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Is Dandruff Contagious? Separating Facts from Fiction for Scalp Health

The white flakes seen on the scalp and giving an itchy sensation are known as dandruff. It can be easily visible on the head, black shirts. It has a bad impact on our faces too. It gives pimples on the face and causes irritation on the scalp. It gets quite embarrassing when it’s visible on the head as well as on shirts.

But why does dandruff occur in the first place? 

It can have various reasons why it occurs. It may be because of climatic conditions, stress levels, using harmful products on hair, etc. Having dandruff is not at all a serious condition. It can even go away on its own. Some cases may require visiting a doctor when the dandruff is getting quite severe and has been there for very long.

Medications, such as both allopathic and homeopathic are available, dandruff shampoos can be used. 

There are some treatments or daily hair care routines to stay away from dandruff or any other scalp problem. Such as oiling (not leaving it for very long), massage, eating amla, and also there are specified ayurvedic mixtures, that help in taking proper care of the flaky scalp, and hence promoting hair health.

Proper care not only leads to the quality of hair but quantity too. So it’s very necessary to keep hair healthy in check.

What’s Your Take? 

What causes dandruff, and how do you get rid of it? - Thomas L. Dawson

Dandruff is a condition that is not at all contagious or communicable. Having flakes means your body has certain deficiencies or something is lacking in your body or especially the scalp.

So it cannot be passed to a person who is not having any deficiency. It’s a minor issue that can be treated with basic remedies too. But if it’s not treated timely then it can cause serious scalp problems. It can even lead to hair loss.

There are some myths whither on circulating that ‘dandruff is contagious’, which needs to be addressed at the earliest.

So the first one is you can get dandruff by sharing combs. As dandruff gets stuck to the comb and will lead to dandruff in the other person. The same goes for rubber bands, hair bands, or any other hair accessories.

The second one is sharing pillows. Using the pillow of a person having dandruff won’t cause you dandruff.

The third one is that dandruff is inherited. It is not at all true to say this. Some things can be inherited but dandruff is not something that can be inherited. Because as discussed earlier, our scalp is lacking something, hence causing dandruff.

Why Dandruff Occurs: 

Dandruff comes with many reasons with it. For instance,

1. Oily Scalp: Excess production of Malassezia can lead to oily dandruff. Malassezia is the production of oils on the scalp.

2. Hair Products: The use of hair products that are completely chemical-based or products that contain sulfates and parabens in them can cause dandruff. So the compositions must be checked before starting on any product. Because using any hair product can lead to harsh impacts on the scalp.

3. Eczema: There is a type of eczema, called scalp eczema which leads to an itchy, dry scalp which ultimately leads to dandruff.

4. Irritated Scalp: The scalp may get irritated due to oily skin or dry skin. Both eventually lead to dandruff.

5. Poor Hair Care: When proper hair care is not done then it leads to scalp problems. If regular hair washing is not done then it will lead to dandruff deposits. And there are specified soaps and shampoos which are also available that help in getting rid of dandruff.

6. Underlying Disease: There is a disease called HIV that leads to dandruff. And the minor one is a weak immune system which somehow leads to dandruff. So it’s necessary to keep things on track to avoid dandruff.

Types of Dandruff:

There are different types of dandruff and each has a different solution to get rid of it: Let’s discuss some: There are in total 4 types of dandruff:-

1. Oily Scalp Dandruff: 

Oil glands produce natural oils but when those natural oils get released too much then it makes hair oily. Then that excess oil buildup starts to irritate the scalp and leads to flakes. And that dandruff becomes oily too. And when one scratches the head out of irritation, flakes get multiplied.

2. Dry Scalp Dandruff: 

In this, the scalp does not get oily but gets too dry. Especially in dry winter weather, as winters dry out our scalp as well as the skin gets dry. It is advised not to wash hair with boiling water, instead to wash with lukewarm water otherwise the hair texture also suffers.

3. Disease Dandruff: 

Some diseases cause dandruff. Such as eczema, and HIV. And also weak immune system leads the skin to itch and causes dandruff.

4. Fungus Dandruff: 

Malassezia is a common and the most popular kind of fungus. Malassezia occurs when excess oils get deposited on the scalp, eventually causing dandruff. Malassezia even inflates the scalp.

Can We Get Rid of Dandruff

is dandruff contagious
By: Towfiq007 on Unlimphotos

As discussed earlier, dandruff is something that comes when the scalp is lacking something. And when deficiency is fulfilled, you can get rid of a flaky scalp.

It’s not difficult to get rid of dandruff. It just needs basic care and demands proper hair care daily. In this manner, it will not create serious problems or won’t demand a doctor’s visit.

