The Causes Of Dandruff


Find out more about the cause of dandruff, how it works and some of the factors that could put you at risk of a dandruff flare-up

You’ll find it on everybody’s scalp, although it will only cause dandruff flaking in around 50% of people.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Malassezia globosa feeds on natural scalp oils called sebum — this oil is what keeps your hair and scalp moisturized
  2. Oleic acid is created when the sebum is broken down
  3. Oleic acid irritates the scalp in about 1 in 2 people, who are sensitive to it
  4. The scalp becomes inflamed, red and itchy
  5. Skin sheds faster than usual — this is the body's attempt to get rid of the irritant. Increased skin shedding is what causes visible flakes to appear on the scalp, hair, and shoulders

Other factors that can affect dandruff

While the root cause of dandruff is always the same, there are certain factors that can exacerbate a problem or make it seem worse.

These include seasonal factors in summer and winter, external irritants like pollution and damage caused by our own actions such as too much heat-styling of the hair.

Find out what could put you at risk of a dandruff flare-up:

  • Summer weather- While hot weather is not a direct cause of dandruff, it can increase your risk of dandruff. Rising heat and sweat are ideal conditions for the dandruff-causing fungus Malassezia to thrive, which could lead to dandruff flare-up. As we spend more time outdoors in warm weather, we are exposed to more pollutants which can damage scalp’s natural defences, raising your risk of dandruff.

  • Stress- Stress can aggravate dandruff as it raises your body temperature, making you sweat — it’s the perfect environment for the dandruff-causing Malassezia fungus to thrive. Stress can also trigger hormonal changes, which can lead to more sebum production. Malassezia breaks down the oils on your scalp, resulting in skin cells flaking off as dandruff. With more oil for the fungus to break down, you may see more dandruff flakes.

  • Using the wrong shampoo: means you may never get rid of dandruff . If you don’t use a shampoo that’s clinically proven to help get rid of flakes, your dandruff problem can get worse and dandruff flakes could build up.

What causes dandruff, its symptoms and how to treat it

Now that we have identified the causes of these unsightly flakes, treat and keep your hair and scalp fresh and moisturised with Head&Shoulders shampoo. As the world’s No.1 Anti-dandruff shampoo, our wide range of products promises you 100% flake-free hair.

Dermatologically tested, pH-balanced and rich in antioxidants for gentle hair and scalp care, Cool Menthol shampoo combines Magnetic Lifting Foam Technology with a shot of menthol for revitalised, tingly-fresh scalp and hair that stops dandruff even before it shows. This new, creamier foam helps to identify and “lift” dandruff away from hair and scalp, while still keeping your locks fresh and soft.

For those who prefer a fruitier scent, our Apple Fresh range provides the same benefits as Cool Menthol, with refreshing fragrant notes to leave your hair smelling healthier and dandruff free from the very first wash.

If you have an oilier scalp, our Lemon Fresh range purifies your scalp to dissolve excess oils without removing moisture from your scalp and hair.

No matter what range you choose, all of our Head&Shoulders shampoo contains the dandruff-fighting active, Zinc Pyrithione (ZPT), which treats dandruff from the root of the problem – your scalp. Clinical tests show that hair emerging from dandruff sufferers are thinner, less shiny, and rougher on the surface compared to hair that grows from healthy scalps. Get scalp healthy and flake free with Head&Shoulders, and grow glossy, soft and healthy hair from root to tip!