It may sound a tad flaky but yogurt could help keep dandruff at bay.

Scientists say the production of dandruff is linked to the bacteria on our heads and when one species of bug thrives and another struggles, dandruff is more common and severe.

The find, by Chinese researchers, suggests lotions that redresses the bacterial balance could provide an effective treatment.

While it's too early to say what form this might take, the idea of a probiotic yogurt hair lotion is tempting.

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The researchers from Shanghai's Jiao Tong University took samples from the scalp of 59 people. Those with dandruff had higher amounts of the bacteria Staphylococcus, and much less of a type called Propionibacterium than those who didn't, according to the journal Scientific Reports.

The researchers said: "Adjusting the balance of bacteria on the scalp, particularly by enhancing Propionibacterium and suppressing Staphylococcus, might be a potential solution."