Does Olaplex Cause Dandruff? Here’s The Truth

Olaplex created hype in the hair care market with several celebrity endorsements, and the strategy worked wonders. It’s one of the most sought-after products in the entire beauty industry. However, it also made the headline quite a few times for the wrong reasons. Does Olaplex cause dandruff? It’s one of the uncomfortable questions Olaplex reps had to answer.

Does Olaplex Cause Dandruff?

The sulfate-free formulation of OIaplex products might make the scalp dry and more vulnerable to dandruff if you have oily hair. Sulfates are cleaning agents commonly found in shampoos, cleaners, and detergents. The absence of sulfates could sometimes worsen the dandruff situation, but in other scenarios, it could have the opposite effect. Allow us to explain.

Dry Scalp Is Dandruff Haven

Why do shampoo makers use sulfate? They do so because sulfates can wash away dead skin cells and grime from the scalp. Also, they are pretty cheap. There’s a catch, however. Sulfates can also draw out natural oil from the skin and make the scalp too dry. And we all know that dry scalp skin makes the ideal condition for dandruff to settle in. 

But how does a dry scalp lead to dandruff?

When the scalp loses too much moisture, it causes the outer layer of dead skin cells on the scalp to flake off. These flakes are called dandruff, and they get stuck in our hair. Sulfate shampoos can remove natural oils from the scalp and make it excessively dry. So, if you have dry hair, using sulfate shampoos won’t be ideal.

Some sulfates could be milder than others. Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, for example, is notorious for making the hair brittle and stripping natural oils from the scalp. Sodium Laureth Sulfate, also known as SLES, is way less abrasive. So, you must check the ingredients before buying a sulfate shampoo.

Too Much Moisture Won’t Help Either

Olaplex hydrates the scalp, so it can’t cause dandruff, right? It has to be a myth! But that’s not true. A dry scalp will make your dandruff situation go from bad to worse. On the other extreme, excess scalp moisture can also drastically increase dandruff risks. Sounds like an oxymoron? It will make more sense if we elaborate. 

Malassezia is a fungus that can be found in all of our scalps. Yes, you, me, everyone has it. It breaks down the sebum produced by our scalp into oleic acid. If you are sensitive to oleic acid, like half of the entire global population, it will make your scalp skin clustered and flaky.

Does that sound familiar? That’s right! We are talking about dandruff!

A greasy scalp leads to more oleic acid buildup on the skin. Olaplex will jack up the sebum production even more. As you can imagine, it will make your scalp skin feel itchier and accelerate dandruff production. So, we won’t recommend using Olaplex if you have oily hair, not without consulting a dermatologist, at least. 

Final Words

So, does Olaplex cause dandruff? Sometimes it does, and sometimes it does not. You need to evaluate your current hair and scalp condition before using Olaplex. It’s tempting to see the incredible results people have gotten by using it. But, the urge to get salon-ready hair on the go could be costly if you become an impromptu Olaplex user.

Olaplex might help with your dandruff condition rather than worsening it if you have a dry scalp. It will help the skin to retain adequate moisture. However, if you are already pretty stacked up in scalp moisture, using Olaplex might result in a flaky nightmare. So, we strongly advise you against using Olaplex before having a sit down with your dermatologist. 


My name is Maria and I am a beauty blogger and writer. I am passionate about all things beauty, from skincare to makeup. On my blog, I share product reviews, tips, and tricks to help others feel confident and beautiful in their own skin. I strive to create a positive and inclusive space for everyone. Join me on my journey as I discover my unique beauty brand and share it with you.