Common Misconceptions About Dandruff

woman with dandruff scratching hair

The prevalence of dandruff often leads to rumors about its causes and symptoms. You may hear about how you get bad hair fall due to dandruff, how it’s contagious, or how the cold weather is one of its main causes. While there’s a certain level of truth to these statements, these can still be considered myths about dandruff. So, what’s the truth about it? How can you truly achieve a healthy scalp?

In this blog, we talk about the common misconceptions about flaky scalps and dandruff and we disprove them. That way, you know the exact causes and symptoms of dandruff and treat this condition properly.

Debunking the 5 Most Common Dandruff Myths

The truth about dandruff is that it’s a common scalp condition that leads to dry white flakes on your scalp, drifting to your shoulders with every scratch. This condition happens when there’s a rapid turnover of the scalp’s dead skin cells due to inflammation, leading to the skin’s clumping and shedding.

With that said, there is still some confusion about the symptoms and causes of dandruff. A few of the most popular ones that most people believe are:

dandruff in a woman's hair
dry scalp

Myth 1: Dry Scalp Equals Dandruff

This myth is surprisingly common. And while both dandruff and dry scalp can lead to flaking, there are some distinct differences between both conditions.

With dry scalp, it’s typically a sign that your scalp lacks moisture, leading to small white flakes, and a tight, itchy feeling. It can be caused by dry weather, harsh shampoos, or hot showers that strip away your hair’s natural oils.

On the other hand, dandruff is a mild case of seborrheic dermatitis caused by an overgrowth of the Malassezia yeast on the scalp. Since this fungus triggers inflammation, it can also lead to flakes and more severe itchiness on your head. While dry scalps can worsen your dandruff, it’s not always the sole culprit.

The truth is oily scalps are actually more prone to dandruff because the yeast thrives on sebum oil production. So, if you have oily hair, it’s best to start practicing the different ways to prevent dandruff and get ahead of the condition.

Myth 2: Poor Hygiene Causes Dandruff

This misconception often leads to excessive washing, which can ironically worsen dandruff. While having good hygiene is essential for your overall scalp health, dandruff isn’t caused by infrequent shampooing.

As mentioned earlier, dandruff is caused by a disrupted skin cell turnover triggered by fungi, hormonal fluctuations, or even genetics. If anything, poor hygiene can only worsen your dandruff but not be its main cause.

poor hygiene on hair
dandruff on a woman's head

Myth 3: Dandruff is Triggered by Cold Weather

Many associate dandruff with the colder months, assuming the dry air is to blame. To a degree, yes, the dry weather can contribute to your scalp’s tightness and worsen your existing dandruff. However, it’s not the trigger.

In reality, dandruff can occur year-round. Factors like stress, changes in your routine, harsh chemicals in hair products, or even some underlying skin conditions can contribute to outbreaks. The weather isn’t much of a factor, just that it can worsen your scalp’s condition.

Myth 4: Anti-Dandruff Shampoos are the Magic Cure

Over-the-counter dandruff shampoos are valuable in managing flaky hair. However, they’re not a permanent solution for everyone.

These shampoos often contain ingredients like ketoconazole, zinc pyrithione, or selenium sulfide, which can effectively reduce white flakes or control the Malassezia yeast. However, you may experience dandruff as a recurring issue so at the end of the day, identifying its underlying triggers and maintaining a consistent scalp care routine are key for long-term management.

using anti-dandruff shampoo
dandruff on sleeves

Myth 5: Dandruff is Contagious

The fear of catching dandruff from someone else might lead to awkward social distancing if you truly believe it. Thankfully, there’s no need for you to worry about such things because the truth is dandruff isn’t contagious at all. The Malassazia yeast is naturally present in everyone’s scalp, but it only triggers dandruff for those with a predisposition or under specific circumstances.

So, if you have dandruff, there’s no need to worry. You can assure your family, friends, and colleagues that there’s no need for social distancing. Not if the reason is dandruff, at least.

Myth 6: Dandruff and Psoriasis are the Same

Since scalp psoriasis and dandruff have the same symptoms, they’re often linked to one another or confused with each other since both can cause dryness and flakes to appear. The main difference is psoriasis often presents with more severe signs like bleeding, plaques, and burning or itchy skin. While dandruff can be treated with a combination of a healthy scalp care routine, psoriasis may need medicine prescribed by doctors.

scalp psoriasis

Ready to be Dandruff-Free?

Being aware of the myths and realities of dandruff lets you take control and achieve a healthy, flake-free scalp. At the end of the day, receiving proper diagnosis from dermatologists or trichologists are the ones who can accurately pinpoint the cause of your flaky hair. Don’t believe hearsay! Make sure you get proper recommendations from experts to improve your scalp health.

At Svenson Philippines, our expert trichologists ignore common dandruff myths and dive deeper to understand the root cause of your dandruff. We offer a range of solutions, including medicated shampoos and scalp treatments, dietary and lifestyle recommendations, and laser hair therapy. Book a consultation with Svenson today and let us help you achieve a healthy, flake-free scalp!

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