A girl scratching her scalp.
Myths About Dandruff You Have To Stop Believing
Dandruff occurs in a scalp that’s too oily, dry, sensitive, or has a build-up of the fungus Malassezia. It causes irritation, white flakes in the hair, or bumps along the hairline.
No matter your hair type, the underlying causes of dandruff are the same for most people, so understanding some common misconceptions about it can help you tackle your issues.
Myth: Dry Skin Is The Culprit
Dry skin can cause dandruff, but people with oily hair and scalps can also have it due to an inflammatory scalp condition called seborrheic dermatitis.
Changing your haircare routine can help. Research suggests washing your hair every two to three days with a shampoo that does not exceed a scalp pH of 5.5.
Myth: Dandruff Is Contagious
Dandruff is a non-infectious condition related to the scalp's natural balance of microorganisms and oils. There’s no way you can transmit or receive it under any circumstances.
Everyone naturally carries the fungus Malassezia whether or not they have visible dandruff. When you think about it, everyone has dandruff, but not everyone has symptoms.
Myth: Poor Hygiene Causes Dandruff
Regardless of hair-washing habits, dandruff affects about 50% of adults, and research has proven that race, ethnicity, hygiene, and socioeconomic status are not factors.
This myth has created harmful stereotypes about people from low socioeconomic backgrounds and BIPOC communities that lead some to avoid treatment for fear of embarrassment.
Myth: Fixing It Is Quick And Easy
Dandruff has no known cure, but it can be managed with proper treatment. In most cases, mild dandruff can be controlled with a gentle shampoo to reduce scalp oil and buildup.
If you opt for an over-the-counter shampoo treatment, check the label for the following active ingredients: selenium sulfide, pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid, and ketoconazole.