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What is Dandruff?

Dandruff is the common name for seborrhoea of the scalp, describing small flakes and scales of sebum and skin cells which catch in the hair. Dandruff is usually harmless and almost universal, however severe dandruff can lead to hair loss and possibly baldness.

View dandruff products

What causes Dandruff?

Studies have shown that causes of dandruff include:

  • Not washing the hair and scalp enough
  • An inadequate diet
  • Yeast infections
  • Inefficient carbohydrate metabolism.
  • Investigations have found a severe form of dandruff that is caused by a fungus called Pityrosporum ovale.
  • Some food allergies may cause dandruff.
  • Eating lots of sugar, yeasty foods or drinking alcohol can cause dandruff in some people.
  • Also too much citrus is thought to contribute to dandruff in some people.

How can you control Dandruff?

Dandruff can be substantially controlled by the diet, including specific vitamins and minerals and other natural ingredients.

The B complex vitamins (make sure they are yeast free), the antioxidant nutrients Vitamin C, E, Beta Carotene and Selenium are also helpful.

You can take these individually or try an antioxidant formula such as Enzogenol ACE and Selenium.

Vitamin A and the trace mineral Zinc are important for scalp and skin health

Warm Olive or Jojoba oil with 2-3 drops of 100% Tea Tree or Manuka essential oil is useful as a topical treatment. Massage into the scalp regularly.

Nutritional and Herbal support for Dandruff includes...

Primadophilus - Essential for a yeast overgrowth, one of the common causes of dandruff.

Vitamin B Complex 100 - The B complex vitamins are essential for all skin and hair problems.

Tea Tree Shampoo - Specifically for a dry, itchy, flaky scalp.

Fish oil/Evening primrose oil - Essential fatty acids are vital for all problems relating to the hair, skin and nails.

Some interesting points on Dandruff:

  • Eat a diet of 50-75% raw foods.
  • Eat soured products such as yoghurt.
  • Avoid fried foods, dairy products, sugar, flour, chocolate, nuts and seafood.
  • Drink no less than 2 litres of water a day.
  • If you have bowel irregularity, this is a common cause for dandruff and other skin problems.
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The Naturopathic Team
Ideal Health

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered and is intended to be used for educational and general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or as a means to diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe for any particular condition or disease. You assume all responsibility for the treatment which may be undertaken as a result of the information on this site, or treatment recommended by any other party. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

If you need help or advice, please email our naturopathic team with your health question.  Please allow 48 hours for a response.

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