Dandruff is a mysterious ailment. Dandruff is an itchy, annoying and persistent skin disorder of the scalp. Dandruff can cause either an overly dry scalp with itchy white flakes that may be waxy or greasy or dandruff can manifest as an oily greasy scalp with scales. It is a form of skin inflammation (dermatitis) which has no known cause. This condition can appear at any time from infancy to old age.
Dandruff is a common scalp disorder affecting almost half of the population at the post-pubertal age and of any gender and ethnicity. It often causes itching. It has been well established that keratinocytes play a key role in the expression and generation of immunological reactions during dandruff formation. The severity of dandruff may fluctuate with season as it often worsens in winter. Most cases of dandruff can be easily treated with specialized shampoos. There is, however, no true cure.
Dandruff can have several causes, including dry skin, seborrhoeic dermatitis, not cleaning/scrubbing often enough, shampooing too often, psoriasis, eczema, sensitivity to hair care products, or a yeast-like fungus. Dry skin is the most common cause of flaking dandruff.
As the epidermal layer continually replaces itself, cells are pushed outward where they eventually die and flake off. For most individuals, these flakes of skin are too small to be visible. However, certain conditions cause cell turnover to be unusually rapid, especially in the scalp. It is hypothesized that for people with dandruff, skin cells may mature and be shed in 2–7 days, as opposed to around a month in people without dandruff. The result is that dead skin cells are shed in large, oily clumps, which appear as white or grayish patches on the scalp, skin and clothes.
Those affected by dandruff find that it can cause social or self-esteem problems, indicating treatment for both psychological and physiological reasons.
Dandruff and its treatment
Causes of dandruff
There are two types of causes-internal & external causes. Internal causes are hormonal imbalance, poor health, poor hygiene, lack of rest, improper nutrition, and heredity predisposition. External causes are excessive use of hair sprays & gels, improper use of hair coloring products ,excessive use of hot hair curlers, cold weather and dry indoor heating, stress and anxiety, infrequent shampooing of the hair or inadequate rinsing of the scalp and hair. Dry or Greasy Dandruff: Although bacteria may aggravate a dandruff condition; bacteria do not cause the initial problem. Dandruff is associated with a tiny fungus called Pityrosporum ovale, or P. ovale for short. This fungus lives on our bodies and scalp all the time, usually without causing a problem. Unfortunately, for some people, it can get out of control. leading to dandruff.
Diet on dandruff
- Nutrition can play a big part in controlling dandruff. Diet plays an important role in the treatment of dandruff
- Nutritional yeast and raw wheat germ are two excellent sources of B vitamins, particularly vitamin B6 which plays an important role in controlling dandruff.
- Eggs and cabbage also provide vitamin B6 in addition to supplying sulfur which is nature’s beauty mineral for the scalp.
- A well-balanced diet, with emphasis on raw foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid citrus fruits, bananas, tinned fruits. Citrus fruits, bananas, dried, stewed, or tinned fruits should not be taken.
- Avoid strong tea/coffee, pickles, refined and processed foods
- Meats, sugar, white flour, strong tea or coffee, condiments, pickles, refined and processed foods should all be avoided
- Best option is to become vegetarian
Treatment on dandruff problem
Yoga headstands will also help with circulation. Exercising out in the fresh air will also help with circulation to the scalp. Nizoral shampoo is also unique in that it’s effect is long-lasting. Even after rinsing, Nizoral carries on working for several days. The foremost consideration in the treatment of this disorder is to keep the hair and scalp clean so as to minimise the accumulation of dead cells.
Hair should be softly brushed daily to improve circulation. The hair should be brushed daily to improve the circulation and remove any flakiness. The most effective way to brush the hair is to bend forward from the waist with the head down towards the ground, and brush from the nape of the neck towards the top of the head.
Home remedies on treating dandruff
- Garlic and oil of oregano are also excellent for fighting dandruff. You can take it internally or externally.
- Onions are high in sulfur. Cut a fresh onion in half and rub it on the scalp. Onion juice is massaged on the scalp half hour before bath and then the hair is washed.
- Mix 1 tblspn of Olive oil with 1 tspn of limejuice. Apply well on the scalp and cover the head by tying an old scarf. Keep it on overnight and shampoo the next morning
- The use of a teaspoon of fresh lime juice for the last rinse, while washing the hair, is another useful remedy. This not only leaves the hair glowing but also removes stickiness and prevents dandruff.
- Dandruff can be removed by massaging the hair for half an hour with curd which has been kept in the open for three days, or with a few drops of lime juice mixed with amla juice every night, before going to bed.
- Another measure which helps to counteract dandruff is to dilute cider vinegar with an equal quantity of water and dab this on to the hair with cotton wool in between shampooing. Cider vinegar added to the final rinsing water after shampooing also helps to disperse dandruff.
- To get rid off dandruff you can try a mixture of 2 tbsp of curd and a few drops of honey is rubbed on the scalp half hour before bath and then the hair is washed.
- Mix the olive oil with the almond oil. Leave it on about 5 minutes after it starts to burn. Rinse well.
Herbal treatment on dandruff
- The use of fenugreek seeds is one of the most important remedies in the treatment of dandruff. Two tablespoons of these seeds should be soaked overnight in water and ground into a fine paste in the morning. This paste should be applied all over the scalp and left for half an hour. The hair should then be washed thoroughly with soap-nut (ritha) solution or shikakai.
- Put the aloe vera gel where there is lots of dandruff. Leave it for ten minutes. Then have a shower. Wash your body with soap. Then use a natural Aloe vera shampoo and apply the shampoo on your hair.
- A valuable prescription for removal of dandruff is the use of green gram powder. The hair should be washed twice a week with two tablespoons of this powder mixed with half a cup of curd.
- Beets have been found useful in dandruff. Both tops and roots should be boiled in water and this water should be massaged into the scalp with the finger tips every night. White beet is better for this purpose.
- The juice of snake gourd has been found beneficial in the prevention and treatment of dandruff. The juice should be rubbed over the scalp for this purpose.
Homeopathic remedies on dandruff problem
- Commonly used homeopathic medicines / remedies for treatment of dandruff are: Cantharis, Arnica, Graphites,Phosphorus, Kali phos,Natmur, Sulphur, and Ars etc.
- The flaking and itching of the scalp can be due to eczema, psoriasis or a simple fungal infection. Sulphur 30x twice a day can relieve these symptoms.
- Use a gentle shampoo without mint, menthol, eucalyptus or tea tree oil.