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Why Do I Have Dandruff So Bad?

Dandruff Causes & Treatments

It’s grandma here, ready to talk to you about something that may not be so glamorous, but is definitely important – Dandruff! You can get that nasty stuff on your scalp, in your beard and even in your eyebrows.

Let me tell you, my loves, dandruff is something that affects many people and can be a real pain in the tush. So, let’s dive in and talk about why people get dandruff and how to get rid of it.

Are you wondering why you have dandruff so bad even after you shower? There are a number of reasons along with simple and cheap remedies you can do at home. Keep in mind, there is a difference between dandruff which is cause by a yeast fungus and dry winter skin.

Dandruff vs. Dry Scalp – There’s a big difference!

Dandruff and dry scalp are two common scalp conditions that are often confused with each other. While they may share some similar symptoms, such as flaking and itching, there are distinct differences between the two that requires different treatments.

Dry scalp is characterized by dryness and tightness in the scalp, which can lead to flaking. It occurs when the scalp is not producing enough natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. The flakes associated with dry scalp tend to be smaller and less oily than dandruff flakes. Dry scalp can be caused by a variety of factors, including harsh shampoos, cold weather, and dehydration.

Dandruff, on the other hand, is caused by an overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia, which feeds on the oil produced by the scalp. This overgrowth can cause inflammation and excessive shedding of dead skin cells, leading to visible flakes on the scalp and in the hair. Dandruff flakes tend to be larger and more oily than those associated with dry scalp.

Another key difference between dandruff and dry scalp is the level of itching. While both conditions can cause itching, dandruff is typically accompanied by more intense itching and redness.

For dry scalp, shampooing less often with a moisturizing shampoo and avoiding harsh chemicals can help alleviate symptoms. For dandruff, using a medicated shampoo containing ingredients such as zinc pyrithione or ketoconazole can help control the fungal overgrowth and reduce flaking.

Why do people get dandruff? It's actually a very common problem and there are many factors to explain. Here is a list of what causes dandruff and the best way to treat it! From medicated shampoos to simple home remedies.

Why Do People Get Dandruff?

Well, there’s no one answer to this question, as there are many different factors that can contribute to the development of dandruff. However, here are some common reasons why you may be experiencing what looks like grated parmesan cheese raining down onto your black shirt.

  1. Oily Scalp – Having an overly oily scalp can lead to dandruff. When there is too much oil on the scalp, it can create a breeding ground for yeast. Some people naturally produce a lot more oil than others.
  2. Not Washing Your Hair Enough – Believe it or not, not washing your hair enough can actually lead to dandruff. When you don’t wash your hair often enough, oil, dirt, and dead skin cells can build up on the scalp.
  3. Stress – Yup, you read that right! When you’re under a lot of stress, your immune system is effected, and your body tends to produce more oil.
  4. Genetics – Your personal body chemistry has a lot to do with whether you’re prone to dandruff, including how much oil your scalp produces along with your body’s microbiome.
  5. A Poor Diet – A diet high in sugar and processed foods can promote the growth of yeast on the scalp as well as other parts of the body.
  6. Dry Scalp – This is probably the most common reason for itchy scalp and white flakes, however, it’s technically not dandruff but more of a hydration problem. When the scalp becomes too dry, it can cause the skin to flake and shed, resulting in those lovely white flakes we all know and love.

Dry, itchy scalp from dandruff! It's frustrating by there are many easy remedies to to itchy and flaky scalp. Showering alone doesn't take care of the problem. First you have to figure out what is causing it before you can find the solution.

Can a Bad Diet Contribute to Dandruff?

Yes, a diet lacking in certain nutrients can weaken the immune system, making it more susceptible to fungal infections. Additionally, a diet high in sugar, white flour and processed foods can promote the growth of yeast on the scalp.

Here are some nutrients that may help prevent dandruff:

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids: Found in fatty fish, nuts, and seeds, omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and improve scalp health.
  2. Zinc: Found in shellfish, nuts, and whole grains, zinc is important for immune function and may help prevent fungal infections on the scalp.
  3. B vitamins: Found in whole grains, nuts, and leafy greens, B vitamins are important for skin and scalp health.
  4. Vitamin D: Found in fatty fish and fortified foods, vitamin D is important for immune function and may help prevent fungal infections on the scalp.
  5. Antioxidants: Found in fruits and vegetables, antioxidants can help reduce inflammation and improve overall scalp health.

Eat lots of fatty fish or take an Omega-3 supplement, and avoid sugar which is the biggest culprit of yeast growth.

Can you diet effect dandruff? Yes! A diet lacking in nutrients effects your immune system, while a diet high in sugar and processed food feeds the fungal yeast growth on your scalp.

Do Genetics Play a Role?

Dandruff can definitely be influenced by genetics and our personal body chemistry, but it is not solely your mom and dad’s fault. The exact cause of dandruff is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a combination of factors such as a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia that is found on the scalp, individual susceptibility to irritation or inflammation of the skin and scalp, and the amount of sebum or natural oils produced by the scalp.

Genetics and your personal body chemistry plays a big role into whether you're prone to dandruff or not. Some people produce a lot more oil in their scalp which is basically food for yeast.

Does the Climate Play a Factor?

