What Actually Causes Dandruff?

What Actually Causes Dandruff?

This fungus lives on your scalp and may affect the genes you express.
Check out Head & Shoulders research on getting rid of dandruff: https://ve42.co/HS

Animation by Pindex: https://ve42.co/pindex

When I started this project, I wasn’t sure what caused dandruff and I also didn’t think much science would go into making a shampoo like Head & Shoulders. So what I learned really surprised me:

There are hundreds of scientists working on this shampoo. They run crazy-sounding experiments like hanging hair near Tokyo highways to understand how real-world environments deposit dirt on hair. They use sophisticated scientific techniques like electron microscopes, nuclear magnetic resonance and gene sequencing to study dandruff on the molecular level.

In fact they sequenced the entire genome of Malassezia globosa in 2002, one year after the human genome project. Their findings are published in international refereed journals. What they have found is that the Malassezia fungi create free fatty acids as byproducts of their digestion, which for some people create irritation and lead to hyper-proliferation of skin cells, flaking, histamines, inflammatory cytokines, and blood proteins reaching the surface of the skin. These findings indicate the unhealthiness of dandruff scalp and suggest a possible remedy – controlling the metabolism of the Malassezia fungi. This is achieved using different active ingredients in different products and different parts of the world, including zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, and piroctone olamine. With the reduction of irritants, the scalp actually expresses different genes, producing a signature more similar to a non-dandruff baseline scalp.

Music from Epidemic Sound: http://epidemicsound.com
Music also by Kevin MacLeod: http://incompetech.com


Like it? Share with your friends!


What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
confused confused
fail fail
fun fun
geeky geeky
love love
lol lol
omg omg
win win



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I really hope Veritasium sees how many people saying that this video is a giant ad and that he talks about it or edits the video because this is indeed a giant ad. I like his channel but this, this feels more corporate than sciencey

  2. I can tell you what causes dandruff. Dandruff shampoo. Went my entire childhood/teenage life without dandruff or dry scalp and spent a weekend at a friends who had nothing but head and shoulders. Spent years getting rid of that crap.

  3. This turned out to be an actually cool advertisement for H&S, since it involved explaining the basics involved in creating (and getting rid of) dandruff.

    It actually works better as an ad for people like me.. probably not for everyone though 🙂

  4. Funny how many comments are about Veritasium losing its integrity because of this video. Do you live rent free? I'm sure he doesn't. If you watch this channel you understand when points being made are biased, and when he said he was going to the head and shoulders lab you should have known an ad was commencing and you could have clicked on another video. So much time and money goes into making any of these videos. Idk how he could possibly afford to continue this channel without making an occasional ad like this. And I hope he was paid well for it!

  5. I know I'm late to this, but I feel like this video goes too far in its sponsorship, particularly in the scene with the Malassezia with a spot of head and shoulders on it – if you were put a drop of rubbing alcohol, dish soap, or an number of other chemicals in that dish, would it not have the exact same result? I'm guessing the answer is yes. So I feel like this video is using questionable scientific "evidence" to prove the efficacy of the sponsored product, and I think that really goes against the spirit of this channel.

  6. This is pure product placement. If he really cared about science and also had cared for the environment, he would have tried putting natural substances in those lowns of malasszia. I'm disheartened.

  7. P.S Verity – Youtube tries to ''protect'' you from FACTS by rejecting my edits. . see if you don't call them off fannybaws? . I'm gonnae get ya busted by the actual LAW for being a DISINFO agent you lying and willfully ignorant little corporate TOOL.

  8. I have been using H&S for years, I had really bad dandruff. Now I don’t have dandruff anymore and people ask me why I use H&S if I don’t have dandruff, and my answer is always “exactly”.

Choose A Format
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
The Classic Internet Listicles
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Youtube and Vimeo Embeds
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Photo or GIF
GIF format