How Do You Get Dandruff and How to Treat It?

Dandruff is a common condition of the scalp. Flakes appear on the surface of the skin and may fall around with the movement of your head. You may find these flakes on your clothes or other surfaces that you interact with. It is not the most pleasant situation.

Although many relate it to bad hygiene, the two are not connected. It is true that if you wash your hair regularly you may make dandruff less visible, but that is not how you get rid of them. For one, there are all sorts of products that claim to solve the dandruff problem.

Despite that and the many publicized means of prevention, dandruff is still very much a common occurrence. You shouldn’t worry first of all, as it is like as not harmless. But you may want to treat it for one reason or another.

But how do you get dandruff in the first place? This article covers the causes of dandruff and how to get rid of it.

How Do You Get Dandruff?

There is not the sole reason for you having dandruff. Skin cells shed normally on your head. But, sometimes they shed faster than normal. That causes the cells to stick together and appear as flakes. Nobody can tell you the exact cause, but many factors can affect the health of your scalp.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis appears in almost half of the population and is one of the most common causes of dandruff. The skin on the scalp gets irritated and oily. You may feel an itch of different intensity and see redness on the edge where your hair ends.

Seborrhea can sometimes spread and appear on other vulnerable parts of your head. Bottom of the nose, behind the ears, around eyebrows, and facial hair area are all prone to oily skin.

Luckily, there are many effective products for the control and treatment of seborrheic dermatitis. If you believe you may have this condition, contact your dermatologist. They will prescribe a shampoo or cream to treat it, plus tips on how to prevent it.

Yeast Infection

Maybe you didn’t know this, but fungi are found on our skin, including the scalp. The genus of fungi that particularly thrives there is Malassezia for it feeds on skin oils. So, if your skin produces more oil, it may speed up the growth of these fungi. This is what causes your scalp to get irritated and produce more skin cells than necessary. Malassezia is closely related to seborrheic dermatitis.

Dry Skin

Sometimes flakes appear on dry skin. They are smaller and harder to notice than those caused by seborrhea and yeast. You will not notice any irritation of the skin and the flakes are unlikely to be oily either.

Not Brushing Your Hair

Our body sheds dead skin cells as new ones replace them. In other parts of the body, we remove them while bathing and they fall off while we move around. With the scalp, it is more difficult. Since they remain collected in the hair, it is overall harder for them to fall off. If you comb or brush your hair every couple of days, you will remove the dead skin from your scalp.

Not Shampooing Your Hair

When you frequently wash your hair, you regulate the oiliness and dead skin cells on the scalp. By washing them off, you keep them to a low level. If you don’t shampoo and wash your hair often, the oil and dead skin will accumulate. It can cause dandruff and yeast infections. This also happens if you don’t rinse your hair well enough after washing.

You should choose natural shampoos, such as those that contain tea tree oil, which is notable for reducing dandruff. On the other hand, if you wash your hair too often it may lose the necessary oils and affect the optimum acidic pH value of 4.5 to 5.5. Washing your hair 2 to 3 times a week should be reasonable.

Sensitivity to Hairstyling Products

Today, we tend to use hair styling products. This leads to many problems with scalp irritation. Some hair is sensitive to certain substances in the products. There are hair dyes, gels, regenerators, sprays, and mousses that can cause oily build-up. This makes the environment of your scalp more suitable for fungi to overgrow and cause an infection.


A lot of modern problems stem from stress. Stress impacts the immune system which causes inflammations and sensitivity of your organism. This is why a lot of people instinctively scratch their hair when they are stressed. Scratching irritates the scalp and makes it prone to infections. The more you scratch, the more susceptible it is to dandruff.

Unhealthy Diet

Eating healthy will make your skin and hair healthy. Proper nutrition may help to keep the oil on the scalp and in the hair at appropriate levels. Regulating the reduces the chances of any inflammations that may happen. For example, eating saturated and trans fats cause your glands to produce more oil. This pile-up of oil can allow fungi to thrive. In addition, vitamin B deficiency makes your hair weaker too.

Other Factors

Age, gender, skin type, and certain chronic illnesses can make you more prone to dandruff. Young adults and middle-aged men are more likely to have dandruff. As well as people with neurological and immunological diseases.

How to Treat It?

Now that you know how do you get dandruff, you probably have a good idea of the best way to prevent it. Regulate your oil levels and stay away from stress. Wash your hair and rinse it well. If you already have problems with dandruff, there are some ways to treat it:

  • Massage the scalp gently while shampooing your hair
  • Get an anti-dandruff shampoo from your local drugstore
  • Manage stress
  • Manage diet
  • Expose your hair to a little bit of sunlight
  • Tea tree oil shampoos may help with reducing dandruff
  • If you suspect that you have a fungal infection, talk with your dermatologist. They can prescribe prescription-strength antifungals and seborrheic dermatitis products that are stronger than what you can get OTC.

Remember that It’s Treatable and Preventable

Dandruff may be embarrassing, but they are nothing to be afraid of. This is a common occurrence that can happen to anybody. Many remedies, both natural and pharmaceutical, can help. Because it is not exactly clear how do you get dandruff, there is no point in worrying. With proper treatment and some patience, you will get rid of it in no time.