To understand what exactly dandruff is, it’s best to start by understanding how the skin works. Our skin cells are constantly renewing themselves – old, dead cells are pushed to the surface and out of the scalp and fall off, they are then replaced with new ones. For most people this process takes around a month, meaning that it’s not really noticeable. However, in people with dandruff, this process occurs in 2-7 days, resulting in redness, itchiness, and skin flakes scattered throughout your hair and sometimes onto your clothes. It’s generally caused by a the presence of a certain fungus (known as Malassezia globosa) which facilitates a chemical reaction on your scalp - causing your skin cells to die and be replaced significantly faster than normal. Annoying? Yes. Treatable? Definitely.
Your first and most important step is to invest in a quality anti-dandruff shampoo. These dandruff treatment shampoos are formulated to contain special components that have anti-fungal properties, killing the fungus cells on your scalp and stopping your skin from flaking everywhere.
Then, start taking better care of your scalp. Washing your hair regularly will reduce dead skin buildup and keep it clean and healthy. Cut back on the amount of styling product that you use – sometimes chemicals in certain hair products can react badly with your body’s natural chemistry. Eat healthier – less sugar, salt, and alcohol (all of which can make dandruff worse). Have more Vitamin E and Zinc. Stop scratching your scalp, give it a gentle massage when you wash it (or ask your significant other to do it if you’re feeling lazy) and stress less! Negative emotions and stress have been shown to significantly worsen skin conditions.
If you’re still having issues after trying all of the above, contact your local doctor or dermatologist to get some specialised advice.