Dandruff in hair is caused by a number of factors that can disrupt the balance of yeast, bacteria, and other microorganisms on the scalp. Some of the most common causes of dandruff include:
- Dry skin: Dry skin on the scalp can lead to dandruff. When the skin becomes too dry, it can flake and fall off, causing white, powdery flakes in the hair.
- Yeast overgrowth: The yeast Malassezia is naturally present on the scalp, but an overgrowth of this yeast can lead to dandruff. Malassezia thrives on the oils produced by the skin, and when it overgrows, it can lead to an inflammatory response, causing flaking and itching.
- Skin conditions: Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can cause dandruff. These conditions can lead to an overproduction of skin cells, which can then flake off and fall into the hair.
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, can affect the skin on the scalp, leading to dandruff.
- Unhealthy diet: A diet lacking in certain nutrients, such as vitamins B and E, can lead to dandruff. These vitamins are important for maintaining the health of the skin and scalp.
- Stress: Stress can weaken the immune system and make it more difficult for the body to fight off yeast and other microorganisms that can cause dandruff.
- Improper hair care: Using harsh shampoos and hair care products, or not shampooing often enough, can lead to dandruff. Harsh products can strip the scalp of its natural oils, while not shampooing enough can allow yeast and bacteria to overgrow on the scalp.
It's also important to note that individual genetics, age, and overall health can also play a role in the development of dandruff.