5 Major Causes of Dandruff and How to Effectively Treat them

5 Major Causes of Dandruff and How to Effectively Tackle them

Do you have an itchy scalp and flakiness or maybe greasy patches on your scalp and tingling skin? There is a possibility that you might have dandruff. Research shows that it impacts up to 50% of people due to dry hair, sensitivity to some products, fungus growth, and many more. 

No matter what the reason, dandruff can impact your strong personality. Dandruff is annoying, frustrating, and even embarrassing. The small white flakes on your dress, the constant need to scratch your scalp are a nuisance in daily lives. Fortunately, there are various kinds of treatment, medication, and natural remedies available for dandruff treatment. 

However, before you begin your treatment, let us discuss the causes of dandruff, the type of dandruff and the precautions and treatments one can take against dandruff.



What are the major causes of dandruff? 

Some dandruff causes that can lead to an itchy scalp and white flakes are:

1. Scalp conditions

The scalp condition for each individual can be different. You can either have a dry, oily, or a normal scalp.

Studies suggest that dry skin is one of the most common causes of dandruff. If you have dry skin and are not getting medication for dandruff, you might see it getting worse during the coming years.

At the same time oily scalp which is due to the increased production of sebum, the natural oil on your scalp, can also lead to dandruff-producing conditions like seborrheic dermatitis.

2. Less shampooing

It is recommended that one should shampoo at least twice a week. It is also believed that too much shampooing also causes dandruff, well this is not true, but less shampooing surely can.

If you are not shampooing enough, it is not just unhygienic, it can also lead to dandruff. Not shampooing can cause oil to accumulate and build upon your skin, which can cause dandruff. This can either mean that you are not using shampoo, or the shampoo you are using is not strong enough to break down the oil barrier that is contributing to dandruff.

3. Allergy

People are allergic to a wide variety of products and food items, but most of them remain unaware about such allergies. If you are someone who has recently encountered dandruff, it is wise to look back, if you have eaten or used something new. There is a possibility that you might be allergic to it and the reaction has led to dandruff buildup. This is extremely common when you try to use some new product on your hair. 

4. Yeast overgrowth

There is a fungus that lives in the scalp and skin of all people, Malassezia. The fungus feeds on the oil on the scalp and breaks it down to oleic acid. Most people are sensitive to oleic acid and as a reaction, the body increases the speed at which it renews the skin cells. In such a condition, to rid the scalp or the irritant, flakes are formed which visibly accumulate on the scalp or the shoulders. 

5. Underlying medical conditions

 A chronic medical condition that impacts all areas of the body where oil glands are present, Seborrheic dermatitis can also be the reason for your dandruff buildup. This condition normally causes redness of the scalp and dandruff. So make sure that before taking any medication for dandruff, consult your dermatologist.

Though not contagious, nor painful in most cases, dandruff surely can be a burden, especially during the winter month. Based on various factors, dandruff can be of different types. 

 Dandruff myths

What type of dandruff do you have?

Dandruff can be due to various reasons and if you thought that everyone suffers from similar dandruff, you are wrong. There are different types of dandruff and it is important that you identify yours and then decide on the medication

Dry skin dandruff

This condition usually occurs during the winters, and as the name suggests it occurs when the scalp goes dry and flaky. This can be due to various reasons like taking a head bath with hot water, and is more common in individuals with dry, curly hair. They are small and white and feel itchy.

For this condition, it is necessary to have good moisturizing shampoo and avoid dying, colouring, or perming. Regular oil massages will also help stimulate blood circulation and provide the necessary nutrition to the scalp.

Oil related dandruff

As the name suggests, this dandruff is due to the accumulation of sebum oil, from the scalp glands, on the scalp. Sebum glands are glands below the surface of the skin that produce sebum, an oily substance that is used to moisturize and protect the skin. Too much oil makes the scalp oily, leading to clumps of dry skin cells and also accumulation of dirt, forming itchy flakes.

Some of the reasons for a high amount of sebum oil are stress and anxiety. The oil related dandruff are larger than dry skin dandruff and more yellow than white, and oilier.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a more severe form of oil skin dandruff. It is necessary to consult a dermatologist before you start medication for oil-related dandruff as the shampoo must clean the excess sebum oil off the scalp. 

