Dandruff can be an annoying and embarrassing problem. An itchy scalp can lead to flakes on your shoulders and misconceptions about poor hygiene. Fortunately, there are simple changes you can make to help combat the problem.
Most experts agree that the cause of dandruff is a yeast fungus called Pityrosporum ovale, or P. ovale. Everyone has this fungus among the flora of his or her scalp, but overgrowth leads to dandruff. An excessively oily scalp feeds these tiny microorganisms and allows the fungus to grow out of control.
Other culprits, such as dry scalp conditions, hormonal changes and poor diet, can also contribute to flakes. Simple changes to your lifestyle can help with all these factors. Dandruff cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. Taking a proactive approach to scalp issues will help you achieve healthier hair.
The foods you eat can have a big impact on skin health. Diets heavy in sugar, salt and processed foods can trigger hormone changes, dry out your scalp and cause inflammation. Sugar also feeds yeast, which may be a factor in some dandruff cases. Eat more fresh, unprocessed food to eliminate those dandruff-promoting ingredients. Healthy fats from foods such as avocados, salmon and nuts support healthy skin and may alleviate some itchiness.
Zinc-deficiency is a major diet-related cause of dandruff. Zinc helps control oily skin, hence controlling dandruff by limiting the breeding of P. ovale. Foods high in zinc include almonds, oysters and some grains. B vitamins improve the absorption of zinc and also contribute to hair and skin health. Beef, eggs and asparagus contain individual vitamins in the B group; eat a variety of fresh foods to reap the scalp-healthy benefits from the B family of vitamins.
Drink plenty of water. The actual amount you need is dependent on several factors, but if you’re thirsty — drink! Dehydration can lead to a dry, itchy scalp. Scratching your scalp creates flakes and may lead to hair loss. Hair loss? Yes, scratching your scalp may detach hairs from your scalp, causing thin hair.
Exercise can improve the condition of your scalp and hair. Exercising gets your blood flowing. Healthier circulation brings more oxygen and nutrients to your scalp area to help with dryness. The force of blood rushing through your capillaries also reduces inflammation by stimulating cells to produce an anti-inflammatory response.
Remember to shower after exercise. Excess sweat and oil on your scalp can make flakes worse. Small changes in your diet and lifestyle can have a big impact on your dandruff problem, but if you are still seeing those nasty flakes, it may warrant a trip to a trichologist practitioner or a dermatologist.
At New Look Institute our certified trichologist practitioner can diagnose your scalp condition and if it is causing hair loss we will determine the best hair restoration solution that is perfect for you. To schedule your free consultation call us today at (408) 279-4247 or to contact us via email click here.
Photo Credit: Practical Cures Via Flickr Creative Commons
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