Dandruff is a common scalp condition that affects most people at some time during their lives. It usually is first noticed when the sex hormones kick in, that is, during and after puberty. Before puberty dandruff is rare.

Medical texts define dandruff as the excessive shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp.

The P. ovale theory of dandruff is convincing, but there may be factors other than yeast fungi that promote dandruff. Some of these factors are:

1. Cold, dry weather. Dandruff is much more common in the winter where the weather outside is frightful, but the dry indoor heating is even more frightful.

2. Bad hygienic habits. Infrequent shampooing, harsh shampoos, use of the wrong conditioners, and improper rinsing can all contribute to dandruff.

3. Too frequent coloring of the hair. Coloring and all the heat-related torture that women undergo in beauty parlors certainly do not promote a healthy scalp.

4. Long-term stress and anxiety. This is a low-probability cause of dandruff but it can’t be ruled out.

5. Bad diet. A diet rich in saturated fats and trans-fatty oils causes the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum – the delicacy that P. ovale, as well as other flora, thrive on.

6. Hormonal changes. These changes, especially in a woman’s body, can accelerate skin cell cycling.

What Can Be Done?

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I’ve heard that just breathing fresh air can reduce the P. ovale population in the scalp. The problem is to teach these critters to breath fresh air.

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