What is Dandruff?
What we know to be dandruff is that white, flaky, snow-like deposit found on the surface of our hair and shoulders. But that is a superficial definition of dandruff. The scientific definition is that it is the dried and dead skin cells of your scalp. It is a fairly common condition and is not serious but it can cause a lot of embarrassment in public. Some people tend to have more dandruff than usual, and it is because dandruff can be aggravated by the presence of other factors and conditions. Knowing about a problem in detail is pertinent to find out an effective solution for it. Follow this BP Guide to know about dandruff in detail and how to get rid of it.
5 Most Common Causes of Dandruff
There are many causes of dandruff. 5 most common of them are listed here. They are as follows- having dry skin, not cleaning your scalp regularly, pollution and presence of a medical condition. One of them or a combination of them can cause dandruff. Let us look into the causes in deeper detail:
People who have dry skin are more likely to have dandruff than those who do not. Dandruff is essentially flakes of dead and dry skin cells shed by the scalp so drier the skin, the more chances of having dandruff. That is why the dandruff problem gets aggravated during winter months in pretty much everyone because skin tends to get drier during the colder months of the year. The solution to this problem is fairly obvious; drink loads of water and keep yourself hydrated. If your dry skin problem is severe then you should use a scalp moisturising shampoo for extra hydration.
One of the biggest culprits of dandruff is our habits (or lack of it). All of us are guilty of being lazy even with our grooming. If there is no chance of going out on a particular day then, we do not even bother to brush our hair even once. This contributes to dandruff. Combing aids in the natural shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp, and if you skip combing, the shed skin cells remain deposited on the scalp and cause dandruff. Also, regular shampooing is necessary to keep your scalp squeaky clean. If you go out daily then you must shampoo your hair once every alternate day. If you are a stay at a home person then shampoo twice a week. Regular shampooing removes excess oil from the scalp and prevents dandruff from accumulating.
Pollution is the root cause of most of our health and skin problems. So, it comes as no surprise that it is responsible for dandruff too. Pollution coats our scalp with a layer of dust and dirt particles which prevents effective shedding of dead skin cells thus causing dandruff. It also makes the scalp dry further complicating the dandruff problem.
Underlying Medical Condition
The above three causes of dandruff can be remedied by hydration, proper grooming and taking care not to overexpose yourself to pollutants, but even after doing so if you still have severe dandruff then it is because you have some underlying medical condition. Seborrheic dermatitis is one such medical condition. It is a chronic disease that not only affects the scalp but also other areas of the skin where oil glands are present. The symptoms are dandruff and redness of the scalp similar to other skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. If you see such symptoms appearing on your scalp then the next course of action is to visit a doctor and get medical help.
There is a fungus that lives on our skin and scalp. Nothing to be disgusted about as it is completely natural. This fungus in itself is not a problem, but it aggravates skin conditions like Seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis and the likes. So an overgrowth of this fungus is going to be quite complicating. The remedy to this overgrowth is, of course, medical treatment. Keeping yourself under a robust skincare routine throughout the year will prevent yeast overgrowth.
5 Natural Remedies for Dandruff
Natural remedies of any condition should be preferred as they are effective and do not entail any side effects. Many natural ingredients treat dandruff and prevent it from occurring again. But natural ingredients cannot treat severe dandruff problem. For that a medical diagnosis and consequent treatment are necessary. If your condition is not severe and restricted to tiny white and grey flake deposits on your hair and clothes, then the following 5 natural treatments would come in handy:
Garlic is the last thing to have come to your mind when talking of natural remedies of dandruff, but it has anti-fungal properties that have immense health benefits. The juice of raw garlic has enough benefits for our scalp and skin. In case of dandruff, crush a clove of garlic with a little bit of water and turn it into a smooth paste. Apply the paste to your scalp and keep for 15 minutes before rinsing it off with shampoo. The only problem with this remedy is that garlic has a pungent smell that some cannot tolerate. If you cannot bear the smell of raw garlic then add a teaspoon of honey or finely chopped ginger to the above concoction.
Coconut Oil and Lemon
It is common knowledge that coconut oil is beneficial to hair. It is a good moisturiser that keeps hair strands nourished and hydrated. Add fresh lemon juice to coconut oil and you have a natural anti-dandruff product. Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and add 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice to it. The idea is to mix coconut oil and lemon juice in equal parts. Gently massage this concoction to your scalp, keep it for 20 minutes and rinse it off with a shampoo. You can apply only lemon juice to remove dandruff but it is not advisable as lemon is highly acidic. It is best to apply it in addition to a moisturising agent, coconut oil in this case.
Baking soda is a natural exfoliating agent. It gently exfoliates dead skin cells from our body without irritating. It also has anti-fungal properties. Exfoliating the scalp regularly is necessary to prevent any future dandruff outbreaks. If you have the usual amount of dandruff then washing your scalp regularly with a shampoo will do the trick but if your dandruff is more than usual then exfoliation of the dead skin cells on your scalp with baking soda is recommended. Take 2 tablespoons of baking soda and add enough water to it so that it becomes a runny paste. Scrub this gently onto your scalp with your fingers moving in a circular motion. Keep it on for 30 minutes before rinsing with shampoo.
