Dandruff

What Causes Dandruff? Why Do I Keep Getting It Back?

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Imagine walking into the office with your colleagues talking about your flaky scalp behind your backs! With a severe urge to scratch your head in a board meeting, the embarrassment is unimaginable. When it comes to dandruff, you are not alone! There are a million people out there who have tried all sorts of anti-dandruff methods, only to get it back again. But what causes dandruff? Why are certain people highly prone to this problem?

This article helps in demystifying the problem of dandruff by analyzing the main dandruff causes and their impact on your scalp.

What is Dandruff?

Before we learn about the causes, let us understand what dandruff is? Dandruff is a scalp infection that is caused by fungal growth. It turns an otherwise healthy scalp into one that is covered with oily or dry white flakes. It is often associated with severe itching and burning sensation on the scalp.

What Are The Main Reasons For Dandruff?

Dandruff is not caused due to a single reason. Many factors contribute to this problem, and each one has its own treatment. You cannot use the same remedy for different types of dandruff. This is why you must fully understand how is dandruff caused to identify the root cause. Let us look into the top dandruff causes and cures:

1. Seborrheic Dermatitis:

Seborrheic Dermatitis is the main reason for dandruff in hair. This is a condition where the person’s scalp is covered with oily skin due to the production of excess sebum. As your dead skin fall off, it mixes with the extra oils to give rise to a flaky scalp. It can also make your scalp greasy and dirty.

How To Treat:

  • Wash your hair regularly with a mild shampoo
  • Keep your scalp clean and oil-free
  • Exfoliate your scalp to remove dead cells
  • Avoid heat, chemicals and alcohol-based hair products

2. Dry Scalp:

Another main cause of dandruff is a dry scalp. When the skin on your scalp is deprived of its essential oils, the dead cells start showing up as white flakes. Lack of moisture can lead to itching and burning sensation on your scalp. This type of problem is also called dry dandruff.

How To Treat:

  • Oil your scalp regularly to replenish the essential natural oils
  • Don’t wash your hair too often
  • Comb out the dry flakes regularly
  • Use hyaluronic acid-based gels to soothe your scalp

3. Yeast Sensitivity:

Yeast infection is a key reason for dandruff in the head. People with yeast sensitivity are highly prone to such infections. Food allergies or products which contain yeast can trigger this problem and worsen it with time. If you have any such issues, you are likely to get back dandruff again.

How To Treat:

  • Use Antimicrobial shampoos or cleansers to wash your scalp
  • Avoid yeast products and foods to prevent dandruff from coming back
  • You can also use Candid powders or creams to control the infections

4. Greasy, Dirty Scalp:

A dirty scalp is one of the common causes for dandruff. Our scalps are just like our skin. They need proper care and attention. If you leave your scalp unwashed or uncleaned for a few days, the dirt, grime and dead cells clog your skin pores. This gives rise to bacterial, fungal growth and even dandruff. This is why you need to keep your scalp neat and clean.

How To Treat:

  • Wash your hair at least twice a week with a clarifying
  • Don’t overload with scalp with chemical products
  • Ensure there are no product build-ups on your scalp
  • Exfoliate your scalp using natural methods

5. Lack Of Proper Combing:

Combing is not only to style your hair but also to keep your scalp clean. When you comb, the bristles move the accumulated dirt from the roots to the tip. This can help in eliminating the unwanted dead cells or flakes from time to time. By not combing frequently, your roots get damaged, and all the debris sticks to your scalp. This is one of the reasons for having dandruff.

How To Treat:

  • Use a clean comb or brush to comb your hair
  • Start from the roots to the tip
  • Use a detangler for easy movement

6. Skin Disorders:

One of the important causes of dandruff in hair is a skin problem like Eczema or Psoriasis. These skin disorders also attack the scalp and lead to dandruff like conditions. The best way to deal with them is to take a medicated treatment to reduce the severity and frequency of attacks.

How To Treat:

  • Consult a doctor and use medicated creams or shampoos to treat them

7. Prolonged Medication:

Taking medications like steroids for a longer duration are highly prone to dandruff. These drugs can dry out your scalp or activate your glands. In either way, they contribute to the flaky scalp and sometimes, even baldness. It is better to talk to a doctor to understand the pros and cons of each medication.

How to Treat:

  • Have regular checkups with doctors
  • Take medications only when necessary

8. Malassezia:

Malassezia is a type of fungus that grows on oils. It eats away the dead skin and oils to keep our scalps clean. However, when the scalp produces excess oil, this fungus starts thriving on it and multiples in numbers. This can be difficult to control at times and is one of the primary reasons for getting dandruff repeatedly.

How To Treat:

  • Keep your scalp clean
  • Wash your hair at least thrice a week with a mild cleanser
  • Avoid using excess oily products or creams on your scalp
  • Say no to heat styling or chemicals

9. Stress:

Dandruff is also caused by stress. Mental stress can activate your hormones and make your body go haphazard. This leads to severe dandruff and even hair fall. It is important to keep a tab on your emotions and let your worries go to lead a peaceful, dandruff-free life.

How to Treat:

  • Listen to soothing music
  • Try yoga or meditation techniques
  • Go for a brisk walk in a park
  • Take up exercises or go to a gym

[ See More: Home Treatments for Severe Dandruff ]

10. Diet:

Another important cause for dandruff and itchy scalp is your diet. A diet can make or break the health of your scalp. Eating junk food, oily fries or sugary foods can clog your stomach and fill it with toxins. This effect is shown on your scalp too. A healthy, well-balanced diet, on the other hands can nourish your hair and prevent dandruff.

How To Treat:

  • Indulge in a nutritious diet
  • Include plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water

We hope this article helped you understand what causes dandruff and itchy scalp! Depending on the root cause, the problem’s severity and treatment also vary. Whatever may be the reason, maintaining a clean and healthy scalp is a sure way of dealing with the problem. You can try from a number of home remedies to keep dandruff at bay!