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Dandruff or Seborrhea is one of the most common scalp diseases that majority of the population suffer from. Although, it is most common among the adolescent, but it can affect people of any age group. We all know that at some point in our lives we have desperately tried almost all types of dandruff treatment and over-the-counter antidandruff shampoos, but this is one sticky problem that keeps coming back. In most cases, the problem of dandruff itself is not very serious but it is embarrassing and irritating indeed. In certain cases it can lead to other skin problems such as pimples, acne or even worse, it can lead to social problems and lowered self-esteem.
Dandruff may be the result of a dry scalp, or a skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis. It could also be caused by eczema, psoriasis, or, very commonly, an overgrowth of a yeastlike fungus called Malassezia. Drugstore remedies might include shampoos with zinc pyrithione, which targets fungus and bacteria; ketoconazole, which also fights fungus; coal tar and selenium sulfide, which slow the growth and die-off of skin cells on your scalp; and salicylic acid, which loosens flakes so they can be washed away.
Aspirin contains the same active ingredient (salicylic acid) as many medicated dandruff shampoos. Keep flaking in check by crushing two aspirins to a fine powder and adding it to the normal amount of shampoo you use each time you wash your hair. Leave the mixture on your hair for 1-2 minutes, then rinse well and wash again with plain shampoo.
Basic Reasons for Dandruff:
Imagine a situation where you get a chance to get close and personal with your office crush, but just as you are tucking in your shirt or top you see a drizzle of white flakes on your collars and shoulder- what on earth can be more embarrassing than this? We keep brushing it off without ever trying to get to the root of the problem. But have we ever thought that the cause of this persistent problem may lie in very simple things, like our lifestyle, habits, diet, hygiene and stress? But no need to worry, because we bring to you some of the basic reasons for dandruff and 10 simple home remedies to get rid of it.
Poor brushing leads to a higher risk of dandruff. It is a natural mechanism for the scalp to shed the dead skin cells periodically. Proper brushing and combing of hair at least twice a day is very important to get rid of these flakes. In addition, brushing also improves air supply and blood circulation to scalp and hair that's crucial for healthy hair.
Not Proper Shampooing:
Not enough washing of the hair leads to accumulation of dead cells and oil on the scalp which can lead to dandruff and itchy scalp. It is recommended to wash your hair every other day with a mild herbal shampoo because the detergent and chemicals present in common shampoos causes rough and frizzy hair. If you are using a conditioner after shampooing, make sure to apply it at least an inch away from the scalp and wash it off thoroughly so that no residue is left in the hair.
Excessive emotional or work stress, overnight work shift, back to back exams or an ugly divorce- all these and many more things can lead to dandruff and hair loss. Stress has an impact on us both physically and mentally. But try to stick to a routine, eat healthy meals at proper times and drink plenty of water to keep situations under control.
Excessive Use of Hair Products:
While everybody out there is boasting of salon treated hair thanks to the chemical loaded styling products, it is impossible to get out with bland, plain hair. So if it is a must for you, then use the hair sprays, gels, and mousse in moderation, because certain chemicals present in these products might aggravate the problem of dandruff.
To a large extent, the modern diet is also responsible for problems such as dandruff. In the present times, our staple diet consists of processed food, refined sugar, fatty and fried food that leads to inflammation, which in turn leads to flaking and dandruff. Try to limit the intake of salt, sugar, and trans-saturated fat. Substitute the processed diet with an antioxidant-rich diet that includes minerals like zinc and vitamin B and omega 3 fatty acids. Include lots of green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits to your diet and eat them raw as well as cooked.
People with dry skin commonly complain of dry dandruff more often. The problem surges during winter because of dry weather and cold wind. They suffer from a type of dandruff that is not oily and the flakes are smaller in size.
Lemon and Coconut Oil Massage:
The citric property of lemon works wonders in reducing dandruff over time. For this massage, Heat 2 tablespoon of coconut oil and mix equal amount of lemon juice to it and massage gently on your scalp. Leave it for 20 minutes and then rinse off with a mild shampoo. Repeat this 3-4 times a week for a few weeks to get effective results.
This good old baking ingredient is of great use when it comes to fighting dandruff. Take a spoonful of baking soda and rub it thoroughly into your wet hair and scalp. Leave it on for a minute and then wash it off. Continue this four times a week for a few weeks. The results may take time to appear, but this one is a sure remedy for flakes.
