Dandruff! Oh well let’s start with the definition. According to Mayo Clinic, Dandruff is a chronic situation manifested by the peeling of the skin on the scalp
Dandruff is a common chronic scalp condition marked by flaking of the skin on your scalp. Dandruff isn’t contagious or serious. But it can be embarrassing and sometimes difficult to treat.
Do not feel bad. Your are not alone in this situation. For as Long as I can remember, I have suffered from dandruff anytime I let my hair grow out. When my hair was short, everything was fine, but as soon as I let it grow out; those white devils started coming. So this phenomenon got me thinking. WHAT WAS WRONG WITH MY MANE???
For the longest time, I and many people in my entourage suffered from it. I for one always thought it was because my scalp was dirty. However, even when I decided to take my natural hair journey seriously and started doing all the pre poo, shampoo, conditioner etc thingies all naturalistas enjoy doing, I still wasn’t satisfied with the appearance of my scalp.
So I decided to set sail and look for the reasons behind these shenanigans on my scalp 😦
It turns out that dandruff is absolutely not a symbol of dirtiness. The main causes of dandruff are:
When your scalp cell renewal process decreases. This leads to the rapid peeling of your scalp’s skin cell, thus the flaking. This decrease in the cell renewal process is caused by Malassezia globosa. This organism feeds off the natural lipids and oils produced by the scalp.
Dry skin/oily/greasy skin: There are two types of dandruff. Greasy dandruff aka seborrhoeic dermatitis which arises when oily and yellow flakes form on the scalp and adhere to the head and hair. Then there is dry dandruff which happens when dry, white and loose flakes form on the scalp and fall from the head and hair.
Not enough shampoo on the scalp: usually causes dry dandruff.
Psoriasis/ Eczema/Other skin condition which may look like dandruff.
Contact dermatitis: This is usually a rash that occurs when the skin gets in contact with something you are allergic to or an irritant.
Other factors which may trigger dandruff appearance on your scalp are:
- Hormonal changes
- Physical or emotional stress
- Genetic predisposition – dandruff tends to run in families
- Climatic conditions – e.g. sun exposure, cold, heat, wind
- Lifestyle factors, such as diet or alcohol intake