But if hair care is not given due attention, then it may cause severe issues, and dandruff which comes with severe reasons doesn’t go away on its own. Maintaining hair hygiene will contribute to hair health.

For eg., massaging the scalp, using chemicals that shampoo, and shampooing at least twice a week. 

How to Get Rid of Dandruff: 

Dandruff | How To Get Rid Of Dandruff (2018)

Some basic remedies help in getting rid of dandruff.

Let’s discuss some cures for dandruff in detail :

1. Stay Relaxed:

Stress is somewhere linked to dandruff. An increase in stress and anxiety can automatically lead to dandruff and hair fall too. Staying relaxed can prevent dandruff.

2. Massage:

Massage should be done timely as it improves blood flow in the scalp and it ultimately leads to hair health.

3. Aloe Vera:

Aloe vera is very much beneficial in treating hair problems and skin conditions. As it is a natural product so it may take longer to work. But it’s highly effective in treating flakes. Applying aloe vera over the scalp will not only leads to removing flaky skin but gives your head a soothing effect.

3. Tea Tree Oil: 

This essential oil is quite effective in treating skin conditions as well as hair problems. It reduces inflammation and leads to glowing skin and healthy hair. It keeps you away from skin problems.

4. Shampoo: 

One of the main reasons for having dandruff is not shampooing properly or at regular intervals. It is advised to shampoo hair regularly to avoid a flaky scalp.

5. Lemon:

Applying lemon juice over the itchy scalp helps in getting rid of flakes. Just mix a teaspoon of lemon juice with your favorite oil and massage it over your scalp and leave it overnight. Wash it off in the morning and it will help you treat dandruff conditions.

6. Curd+ Honey:

Applying curd and honey together works wonders on an itchy scalp. It not only leads to hair health but brain health too by giving it a soothing effect. And also it leaves shine on the hair. It carries antifungal properties.

7. Coconut Oil: 

Coconut oil is one of the best oils that are full of benefits. It’s been in use for a very long time. It can cure all hair issues without leaving any side effects. Coconut oil massage is also good for face glow-up.

It removes all dead skin cells. One thing to be kept in mind is no matter which oil you are using on your scalp, don’t leave it for a long time it will damage your hair and can make dandruff worse.

8. Avoid Certain Foods:

There are specific foods whose intake should be stopped or decreased if you want to protect your hair. Such as refined oil, fried food, refined sugar, yeast-based products, etc. These food items and poor hygiene not only affect your hair but your entire health.

9. Baking Soda: 

Scrubbing baking soda onto the scalp is very helpful in getting rid of dandruff. Baking soda removes all the dead cells from the scalp when scrubbed gently.

How Long Does It Take To Get Rid of Dandruff: 

It depends upon the kind of dandruff one has. If it is oily or dry dandruff then it can be cured in 2-3 weeks. But if a person is going through fungal dandruff or disease dandruff then it may take several weeks to get rid of dandruff.

Proper treatment and attention should be given to prevent those white flakes. Even if you are facing oily or dry dandruff you shouldn’t take it lightly because if even these are not treated timely then it can also lead to serious medical problems.

Quickly start with treatment when you notice flakes. Start with a remedy you have the utmost faith in. It can be allopathic as well as homeopathic.

After performing a remedy, observe changes for 1-2 weeks. And if you don’t see any change try switching to another remedy. Because some remedies vary from skin to skin. when you use any scientifically referred anti-dandruff shampoo, after 1 wash you will realize that dandruff visibility is almost zero.

But you shouldn’t stop your treatment there. Because usually, it comes back when you stop your treatment quite early. So give it some time. 


The oily, itchy, or sometimes dry skin is the root cause of flaky skin coming up on your scalp, which we call dandruff. It is not at all contagious. Keeping your hair health in check will do wonders.

And having the right diet and avoiding refined and processed foods. As there are different kinds of dandruff demanding different types of treatment. But one thing in common is that all needs full attention so that it doesn’t get worse. And it’s very much possible to get rid of dandruff. But it may take longer.

Efforts should be made continuously. If you notice that dandruff is not going then you must go see a doctor. Because there can be some other factors leading to severe dandruff, such as diseases and infections.

If the dandruff flakes are quite serious and not going for a long time then you may need to visit the clinic. But if the dandruff flakes are minor or not so severe then there are remedies available that can give quick results.

Such as scrubbing lemon juice on the scalp, tea tree oil, massaging, shampooing twice a week, coconut oil, applying reetha, shikakai, amla powder on the scalp, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, curd-honey, using chemical-free products, a medicated shampoo. Just be regular in these remedies, flaky scalp will go.

Last Updated on December 25, 2023 by