What's the difference between Dandruff, Build-up, and Dry Scalp?

Similar issues, different causes. It’s easy to confuse dry scalp, product build-up & dandruff since they are both presented as white flakes, however, there are some major distinctions. Here are some tips to help you identify your scalp conditions.


Dandruff is very common and can be found in everyone. It is a skin condition caused by an overgrowth of commensal yeast on the scalp and is common on oily scalps. Dandruff can be easily treated with a scalp treatment or simply by making sure your hair is thoroughly dry after a shower.

Symptoms: Oily, large flakes that are yellow or white, itchy scalp

Product Build-up

Scalp buildup is a condition causing flakes on your scalp. The main cause of excess sweat, oil, and dead skin cells is due to hair care products containing silicone. Product build-up on the scalp can sometimes affect hair growth as well as create scalp inflammation and infection. To remove build-up, simply stop using products that are high in silicone and consider switching to a safe alternative.

Symptoms: The flakes tend to be a similar colour to the product used, It sticks to the hair instead of falling on the shoulders

Dry Scalp

Dry scalp and dandruff are often confused, dry scalp occurs when your skin has less moisture. It often happens when the skin barrier is interrupted. This can result from dry air, excessive shampooing, genetics, skin conditions (i.e. eczema), older age, or even your diet. Improve dry scalp problems by shampooing less frequently and using hydration treatments like hair masks or oils.

Symptoms: Smaller, dry flakes & dry hair


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