What Are the Common Causes of Bad Dandruff?

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  • Written By: Nick Mann
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 17 August 2019
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Though more of an inconvenience than a serious health problem, bad dandruff is usually viewed as aesthetically displeasing. The condition can be quite embarrassing for many people, and they may wonder what is causing it. Some of the common causes of bad dandruff include a weakened immune system, poor diet, an oily scalp, harmful hair products, stress and certain weather conditions.

People with weakened immune systems are often more susceptible to dandruff than people with normal, healthy ones. When the body is unable to adequately fight off illness, sometimes bad dandruff can be a side effect. This is usually because extraneous skin tissue develops on the scalp and later falls off.

A poor diet lacking in essential vitamins and minerals is another common reason for bad dandruff. When the body doesn't receive the nourishment it needs, many ailments can occur as a result. Dandruff just happens to be one common side effect when a person's scalp is unhealthy. Avoiding processed food and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables usually helps to remedy the problem. In addition, taking a daily multi-vitamin can help as well.


An over oily scalp can also create a breeding ground for dandruff. When too many oils are produced, they gradually build up over time. This in turn can irritate one's scalp and eventually create dead skin flakes that fall off. An oily scalp usually stems from not shampooing frequently enough. Consistently using shampoo should help to break down the amount of oils accumulated and reduce dandruff.

Regular use of certain hair products containing unnatural chemicals is another common cause. Some examples are hair dyes and gels. These products can often do significant damage to a person's scalp over time, which can lead to dandruff. Minimizing the use of unnatural hair products or cutting them out altogether can greatly reduce the amount of dandruff.

Stress is another reason for dandruff for some people. Consistent stress and fatigue can carry a host of negative health side effects, with flaky build up on the scalp being one. Reducing stress levels in one's life will often prevent dandruff from forming, as well as promote better overall health.

Sometimes intense weather conditions also play a role in bad dandruff. Really hot or really cold weather on a consistent basis can dry out a person's scalp which inevitably causes flaking. Minimizing time spent in hot weather or wearing a beanie hat in cold weather will usually help clear up dandruff.


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Post 3

@ysmina-- You should see a doctor because it could be a scalp infection.

I had a fungal scalp infection when I moved to the coast due to warm weather and very high humidity levels. I had the same exact symptoms as you. The doctor prescribed an anti-fungal shampoo and the dandruff disappeared in about a week.

Post 2

I have bad dandruff and my scalp is very oily and itchy. I wash my hair every day, but it's still oily, full of dandruff, itchy and smelly. What might be the cause?

Post 1

I had really bad dandruff for years, all throughout my childhood and high school. In fact, I had started believing that this is just how my scalp is. I naturally have an oily scalp, so I assumed this is the reason.

When I was in college, a friend of mine noticed my dandruff and asked me if I use one shampoo and which shampoo I use. I had been using the same shampoo for regular hair for a few years. She told me to buy two other shampoos and switch between them. She said not to use the same shampoo two days in a row and my dandruff would disappear.

I didn't really believe her but I tried

it anyway and it worked! I haven't had dandruff for the past three years and I keep several shampoos in the shower and use a different one every day.

I'm not sure how this works or if it will work for everyone. But I think it has to do with chemical buildup from the shampoos. I suppose switching between different shampoos helps reduce the buildup and prevents dandruff.

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