Dandruff

Everybody sheds dead skin cells from the scalp, normally in tiny clusters. With dandruff, the outer cells clump together to form large, visible flakes and leave the scalp tender and itchy.

Symptoms

Flakes of skin that range from small and white to large, greasy, and yellow
Itchy flaking that appears on the scalp or eyebrows, or around the hairline, ears, or nose

Causes

Dandruff is caused by skin cells that grow and die off too fast, but the reason that this occurs is not clear.

Factors which may be involved include:

Over-active sebaceous glands
Inherited tendencies
Food allergy
Excessive sweating
Use of strong shampoos
Yeast infections
Stress

Natural Therapies

Anti-dandruff shampoo will help treat most forms of dandruff, however more stubborn forms may require stronger tar-based products to remove the greasy scales.

Evening Primrose Oil and Fish Oil contain essential fatty acids which are required for the oil balance of the scalp
B Complex vitamins may be beneficial to help relieve stress – look for a formula containing biotin
Essential fatty acids are important for the function of cell membranes. They are essential for energy production, particularly of skin and hair

Lifestyle Factors

Avoid fried foods, dairy products, sugar and chocolate, and eat a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables.

Do not scratch or pick at the scalp as this may break the skin, leaving it vulnerable to infection.

Brushing your hair with a natural-bristle brush to stimulate hair follicles can prove beneficial.

Remedies

Make sure you use a gentle shampoo suited to your hair type. Washing your hair too frequently and using shampoo that upsets the delicate oil balance of the scalp will make your hair more prone to dandruff.

Important Notes

Consult your healthcare professional if your dandruff is greasy and yellow, and does not respond to over-the-counter dandruff shampoos and lotions – you may have seborrheic dermatitis and need more aggressive treatment to relieve the itching and flaking.

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