Dandruff is a commonly experienced hair problem that affects a lot of people. The white flakes visible on the scalp are caused by excessive exfoliation of the scalp. Before we delve deeper into understanding dandruff it is important to understand the different types of dandruff – dry and oily dandruff.
The science behind Dandruff
Dry dandruff is nothing but exfoliation of the scalp due to dehydration. A key characteristic of dry dandruff is flakiness, sometimes accompanied by itchiness. Solving for dry dandruff includes hydrating the scalp and rebalancing the sebum production.
Oily dandruff on the other hand is due to the buildup of a fungus called “Malassezia” in our scalp. They grow in a moist and oily environment and mainly help break down oils into oleic acid. Sensitivity to excess oleic acid causes rash, irritation and flakiness of the scalp and this reaction of our body is oily dandruff.
Thus understanding ways to tackle dandruff invariably involves understanding what causes dryness of the scalp or excess oil production in the scalp.
People with natural oily scalp notice an increase in dandruff during monsoons. An increase in humid conditions leads to sweating which causes dirt and oil to get trapped in the scalp. This build-up causes dandruff. Thus increasing the wash frequency of the scalp can help people with oily scalp fight seasonal dandruff.
Chemical or wrong Products
The chemicals in non-natural products damage the skin barrier over time. This damages the sebum levels in the scalp causing it to either produce excess or very low sebum, which results in dandruff for people with sensitive skins. So next time pay attention to the ingredients in your hair products and try using natural products as much as possible.
Washing hair very often
Washing hair too frequently or with harsh chemicals can strip the scalp of essential oils – causing dryness of the scalp and dandruff. While people don’t desire an oily scalp and rightfully, since it traps dirt and weighs down the hair – completely cleaning all oil is equal bad since it can cause an imbalance in natural sebum production, which can lead to dandruff. We suggest washing your hair 3-4 times a week.