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There is no shortage of ‘miracle cures’ on the internet for dandruff and itchy scalp – but can changing your diet really help? We weighed up the evidence to see if there’s anything in it.

One of the most common causes of an itchy scalp is dandruff and many of the natural treatments people talk about focus on getting rid of dandruff.

And they often focus on the yeast Malassezia globosa -the main cause of dandruff.

Should I reduce my yeast intake?

One of the theories most in vogue is that by avoiding foods which encourage yeast to grow in your gut, you can reduce the presence of Malassezia on the scalp.

These diets suggest cutting out sugar and refined carbohydrates as well as mouldy or fermented foods such as:

  • bread

  • dried fruit

  • cheese

  • stock cubes

  • alcohol

  • vinegar

  • soy sauce

  • peanuts

  • mushrooms

The theory is that by basing your diet around meat and vegetables and cutting these out, you can starve the body of yeast, thustackling the root cause of dandruff.

However, this theory has no traction and there is no evidence that it is an effective treatment for dandruff or an itchy scalp.

Malassezia is present on everyone’s scalp regardless of diet, so it’s highly unlikely that reducing the amount of yeast in your gut would work.

How to treat itching

If you want an effective treatment for an itchy scalp caused by dandruff, try a clinically proven itchy scalp shampoo.

 Head & Shoulders shampoos contain zinc pyrithione, which has been certified by regulatory bodies around the world as an effectivedandruff treatment.

Plus, we include ingredients like eucalyptus and, in our Menthol Refresh Collection, peppermint and tea tree essence to give a revitalizing shower, making you feel refreshed from the first use.

More tips and advice about itchy scalp