Expert warns of the white-looking fungal infection more prevalent during winter

Boris Johnson told he has dandruff by Salisbury veteran

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Trichologist Stephanie Sey, speaking exclusively to, explained: “At Christmas time, as temperatures drop, the scalp produces more oil to lubricate and protect the scalp which, in turn, interacts with a fungus called Malassezia.” An overgrowth of Malassezia causes unsightly dandruff, the kind where flakes are noticeable in the hair and, sometimes, on the shoulders. Found on everyone’s scalp, only those with a sensitivity towards Malassezia will report dandruff symptoms.

Drinking alcohol this festive season could “put the body under excess stress”, with Sey adding that it “will not help in trying to keep the dandruff under control”.

The NHS described dandruff as a “skin condition” that cold weather can make worse.

Sey pointed out that “we can all start to feel sluggish and unmotivated at this time of year”.

However, to help keep on top of the appearance of dandruff, it’s important to “not to let your hair washing routine slip, as your scalp will soon tell you about it”.

Craving comfort foods in the longer, dark nights might wreak havoc on the body, including the scalp.

Sey said: “The food we eat can have an impact on the health of our hair and scalp.

“That’s because the nutrients we get from food provide the building blocks for the condition of our hair.”

Sey continued: “Processed foods like ready meals and fast food are typically high in sugar, salt and unhealthy fats, as well as chemical additives.

“These foods have very little in the way of the nutrients that our body needs to stay healthy, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

“The hair is the very last system in your body to receive nutrients (as it is one of the least essential) so, if your body is not receiving adequate nutrients, your hair will likely be affected.”

A good diet, no matter the season, includes: fresh vegetables, fruit, protein, fibre, and healthy fats.

Sey added: “Fewer daylight hours and more time spent indoors can also mean our bodies aren’t absorbing the correct vitamins that they need.”

Specifically speaking, Sey is referring to vitamin D, “which supports the immune health of the scalp”.

Sey elaborated, saying that vitamin D helps the body to retain hydration while “helping the skin fend off yeast or bacterial organisms”.

“It’s a good idea to get this vitamin through food sources such as eggs, oily fish and red meat,” Sey stated.

“B1, B7, and B2 are also great vitamins to incorporate into your diet, as they will help with the maintenance of healthy skin and hair. The B vitamins can be found in foods such as oats, bananas and avocado.”

Aside from dietary considerations, one of the best ways to remedy dandruff is to use medicated anti-fungal shampoo that contains ketoconazole.

“Ketoconazole is an anti-fungal agent that stops the growth of the yeast Malassezia,” Sey explained.

Stephanie Sey is a top trichologist for Nizoral, an anti-dandruff shampoo available from supermarkets, Superdrug, Boots, and pharmacies.

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