It may seem to us that flaky skin appears for no logical reason, but the reality is that there can be several factors working simultaneously in order to create this skin condition. Whatever may be the reason, flaky scalps are itchy, embarrassing and difficult to treat. Many people live with this problem throughout their lives as it keeps reappearing. Which brings us to ask the question, if the condition keeps reappearing, then it's bound to be an infection or some sort, right? Which happens to be precisely correct.
Flaky scalp is also known as dandruff, which is in actuality a fungal infection caused by the fungi Malassezia yeasts. This fungus metabolizes the sebum secreted and converts into oleic acid, which causes itching, inflammation and flaking of the skin on the scalp. These flakes are dead skin cells which reappear by the time the epidermis layer has to renew itself. When this layer has to replace more often than usual, it causes a pH imbalance and overworks the sebum glands and causes skin cells to die faster. It's basically a vicious cycle which insures that the fungal infection persists and the dandruff continues. What makes it worse is the constant external loop which we add on to this cycle which instigates the condition to aggravate further.
The reason being that when we use strong chemical hair products such as shampoos and conditioners, we are further dehydrating the skin and depriving the scalp of essential nutrients. All that remains is the residue from these hair products which help to make the scalp stickier. It also feeds the infection because of the unhygienic condition it creates. Fortunately there is one solution for treating dandruff in the safest possible manner.
Natural Remedies for Flaky Scalp
#1 - Lemon Juice Therapy
Lemon juice is well-known for its antifungal or antimicrobial properties, which when applied helps fight against the fungal infection of the scalp. The citric acid in the lemon helps restore the pH balance, and repairs the damage caused as a result of the infection. It clears out the dead cells which may have been clogged within the hair follicles, it also balances out the secretion of sebum which further ensures that the scalp does not become to dry or excessively oily. The inflammation caused by dandruff reduces substantially as well as it heals the affected patches of skin. When lemon juice is applied on the inflamed part, it causes minor stinging and burning, which is natural and not harmful for the scalp. But some people cannot tolerate this stinging too well, especially kids, which is why lemon juice must be diluted with plain water or olive oil so as to reduce the potency of the stinging sensation.
Squeeze the juice from a single big lemon, depending on the density of your hair on the scalp. Mix this juice with water or oil. Apply this concoction evenly in all areas of the scalp and more so on the especially itchy patches. Now gently massage the scalp with your fingertips as this will help bring in more blood circulation, which will instead cause the pores to open and absorb more of the lemon juice and olive oil.
#2 - Virgin Olive Oil
This oil has been used for fending away dandruff in the past and is a slow but effective remedy. Nowadays, this practice has lost its significance because of our increased dependency on artificial hair cleansers. It is a known fact that olive oil is rich in vitamin E , which converts into antioxidants. These antioxidants work on the skin to free it from disease causing pathogens. Olive oil is also rich in vitamin K, which is excellent for inhibiting the growth of fungal infections. Apply this oil twice a week and let it remain in the hair for about 8 hours at a stretch.
#3 - Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree extracts have antifungal properties which helps prevent and kill the fungus responsible for causing dandruff. Tea tree oil is very strong in its concentrated form and will cause a lot of stinging and burning when applied directly to the scalp. Remember to mix the oil with some olive oil so that the concoction is diluted and less potent. Diluting the oil will not reduce the effectiveness of the tea tree oil. This oil is the best option for trying flaky scalp home treatment.
#4 - Apple Cider Vinegar
Topical application of apple cider vinegar is one of the effective flaky scalp home remedies. Cleaning your scalp with this vinegar works wonders as it restores the pH balance over repeated application. Wash your hair with vinegar every twice a week and you will begin to notice less dandruff visible on the scalp.
#5 - Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera has antifungal as well as antibacterial properties which help reduce dandruff. However, its application must be done more often because it takes time to show positive results and the process of healing is slow. You can apply aloe vera gel every time you wash your hair, after which you need not wash it off with shampoo. Instead plain water would suffice in cleansing the scalp. This therapy is good for treating flaky scalp in children, as they tend to play all day and the sweat collected can aggravate dandruff, as it creates a suitable environment for the fungus to grow. Washing their hair with aloe vera can help keep their scalp clean and protected from damage from chemicals.
You may try whichever remedy is feasible for you, but do not try more than one therapy at a time. Let the medicinal properties of the herb work on the scalp over a few weeks.