Three out of six people have experienced dandruff at least once in life. Dandruff is more about scalp than it is about hair. The health and bounce of your hair indicate the underlying scalp situation, and no matter how much you hide, those flakes are always visible to people around you.
Time to combat the lingering dandruff issue with simple home remedies for dandruff and hair that are light on the pocket and your scalp as well; but first let’s get to know what dandruff is and what causes it in the first place.
WHAT IS DANDRUFF?
You have all seen it and have mostly experienced it at some point in your life. Dandruff is a condition when white or grey flakes shred from your scalp. They’re basically dead skin, clumped together into flakes due to excess oil. They are quite harmless, but they look very unpleasant.
CAUSES OF DANDRUFF?
There are quite a few reasons for dandruff. Though it is mostly temporary and controllable.
1. Seborrheic Dermatitis
This is a common skin condition caused by a certain yeast called Malassezia that is found in the oil secreted by your scalp. Seborrheic Dermatitis causes scaly patches on your head, an itchy scalp, red irritated skin and stubborn dandruff. It usually goes away without medical treatment with regular cleansing and proper care.
2. Dry Skin
It is said that people with dry skin are more likely to get dandruff. Chances of dead skin flaking away as dandruff is more when your skin is already peeling or scaly. It is most common in dry winters.
3. Skin Conditions
If you have psoriasis or eczema, you are prone to having dandruff frequently. It may be avoided with regular care, but dandruff is recurring in such skin disorders.
While hygiene is not directly related to dandruff, not cleansing or shampooing regularly can make oils from your scalp and skin cells clomp together over a period of time causing dandruff.
5. Pollution and Heat
Major factors that cause dandruff are pollution and heat, especially when affecting your scalp together. They can cause excessive sweating, skin irritation, fungal infections on your scalp – all leading to dandruff.
While the yeast, Malassezia, already exists on everyone’s scalp, it can thrive when you are stressed. It amplifies the stubborn dandruff on your hair. Stress also causes something called the ‘itch-scratch cycle’ – the more you scratch, the more it itches, making your skin flaky and sensitive.
HOME REMEDIES FOR DANDRUFF
Henna for dandruff works as an anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory treatment to soothe the scalp. Let’s discover more home remedies to remove dandruff.
Dandruff can be controlled if you follow a diligent hair-care routine coupled with special medicated shampoos. Do not stick to one shampoo instead, we recommend switching between different anti-dandruff shampoos every 2-3 weeks to not let your hair get used to it.
Pick shampoos containing anti-dandruff ingredients:
1. Selenium Sulfide
Shampoos containing Selenium Sulfide as the main element reduce the bad fungus and lessen dead skin cells a.k.a. dandruff flakes.
Caution: This shampoo may remove dandruff, but with that it could also wash away your expensive hair colour. So, if you have freshly colored tresses, you might want to opt for an alternative method to treat the dandruff.
2. Salicylic Acid
These shampoos work on knocking off those flakes but might leave your scalp dry. Follow it up with a moisturizing conditioner to retain the moisture in those locks.
3. Pyrithione Zinc
The antibacterial and antifungal properties of Pyrithione Zinc help reduce the fungus that cause dandruff and Seborrheic Dermatitis.
Coal tar slows the rate at which skin cells on your scalp die and flake off. It helps keep dandruff in control. However, tar-based shampoos may cause hair discolouration.
Pick a shampoo with this ingredient for maximum impact. Ketoconazole is an antifungal medication that is used to treat infections and skin conditions. If you have Seborrheic Dermatitis, this is a great choice for a regular shampoo.
6. Tea Tree Oil
A common ingredient in shampoos and conditioners nowadays, Tea Tree Oil has healing properties and is an antifungal natural medicine. Used in Ayurvedic medicine, this ingredient will do wonders for your scalp.
TIPS TO REDUCE DANDRUFF
- Avoid Carbs And Sugar
- Exfoliate Your Scalp
- Don’t Scratch
- Take Supplements
One of the fail-proof ways to reduce dandruff is to stay away from carbs and sugar. This is because Yeast feeds on high-carb food that build glycogen in the skin. Cut down on your everyday carbs and stick to a once-a-week dessert, if you’re prone to dandruff.
Try Coffee scrubs, Walnut scrubs or Charcoal based scrubs for your scalp. Exfoliating will break away the dead skin before they form into flakes on your scalp.
Avoid touching your scalp altogether. Use coolants such as Yogurt or Aloe Vera to sooth the itch without having to scratch.
If the dandruff persists, try taking probiotic supplements and proteins that will nurture the health of your scalp.
The Section Where Your Lingering Doubts are Finally Answered!
1. Why is dandruff said to be more common in men?
It is believed that testosterone –the male hormone – plays a significant role in influencing dandruff. Moreover, a prominent history of dandruff in the family means more chances of the problem getting trickled down to you. Homeopathy for dandruff is a natural dandruff treatment to alleviate such issues.
2. When should I consult a dermatologist for dandruff treatment?
Following some good dandruff home remedies and maintaining a healthy hair-care regime can help tackle dandruff with a gradual progress. However, if the problem persists or gets worse, you could be suffering from Seborrheic Dermatitis, a severe medical condition that involves fungal infection on your scalp. In such a case, it is wise to consult a dermatologist at the earliest to understand the best dandruff treatment for your hair.
3. What are the signs to look out for if I have dandruff?
It is likely that you are suffering from dandruff, if you face any of the following issues:
- Visible white flakes on your clothes especially while you’re brushing your hair
- Itchiness and redness of the scalp
- Constant need to scratch the scalp
- Greasy patches on the scalp
- Minor facial rash on eyebrows, ears or nose
4. What are the foods that can mitigate dandruff troubles?
Maintaining a healthy diet is the most natural remedy for dandruff. Include these foods in your daily diet to reduce dandruff:
- Wheat germ
- Sunflower seeds
5. Is it ideal to wash my hair every day if I have dandruff?
Cleaning your scalp frequently is recommended from a hygiene perspective as it prevents more dandruff. However, washing your hair all 7 days of the week is not advised. Ideally, washing your locks every 2-3 days is enough. Along with that, follow a good scalp treatment for dandruff as solving the problem from the source is essential for long-term relief.
6. What should I do if none of the dandruff home remedies prove to be a complete cure for my severe dandruff issue?
If you think your dandruff still persists no matter what you try, you could be suffering from seborrheic dermatitis. Visit a dermatologist to figure a hair dandruff treatment that works at alleviating the issue. You could also try Ayurvedic treatment for dandruff if you prefer the natural route. There are various OTC medicines for dandruff that could work faster than home remedies. Ketoconazole and Nizoral A-D are some of the best medicines for dandruff.
7. Are dandruff and hair loss directly related?
Dandruff hair loss is a common occurrence. However, dandruff does not directly result in hair loss. Since the itchiness is symbolic of dandruff, the constant scratching of an irritated scalp can damage the hair follicles. This then leads to dandruff hair loss.
8. Does dandruff cause pimples or acne?
In a way, dandruff could be responsible for that sudden outbreak of pimples. When hair strands with dandruff come in contact with face, it can induce pimples. Avoid haircuts or hairdos that require your hair to be in constant touch with your forehead or cheeks. In cases of dry dandruff, stick to a warm Coconut Oil massage once a week to improve blood circulation to the scalp and reduce pimples.
9. Does oiling help dandruff?
No. It is a myth. Oiling may cause the flakes to stick to your scalp. Regular shampooing and moisturizing with gel-based ingredients like Aloe-Vera may help your scalp. Even cool, water based elements like cucumber makes your itchy scalp happy.