Skip to content



Worried that using hair serum cause dandruff? Our guide gives you the answer plus some handy tips to make sure you stay flake-free.

Silicone- or oil-based hair serums are a great way to detangle and soften hair while giving it a lustrous shine. But could they be a culprit for dandruff?

The short answer is ‘no’, but it’s actually a little more complicated than that.

What causes dandruff?

Dandruff is caused by a microbe called Malassezia globosa, which you’ll find on everyone’s scalp.

Usually, it’s no cause for concern – but half the world’s population is sensitive to the oleic acid it produces as it feeds on scalp oils.

If you’re one of them, you may experience symptoms of dandruff including:

  • white flakes in your hair

  • itchiness

  • irritation

The scalp oils, the Malassezia globosa, and your personal tendency to develop dandruff are the big factors that lead to dandruff.

There are other smaller factors that can make a dandruff problem worse, or cause a flaking flare-up.

Building up and breaking down

There are two main problems with constant use of a hair care product like serum – build-up and breakdown.

The silicone and oil-based coating that’s found in many hair serums tends to stick. This means that if you apply it near your roots, it can easily build-up on your skin, along with your natural scalp oils.

This build-up mixture can damage your scalp if it is not washed out properly.

That’s because it breaks down over time into potentially irritating substances. As they irritate your scalp, they can make your dandruff appear worse.


Safety in serum

It’s important to take steps to minimize both build-up and breakdown. Luckily, they can both be fixed at the same time.

Washing your hair properly and regularly will ensure that serum doesn’t have a chance to become a problem. Just remember:

  • Wash your hair regularly to clear build-up

  • Ensure that you wash your hair properly, rinsing thoroughly to clear your hair of shampoo

  • A good conditioner will moisturize your scalp and hair, keeping them healthy

Cookie Preference