You may think that dandruff is caused by dry skin, but it’s actually the complete opposite
You may not realise it, but we shed billions of skin cells daily, from our face, body and scalp. Most of these go unnoticed – they’re invisible to the naked eye – but when it comes to dandruff it’s hard to hide.
Dandruff is caused by an excess growth of a special fungus called Pityrosporon ovale. While it’s normal to have this fungus grow on our scalps (it’s all part of having healthy skin), it can actually multiply when combined with excess skin oil, and when the conditions are right. The cause of this process is still unknown, but there have been suggestions that stress may be a major cause of this skin condition - any time your immune system is down, it can lead to a bout of dandruff. When there’s an overload of the fungus, it can speed up the rate of skin cells shedding, which is why you may notice larger flakes in your hair or on your shoulders.
It's normal for both men and women to have dandruff; however it’s much more likely for men to get it due to having larger oil glands but a weaker scalp barrier than women. Plus, product build-up on the scalp can contribute to your scalp producing more oil, leading to a higher possibility of dandruff occurring. Our best advice is to see a doctor if you don’t see a reduction of dandruff after a week, as it could be another skin condition such as psoriasis or an inflammation.
In the meantime, here are some products you should try.
Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo
This medicated shampoo contains pyrithione zinc to combat dandruff, and can be used two ways; apply it to dry hair to target the yeast like a treatment, or switch it with your regular shampoo and apply water to wash it all away. The best way to shampoo the area is by massaging the products into the scalp with fingertips and not fingernails. The latter will just damage the new skin on your scalp.
Ecostore Anti-Dandruff Conditioner
Lightly scented with bergamot, this nourishing conditioner can address tangles and softness without weighing the hair down. Plus, this product gets our tick of approval as it’s cruelty, soap, fragrance and silicone free. Remember to only use warm water when washing your hair, as the hot water can irritate your skin and affect the natural moisture barrier.
Aveda Scalp Remedy Dandruff Solution
With salicylic acid to exfoliate and rosemary extract to soothe the area, this leave-in treatment will help purify the scalp and prevent the reoccurrence of dandruff. Spritz it into roots post washing.
Main image credit: Getty
Iantha is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor, and has been part of the team since the site launched in 2016. Besides pinky-nude nail polish and wispy false lashes, she has a healthy obsession with face masks and skin care ingredients. Her previous work can be found in Virgin Australia Voyeur, Women's Health, and SHOP Til You Drop.