Types of Dandruff: How to Identify Them

HK Vitals

Dandruff is a common scalp condition that affects people of all ages. It is important to note that dandruff is not a one-size-fits-all problem. There are different types of dandruff, each with its own characteristics and causes.

In this article, we will explore the two primary types of dandruff: oily skin dandruff and dry skin dandruff. By understanding these distinctions, you can identify the type you may be experiencing and choose the most appropriate remedial measures to effectively manage and control it.

Oily Skin Dandruff

  • Characteristics: Oily skin dandruff, also known as seborrheic dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, is characterized by excessive oil production on the scalp. The flakes associated with this type of dandruff are usually larger, greasier, and tend to stick to the scalp and hair.
  • Causes: Oily skin dandruff occurs due to an overactive sebaceous gland, which produces more sebum (natural oil) than necessary. The excess oil creates an ideal environment for the growth of the Malassezia fungus, leading to scalp irritation and dandruff formation.
  • Symptoms: In addition to visible flakes, oily skin dandruff is often accompanied by scalp redness, itchiness, and inflammation. The affected area may appear greasy or oily, and the scalp may feel oily even shortly after washing.
  • Remedies: Managing oily skin dandruff involves regulating sebum production and controlling fungal growth. Use shampoos containing active ingredients such as ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, or zinc pyrithione, which help control the fungus and reduce oiliness. Regularly washing the hair and scalp with these specialized anti-dandruff shampoos can effectively manage this type of dandruff.

Best Hair Mask for Oily Skin Dandruff:

This hair mask recipe is super beneficial for oily skin dandruff:

Lemon and Tea Tree Oil Hair Mask:

Lemon juice helps regulate oil production and has antifungal properties, while tea tree oil helps control the fungal growth that contributes to dandruff.


  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (optional)


In a bowl, mix the lemon juice and tea tree oil. If desired, add honey to the mixture and stir well. Apply the mask to your scalp, focusing on the areas affected by dandruff. Leave the mask on for 20-30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and follow up with a gentle shampoo.

Dry Skin Dandruff

  • Characteristics: Dry skin dandruff, also known as simple dandruff or dry scalp dandruff, occurs when the scalp lacks sufficient moisture. The flakes associated with dry skin dandruff are typically smaller, white, and dry in texture. They tend to be more loosely attached to the scalp and hair.
  • Causes: Dry skin dandruff can be caused by a variety of factors, including cold weather, low humidity, harsh shampoos, and frequent use of heating tools. These factors strip the scalp of its natural oils, leading to dryness, flakiness, and dandruff.
  • Symptoms: Apart from the visible flakes, dry skin dandruff may cause scalp tightness, itchiness, and occasional scalp irritation. The flakes are more noticeable on dark-coloured clothing.
  • Remedies: Treating dry skin dandruff involves restoring moisture to the scalp and minimizing flaking. Use mild, moisturizing shampoos that are specifically formulated for dry or sensitive scalps. These shampoos often contain ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, or shea butter, which help hydrate the scalp and alleviate dryness.

Best Hair Mask For Dry Skin Dandruff:

This hair mask recipe is super beneficial for dry skin dandruff:

Aloe Vera and Yogurt Hair Mask:

Aloe vera helps hydrate and soothe the scalp, while yogurt provides moisture and helps reduce flaking.


  • 3 tablespoons of fresh aloe vera gel
  • 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt


In a bowl, combine the aloe vera gel and yogurt, mixing them well. Apply the mixture to your scalp and hair, making sure to cover the affected areas. Leave the mask on for 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and follow up with a gentle shampoo.


Dandruff is not a one-size-fits-all condition, and understanding the types of dandruff can guide you toward appropriate treatment and management strategies. Oily skin dandruff is characterized by excessive oil production, while dry skin dandruff occurs due to insufficient scalp moisture. By identifying the type of dandruff you have, you can choose the right products and take steps to address the underlying causes. Remember, maintaining a healthy scalp through proper care and suitable products is key to effectively managing different types of dandruff and achieving a flake-free, healthy scalp.

HK Vitals


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