There are very few things that make us cringe, recoil and feel terribly embarrassed like dandruff. It’s called seborrheic dermatitis by doctors and while we are often led to believe that it is due to a dry scalp, this isn’t the only answer! In reality there are a myriad of reasons for why you would suffer from a flaky scalp. Here are some of the most common reasons so you can break free from hiding under your hats.
Overactive Sebaceous Glands
Yes, oily skin is actually one of the causes of dandruff! When there is an overproduction of oil, your scalp can block dead skin from shedding in their usual manner. As a result the dead skin cells become more apparent, creating visible flakes of dandruff. This can be chronic due to your hair type and environment, but it could also be a build up of product.
The Fix: Try a scalp clarifying shampoo, but be careful of only using these powerful products once or twice a week. Otherwise you could dry out your scalp!
Whether it’s winter and your scalp is struggling, or it’s summer and your scalp has been a bit exposed, dryness can cause dandruff. If the rest of your skin is battling with dryness this is probably the reason for your dandruff as it is likely they will occur at the same time.
The Fix: Experts recommend an easy at-home remedy for dry skin dandruff. Soothe your scalp with coconut oil at night, then cover your head with a shower cap for sleeping and wash out with a gentle shampoo in the morning. Try and stay away from heat styling your hair and air dry only, until your scalp has recovered.
All of us have a yeast-like fungus called malassezia that lives on our scalp and skin. Sometimes, for various reasons, you can develop a sensitivity which results in dandruff. In other words, malassezia can aggravate dandruff. Other skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema can also cause a flaky scalp.
The Fix: Malessezia can be treated by a doctor or with over-the-counter shampoos. Following a good skin routine will also be beneficial and keep any further aggravation at bay. Psoriasis and eczema can be a little more tricky to treat, we recommend seeking professional medical help if you suspect you’re suffering from these skin conditions.
Allergic reactions are common in most humans and can show up in various ways. If you notice not just dandruff but itchiness and soreness after using certain haircare products you may be allergic or highly sensitive to their ingredients.
The Fix: If you notice any scalp irritation wash your hair out with a gentle and hypoallergenic shampoo, and discontinue the use of the culprit. Not sure which product is causing the sensitivity? Use a process of elimination until you do.