One of the most telling signs of dandruff is visible flakes. Find out why these flakes occur and how to keep your dandruff from coming back.
What is dandruff?
A condition affecting the hair and scalp, dandruff flakes are experienced by almost 50% of people in the world.
How dandruff starts
- A naturally occurring microbe on the scalp feeds on natural oils called sebum
- This process produces oleic acid
- If you are sensitive to oleic acid (and 1 in 2 people are!), your body will react by displaying symptoms of dandruff
What are flakes?
Everyone’s skin cells go through a natural life cycle where eventually they die, and our bodies shed them. However, dandruff causes an increased shedding of these cells.
Malassezia is a yeast-like microbe, which is found on everyone’s scalp. If you’re sensitive to the oleic acid it produces, then your scalp becomes irritated.
Your body’s natural response to this irritation is to increase the rate at which the skin cells on the scalp are produced. It’s although your body is trying to shed the irritant.
This leads to the visible flakes you see on your head and shoulders, which are often accompanied by other symptoms of dandruff.
The common symptoms of dandruff
You may experience one or more of the following symptoms in addition to flakes:
- dry scalp
- itchy scalp
- tight feeling of the scalp
The most effective way to get rid of flakes1 is to fight the root cause of dandruff.
Watch the video below with science YouTuber Veritasium to learn why you have dandruff and what might be causing it.More about the symptoms of dandruff
1 visible flakes from 2 ft with regular use