Caused by a fungus called pityrosporum ovale, dandruff is an itchy scalp disorder. This fungus makes the scalp dry and itchy, causing it to flake. The skin in a normal scalp tends to flake as a part of the new skin cell development process. However, excessive flaking is termed as dandruff, and is unnatural.
If untreated, it may spread to the eyebrows, ears and at the back of the neck. Dandruff can also be a symptom of severe skin disorders such as psoriasis and seborrhoeic dermatitis. If detected at the right time, a good home remedy can solve the persistent itch and flaking of the scalp.
Why You May Have Dandruff
An itchy scalp affected by dandruff can have several causes. The most common ones have been enlisted below:
- Dandruff may also be caused by an over-secretion of the sebaceous glands, or the natural oil producing glands in the scalp.
- External conditions such as excessive heat or cold also tend to dry the scalp, making it more susceptible to dandruff.
- Overuse of products such as hair styling gels and sprays, regular blow drying, hair straightening or curling, are all factors that contribute to the growth of dandruff.
- Sometimes, imbalance in the hormones or hormonal changes are responsible for dandruff.
- It may come as a surprise to some, but even stress causes dandruff, as it increases the production by the oil glands in the scalp.
- A diet full of oily and fried foods, and the common habit of not drinking enough water, serve to increase one's susceptibility to dandruff.
There are a myriad of natural remedies for dandruff. Chemicals in anti-dandruff shampoos have been found to be very harsh on the hair, to the extent of causing excessive dryness, making the hair weak and brittle, and even resulting in premature graying. Natural remedies are therefore suggested, as they are not only good to the hair in that they help the hair gain back its lustrous sheen, but actually help in controlling the condition.
Application of aloe vera gel on the scalp, ten minutes before shampooing hair, is the simplest home remedy for dandruff.
Massage on to the scalp, three tablespoons of warm water mixed with one tablespoon of apple juice. Allow it to remain for half an hour before you rinse it off.
Another effective remedy for dandruff is to mix one tablespoon of olive oil with one teaspoon of lemon juice. Overnight application followed by hair wash with a mild shampoo will definitely help in the long run.
Mix together equal amounts of olive oil and almond oil. Apply on the scalp until it starts to burn. Once the burning sensation is experienced, wait for five minutes and wash the hair with a mild shampoo.
Crushing 2 aspirin and mixing them with the regular amount of shampoo used has been found to be a very effective method of curing the dandruff problem. This mixture is to be left on the hair for 1-2 minutes before rinsing. However, do ensure that all the shampoo and the aspirin mixed with it has left the hair before drying it.
Massage into the scalp either warm coconut oil, margosa oil or castor oil. This should be done slowly in a gentle circular motion. Leave it overnight and wash it off the next day, preferably with a margosa based shampoo for better results.
A solution of rosemary leaves soaked overnight in 1 liter of boiled water, and applied after shampooing, works well as a natural remedy.
Using the paste of raw onions has also proven to be useful in curing dandruff. The paste is to be applied on the scalp and left on for half an hour, followed by a hair wash. Rubbing lemon into the scalp and rinsing it after the hair wash will help get rid of the smell of onions.
Boil an entire white beet root in water. Massage this water into the scalp, every night before sleeping and wash it off the next morning. This is another good natural remedy to cure dandruff.
Used regularly, these treatment methods will definitely absolve you of dandruff and other associated conditions. Not only that, these natural ingredients will give your hair the ultimate title of 'crowning glory'.
Preventing Dandruff from Returning
Dandruff can be prevented if we follow these simple steps.
- It is important to keep the hair and scalp clean so as to minimize the accumulation of dead cells. This can be done by washing hair regularly.
- While taking a hair wash, rinse your hair thoroughly to ensure that the shampoo and conditioner leaves the hair. Remnants of these products tend to aggravate dandruff.
- Massaging the scalp daily, not necessarily with oil or any other product, will ensure sufficient blood circulation to the scalp and help prevent dandruff.
- The hair brush that you use should be cleaned daily. If possible, do not share your hair brush or comb with anyone else, as dandruff may be passed on in this manner too.
- Try to avoid the use of hair colors, sprays and other hair products when undergoing treatment for dandruff.
- Avoid using harsh shampoos that will cause the scalp to dry up and flake.
- Lastly, ensure consumption of healthy greens, and foods rich in proteins and iron. Also, drinking enough water helps to cleanse the system and eliminate the root cause of dandruff.
Keep in mind that in order for these methods to work, you have to perform them regularly for a good amount of time. Don't lose patience and once the dandruff has gone, ensure that you maintain it that way. Dandruff can be embarrassing, and more annoying because of the constant itch and snowfall on your shoulders. So use these preventive methods and treatments to save yourself the embarrassment.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informational purposes only, and does not in any way, intend to replace the advice of an expert. If a dandruff problem persists, consult a dermatologist to treat it.