Dandruff is a kind of skin disorder that affects the scalp. Dandruff is a condition in which white, dry flakes of dead skin are shed from the scalp. Normally dead skin cells are shed from the scalp, but it results in dandruff only when the scalp starts shedding thick layers of these dead skin particles. Seborrheic dermatitis or Seborrhoea is a disorder of the sebaceous glands which affects the scalp. Seborrhoea produces severe dandruff and a red, itchy scalp. Dandruff rarely causes hair loss or baldness. However, severe seborrheic dermatitis may cause patchy baldness.
Cause of Dandruff
Previously, it was thought that dandruff was caused by dry skin, oily skin, shampooing too often or not often enough, a poor diet, stress, and the overuse of styling products. Although some of these factors can worsen or contribute to excess flaking, research has implicated the real offender, a fat-eating, yeast-like fungus called malassezia. This micro-organism lives on the scalps and skin of most healthy individuals without causing problems, but sometimes it grows out of control (owing to scalp conditions), feeding on the sebum (oils) secreted by your hair follicles and causing irritation that leads to increased cell turnover.
Dandruff is a chronic condition that can’t be cured. However, it can be successfully managed through the use of specially formulated shampoos. Pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid, coal tar, selenium sulfide and sulfur are some of the more common ingredients used in treating the scalp. The addition of a medicated conditioner with an antifungal ingredient, such as pyrithione zinc, is clinically proven to improve the antidandruff effect.
Hair Care Tips for Dandruff
Diet plays a decisive role in the well being of our body, skin as well as hair. Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Essential fatty acids are extremely essential for your healthy hair. Include those foods in your daily diet that contains Vitamin B, Vitamin A and essential fatty acid.
There are many dandruff shampoos available in the market. You can choose any of these shampoos, but wait – it must be consistent with your hair type. Most of shampoo clearly state that they are suitable for which type of hair. While buying a shampoo for dandruff treatment, you should look for its ingredients. You should select those dandruff shampoos which contain salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, ketoconazole and zinc. If you still not sure, you must ask your hair stylist or dermatologist. If by luck, you managed to get a shampoo which works right for your hair, don’t stop using it unless your dandruff are gone. Instead you should continue using it once or twice in a week to avoid reappearance of dandruff.
Stress is another cause of dandruff. Emotional stress not only causes dandruff but also many other health problems. You should always manage your stress with the help of yoga, meditation or breathing techniques. Excessive stress causes poor blood circulation in the scalp which makes scalp dry faster due to unavailability of enough oxygen and this results in dandruff.
Home Remedies for Dandruff
- Mix 1 teaspoons lemon juice with 2 teaspoons vinegar and massage on the scalp. Wash your hair with an egg shampoo.
- Take 1 part almond oil, 1 part pure sulphur powder, 2 parts ‘surgical spirit’ and 4 parts distilled water or rose water and mix well. Rub on the scalp.
- Mix 2 teaspoons pure vinegar in 6 teaspoons water and apply it on the scalp before going to bed. Tie a towel around the head. Wash your head next morning. After shampooing, rinse again with vinegar water. Treat your hair like this once a week for at least three months.
- Take 2 cup water, add 4-5 tablespoons dried thyme and boil for 10 minutes. Cool, strain, and use the mixture to massage scalp. Keep for half an hour.
- Massage the scalp with almond oil. Dip a towel in boiling water and wrap it around the hair. Repeat it thrice or four times when the towel gets cold.
- Make a shampoo by mixing 100g each of amla (Indian goose berry), reetha, and shikakai, and boil in two liter of water until the liquid reduces to half. Use this shampoo for one month. Dandruff will vanish and your hair will become thick.
- Wash your hair with warm apple cider vinegar. Then cover your head with a towel or a shower cap and leave for about 30-40 minutes. Rinse with plain water. Repeat 2 times a week until your dandruff goes away.
- Dissolve 2 aspirins in any dandruff shampoo and wash your hair.
- Mix 100g witch hazel and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice in 200ml water. Shampoo your hair and apply with cotton to the scalp when the hair are still wet. Repeat several times until the dandruff is treated.
- Fenugreek seeds are also useful in the removal of dandruff. Grind fenugreek (methi) seeds soaked in water overnight. Massage this paste on scalp and hair and leave it for 15-20 minutes. Wash it off with a mild shampoo.
- Try a shampoo with selenium sulfide or salicylic acid.
- Take a palm full of baking soda and rub it on your wet hair. Wash it off with water. The baking soda should relieve the itching and help in reducing the problem ofdandruff.
- Try Zest soap once a week. It may work for oily hair. It leaves your hair dry, so use conditioner to your hair only but try not to get it on your scalp. It has worked to get rid of dandruff for some people.