Take a small amount (enough to make a mask for your hair) of white sour curd or yogurt and leave it in the open for a day or two for fermentation. Whisk the curd and apply it to your scalp and hair like a mask and leave it on for an hour. Rinse it thoroughly with a mild shampoo. The acidic quality of the curd not only helps combat dandruff but conditions it to give it a shiny, soft texture.
Fenugreek (Methi) Pack:
Fenugreek is a spice that is readily available in our kitchen. Soak a handful of fenugreek seeds in water overnight. Make a paste and apply on scalp and hair and leave on for about an hour. Rinse it off and wash hair with a mild shampoo. Repeat this 3-4 times a week for best results. The anti-fungal property of fenugreek helps reduce dandruff and soothe irritation and itching.
Heena or mehndi is an age-old natural hair conditioner that has been used for centuries to treat hair problems. Mix henna, tea liquor and curd in a glass bowl and add lemon juice to it. Keep aside for 8-10 hours and apply it to hair and scalp in the form of a pack. Leave it for 1-2 hours, rinse it off and wash thoroughly with a mild shampoo. Repeat it once a week for best results.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple Cider Vinegar is available in any major departmental store or supermarket. Vinegar is an active agent in fighting fungus. Mix one part of apple cider vinegar with an equal part of water and keep aside. Wash your hair normally and then apply the mixture to wet hair. Massage your scalp thoroughly with this mixture. Make sure it does not get into your eyes. Leave it on for 15 minutes and rinse off with water. Repeat it daily for about a week and say bye-bye to dandruff.
Tea tree Oil:
Tea tree oil is great for hair and it smells wonderful too. Apply a small amount of this oil to the flaky patches. Leave it on for 5 minutes and wash off. Repeat this 2-3 times for a week. Tea tree oil often triggers allergies in some people. In that case, go for a tea tree oil shampoo that has at least 5% tea tree oil which works as good as the oil. Shampoo frequently and while shampooing scrub the scalp lightly and leave it in of about 5 minutes before washing off.
Fuller Earth (Multani Mitti) Hair Pack:
When it comes to skin care, there is nothing better than a fuller earth face pack. But fuller earth also works miracles for hair and scalp. The cooling effect of fuller earth soothes the scalp, removes excess oil and fights irritation. For the fuller earth hair pack, make a paste of fuller earth and water and add lemon juice to it. Apply it on hair and scalp and leave on for 20 minutes and wash off with water.
Since ancient times, neem has been used as a medicine for its natural antiseptic properties. Make a thick paste by grinding neem leaves in a food processor and apply this paste to the scalp and leave for 10 minutes then wash off with water. Leaves of neem can also be boiled in water and the water can be used for washing hair. This method is equally effective in keeping dandruff at bay.
Orange Peel Pack:
Citric acid and vitamin C in oranges helps in improving skin texture and tone. But orange peel too has great benefits when it comes to hair. The acidic property of orange peel helps reduce excess oil, and conditions hair. Mix orange peel and lemon juice in a food processor to bring it to a paste. Apply it to the scalp, leave for half an hour and wash off with a shampoo. Repeat this 2-3 times a week for best results.
Although dandruff might be a nagging problem, but remember the next time you are beating your head about the flakes, the solution might be just in front of your eyes- in your kitchen or freezer.
Scalp dryness can be cured with the regular use of extra-virgin olive oil, an effective natural moisturizer.
Heat some extra virgin olive oil until it is slightly warm.
Massage it into your scalp and then wrap your hair in a warm towel.
Leave it on for at least 45 minutes or overnight and then shampoo and condition your hair.
Repeat this remedy a few times a week.
Camphor And Coconut Oil:
Here's a simple Ayurvedic remedy that you can try to get rid of your dandruff problem. As you might know, coconut oil is great at nourishing your hair and scalp.
Add one teaspoon of camphor to half cup of coconut oil and store in an airtight container.
Apply it on the scalp and massage for 10 minutes each night before going to bed.
Continue this treatment for 2 weeks and once your dandruff is in control, switch to applying only on alternate evenings.
Aloe Vera gel has antibacterial and antifungal properties and is known to lessen dandruff in addition to its myriad of benefits for our skin and hair. Aloe Vera removes dandruff, soothes and heals the scalp, acting as a clarifying agent.
Apply pure Aloe Vera gel on the scalp and massage.