Dandruff Ruffing You Up?

Dandruff is one of the most common hair and scalp problems that many of us deal with daily. Everyone experiences some form of dandruff but the difference is in the severity thereof.

Every four weeks, the scalp is renewed and this process involves old dead cells that shed as a way of giving way to the new ones. However, if this process happens too fast and the skin cells visibly clump together, which can be seen as extreme dandruff.

What Causes Dandruff in African Hair:

  • Harsh Shampoos:

One of the most common causes is the use of shampoos with harsh chemicals.

  • Extreme Heat Exposure:

When you apply constant extreme heat to your hair and scalp, the water in your scalp evaporates, thereby damaging your scalp and causing it to dry out. This causes more irritation-causing factors to set in. The more you use heat styling tools, the more your scalp dries out, eventually beginning to flake and itch.

  • Fungal Infections:

This is the cause of extreme dandruff and develops when bacteria and fungi grow on the scalp, causing an annoying itching and flaking. A yeast-type fungus called Malassezia lives on most scalps of adults and generally does not cause any problems. However, for some people, the fungus can cause irritation of the scalp that stimulates the growth of new cells. The excess skin cells then die before falling off which gives the white scaly appearance of dandruff on the hair and the clothes.

  • Diet & Nutrition:

These have a big effect on the health of your hair and scalp. Some nutritional deficiencies can cause dandruff and hair loss. Some of the health issues such as anxiety, stress, hormonal imbalances, etc. are big contributors to dandruff and hair loss at the same time.

  • Dry skin:

One of the most common causes is dry skin. Dandruff caused by dry skin is normally characterised by smaller and drier flakes. People who are prone to dry skin often have a dry scalp.

  • Contact dermatitis:

This is when some people are sensitive to some ingredients contained in certain hair products, which leads to an adverse reaction. This adverse reaction may include itching, redness and scaling of the scalp. Hair dyes, certain chemicals, and even shampooing too can often irritate the scalp enough to cause dandruff. If you know that a product is causing a reaction, stop using it immediately.

  • Inadequate washing of your hair:

For some people, just washing their hair more often (at least once a week) may be all they need to do to get rid of the problem. Not washing regularly means that skin cells and fats can accumulate on the scalp and mix with product build-up which can lead to dandruff.



The first step is to consult a dermatologist in order to establish the cause and type of dandruff in order to have an effective treatment regimen. Depending on the severity of your dandruff, the dermatologist may prescribe anything from an over the counter anti-dandruff shampoo to stronger medication.

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Lerato Moyo
Lerato Moyo

Hair Editor

Lerato Moyo is a wife and mom of four with a financial and marketing qualification and corporate background. She is also an Image Consultant and the Founder of Ithate Image Consulting. Lerato was a Mrs South Africa Finalist in 2017, and is currently a Follicle Inc. Brand Ambassador. Her passion is coaching women through the journey of loving themselves, uncovering and maintaining their new confidence and empowered version.

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