Fungal dandruff

As discussed earlier, Malassezia is a natural component that is found on the skin and scalp. This fungus survives on excess oil in the scalp and produces oleic acid, in turn leading to the formation of white flakes.

Shampoo containing zinc pyrithione or tea tree oil may help treat this kind of dandruff.

Skin conditions related dandruff

Some skin conditions cause excessive production of skin cells like psoriasis, eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis, which lead to scaly skin on the scalp. This skin when comes in contact with sebum oil and dirt causes dandruff.

Seborrheic dermatitis is more common in people with oily skin and can cause red scaly patches and itching.

Eczema causes itchy skin, and in some conditions red rash. They are usually larger than dry skin dandruff flakes.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, in which cells grow too quickly causing thick scaly patches. 

Home remedies for dandruff

There is an entire medical shop at your home itself. So one can easily treat dandruff by following the below-mentioned home remedies for dandruff.

Tea Tree Oil

For ages, tea tree oil has been used for treating dandruff and many other skin concerns, due to its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Caution - It can also cause irritation in skin, so make sure to mix it with a few drops of coconut oil before applying it directly to the skin. 

Coconut oil

Famous for its multiple health benefits, coconut oil also helps in managing dandruff. It improves skin hydration and prevents dryness. Studies have also shown coconut oil to be effective in the treatment of eczema, a skin condition that contributes to dandruff. 

Jojoba Oil

Rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants, Jojoba oil is a great remedy for reducing scalp inflammation that appears as redness, itching, or flaking. It helps treat dandruff and helps calm your flakes. 

Lemon Juice

Lemon can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment. It thoroughly cleanses the scalp with its microbial properties and also helps in tightening the follicles.

Too much lemon can also be damaging for your scalp due to its acidic nature. 

What is the best way to treat severe dandruff?

Dandruff can be controlled, however, the treatment would vary based on the severity and type of scalp. 

For oily skin, in case of mild dandruff, you should first try cleaning your scalp with mild shampoo to reduce the oil and skin cell buildup. 

For dry skin, shampoo may not be a great dandruff treatment. Instead, you should try less frequent shampooing and using more moisturizing conditioner for the scalp.

Some common treatments for dandruff treatment are:

1. Anti dandruff/ Medicated shampoos



Antidandruff shampoos are specially formulated to clear dandruff flakes and ease the inflammation and irritation. They are made up of using antifungal ingredients that kill dandruff causing fungus to restore overall health of scalp.  Additionally, these shampoos work to balance out scalp sebum. This helps to hinder the growth of fungus which feeds on scalp sebum.

The Dandruff control Shampoo by Re’equil is a sulphate free, the shampoo does not lather much, but surely leaves a fragrance with an undertone of lemon.

Dermatologically tested, SLS & Paraben Free, the shampoo has Clinically Proven  Ingredients, that helps in regulating sebum production with strong antifungal action. It is perfect for mild dandruff with non-drying, mild and gentle cleansing action.

Pro tipTo get rid of dandruff apply the shampoo on wet hair, massage it on your scalp, and rinse out with water. Do not forget to accompany this with the conditioner for soft and strong hair. 


2. Anti dandruff lotion

As the name suggests, the lotion is helpful in treating severe, greasy and flaky dandruff. It’s antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties provide relief from itching, redness and inflammation on the scalp. Testimonials suggest that the lotion shows significant reduction in dandruff in 4-5 usage without drying the hair or making the scalp oily.


Anti dandruff lotion



Key Takeaway

Taking care of your hair and body is vital to self-care. It is important that you pamper yourself and ensure that your scalp is as healthy as your body. This will keep your hair strong and shiny, and your scalp free from any dandruff.

However, if you have dandruff then remember that Dandruff treatment is not overnight work. Based on the severity of dandruff and your skin type you can opt for home remedies and get Re’equil dandruff treatment pack that will make your scalp dandruff free and also prevent future growth of dandruff. In severe conditions of dandruff, you must visit a dermatologist and get the right medication as in worse conditions it can also lead to hair loss.

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