There you are in your little black dress, ready for your big date. As you get in his car, you notice white spots all over your outfit… Hay. Now you feel like flaking on him! Relax—you can keep this from happening again by learning what causes dandruff and how to prevent it.
What causes dandruff
Dandruff is a common condition, but that doesn't make it less embarrassing! Let's begin addressing the problem by figuring out the typical causes of dandruff.
1. You have dry, sensitive skin or allergies. Just like your skin anywhere else in the body, your scalp could be flaking as a sign of irritation, or reaction to certain triggers. It might be an allergic reaction to food, sensitivity to a hair product, or a symptom of a skin condition like eczema or seborrheic dermatitis.
2. You're not shampooing as often as you should. Another cause of dandruff is having an excessive build-up of the natural oils on your head plus the styling products you use every day. If you don't wash your hair regularly, this heavy build-up of oil, grease, sweat and product residue may cause dandruff flakes to form.
3. You have oily hair that feeds your scalp fungus. Icky as it sounds, there is a yeastlike fungus called malassezia that's naturally present on everyone's scalp. What causes your dandruff might be oily hair, which the fungus love to feed on. This irritates your scalp, so you shed skin cells faster as a response—all that dead skin is what appears as flakes.
You can consult a dermatologist or allergist for a professional opinion on what causes dandruff in your particular case. But you can also monitor your stress levels, diet, and everyday habits to see if you stop flaking once you make some changes to see if this can prevent dandruff.
How to prevent dandruff
1. Figure out what you're sensitive or allergic to. Of course, dandruff prevention starts with pinpointing possible causes. When you work with your doctor, they can help you determine what it is that's making your scalp itchy and flaky. Is it dermatitis caused by a food allergy? Is the hairspray you use causing your dandruff? Is it a medical condition that's causing your skin to be dry and flaky in other areas of your body?
2. Find ways to relax. Mental or emotional stress—and the hormones that come with it—is linked to skin irritation and is known to cause dandruff. If you already have it, stressing out can make it particularly worse. So if you find yourself itching more often, you might need to take a chill pill. Try meditation or yoga, or even just spending more time with the people (and pets!) you love. You can prevent dandruff, and improve your mood too!
3. Incorporate more green veggies, proteins and wholesome grains into your diet, especially foods rich in B vitamins. Foods rich in bad fats, dairy, sugary and spicy foods may make your scalp oilier, which the fungus in your hair looooves, which causes those pesky flakes to appear. Also avoid foods that you already know you're sensitive or allergic to, as this might cause skin irritation as well. A balanced and nutritious diet will not only help to prevent dandruff but also to make your skin and hair look healthier. Win-win.
4. Make sure to shampoo often, and rinse your hair thoroughly after each wash, especially if you use a lot of hair styling products like gel, wax, mousse, hairspray or leave-in conditioners. The build-up of these products, combined with your natural hair oils, sweat and dirt can make your hair feel greasy and weighed down. Ew, right?! This is really one of the best ways to prevent dandruff flakes from hijacking your social life.
Ease up and detox your hair with Pantene Aqua Pure Shampoo. It doesn’t contain silicone or other heavy ingredients, so it gently cleanses your hair and leaves it feeling light and nourished. Its Clean Rinse technology rinses hair from root to tip in seconds, with zero unwanted residue. Cap it off with Pantene Aqua Pure Daily Intensive Conditioner, a lightweight rinse-off treatment with extra conditioning ingredients to give your hair an added boost of nourishment and a healthy shine.
Now that you know what causes dandruff, you can free your hair from excess oil and impurities, and free yourself from those itchy and diyahe moments. Zero build-up, 100% beautiful hair!