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What Causes Dandruff & How to Address it

It may be a common concern, but the appearance of dandruff can still be upsetting and frustrating if hard to get rid of. Dandruff can affect everyone (and likely will at some point in your life), and though it’s often linked to cleanliness, the condition has little to do with hygiene.

If you’ve been searching ‘why do I have dandruff?’ and landed here, fret not. The causes of dandruff are specific to your natural oil production, cleansing habits and some genetic dispositions, and determining yours will help in eliminating it.

Beautiful hair needs a healthy scalp. To transform your mane and keep your scalp clear, we walk through the 4 major dandruff causes and introduce the new professional anti-dandruff range of haircare, Symbiose.

Top 4 dandruff causes

The telltale signs of dandruff will be familiar to many. Characterised by sensitive scalps and skin flakes that edge upwards and sit across the roots of hair, dandruff causes discomfort and can affect overall confidence. If you’ve worked hard to achieve glossy, salon-worthy locks only for dandruff to rear its head, thankfully there are ways to tackle it. But first, how do you get dandruff? To know how to regain a clear and healthy scalp, let’s establish what causes dandruff for you.

1. Dry scalps

Dry skin can be a cause of dandruff, but they are also a separate concern. Sometimes these conditions are confused for one other, but as each requires their own kind of support, it’s important to note the differences. A dry scalp can result from dry and cold air, excessive washing or other medical conditions, and is defined by tightness or sensitivity across the scalp, alongside flakes which shed from the scalp. These flakes however tend to be smaller in size and whiter in colour than dandruff flakes. A dry scalp can be addressed through moisture-balancing haircare, but if left unchecked can become one of the common dandruff causes.

2. Irregular shampooing

Haircare routines are essential to protect your hair’s unique needs and promote a strong mane. When establishing your routine, it’s fundamental to find the right balance of washes. The frequency depends on a few factors – including hair type, level of oiliness, and whether or not your hair has been dyed or damaged.

Typically though, you’ll want to limit your shampooing to no more than 3 times per week. This is because shampoo functions as a cleanser for your scalp and roots, and by over-cleansing, you can risk removing the scalp’s essential oils and unbalancing it. Compromised scalp moisture is a major cause of dandruff.

3. Oiliness

Alongside dryness, oiliness can also be a cause of dandruff. This may seem confusing, but remember that an imbalanced scalp (i.e. both extremes) is at the core of what causes dandruff. Since our natural oil – called sebum – is what the microbe that can motivate dandruff feeds on, excess oil can also trigger the common concern.

If you tend to sit on the oily side, specially formulated products for oily scalp and hair can help. Targeted and enhancing, the Kérastase range of serums, hair masks and shampoos clear greasy roots and establish balanced moisture for strong, light-reflective and voluminous hair.

4. Yeast

Often, what causes dandruff in adults is a yeast-like fungus. This fungus already exists on most adult scalps, and when it interacts with oil on the scalp too much it can create ‘oleic acid’, which most scalps are sensitive to. To combat it, the body increases production of skin cells, which then form visible dandruff flakes on the scalp. To address more serious forms of dandruff or if you are concerned, it’s always recommended to speak to a healthcare professional.

How to address the causes of dandruff

Anti-dandruff products can help to regain moisture balance and encourage clear, strong scalps. Symbiose – our effective range of dandruff haircare – supports long lasting results by cleansing and exfoliating, to minimise flaking and strengthen the scalp. To combat the cause of dandruff in your hair, an anti-dandruff routine can look something like:

Blond Absolu Lumiere Shampoo squeezed into hand

Step #1: Begin with a scalp exfoliator to clear visible flakes. Symbiose Micro-Exfoliating Cellular Scalp Scrub for Dandruff Flakes works in affinity with the scalp to lift and remove dead skin cells and flakes and encourage comfort. To achieve this, skincare ingredients salicylic acid and apricot and argan shell powder are combined.

Step #2: Follow with an anti-dandruff shampoo tailored to your hair type. All hair and scalp types can experience dandruff, and it’s important that your cleansing routine still supports your unique needs.

Step #3: Follow with your usual conditioner.

Step #4: 3 times a week during the initial 4-week period, apply a nighttime scalp serum. Symbiose Cellulaire Nuit Anti-Dandruff Scalp Serum Instensif is a targeted and intensive serum which improves dandruff at the source. Salicylic acid, piroctone olamine and bifidus extract address yeast on scalp, dissolve visible flakes and encourage balance.

Found this article helpful? Discover the causes of dry hair and how to help fix it next.

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