How to get rid of dandruff: The 5 dietary and lifestyle changes to banish dandruff

Boris Johnson told he has dandruff by Salisbury veteran

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Colder temperatures in autumn and winter can result in dehydrated and dry scalps with lots of dandruff. If you’re battling dandruff at the moment, don’t panic! You can’t control the weather but there are a number of things you can do to fix the skin condition. chatted to top trichologist for Nizoral, Stephanie Sey to find out how to get rid of dandruff – the five changes to make.

Cold, dry air and blustery winds, combined with central heating, mean our scalps are more prone to dehydration and dryness in winter.

The scalp produces more oil to lubricate and protect itself, which in turn interacts with a fungus called Malassezia and causes dandruff.

Don’t worry, you can reduce flare-ups with some simple lifestyle and dietary changes. spoke to trichologist for Nizoral, Stephanie Sey, to find out the five changes to make to banish dandruff.

Stop overeating

We’re all prone to overindulging and gaining an extra ‘winter coat’ of fat over the colder months, but that could be exacerbating our dandruff.

Stephanie explained: “As we head into winter and the temperatures start to drop, our bodies begin to crave comforting food.

“Whilst overindulging may feel like the best way to combat those winter blues, this sudden change in diet can wreak havoc on our scalp.”

Trying not to overindulge is generally good for the health of the body and the hair, the trichologist said.

Eat a balanced diet

The food we eat can have an impact on the health of our hair and scalp because the nutrients and supplements that we get from food provide the building blocks for the condition of our hair, according to Stephanie.

She said: “Eating the correct foods will encourage the number of healthy cells being produced by the body.”

If your eating habits have already changed with the seasons, you’re probably eating more processed foods and junk foods.

However, Stephanie pointed out that these foods are typically high in sugar, salt and unhealthy fats, as well as chemical additives.

She added: “These foods have very little in the way of the nutrients that our body needs to stay healthy, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.”

Seeing as the hair is the very last system in your body to receive nutrients (as it is one of the least essential) if you’re eating poorly, your body is not receiving adequate nutrients and neither is your hair.

Nizoral’s trichologist advised: “This winter, make sure you are eating a balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, healthy fats, proteins, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

“Eating a diet that is rich in fresh vegetables, meat and fruit supports healthy growth for thick, full hair.”

Get some fresh air

Taking a walk outdoors every single day is good for your scalp in two ways.

Firstly, as Stephanie explained, fewer daylight hours and more time spent indoors can mean our bodies aren’t absorbing the correct vitamins that they need.

Getting outside means you’ll get enough Vitamin D, which is important for your bones, blood cells and immune system.

Vitamin D also helps you to absorb more of certain minerals such as calcium and phosphorus.

Stephanie said: “Shorter days and more time spent indoors means that many of us are exposed to very little sunlight and, as a result, can suffer from a vitamin D deficiency.

“Vitamin D supports the immune health of the scalp, whilst also retaining hydration and helping the skin fend off yeast or bacterial organisms.”

It’s a good idea to get this vitamin through food sources such as eggs, oily fish and red meat, but you could also use supplements.

Being outside, getting fresh air, sunlight and exercise can help to lessen your stress, anxiety and depression, improve your sleep, help you to keep a healthy weight, and so many more health benefits.

Don’t slack on washing your hair

Washing your hair can be a chore, but nobody wants greasy and dirty hair.

Not washing your hair enough can make dandruff much worse or even cause dandruff to develop.

Stephanie said: “We can all start to feel sluggish and unmotivated at this time of year, so try not to let your hair washing routine slip as your scalp will soon tell you about it.”

When you allow oil and dead skin cells to accumulate on your scalp, this offers food for dandruff-causing yeast and fungi to feed on.

Washing your hair as often as you need to (at least once a week for most people) is essential.

Change your shampoo

The best way to keep existing dandruff under control and to ward off further bouts is to use a really good shampoo.

Stephanie said: “The fungus Malassezia exists on everyone’s scalp, however, some people can have a sensitivity to it which causes dandruff.

“It’s important to use a treatment with the active ingredient ketoconazole in it, such as Nizoral, as cosmetic shampoos and hair care don’t treat the root cause.

“You can then use your regular shampoo in between, but don’t neglect the use of a shampoo containing ketoconazole because it is an antifungal agent that stops the growth of the yeast Malassezia.

“Malassezia is a contributing factor to dandruff, so using ketoconazole helps control and effectively treat the cause, as well as the symptoms.”

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