Friday, 16 October 2015

Brushing Off Dandruff - The Gym Girl Hair Dilemma

My immune system has gone a bit haywire recently - and my body is sending out signs it is not happy and would like some rest, please!
Waking up at 3am with a ridiculously itchy scalp is one of those signals. Did you know...


  • Dandruff affects about 50 per cent of the population.
  • Itching scalp can be caused by conditions, including dandruff, seborrhoeic dermatitis and psoriasis.
  • Medicated shampoos can be used to treat dandruff and relieve itchy scalp.

Between work and study, trying to find more work, and also trying to indulge my creative pursuits, my sleep and my sense of peace have been shot. While I can't change my schedule, I do know that study ends at the close of January and I will have a bit more calm in my life and time to work out what I want to do next.

As for the dandruff dilemma, I have consulted hairdressers, nutritionists and dietitians and their advice is here for your benefit. I have read that apple cider vinegar applied topically is a treatment, but the dietitians and hairdressers found this amusing and there is no evidence for that! Stick to medicated and targeted dandruff treatment if you want a safe bet.

Also, don't ignore what this might say about your diet. I can safely put this down to stress and going a little heavy on the retinol (vitamin A) skin products, but a lack of vitamins B, C and zinc could be culprits. There can be other causes for dandruff including infection, digestive disorders and allergy. If it's persistent, see your GP.

Foods to prevent and treat dandruff: Garlic (Allicin is a natural anti-fungal compound that is found in garlic when the plant is crushed or chopped), Chickpeas, Ginger, Pumpkin Seeds (a rich source of zinc, especially if you don't eat animal-based foods) & Apples

Products to treat dandruff and dry scalp:
Kiehl's Scalp Purifying Pyrithione Zinc Dandruff Shampoo

Kiehl's Magic Elixir (with rosemary and avocado oil)
Cedel Anti Dandruff Shampoo (with 2% zinc pyrithione, the highest level available)
Lee 'Supercharged Food' Holmes, nutritionist and author of Heal Your Gut, recommends vitamin C rich foods and also rinsing the hair with coconut oil. I have heard the coconut oil recommendation quite a bit as a scalp remedy and it is rich in minerals and nutrients so this may aid in keeping the scalp nourished AFTER you've treated the dandruff with zinc pyrithione-rich and targeted shampoos.

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