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Possible cause: Yeast overgrowth on the scalp

Scrubbing your way out of a head full of dandruff may make matters worse. Those pesky white flakes often signal a form of microbial imbalance right on the scalp, says Chutkan. When you use a harsh shampoo or cleanser, it can strip away a lot of the healthy oils and lead to the colonization of unhealthy bacteria.

“Certain healthy bacteria are lipid-loving — they love fats — so when you remove the sebum and strip away a lot of the fat, those bacteria disappear and a lot of yeast species are allowed to grow,” Chutkan explains. This might not seem serious, but any colonization of pathogenic bacteria in the body is a sign of a weakened immune system, our baseline defense against all disease.

What you can do: Start by ditching the toxic antidandruff hair products and allow your scalp to regain its natural oil balance.

“You probably have a bottle of shampoo with 18 ingredients that you can’t pronounce,” says Chutkan. When Chutkan’s own scalp feels dry, she applies a little diluted apple-cider vinegar, which is an effective natural fungicide.

If you find your dandruff persists unabated, speak to a health professional about being tested for systemic yeast overgrowth, also known as candida. (Learn more about this condition at “Kicking Candida”.)

This was excerpted from “What Your Body Is Trying to Tell You, Part 2” which was published in the April 2016 issue of Experience Life.

Anjula Razdan

Anjula Razdan is Experience Life‘s digital director.

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