Curd is very effective in dandruff removal. Application of curd is very easy. You just need to apply it on your scalp and hair, let it dry for an hour or so then rinse it off with a shampoo. The problem with this method is that it is messy and curd has an unpleasant odour. Having it on your hair for over an hour is going to be a formidable task for your olfactory nerve.
Another messy and smelly natural ingredient that is highly effective against dandruff. Egg yolk contains biotin, which is a vitamin that treats dandruff problems. Egg yolk is also a good conditioner that will make your hair strands healthier. Crack four eggs and separate the egg yolks from the white portion (there are many ways you can do this. Watch this video to learn how to separate egg yolks. Beat the egg yolks until it becomes a smooth liquid. Then apply it on your scalp and hair and cover your hair with a plastic wrap. Keep it for an hour before rinsing with shampoo. Wash your hair twice if the odour doesn’t go.
5 Best Anti-Dandruff Shampoos
Not every one of us has the luxury of time. Treating dandruff with natural ingredients requires time and nurturing. Natural remedies do not work overnight. You should have some time and space to pamper yourself. Most of us have busy lives where time for oneself is hard to come by. The weekdays are spent hustling at work and the weekends are spent hustling at home doing chores. The rest of the time, we catch up for some much-needed sleep. So, we need a solution that is less time consuming and gives quick results. Like shampoos with anti-dandruff formulas. Here are 5 best anti-dandruff shampoo you can try:
Himalaya Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Himalaya’s Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is one of the best for the purpose. The shampoo’s formula contains aloe vera, chickpea and tea tree oil extracts, all of which are beneficial to our hair. Aloe vera soothes the scalp and softens hair and tea tree oil has anti-fungal properties that effectively fights dandruff. This shampoo not only removes dandruff but also nourishes the hair. It is effective on all hair types, even on coloured and styled hair. The shampoo comes in 5 quantities, 100 ml, 200 ml, 400 ml, 700 ml and 1 litre. They are priced at Rs. 75, Rs. 140, Rs. 245, Rs. 470 and Rs. 675 respectively.
Soultree Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
This is a luxury Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. Its formula is an Ayurvedic blend of natural herb extracts like Neem, Amla, Methika and Reetha. The formula also contains lemon peel oil and aloe vera extracts. The herb extracts nourish the scalp for healthy and strong hair growth. Lemon peel oil has an astringent quality, and along with the hydrating properties of aloe vera, it effectively counteracts dandruff accumulation and reduces and itching and flaking. The formula does not contain chemicals like parabens, petrolatum, lead, silicone, phthalates and synthetic fragrance. 250 ml of this shampoo costs Rs. 525.
Matrix Biolage Anti - Dandruff Shampoo
This shampoo’s professional formula contains Bio Cushion Complex and Pyrithione Zinc. They remove pollutants and cleanses the scalp, which ultimately prevents the formation of dandruff. Additionally, it hydrates the hair strands leaving it soft and shiny. Pollution is one major cause of dandruff and this shampoo helps counteract its negative effects. Working professionals who travel to work at least 5 days a week and have to brave pollution for that many days must have this shampoo in their toiletries cabinet. This shampoo is effective on all hair and skin types. 200 ml of this shampoo costs Rs. 335.
The Body Shop Ginger Anti- Dandruff Shampoo
This anti-dandruff shampoo from The Body Shop has a formula that is replenished with extracts of natural ingredients. It contains extracts of ginger, white willow bark, birch bark, and Ethiopian honey. This shampoo has a refreshing and soothing effect on the scalp and is best for dandruff removal. It is especially for people who have dry skin and consequently dry and flaky scalps. This all-natural shampoo formula has no chemicals, and hence there is no fear of any side effects. It suits all skin types. 250 ml of this shampoo comes at Rs. 695.
Biotique Neem Margosa Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Margosa features quite often in Indian Ayurvedic remedies. It is an evergreen plant that has great medicinal properties and is known to be effective against dandruff. It also encourages healthy hair growth. This shampoo from Biotique consists of a formula that infuses the extracts of Margosa and Euphorbia saps, and bhringaraj and reetha herb. This blend makes a potent anti-dandruff concoction. It also eliminates dryness, flaking and itchiness, all of which are associated with dandruff. Additionally, it leaves hair soft and lustrous. This shampoo suits all skin and hair types and is gentle enough for daily usage. 200 ml of this shampoo costs Rs. 170.
Do you know that dandruff is not dangerous?
Dandruff is said to be harmless as this usually occurs when your scalp becomes dry and begins producing flakes of dead skin on your hair. Although this condition is harmless, it can be harmful to your character. This condition affects the way you think, act and feel in society. Dandruff is usually common among children and youth aged between 10 to 20. However, this condition is said to affect 40% of people at the age of 30.
Dandruff can lower one’s self-esteem in public and this change the way you also react to many people around you. To stop this, make sure that you follow all the above-listed home remedies also you can pair them with over-the-counter products like anti-dandruff shampoos to maximize treatment effectiveness.