  1. Cold climates: In cold climates, the air is usually dry, which can cause the scalp to become dry and itchy. This dryness can contribute to dandruff, especially if you are not properly moisturizing your scalp. Additionally, wearing hats or other head coverings in cold weather can also contribute to dandruff by trapping sweat and moisture on the scalp.
  2. Hot climates: In hot climates, the heat and humidity can cause the scalp to produce more sweat, which can contribute to the growth of Malassezia, the fungus that is associated with dandruff. Additionally, exposure to sunlight and UV rays can also irritate the scalp and worsen dandruff symptoms.
  3. Humid climates: In humid climates, the air is often moist, which can make the scalp more susceptible to fungal infections that can contribute to dandruff. Additionally, the moisture in the air can cause the scalp to become greasy or oily.
  4. Dry climates: In dry climates, the lack of humidity can cause the scalp to become dry and itchy.  Exposure to hot or dry winds can also dry out the scalp and worsen dandruff symptoms.

Any extreme climate can contribute to dandruff, such as the combination of cold and dry air, or the combination of hot and humid air.

Is dandruff worse in the winter or summer? How about humidity or dry air? What is the worst climate for dandruff and how to protect your scalp and hair from dry and itchy skin.

How to Get Rid of Dandruff

Okay, so now that we know why people get dandruff, let’s talk about how to get rid of it. Here are some tips and tricks that may help:

  1. Use Anti-Dandruff Shampoos – This is probably the most obvious solution, but using an anti-dandruff shampoo can really help get rid of those pesky flakes. Look for a shampoo that contains ingredients like salicylic acid, ketoconazole, or zinc pyrithione (I’ve included a list of brands below).
  2. Try Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, which can help reduce inflammation and combat yeast on the scalp. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with your shampoo or you can even buy shampoos with tea tree oil already mixed in.
  3. Exfoliate Your Scalp – Just like you exfoliate your face and body, you can also exfoliate your scalp to get rid of dead skin cells. Use a scalp scrub or a soft-bristled brush to gently massage your scalp and remove flakes. The key is to be gentle!
  4. Use Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar can help balance the pH of the scalp and reduce inflammation. Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, and apply it to your scalp. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse it out.
  5. Coconut Oil – In a 12-week study of 140 women with dandruff, applying coconut oil directly to the scalp led to a huge improvement in their scalp microbiome and hydration.
  6. Avoid Certain Hair Products – Some hair products can actually make dandruff worse. Avoid using heavy styling products or those that contain harsh chemicals like sulfates, parabens,  alcohol, sodium chloride, silicone, formaldehyde, and synthetic fragrances.
  7. For Dry Skin – If you suspect that your white flakes are caused by dry skin, try using a gentle and moisturizing shampoo, wash your hair less often, avoid hot water, stay hydrated, and use a scalp oil often to moisturize the skin.

If you’re not sure if your itchy and flaky scalp is caused from dry skin or the overgrowth of yeast, it’s best to visit a healthcare professional so that you can treat it properly.

The best shampoos for dandruff! The right shampoo may be key into getting rid of your dandruff fast. Everyone's body has a different reaction, so it's important to find the right one for you. Most of them are sold over the counter, so there's no need for a doctor's visit.

The Best Shampoos for Dandruff

  • Pyrithione Zinc Shampoos (Head & Shoulders & DermaZinc). These contain zinc pyrithione, the antifungal and antibacterial agent used in most over the counter shampoos.
  • Selenium Sulfide Shampoo (Selsun Blue). This shampoo contains a powerful antifungal agent. I find that it has a strong smell but is very effective.
  • Tar-Based Shampoos (Neutrogena T/Gel & Scalp 18 Coal Tar Shampoo). Coal tar slows how quickly your skin cells die and flake off. If you have blonde hair, this type of shampoo may cause discoloration.
  • Salicylic Acid (Jason Dandruff Relief Treatment Shampoo & Baker P&S). These shampoos help eliminate scaling.
  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral Anti-Dandruff). This shampoo helps to kill dandruff-causing fungi that live on your scalp.
  • Fluocinolone Shampoos (Capex & Derma-Smoothe/FS). These contain a corticosteroid to help control itching, irritation and flaking.

Tips and tricks for getting rid of dandruff fast at home!

Helpful Tips

Other Dandruff Remedies

  1. Alternate shampoos – If you have a shampoo that works for a time and then seems to lose its effectiveness, try alternating between two types of dandruff shampoos.
  2. Avoid hot water – Hot water can strip your scalp of its natural oils, which can lead to dryness and dandruff. Stick to lukewarm or cool water when you wash your hair.
  3. Brush your hair – Make a routine of brushing your hair for a few minutes before bed each night to help promote your scalp’s natural oils and remove dead skin cells. This is more important if you have dry vs. oily scalp.
  4. Stay well hydrated – Drink lots of water, especially if you drink alcohol and coffee, as they both rob your body of hydration.
  5. Manage your stress – As I mentioned earlier, stress can contribute to dandruff. Practice stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises to keep your stress levels in check.
  6. Get enough sleep – Getting enough sleep is crucial for your overall health, including the health of your scalp. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night to keep your body and scalp functioning at their best.
  7. See a dermatologist – If you’re struggling with persistent dandruff, it may be time to see a dermatologist. They can help determine the underlying cause of your dandruff and recommend treatment options that are right for you.

Are curious as to why you get dandruff so bad? It's annoying and gross, but it's actually very common. Here is list of things that cause dandruff, how to prevent it, and way to get rid of it fast! Lots of remedies from over the counter shampoos to natural home remedies like apple cider vinegar and coconut oil.

How to get rid of dandruff fast! Dandruff is a common medical condition in your scalp, beard and even eyebrows. This pesky problem is easy to fix with just a few easy remedies! From shampoo and apple cider vinegar to your diet and hydration levels. Dandruff vs Dry Scalp and what to do about it! The cause of dandruff and the remedy, which includes simple things you can do at home. It's hard to get rid of dandruff fast because it's actually the overgrowth of yeast on your scalp. That is why anti-fungal shampoos are so effective, buy the key is preventing the dandruff from forming in the first place. You can get rid of it for good!