One of the strongest contributing factors, however, is the level of a fungus called Malassezia.
Multiple studies have found a link between Malassezia and scalp health, with dandruff scalps consistently showing a marked increase in the abundance of Malassezia.
Like every organism, Malassezia thrives when it is fed, and one of its favourite foods is the saturated fatty acids found in sebum. A greasy scalp, therefore, offers the perfect condition for the amount of Malassezia to increase.
When Malassezia grow too quickly, it disturbs natural skin cell renewal. Scalp skin cells cluster together and appear as white flakes. Hence, current dandruff treatments focus on anti-fungal ingredients that have the removal of Malassezia in their sights.
Unilever products such as Clear Advanced Protection anti-dandruff shampoo, the Clear Scalp Clinic range and Living Proof Restore Dry Scalp Treatment contain ingredients that restore the equilibrium of the scalp microbiome, nourish the scalp and alleviate the itch associated with dandruff scalps. However, they are not a silver bullet. They are very effective at managing the condition but require regular use to control it.
Now, new research findings from Unilever R&D may mean that we are one step closer to finding dandruff’s root cause.