The Lowdown on Dandruff & How to Be Flake Free
We understand how tough it can be, which is why we wanted to give you the lowdown on what dandruff actually is, why it occurs, and what you can do to minimise it and get your hair looking healthy and flake-free.
Dandruff can be a real confidence killer as well as a physical annoyance. Sensitive scalps that start to flake can be itchy and distracting, not to mention that dreaded shoulder snow that can happen if it’s left unchecked.
What causes dandruff in men’s hair?
Before we talk about how to treat it, let’s look at what dandruff actually is. Malassezia globosa is a yeast which lives naturally on the scalp. It might sound like a Harry Potter spell, but it’s magical power isn’t great. It feeds on the sebum that your scalp produces and leaves the excreted extras called oleic acid on the scalp, which causes irritation and dryness. This irritation causes your immune system to react by shedding the skin faster than normal. Voila, you’ve got dandruff.
We usually see it on the scalp, but it can on any part of the body that grows hair, like the area around your eyebrows, or even in your beard – but what happens in your day-to-day life to cause it? There are a couple of risk factors, including age and gender. Dandruff usually peaks in your twenties and can continue into middle age, and unfortunately men are more susceptible with scientists considering hormones to be a contributing factor.
Is there a difference between dandruff and a dry scalp?
Yes, they are different issues that present similar symptoms. While dandruff usually comes from a fungal infection or dermatitis, a dry scalp creates flakes due to the scalp itself not retaining enough moisture.
Dry scalp could be caused by a few different things, from sensitivity to harsh hair care products, to overwashing, or existing skin conditions like eczema. The flakes themselves also differ, with dandruff flakes being larger and appearing oily and with a yellow tinge. Dry scalp flakes will be smaller and whiter.
Another main difference between dandruff and dry scalp is how they are treated. Dry scalp may go away on its own with reduced washing or a change in product, whereas dandruff is unlikely to go away without using a product specifically designed for that issue.
Why is my dandruff so bad?
Every man’s head and hair are different, meaning it’s hard to predict who will get dandruff and who won’t. Some people might think it’s down to hygiene, but that isn’t the case, so don’t feel gross if you do get it.
It might be that you are shampooing too often or maybe even not enough. In general, washing your hair every single day isn’t recommended, but because every man’s scalp is different, it might take a while to get the balance right.
What is the best relief for dandruff?
The key to dandruff relief is what product you use on it. What you need to do is choose a shampoo that works in line with your hair, meaning if you have dandruff, choose a product that has ingredients that will help alleviate it. Soothing, hydration, and nourishment are the holy trinity of help for sensitive scalps, so it’s vital you use a shampoo that can help in all three of these areas.
Dandruff doesn’t have a clear cut cure, although there are a few things you can do that could help. Using warm instead of hot water can help as hot water tends to weaken the roots and dry out your scalp. Excessive or strong towel drying can encourage dandruff to fall so it’s best to pat your hair dry.
What is the best shampoo for dandruff?
Bulldog Skincare cares for men from head to toe, which is why we’ve introduced a shampoo range aimed at taking care of men’s hair, whatever the type. For dandruff sufferers, we’ve created the Bulldog Anti-Dandruff Hair & Scalp Shampoo, made with jujube bark for natural relief. It’s also perfect for sensitive scalps, with a natural scent, no synthetic thickeners and no sulfates. It won’t leave a heavy residue, but will leave you with nourished hair and a hydrated scalp and, more importantly, up to 100% flake free.