What causes dandruff?
Difference between oily and dry dandruff
The sebaceous glands on the scalp produce sebum. This is all-important for the balance of the scalp and hair and protects against the loss of moisture and environmental factors. The surface skin cells continuously renew themselves, as does the scalp. The flaking off of the old skin cells cannot normally be seen with the naked eye. If the scalp loses its natural balance, this renewal process is disturbed and, consequently, dandruff becomes visible. Dry and oily dandruff are among the most common forms of dandruff.
Fine, dry dandruff is caused by a dry scalp. The sebaceous glands do not produce enough sebum which compromises the scalp's natural balance. If the scalp is on the dry side, fine, white dandruff is frequently seen. This dry dandruff falls from the head and hair.
With oily scalps, the sebaceous glands produce far too much sebum. This excessive sebum production can be caused both by personal (e.g. hormones, genetic disposition, skin type) and by external factors (environmental influences, climate etc.). As such, there can be an increase in growth of the germs and microorganisms which naturally occur on the skin, thus disturbing the scalp's inherent balance.
The consequence: The degradation products of sebum irritate the skin, make it itch and accelerate the release of skin cells. The excess sebum sticks these cells together to form large, visible, oily and yellow flakes which adhere to the scalp or hair. With oily dandruff, the severity of the scalp problem is all-important for determining the right shampoo.
In addition, or as an alternative, a hair tonic can be used to alleviate the scalp problem.