About 50 million people in America suffer from dandruff. So you’re not alone. It’s a common chronic condition of the scalp that causes flakes of skin to show up. But that’s not the worst part; dandruff is itchy. While an herbal shampoo can get rid of dandruff, it pays to know what causes it and what factors could increase the risk.
And it’s not just poor hygiene — or not shampooing enough — that’s to blame for your dandruff.
Dandruff is Sometimes a Sign of Stress
It may be true that not shampooing enough can make your dandruff worse. Then again, don’t be too hard on your shampoo. It’s not the only culprit for your dandruff. Sometimes, dandruff may be a sign that you have to slow down and relax.
This isn’t as surprising since stress can worsen any skin condition. That includes the scalp. Stress can impair your immune system, most likely causing dandruff and provoking flare-ups.
The most common indication that stress is at fault for the snowflakes you find is if the dandruff is itchy. Take note: don’t scratch. Don’t lose to an itch-scratch cycle. As it turns out, the more you scratch dandruff, the itchier it becomes.
There may be times when the itch becomes too much. Certain shampoos can help, but you have to turn to relaxation techniques to dial down the stress levels.
You May Have an Unhealthy Diet
An unhealthy diet can trigger dandruff. What you eat affects your entire body, even your scalp. Of course, poor diet isn’t exactly to blame for dandruff. Certain food, however, can cause a flare up.
For example, food high in trans and saturated fats can make your sebaceous glands produce more oil. This will prompt flakes to appear. It could also worsen dandruff if you already have it.
Turn to food rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs): safflower oil, olives, nuts, and avocados. You can also opt for vitamin B-rich food, like bananas, eggs, oatmeal, and rice. The vitamin can reduce the symptoms of dandruff, too, since it contains biotin, a nutrient that forms the hair cells’ base.
Fruits and veggies that contain zinc can also help keep flakes at bay. Taking a probiotic, on the other hand, can fight the overgrowth of yeast on your scalp.
You’re Sensitive to Your Hair’s Natural Fungus
Dry skin isn’t the only trigger to an itchy scalp. The overgrowth of pityrosporum orbiculare, a common yeast, is another cause of dandruff. Another term for it is malassezia. It’s your hair’s natural yeast.
How exactly does it cause dandruff?
Yeast thrives on scalp oil. This seems to explain why people with oily scalps are most likely to “flake out.” People who apply oil on their hair can also get dandruff because oil attracts this organism. This yeast can cause two types of dandruff: pityriasis simplex, the basic white flakes, and seborrheic dermatitis, the presence of yellow flakes, redness, and more oil.
Dandruff is common, but you can control if not prevent it. You just have to improve your lifestyle and eating habits, as well as follow a hair care regimen.