Do you often shove your black party dress to the end of your wardrobe fearing the white flakes?

All of us, at one time or another, must have faced the menace of dandruff. It comes up any time of the year and makes us conscious of our appearance. Not to mention the endless urge to scratch head. Let us explore what causes dandruff and what we can do to treat it.

Medically speaking, dandruff is scalp condition that causes the flakes to appear on the skin that may be followed by an itching sensation. Your skin cells are renewing themselves constantly. So when the skin cells on your scalp get old and die, they appear on your scalp as white flakes and are expelled out of your body. Normally you do not notice this process. When the skin cells on your scalp cells die out faster than they are born, dandruff appears.

However, there can be other reasons for dandruff as well. They are as follows:

  1. Dry Skin: Observe how your skin is feeling in general. If the skin on your hands and legs is dry, your scalp is likely to be dry too. Extreme weather or less consumption of water may cause your skin to dry up.
  2. Infrequent Shampooing: If you are lazy enough to shampoo your hair once in a blue moon, you are likely to get dandruff.
  3. Oily Skin: If you have oily skin, you are likely to get ‘seborrheic dermatitis’ wherever the oil glands are overactive on your body. You may get red oily scalp with white or yellowish flakes. It can even spread to your eyebrows, armpits, back of your ears or groin area.
  4. Other Skin Conditions: If you have skin ailments like psoriasis or eczema, you have high chances of getting dandruff. These inflammatory diseases cause quick build up of dead skin cells that causes flaking.
  5. Fungal Attack: Malassezia, a type of fungus, exists on scalp of most people. But for some people, it causes irritation on the scalp area. It makes more skin cells to grow and when this extra skin dies out, dandruff forms.
  6. Intolerance to Skin Care Products: Your skin may not be tolerant to various skin care products from the market. Use of too much shampoo or conditioner may leave your scalp with irritation. Hair mousse, hair colours or dyes are full of chemicals that may leave you with a dry, red, itchy and flaky skin.

How to Treat Dandruff

There are many ways to treat dandruff. First you need to discover the reason for your dandruff attack. Then apply the suitable solution.

-If dandruff is due to dry scalp, you may consider oiling your scalp and hair. You also have to increase your liquid intake especially that of water to keep your skin well hydrated.

-If your dandruff is due to overactive oil glands, apply hair packs to absorb the extra oil. Avoid too much brushing of hair that may activate the oil glands further.

-If your dandruff is due to skin conditions or fungal attack, seek medical help.

-Take good care of your hair hygiene. Keep it free from sweat, dust and pollution.

-If your skin is intolerant to chemically laden hair care products, then go herbal. Avoid colouring your hair, using strong shampoos and conditioners, hair styling gels etc. Opt for herbal or ayurvedic hair care products that contain minimal or no chemicals. They are better suited to your skin and are less likely to irritate your skin.

Here are a few home remedies that will help you bid adieu to your dandruff!

  1. Add 10 drops of lemon juice to 1 egg white and beat it well. Apply this mixture to your scalp and hair for 20 minutes. Wash it off with a mild shampoo and water. Apply once a week to get a dandruff free scalp.
  2. Fenugreek is very effective in preventing dandruff, hair fall as well as baldness. Soak a few tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in water overnight. Grind them into a fine paste the following morning. Apply this paste on your scalp and hair for 30-45 minutes and then wash it with a mild shampoo.
  3. Boil a few neem leaves in water. Cool it and strain out the leaves. Use this water to wash your hair. It will clear out the dandruff in a few days.
  4. You can also apply pulp of aloe vera plant on the dandruff affected areas for beneficial results.
  5. Make a paste with basil (tulsi) leaves and amla powder mixed with water. Massage this paste on your scalp and let it remain for 30 – 60 minutes. Wash the hair with water.
  6. Heat 4 tsp coconut oil and add powdered camphor to it. Let it cool down and apply it on your scalp. Wash it off your hair after half an hour.
  7. Wash your hair twice a week with 2 tsp of green gram powder mixed with half a cup of curd.
  8. Rub the juice of snake gourd over your scalp to prevent and treat dandruff.
  9. Apply a paste of triphala churnam on the scalp regularly for beneficial results.
  10. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to your hair oil or shampoo weekly to treat dandruff.

Hope these remedies will help you get dandruff free hair and scalp. Let your hair shine with health and get you all the best compliments!

If you have any other effective remedies for treating dandruff, do share them with us.