Dandruff is one of the most common scalp problems that results from the excessive shedding of the dead skin cells. It causes the appearance of small, dry flakes on the scalp, that easily fall off while brushing or combing your hair.
A small amount of dandruff is quite normal, as it is caused by the natural process of shedding the old or the dead skin cells. This is the way the skin of the entire body, including the scalp, renews by replacing the old, dead cells with the new skin cells. But, excessive dandruff can be an indicator of nutritional deficiencies, as well as fungal or bacterial infections.
Causes of Dandruff
It can be caused by several factors, of which the main contributory factors are poor nutrition, yeast or fungal infections, a deficiency of zinc, and excessive use of hair products that contain harsh chemicals. It has been observed in several studies that a fungus, known as malassazia, resides in our scalp. This fungus can multiply rapidly and accelerate the natural process of cell turnover under certain circumstances.
The fungus can speed up the process of cell turnover to such an extent that the duration of the process can reduce significantly from about a month to 2 to 7 days. Such a rapid cell turnover results in the accumulation of numerous dead skin cells within a short period of time, which causes those large, lumpy and dry flakes, which we call dandruff. However, mild dandruff is mainly caused by the excessive secretion of scalp oil or sebum. Sometimes, it can also be a symptom of certain skin diseases, like seborrhoeic dermatitis and psoriasis at times.
Dandruff Treatment at Home
Though several anti-dandruff shampoos are available in the market, many of them can be harsh on your scalp and hair. On the other hand, some simple natural remedies can help control and prevent scalp dryness and dandruff, without being harsh on the scalp and hair. Hot oil treatment is considered one of the best home remedies for this scalp problem, as all you need to do is warm some oil, ideally olive, almond, or coconut oil, and gently massage your scalp with it. Leave the oil overnight, and the next day wash your hair with a mild shampoo.
Vinegar is a common household product that can be used for varied purposes, including dandruff removal. Just mix a small amount of vinegar with warm water, and apply it on your scalp with the help of cotton. Keep it for a few minutes, and then rinse it properly. If you do not like the strong smell of the white vinegar, then use apple cider vinegar. It can help maintain the pH of the scalp.
Baking soda is another common household product that can be used to keep your scalp dandruff-free. As we know, mild dandruff is mainly caused by the secretion of excessive scalp oil, and baking soda can help get rid of this problem. Apart from this, it can effectively remove dead skin cells, without being harsh on your scalp. Just rub a small amount of baking soda on your scalp, and then rinse with clean water after 2 to 3 minutes. However, the daily use of baking soda is not recommended, as it can cause excessive dryness of the scalp and hair.
Another natural remedy is eggs. Beat two eggs and add a small amount of water to it. Now, massage your scalp with it, and leave it for about 15 to 20 minutes, before rinsing your hair and scalp with lukewarm water. This would help remove dandruff and prevent hair loss. Beet root juice has also shown efficacy in keeping the scalp dandruff-free. It can be used alone, or you can mix it with ginger juice.
Lemon juice is an excellent cleaner with antibacterial properties. Just squeeze a lemon into a glass of lukewarm water, and use this as the last rinse while shampooing your hair. You can also massage your scalp with yogurt to control dandruff.
Along with using these home remedies, it is important to keep your scalp clean and free from dirt and dead skin cells. Equally important is to include vitamin- and mineral-rich foods, like fresh green vegetables and fruits in your diet. But be sure to avoid the excessive consumption of tea, coffee, oily foods, fermented and baked foods, and citrus fruits. If the condition persists even after taking all possible care and precautions, then take the help of a dermatologist, as in many instances dandruff can be a symptom of certain skin diseases.
Disclaimer: This HairGlamourista article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a medical professional.