What is Dandruff? A Guide On How Get Healthy Scalp

What does a healthy scalp do? What is dandruff? Read on to understand the science behind one of the most pressing scalp concerns. 

A healthy scalp is key to having great hair, whether you want to keep it short or wear it long. In a hot and humid country like ours, most of you might prefer to keep your hair short and neat. It’s a practical choice, given that a man’s scalp produces more oil. A healthy scalp is also key to preventing the occurrence of dandruff. Before you go around shopping for anti-dandruff shampoos, let us first understand the nature of dandruff and its causes.

Contrary to popular belief, dandruff isn’t caused by skipping a shower or two. It’s not about one’s personal hygiene. One of the causes of dandruff is the presence of a micro-organism called Malassezia on one’s scalp. Everyone has this on his or her scalp, and when you have a healthy scalp (just like with the rest of your skin), you have a barrier that protects your scalp and keep it well-moisturized and hydrated.

Scalp care tips for men: Deep cleanse hair and scalp
Using an anti-dandruff shampoo can help prevent the occurrence of dandruff. Credit: Shutterstock

When this barrier gets disrupted because of stress, illness, diet, temperature changes, low humidity, and the use of harsh hair products, your scalp gets dry and damaged. This manifests itself as white flakes that you see on your head and on your shoulders. Without this barrier, your scalp also becomes susceptible to different micro-organisms, therefore causing dandruff.

One way to get healthy scalp is by using an anti-dandruff shampoo. Peter Bailey, Unilever’s research and development manager, explains, “The key ingredients that anti-dandruff shampoos contain is either an anti-fungal agent or a keratolytic agent. Anti-fungal agents attack the micro-organisms on the scalp that we believe are a primary cause of dandruff… [while] the most common keratolytic is salicylic acid, which essentially breaks up clumps of dry skin.  In other words, whilst anti-fungals treat the underlying cause of dandruff, keratolytics address the symptoms.  Often the two types of agent can be combined into a dual action type formulation.”

Bailey also adds that you can use an anti dandruff shampoo even if you don’t have visible signs of dandruff. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. “Using an anti-dandruff shampoo even when you don’t have dandruff can help prevent dandruff from occurring by removing Malassezia from the scalp.  However, many people who don’t have dandruff today may never get dandruff due to their individual scalp skin physiology,” he says. It all depends on how strong or weak your scalp barrier is and if you are exposed to different factors that may alter the condition of your scalp.

Thinking of using an anti-dandruff shampoo? Here are our recommendations.

Infographic of anti-dandruff shampoos
Keep your scalp healthy with these shampoos. Design: Bianca Dodds

1. CLEAR Complete Soft Care Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Ladies, here’s an anti-dandruff shampoo that also fits in your beauty routine. CLEAR Complete Soft Care Anti-Dandruff Shampoo keeps your hair soft and fresh, thanks to its Sakura Fragrance. You can use it daily to prevent dandruff while keeping your hair looking and smelling great.

2. CLEAR Anti-Hairfall Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for Men

Solve hairfall and dandruff problems with one shampoo. CLEAR Anti Hairfall Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is enriched with Ginseng Strength Technology to strengthen your strands and make your hair look thicker while minimizing dandruff.

3. CLEAR Cool Sport Menthol Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for Men

Beat the heat and humidity by keeping your scalp cool, fresh, and dandruff-proof. Do that by using CLEAR Cool Sport Menthol Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for Men. Its mint flavor gives you that presko after-shower feeling to help you go through a hot, sweaty day.

4. Love Beauty and Planet Radical Refresher Shampoo

Love shampoos with eco-friendly ingredients? You’ll enjoy using Love Beauty and Planet Radical Refresher Shampoo. Its ethically sourced tea tree oil helps cleanse greasy scalp to help prevent the occurrence of dandruff. Meanwhile, its fragrant vetiver aroma can help make your shower a refreshing experience.

1. Shaved side

Healthy scalp: Closeup side view of an Asian man with shaved side hairstyle outdoors
Need to suit up? Complement your dapper outfit with a neat, shaved side hairstyle.

Shaved side hairstyles can inject a modern and edgy vibe to your look. You can complement a shaved side with a neat comb over hairstyle for a smart and dapper look—perfect for when you want to nail that presentation and impress your clients.

2. Pompadour with shaved side

Healthy scalp: Closeup shot of a Caucasian man with shaved sides and brown hair in pompadour hairstyle
If you want to add flair to your ‘do, go for the pompadour hairstyle. Credit: Shutterstock

Wanna enter the room with tons of attitude? Do it with a pompadour hairstyle. Neatly shaved sides will draw attention to your hair, so ask your stylist to shave as close to your scalp as possible.

3. Semi-bald

Healthy scalp: Closeup shot of a semi-bald man wearing a black suit on the runway
Keep your scalp fresh and dandruff-free to nail a semi-bald haircut. Credit: indigitalimages.com

When temperatures are soaring especially during summer, it’s tempting to go for the shortest haircut that you can get. A semi-bald haircut can make your scalp cool and fresh. It’s also a good choice if you want a wash-and-wear type of haircut.

4. Skinhead

Healthy scalp: Closeup shot of a man with skinhead haircut wearing a white suit on the runway
Flaunt a clear scalp with a skinhead ‘do. Credit: indigitalimages.com

If you have thinning hair, you might want to just shave your head entirely so you won’t have to deal with blank, awkward spots. When you have a skinhead ‘do, your entire scalp is exposed, so scalp care is all the more important. A healthy diet is also key in keeping your scalp healthy, aside from using an anti-dandruff shampoo.

5. Regular fade cut

Shaved side hairstyles men: Man wearing a blue polo over a white shirt with a faded haircut standing against a brick wall
Complete your college look with a smart and chic faded haircut. Credit: Shutterstock

Can’t decide whether to get a shaved side or not? Try a regular fade cut. It’s a clean and smart haircut that you can sport whether you’re still a student or already a young professional. You can use hair wax or hair putty to style the rest of your hair and give it a matte finish.

Whatever haircut or hairstyle you choose, remember to always keep your scalp healthy. Include an anti-dandruff shampoo in your hair care arsenal, so get a healthy scalp not just during summer but all year long.


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