Are you wondering how dandruff is caused? Dandruff occurs when the scalp becomes dry or greasy and produces white flakes of dead skin that appear in the hair or on the shoulders.
Although it is harmless, Dandruff is a condition that people can pretty much self-diagnosed from the symptoms of an itchy, dry, and scaly scalp. It can be embarrassing for those who have it. It usually starts between the ages of 10 and 20 and affects up to 40% of people over the age of 30.
Skin cells are formed continuously on the scalp, so the shedding of dead skin cells is a normal process. Sometimes with dandruff, however, skin cells are shed at a faster rate than normal. Oil from the scalp causes the skin cells to clump together and appear as white flakes.
The overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus is also how dandruff is caused. This overgrowth can be caused by stress, hormones, too much oil on the scalp, or problems with the immune system.
Some lifestyle changes and Home remedies that can help:
Managing stress: Stress can trigger dandruff in some people, so managing it better can reduce symptoms.
Shampoo more often: If you have oily hair and scalp, washing daily can help.
Sunlight: A little exposure to sunlight can be helpful.
Tea tree oil: Although there is little evidence, some people believe that preparations that include tea tree oil help reduce symptoms of dandruff. It can cause allergic reactions in some people, so use caution.
Ingredients to look out for in your shampoo:
Most anti-dandruff or anti-fungal shampoos contain at least one of the following active ingredients:
- Ketoconazole: An effective anti-fungal. Shampoos containing this ingredient can be used at any age.
- Selenium Sulfide: This reduces the production of natural oils by glands in the scalp. It is effective in treating dandruff.
- Zinc Pyrithione: This slows down the growth of yeast.
- Coal tar: This has a natural anti-fungal agent. Dyed or treated hair may become stained by long-term usage. Tar soaps may also make the scalp more sensitive to sunlight, so users should wear a hat when outside. Coal tar can also be carcinogenic in high doses.
- Salicylic acids: These help the scalp get rid of skin cells. They do not slow down the reproduction of skin cells. Many “scalp scrubs” contain salicylic acids. Treatment can sometimes leave the scalp dry and make skin flaking worse.
- Tea-tree oil: Derived from the Australian Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), many shampoos now include this ingredient. It has long been used as an anti-fungal, an antibiotic, and an antiseptic. Some people are allergic to it.
Now that you know how dandruff is caused, do take care of your hair and yes, don’t forget to oil the hair at least once a week.