Dandruff also known as seborrheic dermatitis is an ordinary disorder of the scalp. Although it can affect both males and females of all ages but it is more common among males and people having an oily skin. Almost half of the human race is affected by dandruff and most of the people associate it with embarrassment and low self-confidence problems. So having the right knowledge about dandruff is very essential. Equally imperative is to fight it out as naturally and as effectively as possible.
Let us know the science behind dandruff. Renewal of cells is a normal phenomenon of human skin. When the process of cell renewal is carried out by our scalp, the old dead cells are pushed out of the scalp. For the people who are perturbed by dandruff, the only difference is that new cells on their scalp form faster than the old ones getting out. As a result of this, more skin gets shed out and dandruff becomes visible.
However in cases where dandruff is chronic, there may also be an appearance of redness and itchiness on scalp along with an exceptional amount of flaking.
Following are the symptoms of dandruff –
- White flakes of skin in the hair and on scalp
- Flakes may appear to be oily
- Soreness and itchiness on head
- Flaky, greasy red patches on skin (in Adults)
- Scaling rashes on scalp (in babies)
Although there is no precise cause of dandruff, here are a few most common reasons that might give rise to the problem of dandruff.
- Not brushing hair frequently – Combing or brushing helps in shedding of the dead skin. People who do not brush their hair often are at an increased risk of seborrheic dermatitis.
- Yeast – Sensitivity to yeast is also a cause of dandruff in some people. This kind of scalp issue gets even more aggravated in winter season.
- Dry skin – People having dry skin are also susceptible to getting dandruff with smaller and non-oily flakes of skin.
- Not taking a head-bath often or taking it too often – People who do not shampoo their hair regularly develop a layer of oil and dead skin on their scalp which causes dandruff. Washing your hair too frequently than needed can also irritate scalp and lead to dandruff eventually.
- Certain diseases and skin problems – Adults suffering from neurological illnesses, those recovering from heart strokes or related ailments and those with a weak immune system are at a greater risk of dandruff.
- Reaction to a certain product – Sudden occurrence of dandruff might be a result of reaction to a particular hair care or skin care product.
- Deficiency of Vitamin B and Zinc – Medically it has been found that people having an insufficient intake of zinc and Vitamin B are at a greater risk of dandruff.
Mostly, dandruff would not require you to visit a doctor as it can be treated with use of a mild anti-dandruff shampoo or oil (or both). However, people having severe problem may need to visit a dermatologist for an expert advice or medication. So here are a few easy home remedies that will help you battle dandruff successfully and almost effortlessly. Moreover, it will prevent the irritating scalp ailment from returning.
- Neem leaves – Neem or the Indian Lilac has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties which can help you get rid of dandruff and other problems of scalp. Boil a handful of neem leaves in about 4-5 cups of water and strain the solution. Use it as a hair rinse thrice a week.
- Vinegar – The idea might sound a bit weird but its actually very effective. Mix equal quantities of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar with warm water and use this solution to rinse your hair. It will help you get rid of unwanted skin on your scalp and hence solve the problem of seborrheic dermatitis.
- Baking soda – Baking soda absorbs excess oil and helps to remove dead skin since it has mild exfoliating properties. Rub a handful of baking soda on wet hair and rinse well after two to three minutes. Make sure that you do not shampoo your hair after this treatment. This can be repeated about twice a week.
- Extra virgin olive oil – Use extra virgin olive oil regularly to cure dryness of scalp. Give your scalp a nice massage with warm extra virgin olive oil and then wrap your hair with a warm towel. Leave it overnight and take a shampoo in the morning.
- Fenugreek seeds – Fenugreek is an Indian culinary spice. But being a rich source of amino acids and protein, it has medicinal properties too. Soak two tablespoons to fenugreek seeds in a cup of water overnight and grind it in the morning to form a smooth paste. Apply it to your hair and keep for about 40-45 minutes and then wash properly with shampoo and water. It will gradually solve all your problems related to dandruff, dull hair, rough hair and slow hair growth.
- Lemon juice – Acids that are capable of fighting the dandruff causing fungi are found in a good amount in lemon juice. Mix juice of half a lemon with about three-four tablespoons of plain yogurt. Apply it to your hair and wash it after 20-25 minutes.
- Eat healthy– Having a nutritious and wholesome meal helps you keep healthy in every way. Diet plays an important role in fighting out ailments, even that of skin and scalp. So now onwards do not forget to enrich your daily diet with a lot of fruits, veggies, nuts, healthy oils, whole grains etc.