OLEIC ACID – WHAT IS IT AND HOW DOES IT CAUSE DANDRUFF?
You’ll find it in everything from avocados to olive oil, and it also causes dandruff. Find out what oleic acid is and how it causes dandruff.
Dandruff is caused when three things come together:
Malassezia globosa – a naturally occurring microbe on the scalp
Sebum – the natural scalp oils your scalp produces
Oleic acid – the byproduct created when Malassezia globosa breaks down sebum
Oleic acid forms in the last step in the process and is the thing that triggers the irritation, flakes, itching and dryness we associate with dandruff. Read more about the cause of dandruff.
1 in 2 people are sensitive to oleic acid
Whether you suffer from dandruff or not, you’ll have all three of these things on your scalp, including oleic acid.
For 50% of the world’s population, those factors cause dandruff because their bodies treat oleic acid as an irritant.
If you’re sensitive to oleic acid, your body will respond by attempting to shed the irritant:
it triggers an itch response on the scalp
skin cells renew faster than usual, causing dead skin cells to accumulate as “flakes”
the scalp’s natural moisture defenses become damaged, causing a dry scalp
your scalp can become inflamed and red
How to treat dandruff
If you’re one of the 50% of people sensitive to oleic acid, the best option is to treat the symptoms to keep dandruff away.
That’s because it’s a recurring condition. Malassezia and oleic acid will always be present on your scalp, so you need to treat the flakes, itching and dryness.
So even if you are one of the billions of people who have dandruff, you don’t have to suffer from it.
In fact, keep using Head & Shoulders regularly (every time you wash your hair) and you can keep the symptoms at bay.
¹ Visible flakes, with regular use