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Curly hair has special needs, and can lead to problems your straighter haired friends might not experience, particularly when it comes to dandruff.

Dandruff can affect anyone, but curly hair has a few unique properties that warrant special care.

Thanks to the way it grows, and the demands of caring for it, people with curly hair experience specific challenges that those with straight hair don’t.

What causes curly hair?

The difference between curly and straight hair comes from two places: your follicles, and keratin.

Follicles are where hair grows from your skin. The shape and direction of your follicles determines how your hair curls and the direction of growth.

In curly hair, these follicles are asymmetrical, or “J” shaped.

Keratins are a protein that makes up the bulk of hair.

Again, in curly hair certain keratins are distributed differently, being concentrated on the inner curve of the hair.

One of the effects of having curly hair is on your scalp’s natural oils.

Your curls make it harder for these oils to travel down the length of the strands, which can lead to dry or frizzy hair.

But what does that mean for dandruff?

What is dandruff?

To understand how curly hair affects dandruff, it helps to first understand the causes of dandruff:

  • A microbe called Malassezia globosa is present on everybody’s scalp and feeds on natural scalp oils

  • The by-product of this process is oleic acid – something half the population is sensitive to

  • In sensitive people, the body responds by displaying the symptoms of dandruff – flakes, itching or dryness (sometimes all 3!)

Curly hair and dandruff

We’ve already mentioned the affect that scalp oils can have on dandruff. And we know that curly hair tends to be dry, leading many people to choose hairstyles that can be worn for multiple days between washes, to limit shampoo use and preserve natural oils on the hair.

Of course, an unfortunate side-effect of leaving oils on the hair for days is that the oils begin to change between shampoos, being oxidized and broken down by Malassezia globosa into oleic acid.

If you’re sensitive to it- and about 50% of people are- you could develop dry scalp and dandruff. 

This means that those with curly hair have to be especially careful to choose a good, moisturizing shampoo that treats dandruff.

But there’s another problem that we need to be aware of: those with thick curly hair might not even know if they have dandruff.

Thick curly hair can hide the visible signs of dandruff by stopping flakes from falling onto the shoulders.

Even when the flakes aren’t visible to you, your scalp can still be suffering and uncomfortable - you can experience itch, dryness, and irritation. 

Left untreated, the problem just gets worse.

Taking care of curly hair

So, it’s important to take especially good care of curly hair.

The best way to do so is with a shampoo designed to treat dandruff.

With our nourishing hair and scalp care shampoo, you not only treat dandruff but you get extra conditioning and care for really healthy-looking hair too.  

More hair care tips and advice

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