We all dread those tiny, little, dry white flakes of skin! They don’t seem so harmful but we all know how they damage confidence, concentration and make us feel insecure in company of friends or peers. So exactly what is dandruff? Read on.
The human body renews its entire skin in every 27-28 days. This occurs by gradual falling off of the small, not so easily visible skin flakes that occurs all the time. We do not see these flakes as they are relatively smaller and usually fall off unnoticeably. The same thing happens to the scalp. But then, why can we see the dandruff? Dandruff occurs when this flaking process is fastened which happens due to the presence of a common fungus called malassezia. So the flakes that would accumulate and simply fall off in 28 days are produced in much lesser time adding to this, the naturally produced oil in our scalp makes these flakes sticky and multiple flakes thus stick together and become even more easily visible. Dandruff occurrence is more likely when the scalp is excessively dry or excessively oily.
Not cleaning often, excessive shampooing, sensitivity to hair products can also cause dandruff. Some dermatologists also believe that a stressful lifestyle also results in a person getting a dandruff problem at any stage of his or her life. Dietitians argue that people with a diet lacking in some type of fats, zinc, Vitamin B etc are prone to dandruff. Some skin conditions such as eczema which is itching, drying and flaking of skin and Seborrheic dermatitis which is an inflammatory skin disorder can act as catalysts for dandruff and need medical treatment as soon as possible.
Now that we know what dandruff actually is and what are its causes, how do we get rid of it? Many of us surely have used and alternated between a variety of shampoos, conditioners and what not and have seen minimal results. So why not we change our approach and try a few natural remedies to get rid of those annoying, little white flakes? Here are some natural ways to get rid of dandruff:
10. Using Table Salt
Yes! You read it correctly. Salt is by far the most common ingredient present in almost all the kitchens of households in the world. Salt is known to have a gentle exfoliating property and thus can be very beneficial for a healthy scalp and can keep dandruff away.
Directions: Apply salt directly to dry or dampened scalp. Rub the salt gently onto the scalp until it gets dissolved. Make sure you do not rub too hard as salt crystals can also damage the scalp if pressed on with force. Wash your scalp while gently massaging it after some time with warm water.
9. Using Lemon
Lemon should be used when there is excess oil in the scalp and that is the reason for the dandruff. Lemons contain citric acid in their juice and this acid can help in reducing the amount of oil in the scalp thus resulting in reduction of dandruff.
Directions: Take 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and apply directly to the scalp. Allow it to sit for just a few minutes and then rinse the scalp with some water mixed with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Lemon juice shouldn’t be allowed to sit on the scalp for too long as it can dry out the scalp.
8. Using Neem Leaves
Neem leave are the most famous Indian herb for its numerous medicinal properties and usage. Neem leaves can also help a person with dandruff as it can soothe the scalp skin which is itchy and irritated. It also has anti fungal properties which can make sure that there is no excess growth of fungus such as malassezia in the scalp.
Directions: Heat up a cup of water and add some Neem leaves to it. Allow it to stand overnight. Strain the mixture next morning and then rinse the scalp with the resultant solution. A paste of the Neem leaves can also be made and directly applied to the scalp. Make sure the Neem leaves are properly washed before making their paste. Apply the paste to the scalp and allow it to sit of at least an hour before washing it off.
7. Using Tea Tree Oil
Widely known for its medicinal use in skin treatment, Tea Tree Oil is also a good anti fungal agent. It can treat sore or itchy scalp.
Directions: Add a few tablespoons of tea tree oil to warm water and add it to a squirt bottle, if available. Apply this mixture to the scalp after shampooing. Do not rinse the scalp after applying this mixture. Make sure that the mixture does not get in the eyes or is not ingested.
6. Using Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera gel is a widely used content in many face wash and creams as it has various positive effects on the skin. Aloe Vera gel slows down the skin cell proliferation process and thus reduces the pace of regeneration of the skin cells on the scalp.
Directions: Aloe Vera gel must simple be applied on the scalp and should be allowed to sit for at least 15-20 minutes. It then can be rinsed away or normal shampoo routine can be followed afterwards.
5. Using Olive Oil
Olive oil finds its use in numerous ways sometimes as a cooking oil or sometimes used in small quantities in beauty products. Olive oil is believed to be an excellent moisturizer and also has natural cleansing properties.
Directions: Apply Olive oil to the scalp and let it sit overnight. This is the best method to treat dandruff using this oil another being introducing it in the diet. Make sure that the time of applying and the time of rinsing of the scalp isn’t more than ten hours. It can also be used in combination with Castor oil and massaged onto the scalp gently.
4. Using Vinegar
Vinegar can be really helpful in removing the dead skin and the skin flakes which make up the dandruff. It is rich in potassium and specially, apple cider vinegar helps improve blood circulation.
Directions: Use apple cider vinegar with a mug of water to rinse the scalp after bath. Balsamic vinegar can also be used for this process. Make sure that the scalp is gently massaged while rinsing it with the mixture.
3. Using Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds, high in fiber, can effectively reduce hair fall, dandruff and hair thinning. Readily available in the market, it is another common ingredient that can be used as an anti dandruff agent.
Directions: Soak two tablespoons of Fenugreek seeds in water overnight. Grind it into a paste in the morning and apply on the scalp and let it rest for at least half an hour. Wash off the paste afterwards and then use the water which was used to soak the seeds as a tonic for hair after bath.
2. Using Beetroot
Beetroots are a rich source of folic acid and contain high amount of fiber, manganese and potassium, ingredients which are heavily present in anti dandruff shampoos. This makes beetroots an attractive ingredient in treating dandruff related problems.
Directions: Boil a beetroot in water, use a white beetroot if you can as the purple ones can be considered sure to stain the skin. Massage the scalp with the water in which the beetroot was boiled and let it sit overnight. Rinse the scalp in the morning.
1. Using Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is the most commonly used hair product. It has anti fungal capabilities and also moisturizes the hair, scalp and in addition provides a relief from itching.
Directions: Mix some coconut oil and half the amount of lemon juice. Rub the mixture gently on your scalp for a few minutes. Let the mixture sit for at least 20 minutes and then rinse your hair properly.