Flaked Out

If those white specks in your hair aren’t snowflakes, you’re likely in the estimated 63 million Americans who suffer from dandruff. Scalp residue prompts embarrassment for many, but few understand the problem… or how to treat it.

Dandruff isn’t just an accumulation of dead skin cells on a dry, itchy head. While those symptoms point to the condition, they’re the result, not the cause. Many dermatologists now believe an overgrowth of common skin flora known as P. ovale infects the scalp and causes rapid cellular shedding. Other immune disorders, allergies, hormonal imbalances, and even stress can also stimulate symptoms of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, a more severe version. Brush off those flakes with these remedies:

  • Try tea tree oil shampoo. It contains both antifungal and antiseptic qualities, and one study found it improved symptoms by 41%.
  • Apply a concoction of equal parts apple cider vinegar and water to your hair and massage in for 30 seconds. The vinegar acts as an antimicrobial elixir and pH stabilizer that helps restore the skin’s natural resurfacing process.
  • Shampoo regularly but avoid hair styling products like gels and sprays.
  • Eat a diet rich in zinc, vitamin B, and healthy fats to maintain the natural balance of oils and nutrients, and expose your head to sunlight every day.

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