Understanding and Managing This Common Condition

Dandruff is a common scalp condition that affects nearly half of the population, regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity (NHS). While it is not harmful and you cannot catch it, it may cause itching and white or grey flakes of skin appear on the scalp and in the hair. The flakes may also appear on clothing, potentially affecting an individual's self-confidence.

Causes of dandruff

Dandruff is not caused by poor hygiene, although infrequent hair washing can make it more noticeable. 

One of the primary causes of dandruff is the overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia. This fungus is naturally present on the scalp but can multiply excessively, leading to dandruff. The interaction between Malassezia, sebum (scalp oil), and the scalp's natural microflora is thought to play a role in dandruff formation. 

Various conditions can cause dandruff, each with its own set of symptoms, including: 

  • Seborrheic dermatitis may present as scaly, itchy, and red patches on the scalp, face, and other body areas. 
  • Tinea capitis, also known as ringworm, can cause a red or silver rash on the scalp accompanied by patchy hair loss. 
  • Eczema manifests as dry, red, flaky, and intensely itchy skin on different parts of the body. 
  • Contact dermatitis, which is a reaction to hair products, can result in red, irritated skin with the possibility of blisters and cracked skin. 
  • Psoriasis leads to red, flaky, crusty, and sore patches of skin covered with silvery scales. 

Stress and cold weather may also make dandruff worse. Winter often is a time when symptoms worsen. This seasonal fluctuation suggests that environmental factors, such as dry air and decreased humidity, could influence dandruff occurrence.

How to Treat Dandruff Yourself

Use an anti-dandruff shampoo to treat the condition. Health experts recommend looking for a shampoo that contains one of these ingredients:

  • zinc pyrithione
  • salicylic acid
  • selenium sulfide (or selenium sulfide)
  • ketoconazole
  • coal tar

You can also opt for a natural approach to tackle dandruff issues and avoid chemical ingredients. Some of the natural remedies that can help include: aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, coconut oil, and baking soda. You can research each of these natural dandruff busters to find out more about their benefits and limitations before deciding on the best course of action.    

You can also try the NET/ZERO Complete Anti-dandruff Pack, containing shampoo and a potent active ingredient booster

The NET/ZERO Anti-Dandruff Booster features a unique mix of active ingredients known for their anti-dandruff properties. The ingredients help alleviate dandruff symptoms, soothe the scalp, reduce flaking, and promote a balanced and healthy scalp environment. Our Anti-Dandruff Booster contains Crinipan® PMC green. Derived from natural sources, it works by being activated on the scalp by enzymes produced by the dandruff-causing microorganism Malassezia. It has a smart mode of action as it is directly triggered by the microorganism itself.

The booster also features REVISCALP™, a natural and sustainable extract from the endemic Australian Aniseed Myrtle, developed to support a healthy scalp. It rebalances sebum production and scalp pH, decreases dandruff appearance, restores scalp health, and increases hair brightness.

The shampoo and booster are the perfect combination to help you tackle dandruff issues. While the booster fights dandruff, the shampoo hydrates and conditions the scalp and hair, thanks to its natural ingredients like aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, and moisture-locking betaine.

Due to their natural and hypoallergenic formula, the shampoo and booster are suitable for sensitive skin, allowing you to use them based on your needs without any unwanted reactions.

Preventing Dandruff

According to the Mayo Clinic in the US, a diet rich in zinc, B vitamins, and certain types of fats may help prevent dandruff. 

Working on your daily hair and scalp care offers another potential remedy. If you have an oily scalp, wash daily and massage your scalp to loosen flakes. Rinse thoroughly. On the other hand, if you have a dry scalp, try to shampoo less frequently and condition your scalp between washing. 

Sunlight can also be beneficial. Spend a little time outdoors but be careful and make sure to use sunscreen.

As with many hair and skin conditions, learning to manage stress can help you reduce the risk of developing dandruff.


Dandruff is a common scalp disorder that affects a significant number of people. The involvement of keratinocytes and the influence of seasonal changes highlight the complexity of this condition. While dandruff may not pose serious health risks, it can have a negative impact on aesthetics and cause discomfort due to itching. 

While there are a number of methods to treat and prevent dandruff, it’s important that you try and find what works best for you. You may find that a natural remedy is more effective, or it could be a chemical approach that delivers better results. With the right prevention and treatment methods, you can significantly improve your chances of tackling the condition.

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