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Senior Beauty Scientist

Suffering from an itchy scalp when hot? You might notice when you’re at home or indoors more during those winter months you scratch a little more than normal. So, while central heating’s a boon during winter, could it also be a hidden cause of dandruff?

Central heating is quickly becoming ubiquitous in the developed world, especially in the colder climes.

It’s easy to see why: who wouldn’t want the convenience of a toasty home when you come in from the cold? The question is, does using central heating have hidden consequences for your hair and scalp?

Central heating effectively works by pumping dry, warm air through your home, so it will have an effect on your hair. But that doesn’t mean it causes dandruff? If you’ve noticed a hot itchy scalp, keep reading…

What causes dandruff at home?

A fungus called Malassezia globosa lives on all our heads. This microbe is typically harmless, feeding on the scalp’s natural oils and leaving behind oleic acid as a by-product.

Unfortunately, a portion of the population is sensitive to oleic acid. If you are, you can expect symptoms that include:

  • An itchy scalp

  • Dry, white flakes of skin

  • A red, irritated scalp

Malassezia globosa is pretty much unaffected by central heating, so you don’t need to worry on that front. But there are other problems to consider…

Itchy scalp when hot at home

Are you victim to a hot, itchy scalp? You’re not alone. Because central heating is a dry heat, it can cause problems, even if it won’t actually cause dandruff.

Spending a lot of time in a centrally heated environment – as you tend to do on cold winter days – dries out your scalp.

This can exacerbate the flaking and dry skin common to dandruff, even causing a dandruff flare up if you’re susceptible to dandruff.

Luckily, it’s easy to combat this: you just need to give your scalp more moisture.

Looking for a dandruff solution at home? Moisturising your scalp is easy if you use a moisturising dandruff shampoo. These shampoos are specially formulated to fight the cause and symptoms of dandruff, including dry scalp.

Which means you’ll be relieving your hot, itchy scalp from dandruff and keeping it moisturised at the same time – two birds with one stone.