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Malassezia: Pleaz-a Leav-a

It's a lover of lipids, a seeker of the dark. It doesn't discriminate, and it overstays its welcome. Just what is this mysterious thing of which I speak? It's called malassezia, and it's now believed this pesky creature is one of the leading causes of dandruff.

It's a common misconception that dandruff is caused by a dry scalp or by poor hygiene, which is not the case. Dandruff is dependent upon three factors: sebum production, individual susceptibility, and microbe (malassezia) by-products.

Yes, this yeast-like fungi is present on everyone's scalp, and it loves the dark and damp atmosphere on the top of your noggin. Depending on your body chemistry, this microorganism will thrive on fats produced by your oil glands. Like a hungry houseguest who doesn't seem to leave, malassezia causes irritation and redness.

For dandruff relief, look for shampoos and conditioners with pyrithione zinc, an anti-fungal ingredient. Head & Shoulders makes an excellent variety of gentle, moisturizing products that include this ingredient — and they actually smell good. (Mr. Bella is way into his bottle.) With regular usage, you should be flake-free in two weeks. Keep in mind, if treatment is discontinued, the fungus will come back with its intrusive, ferocious appetite. No, thanks.


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JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
Is this a new discovery? I had known it was from sebum but I learned that in cosmetology school and we didn't learn about anything like this.
kahribar kahribar 8 years
Well, thanks for sharing, had no idea that was what it actually was, hubby has some too.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
Hello! Everyone has malassezia in his or her hair. Bummer, I know. Whether it be your body chemistry, stress, or what have you — you may just be more susceptible to the effects. I think you could try to alternate between a dandruff shampoo and your regular one. Give it a try. If it doesn't seem to give you the benefits, stick with just the Head & Shoulders.
em1282 em1282 8 years
Ugh. I actually had to get some H&S a few weeks ago (first time using it, ever), and it worked like a charm. Do you have to stick to just this shampoo every day, or is it OK to alternate with other shampoos (as long as you at least use H&S a few times a week)?
Bksuga Bksuga 8 years
I thought dandruff was when u had dry scalp?? wow its a fungus eww, if the treatment is discontinued it will come back?? So you always have to use the shampoo?
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