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Causes Of Dandruff | How To Diagnose And Treat | Puriya Blog

August 07, 2018

Woman suffering from dandruff

Millions of people experience dandruff, but this is little consolation if you are one of them! Dandruff is uncomfortable and unsightly, especially if you want to wear black! So you set out to find a solution. However, many people go about treating dandruff the wrong way. You may be surprised to learn that dandruff is actually a symptom and not a condition, meaning that to really treat dandruff effectively, you need to go back to the cause.

There are a few common causes of dandruff. Do you know what is causing yours? Understanding the cause will make it much easier to treat, and will improve the effectiveness of your treatment! Not sure how to begin? Don’t worry. If you’re still scratching your head about the cause of your dandruff, look no further. There are five common causes of dandruff, each with a set of symptoms that you can use to identify the type you have.

Hair Product Sensitivity


Hair Products for Scalp Sensitivity

The skin on your scalp isn’t much different than the skin on the rest of your body, so if you have sensitive skin, especially on your face, your scalp may be reacting negatively to your hair products. While we typically think of shampoo and conditioner first, hair products also include hair dyes, serums, oils, gels, and sprays. Hair products often contain colors, fragrances, and preservatives that irritate sensitive skin. While sensitivities are more noticeable when using a new product, it is possible to develop sensitivities to old favorites as well.

If your scalp is red and itchy, you probably have a product sensitivity, especially if you have recently switched hair products or have added a new product to your routine. If that is the case, stop usage and check to see if symptoms disappear. If you haven’t switched products recently, see if you have developed a sensitivity by switching to a new product, preferably something mild and natural.

If you use hair products heavily, you should also note that “dandruff” might not be dandruff at all! The flakes you see may, in fact, be buildup from hair products.

Seborrheic Dermatitis


While we typically associate dandruff with dry skin, it can also be caused by an oily scalp. This condition is known as seborrheic dermatitis. This form of eczema is not limited to the scalp; however, when it does occur on the scalp, the associated oily buildup can mix with dead skin cells, causing flakes of dandruff to occur.

If your scalp is red, irritated and greasy, it is likely that you have seborrheic dermatitis. The flakes may also be yellowish and appear near your eyebrows. This condition can also occur in your armpits, groin, chest, and ears.

Infrequent or Too-frequent Shampooing


If you don’t have seborrheic dermatitis but still have an oily scalp, it may be due to how you shampoo…or that you don’t shampoo enough. Not cleansing the scalp can lead to a buildup in oils, which leads to dandruff.

Have you changed your shampooing schedule? Letting your hair go too long between washes causes oily buildup and flakes.

On the flip-side, shampooing too frequently can result in a similar outcome. Over-washing strips your hair of natural oils. In turn, your scalp’s oil glands go into overdrive as a means of self-defense, leaving your scalp oily and flaky.

Fungal Infections


It is normal and natural for the body to have bacteria and fungi living in and on its surfaces. However, when imbalances occur, there can be unpleasant side effects. In the case of the scalp, these side effects include dandruff. Flakes of dandruff occur when the scalp reacts to the presence of fungi by overproducing skin cells, which then flake off.

Dry Scalp


woman with dry flaky scalp

A dry scalp may be one of the most obvious causes of eczema. When skin is dry, it becomes flaky. On the scalp, this looks like eczema. Do the flakes seem small — more like dots than fluffy or scaly flakes? If so, it may be from dry skin. Other signs include dryness on the rest of your body and a lack of redness on your scalp.



Once you’ve investigated the underlying condition leading to your dandruff, as well as possible secondary symptoms, you can start taking steps to prevent dandruff. Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing habits or abandoning a product. In other cases, you’ll need to look for a treatment that fits your problem.

When it comes to skin sensitivity, the best thing you can do is switch to a different product. Look for gentle solutions with natural, soothing ingredients such as tea tree oil and lavender and avoid harsh, drying ingredients such as sulfate, sodium chloride, and artificial coloring and fragrances. Puriya’s Scalp Therapy Shampoo & Conditioner has tea tree oil, arnica, sage, and rosemary. These natural properties can stop itching and flaking, and you won’t have to worry about harmful chemicals. These products contain 100% naturally-derived ingredients.

If you suspect your dandruff comes from how often you wash your hair, your solution is pretty straight-forward: increase your wash frequency. However, if you find that you need to shampoo more, be careful not to go overboard. You don’t need to shampoo every time you shower. In between shampoos, simply rinse with water. This will remove some oily buildup and flaking, without stripping your hair of its natural oils.

If dry skin is causing or contributing to flaking, try a balm that can be massaged into your scalp. Use one with deeply penetrating, hydrating ingredients such as olive oil or coconut oil and if possible, choose a product that also contains restorative essential oils such as lavender. Avoid products with harsh chemicals that may dry out skin. Look for hydrating shampoos and conditioners with natural ingredients.

On the other hand, if you find your dandruff is due to excessive oil, consider a shampoo that contains salicylic acid or coal tar. These ingredients combat buildup and remove flakes.

Fungal infections can occur on their own, but they are often related to eczema or dermatitis. If you have seborrheic dermatitis, this may mean you may also have the yeast-like fungus known as Malassezia. Antifungal treatments, such as products containing tea tree oil, may be helpful. Other anti-fungal treatments include pyrithione zinc, commonly found in name-brand anti-dandruff shampoo products.



dandruff flakes under magnifying glass


If possible, see a dermatologist to help determine the causes of your dandruff. In some cases, a prescription medication with steroids and other extra-strength ingredients may be needed.

Alternatively, look for products that are quality all-around dandruff treatments. Ideally, your anti-dandruff shampoo, conditioner or scalp rub will be free of artificial ingredients. Hydrating, soothing ingredients are also beneficial. Tea tree oil — which treats a number of irritations, bacteria, and fungi — is another good all-around dandruff treatment.

Now that you know the possible causes of dandruff, look for the best products to use for your hair care. Products with natural ingredients are the most friendly for your scalp. Why not start with Puriya’s Scalp Clarifying Shampoo and Conditioner?

Puriya’s Scalp Clarifying Shampoo and Conditioner treat all of the major causes of dandruff with hydrating, non-irritating ingredients. Packed with essential oils known to fight eczema, itching, and fungus, you’ll be on your way to flake-free hair in no time!

The first step in treating your dandruff is to understand its type and symptoms. Whether your scalp is reacting to harsh, artificial ingredients or an overgrowth of fungi, our products address several underlying dandruff causes. Even better, try out one or more of the natural remedies above, to take back control of your dandruff!


Now that you know the possible causes of dandruff, look for the best products to use for your hair care. Products with natural ingredients are the most friendly for your scalp. Watch this review of Puriya Scalp Therapy Shampoo now!

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Our products address several underlying dandruff causes, whether your scalp is reacting to harsh, artificial ingredients or an overgrowth of fungi. Visit our products page, or contact us, in order to learn more.

Now that you’ve identified the causes of dandruff, find the best product to help you get rid of them. Share your thought on hair care in the comments section below!

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