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Can a Poor Diet Cause Dandruff?

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While not a form of hair loss, dandruff still can be a frustrating and worrying problem that is sometimes difficult to clear up. It is something we often receive queries about, particularly in relation to whether making any dietary changes could help to either start or stop this flaking.

Dandruff and DietThe link between diet and dandruff was explored in an article on WebMd which posed the question: “Is your dandruff related to your diet?” and spoke to several dermatologists about their experience. Though the article goes on to state that while no studies have proven that any link between dandruff and diet exists, anecdotal evidence and the day-to-day experience of dermatologists suggests that it does.

Quoted in the article, Alicia Zalka, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, says that, “while there’s no compelling data from medical studies that I have found suggesting diet changes can cure dandruff, in my 18 years of clinical practice, more of a connection seems to be emerging.”

Her words are echoed by other professionals, including a dermatologist in New York who suggests that a “well-managed ‘dandruff diet’ may help.”

The WebMD article – printed for an American audience but in many ways representative of westerners as a whole – states that most people in the US eat too much sugar. They say that lowering sugar intake mat lower inflammation, and this may reduce the likelihood of a flaky scalp.

It is certainly not the first time that sugar has been linked to scalp problems: last year a Danish dermatologist spoke about how too much sugar could lead to thinning hair. Dermatologist Panos Vasiloudes, Medical Director of the Copenhagen-based clinic Harklinikken, said that: “a rapid glucose spike in the blood causes an overreaction by several hormones, most notably insulin and steroids.”

As a result, he said that sugar levels rise and fall dramatically, and stated that this can cause direct damage to the hair. “Everyone should recognise the power of eating real food and can use diet as a powerful weapon against thin hair,” he told Yahoo! Beauty at the time.

Belgravia clients may come to us for help treating hair loss conditions but they are always interested to hear about how their lifestyle can have an impact the health of their hair and scalp.

Following a consultation, they leave not just with a diagnosis and a recommended course of treatment, but with an understanding of how everything from fitness to smoking to alcohol and food can frequently play a part in the health of their scalps. While none of these factors will lead to outright hair loss on its own, they can all play a part in certain conditions, including Telogen Effluvium, which is seen as a general thinning of hair all over the scalp. The good news, of course, is that all of these factors can be addressed.

There are a number of steps people can take in order to try and reduce the chance of having a flaky scalp, and they are a good idea if you want to keep your hair healthy, too. As well as reducing your sugar intake, adding more fruit and vegetables to your diet will help boost your levels of vitamins, nutrients and fibre. Zinc is especially noted for its scalp-friendly properties and can be found in beans, nuts and oysters.

Belgravia Centre Hair Vitalics Food Supplements for Healthy HairHealthy fats are on their list of potential dandruff-killers, though yeasty foods like beer and bread are noted as potential causes of dandruff, and therefore something people should consider limiting as part of a balanced, hair-friendly diet. A convenient way to ensure a regular delivery of the relevant nutritional requirements is to top up with a specially-targeted hair health food supplement such as Hair Vitalics.

When it comes to keeping your head and shoulders flake-free, we recommend using the Belgravia B4 medicated treatment shampoo. This professional, highly-concentrated formula is paraben-free and suitable for frequent use. It features juniper oil to effectively target a number of scalp conditions which, in addition to even the most stubborn dandruff, also include psoriasis, eczema and seborrhoeic dermatitis.

The Belgravia Centre shampoo and conditioner range is available to both clients and non-clients. Whilst these products are generally included free of charge in most full hair loss treatment courses, non-clients are able to purchase them individually either in person from our Central London clinic locations, or we can arrange for them to be sent out worldwide. Anyone who is interested should simply contact the centre directly.


The Belgravia CentreThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.


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