How to Avoid the Summer Dandruff Plague

The strongest evidence of summer's arrival is, of course, the sweltering heat we’ve been feeling for weeks now, and for some, the appearance of unsightly flakes on their scalps and shoulders.

It can be a little embarrassing to admit that you have dandruff, because it makes you sound like an acne-ridden teenage boy going through all sorts of hormone changes. Yet dandruff is something that happens to many of us—50 percent of the population, in fact.

In a nutshell, dandruff is a skin condition caused by Malassezia Globosa, a microbe that allows white flakes to appear on your scalp. Those white flakes are actually old skin cells that are shedding much faster than usual.

That said, does heat cause dandruff? The short answer is no—however, it can aggravate its appearance by causing flake flare-ups, which happen because of the rise in temperatures. 

There’s no cure to dandruff, but there are ways to keep the condition at bay. Here's what you can do:


Follow the instructions on the shampoo bottle
We hate to sound like an ad here, but anti-dandruff shampoos do contain active ingredients that control the ‘druff symptoms. That said, no two formulas are alike, and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends following instructions on the bottle: Some will call for a deep lather and leaving the shampoo in for a few minutes, while others should not be left on the scalp for long. 

Does using the “wrong” shampoo cause dandruff? No, but then it wouldn’t be solving the problem either. The AAD also suggests rotating shampoos with different formulations to avoid immunity. 

Lay off the styling products for a while
Another age-old question: Do hair products cause dandruff? Well, no, but they do cause buildup and gunk, both of which worsen the appearance of those white flakes. They could also cause scalp irritation and its subsequent damage. If you’ve been heavy on the pomade recently, it may be time to let your scalp breathe for a few days before piling on the product again. 

Skip the hats from time to time
We get it: Hats and caps are a great way to cover yourself from the heat while being stylish at the same time. We’re on board with you. However, they're also a breeding ground for microbes, so if you can, skip the hats from time to time or don’t sport them the entire day. 

Just relax
Chill, man. Stress can also lead to a dandruff flare-up. If you’ve been stressing out about your ‘druff on top of everything else going on in your life, just scratch it off your mental list.

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Sam Beltran
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