Does Conditioner Cause Dandruff? Where Does It Come From?

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Although many of us enjoy the sight of snowflakes falling from the sky, white flakes falling from your hair and onto your clothes or shoulders is embarrassing, especially if you have darker hair!

Dandruff is one of the problems that many people find difficult to resolve. It seems so variable who gets it, and when!

So what causes dandruff? Does conditioner cause dandruff

There are different causes of dandruff. Conditioners can indirectly cause dandruff because of the ingredients that it contains and their reaction to your scalp. We’ll explain that further below.


What Causes Dandruff?

There are many different reasons why you find dandruff on your hair. First of all, dandruff could be due to a dry scalp.

When your scalp is dry, you could feel itchiness and you can see white flakes in them. This happens because the skin on your scalp isn’t properly moisturized or when you are dehydrated. 

It is possible that you’ve overused your shampoo and stripped off the natural oils that your scalp produces. When you tend to use hot water with cleansing or clarifying shampoo, this could happen too. 

When the climate is cold and dry, you are more prone to having a dry scalp as it could lose water more easily. 

On the other hand, dandruff can still happen when your scalp is too oily. When you didn’t wash your hair often enough or use enough shampoo, the excess oils may not be fully washed off. 

A fungus called Malassezia exists normally on the skin as part of the skin’s microbes. Believe it or not, our body is covered in microbes. There is an enormous ecosystem of microbes that lives in and on our bodies. 

Usually, these microorganisms, including Malassezia, do not cause harm to us. However, it is still possible for some people to react negatively to it and cause dandruff. 

Usually, the scalp sheds off dead skin cells constantly like the rest of the body. We don’t notice it shedding because they are very tiny and aren’t visible. 

However, those who experience dandruff shed off the skin at a faster rate. That could be caused by Malassezia on the scalp. 

The food of the Malassezia is the sebum that is produced by the scalp. As it consumes that, it breaks down the sebum and a by-product called oleic acid is released. 

Some people are allergic to it while others are not. Those who have a negative reaction to it could experience irritated scalp that could be reddish, inflamed, itchy, or flaking. 


How Does Conditioner Cause Dandruff

So where does conditioner come into the picture? Indirectly, conditioners can cause dandruff when it is not helping your anti-dandruff shampoo. 

If you already have dandruff and are treating it with an anti-dandruff shampoo like Head and Shoulders, it is important to use a conditioner to avoid making your hair too dry.

However, your conditioner may be also washing out the active ingredients in the shampoo that helps stop your dandruff!

However, your conditioner may be also washing out the active ingredients in the shampoo that helps stop your dandruff!

With that, the manufacturers of anti-dandruff shampoos have released conditioner  that should be used along the anti-dandruff shampoos. 

Head and Shoulders Conditioner, Moisture Renewal, Anti Dandruff Treatment and Scalp Care, Royal Oils Collection with Coconut Oil, for Natural and Curly Hair, 13.5 fl oz(Packaging May Vary)
  • Head and Shoulders Royal Oils Moisture...
  • Rich and creamy formula restores...
  • Expertly designed scalp relief for...
  • Fresh coconut scent
  • Free of sulfates, parabens and dyes

Apart from that, some people may have a negative reaction to the ingredients in the conditioner. This could vary from one person to another so it would be best to observe whether your dandruff worsens after using a specific type of conditioner. 

It is a good idea for those who have sensitive skin to stick to gentle-formula conditioners 

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Avoiding conditioners that have fragrance in them will help lessen the risk of worsening or developing dandruff. The ingredient “fragrance” is marketing speak for potentially thousands of chemicals that aren’t listed in detail, and could irritate your scalp.

The ingredient “fragrance” is marketing speak for potentially thousands of chemicals that aren’t listed in detail, and could irritate your scalp.


How To Prevent Dandruff From Starting

It can be frustrating to find flakey dandruff, and it could be worsened by using the wrong products at the wrong time. It is best to avoid having dandruff altogether!

But if your hair has a Chance of Snow percentage attached, try to treat your hair to settle things down. 

Here are a few things that you can do: 

1. Avoid scratching your scalp

Dandruff can be irritatingly itchy. However, that doesn’t mean that you should scratch it! Try to avoid scratching your scalp at all costs. 

The reason why your scalp is itchy is that it is already irritated. Using your nails to scratch your scalp could further irritate it. 

Worse is that it could create tiny wounds on your scalp. When that happens, your scalp won’t just be itchy, it will be painful, too. Additionally, when you scratch your scalp, you could also introduce dirt to it, which could make your dandruff worse.

2. Balancing shampooing and your scalp oil

To avoid having dandruff or worsening it, you have to find the right balance between shampooing your hair and keeping the right amount of oil in your scalp.

To avoid having dandruff or worsening it, you have to find the right balance between shampooing your hair and keeping the right amount of oil in your scalp.

There should be a balance so that your scalp doesn’t get irritated because it is too dry or too oily. It’s a matter of trial and error when it comes to the frequency of washes, the shampoo you use, and how much shampoo you should use. 

3. Lessen Stress

Stress could be a factor that worsens your dandruff problem. Although Malassezia isn’t due to the presence of stress, it could thrive better if your immune system is compromised due to stress. 

4. Air Out Your Hair

Another thing that you could do is to expose your hair to clean air outdoors. Fresh air can be beneficial to your hair as it could help prevent oil buildup on your scalp. 

5. Exfoliate Your Scalp

Like exfoliating your skin, you could exfoliate your scalp to help gently remove the top layer of the skin. There are various gentle exfoliators  available like salicylic acid. 

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo - Scalp Scrub Treatment to Soothe a Dry, Flaky, Itchy Scalp. 8 Ounces.
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It is recommended that you do exfoliation on your wet and shampooed hair a maximum of twice a week. Just be mindful of how long you leave it on your scalp and follow the instructions well. 

Written by Kayla Young

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