due to various reasons, including hormonal fluctuations and even a change in weather. But this can trigger your body into secreting more oil to balance out the skin requirements. And if you allow this to build-up, it can kickstart your dandruff and cause itching, flaking. This is a common reason for why dandruff occurs in hair. It’s even more confusing during the winter, because you don’t know if this is dry scalp flaking or dandruff.
- Allergies – Everyone has an allergy or two to deal with – for some it’s food, for others it’s environmental. However, allergies to hair care products have also shown to be the cause of dandruff. Reactions to different products can trigger a disruption in your oil secretions, creating inflammation on the skin. This fluctuation in your scalp ecosystem can aggravate your existing dandruff and lead to itching, soreness, scaling and flaking of dead skin cells. If you notice any irritation or soreness after applying a new hair care product, stop using the product immediately.
Every scalp is different and the causes of dandruff in hair can vary from person to person. Make sure you correctly identify the cause, either by checking your symptoms or by visiting a dermatologist before you start treatment.