How Men Can Prevent Dandruff and Flakes in Their Hair
Is your nickname amongst your friends “Snowflake” (and not because you’re a softy on the field)? Dandruff affects roughly 50% of men in their twenties. As men age past their twenties, that number drops, but it doesn’t mean it goes away. At least 2/3 of all people (even women) get dandruff at some point in their life. This article will help you reduce and hopefully, get rid of your dandruff for good.
Dandruff, often called “flakes”, typically appear as white flakes that scatter the skin of your neck and shirts. These flakes are just dead skin cells that have been shed from your scalp.
A big misconception is that dry skin causes dandruff in men, but that’s not true. The majority of men with dandruff have oily skin. Research shows a tiny fungus called “malassezia globosa” is the root cause of dandruff. Everyone has this tiny fungus on their skin, but it only becomes a problem when the fungus grows too rapidly. If the fungus grows too rapidly, our natural renewal of skin cells is disturbed, causing skin cells to renew too fast. When rapidly renewing skin cells meet oily skin, white flakes are created and dandruff is born.
Knowing this information, how can we prevent or eliminate dandruff in men?
- Shampoo Smarter
Your hair and scalp have a natural balance that’s disturbed every time you shampoo your hair. The vast majority of shampoos strip your hair and scalp of its natural oils. Stripping them of their oils destroys the natural balance. Your body, being highly intelligent, realizes these oils have been stripped and goes into overdrive creating sebum (oil) to restore the natural balance. As mentioned above, when your scalp becomes too oily, the malassezia globosa fungus can start to generate dandruff.
There are two solutions to this problem. First, don’t wash your hair every day – it doesn’t need it. Not only can shampooing your hair everyday cause dandruff by stripping it of needed natural oils, it can cause premature thinning and balding of your hair. Aim to shampoo your hair only 3 – 4x a week. Your hair should always feel a little slightly oily – this is healthy and normal (see our Men's Hair Care Manual for more hair care tips).
Secondly, switch the shampoo you use. The best dandruff shampoo for men is a natural shampoo for men. Natural shampoos won’t strip your hair of its essential oils, oils that keep it healthy and growing properly. The best dandruff shampoo for men will contain tea tree oil, a natural anti-fungal ingredient that won’t dry out the scalp like traditional chemical filled men’s dandruff shampoos. Using a chemical filled anti-dandruff shampoo may help temporarily kill the fungus, but it will also harm your hair. Hair conditioners such as aloe should be present in your anti dandruff for men, as it will replace any lost essential oils.
- Take care of your scalp
No brainer, right? Dandruff starts on the scalp and the best way men can prevent dandruff is to take care of it. Exposing your scalp to nutrients daily can help keep its follicles working on a normal level – not needing to overproduce new skin cells and keeping oil production normal. The best way to feed it nutrients is through a natural conditioner for men. The best natural conditioner for men contains aloe vera and Vitamin E - both contain a plethora of healthy ingredients your scalp needs.
What not to do: Don’t take hot showers or color your hair. Both dissolve the needed natural oils in your hair.