Skip to main content

Allergies and dandruff

Photo Credit: © Royalty-Free/Corbis

The presence of dandruff is very often a sign of food allergies. Specific causes of allergies and dandruff can be difficult to diagnose, however, the simultaneous presence of both can narrow down possible causes of these common, yet complex conditions. How can you tell if your scalp is sending out an allergy alert? Although not fool proof, beginning a mission to identify and eliminate causes while supporting immune function may produce results.

First, start by identifying suspect foods recently or regularly consumed. Chocolate, nuts, dairy, and shellfish are the most common food allergies that can also result in dandruff.  Whether there is an ongoing situation or a sudden onset of these conditions, avoid carbohydrates such as, refined white flour and sugar which can cause excessive yeast. In addition, eliminate artificial sweeteners and hydrogenated fats during the testing stage.  Increase the consumption of organic vegetables, especially arugula and other leafy greens, to support the respiratory system and detoxify the blood.  After two weeks, experiment by adding one or two suspect foods per week back to the diet to test for reactions. If the suspect foods produce no notable reactions, test for gluten intolerance.

Second, support the nervous and immune systems with foods rich in B-vitamins as well as antioxidants that help fight free radicals caused by toxins, radiation and weak digestion.  Acclaimed as the top superfood of choice by Nicholas Perricone, M.D., FACN, Acai (ah-sigh-ee) reigns supreme.  This tiny berry from Brazil surpasses all foods in this category.  Also, consider adding green tea and medicinal teas such as, Astragulus and Stinging Nettle Leaf to the defense arsenal as they have multiple health benefits and are high in antioxidants.  Because stress can also affect scalp conditions, support the nervous system with Vitamin B-6 either in the form of a B-Complex supplement or by eating foods rich in B-6.  Good sources of Vitamin B-6 are readily available and include, but are not limited to, tuna (yellow fin), bananas, watermelon, cabbage, and leafy greens.

During the process, combat dandruff with a homemade shampoo utilizing Stinging Nettle Leaf. Typically, most recipes utilize natural ingredients in combination with boiled Stinging Nettle Leaf.  Another effective alternative is ACV (apple cider vinegar).  Apply ACV to the scalp for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours before shampooing by parting the hair and applying 2-3 tablespoons with a sponge directly to the scalp. For best results, wash hair with a pH balanced shampoo following treatment.