Effective Home Remedies To Get Rid of Dandruff Naturally
In a tropical country like India, the onset of winter brings joy to many a heart. It’s the season of festivity, joy and color, a relief from the sweltering heat of summer and messy puddles of the incessant rains. Fresh vegetables and fruits flood the markets and there is a riot of color as flowers begin to bloom. Pleasant days and cold nights spent under warm blankets and cups of hot tea and yummy snacks make winters a really ‘cool’ experience.
Winter is also a season of agony for most of us. Chapped lips, skin that threatens to crack due to dryness and hair that just seems to have a life of its own, crackling and frizzing due to static; yes, these are the harsh realities that go with the winter season, as the cold dry winds wreak havoc on our skin and hair, forcing us to run for cover under a plethora of cold creams and treatments for dry skin and frizzy hair! This is the season most conducive for the onset of hair fall and dandruff.
What is Dandruff?
Dandruff is, according to the Medilexicon’s medical dictionary, the presence, in varying amounts, of white or gray scales in the hair of the scalp, due to excessive or normal branny exfoliation of the epidermis. Also known as Scurf or Pityriasis Simplex Capillitii, dandruff simply means the shedding of dead skin cells or flakes from the scalp and is sometimes caused by exposure to extreme heat or cold. A small amount of flaking is normal, but, due to certain triggers, some people experience a larger amount of flaking usually accompanied by redness and itching of the scalp. There are two main types of dandruff – dry dandruff and oily dandruff. People with oily skin suffer from oily dandruff as the sebaceous glands produce excess sebum or oil, making it sticky and prone to infection. This type of dandruff is more stubborn and difficult to get rid of than dry dandruff. However dandruff should not be ignored as this can have serious repercussions, leading to skin rash near the hairline and on the nape of the neck, hair fall and can also lead to a receding hairline. Dandruff can also spread to the eyebrows if ignored. In certain cases excessive dandruff can be symptomatic of medical conditions like seborrhoeic dermatitis, Psoriasis or fungal infection when medication by a certified dermatologist becomes necessary. Most cases of dandruff however can be treated and prevented to a large extent using home remedies.
Getting Rid of Dandruff the Natural Way:
Dandruff can be a bane in our life. Imagine going to a party, dressed to kill, in a stylish black dress, with little flakes of white decorating your shoulders and your hand constantly itching to soothe away the discomfort on your scalp! Dandruff proves to be the real party pooper, making us so self conscious that we forget to enjoy the party itself! But, there is no need to panic or feel depressed, as help is at hand, very close to you, on the shelves of your kitchen. Yes, although there is no permanent cure for dandruff, certain lifestyle changes and some simple home remedies will help you to prevent and control dandruff to a large extent. Aloe Vera, Amla, beetroot leaves, neem, curd, lemon, papaya and fenugreek seeds or methi work wonders in controlling hair fall and dandruff.
Home Remedies for Dandruff:
- Soak fenugreek seeds overnight in half a cup of curd and make a paste of it the next day. Apply all over the scalp and wash off with luke warm water after one hour.
- Take equal quantities of neem leaves and Indian Basil, better known as Tulasi, and grind to a fine paste. Apply on scalp and wash off after one hour. You can also boil the neem leaves for half an hour and wash hair using the filtered water after it has cooled.
- Camphor is very effective in helping to get rid of dandruff. Mix 4 -5 tablets in your hair oil, preferably coconut oil and massage scalp regularly before washing hair. This will control dandruff as well as help to get rid of hair lice.
- Mix one tablespoon of curd, 2 tablespoons oil and one tablespoon lemon juice. Warm and apply on scalp. Wash with a mild shampoo after half an hour. This treatment done twice a week keeps hair well conditioned and free from dandruff.
- Grind a leaf of the Aloe Vera plant along with a tablespoon of lemon juice and apply on scalp. Wash after half an hour. Repeat this twice a week and watch the dandruff just disappear, leaving the hair smooth and glossy.
- Mix equal quantities of vinegar and water and apply evenly on scalp. Leave it on overnight and wash hair next morning with a mild shampoo. Give the hair a final rinse with some vinegar mixed with water.
- Mix two teaspoons of green gram powder with half a cup of curd and apply to scalp. This treatment twice a week helps to remove dandruff.
- Massage amla juice, which has been mixed with a few drops of lemon juice, onto your scalp and wash off after half an hour.
- One of the most effective treatments for removing dandruff would be to apply a paste of lemon juice and Fuller’s Earth, better known as Multani Mitti, on your scalp twice a week before washing your hair. The lemon juice helps in breaking down the sebum production and the Fuller’s Earth cleanses the scalp of the dead skin cells, leaving your scalp squeaky clean.
- Regular massages with natural oils such as Almond oil or Olive oil will restore moisture and prevent dryness of the hair, at the same time stimulating the oil glands. Massaging hair with oil regularly, especially in winter is an effective natural remedy to keep dandruff at bay and also encourages hair growth.
How to Prevent Dandruff?
Diet: Diet plays an important role in preventing dandruff. Eat a healthy diet, rich in Zinc, B Complex and essential Fatty Acids which are found in abundance in raw, fresh vegetables and fruits. Also include cabbages, eggs and onions in your diet as they contain sulphur which aids in treating dandruff. Avoid greasy snacks, excessive tea, and coffee, refined and processed foods.
Hair care: Hair needs a lot of pampering, especially in the winter months, when, due to the cold winds, hair loses its moisture and tends to become frizzy and brittle.
- Massage your scalp regularly with oil that has been slightly heated and wrap a hot towel on your head.
- Brush hair daily to improve circulation and to remove flakes from the scalp. An effective way to brush hair is to bend down from the waist, bring your hair down to the front and brush from the nape of the head to the tip of the hair. This method of brushing is also very effective in hair growth.
- During winter months hair has to be exposed to the sun for some time every day. The rays of the sun are a good way of getting rid of dandruff.
- Do not try to clean dandruff away by washing hair daily. This will only make the hair drier, thereby aggravating the problem.
- Avoid styling products like gel or hairsprays as they tend to dry the scalp and encourage dandruff. Try using natural products like henna, lime or curd to condition your hair.
Stress: Life today is more stressful than it used to be a decade ago, be it at school, college or work. Leading a stressful life manifests itself on the skin and hair. If you cannot avoid stress, try to manage it with the help of yoga and meditation. This change in lifestyle will be beneficial to your overall well being, including skin and hair.
Some interesting facts about dandruff
- Dandruff occurs in people between 12 and 50 years.
- Dandruff is not often localized to the scalp alone. Dandruff is known to spread to the eyebrows, around the ears and along the sides of the nose.
- Dandruff is not a disease nor is it contagious. However, it is advisable to wash your comb and towels regularly to avoid spreading the dandruff.
- Dandruff is more common in men than women and in people having oily skin.
A healthy diet, natural home remedies and stress management will definitely go a long way in making you a happy person both inside and externally.