Maintaining beautiful and lustrous hair can get tricky when you have dandruff problems. The white flaky stuff sticking to the strands alongside falling all over the shoulders can be a problem. Not to mention, the itchiness that accompanies dandruff can get very irritating and lead to scratches and even bleeding on the scalp.
Clearing off dandruff can be made possible with the right type of remedies. Even kitchen ingredients can prove useful if you make the right concoction. Read on to learn all about treating dandruff effectively and also understand the different causes of the problem.
What Are The Causes Of Dandruff?
Dandruff is primarily dead skin cells from the scalp that aggressively peel and is accompanied by itchiness and even pain. It can be caused by various reasons ranging from scalp dryness to hormonal problems. The following are some of the major causes of dandruff, irrespective of gender and age:
- Excessively dry skin means the scalp also tends to be dry. As a result, the flaking gets aggressive too.
- Not washing the hair periodically or shampooing properly also leads to dandruff. If there is shampoo residue left on the scalp, it can also lead to dandruff.
- If you are allergic to certain ingredients in the haircare product, it can also trigger dryness and resulting dandruff.
- Certain medical conditions like Seborrheic dermatitis can also cause itchy scalp and dandruff. It also triggers dry and flaky skin on other parts of the body where oil glands are present.
- Fungal infections on the scalp also show up as dandruff in the long run.
Types of Dandruff
There are four types of dandruff recognized based on the texture of the flakes as well as the cause. Discover more about this below:
- Oily dandruff: This happens among those with oily scalps specifically. It is an inflammatory skin problem called seborrheic dermatitis. The dandruff appears as clusters of oily flaky skin and can become painful as well as itchy.
- Fungal dandruff: It is caused by the fungus Malassezia and occurs mainly in adults. This causes dry and flaky dandruff and the scalp feels very itchy.
- Dry-scalp-based dandruff: These are flakes that fall on the shoulder and around you and do not stick to your hair because the scalp is so dry.
- Skin condition-based dandruff: This kind is triggered by health problems specifically due to skin problems.
Once you figure out the type, it gets much easier to find a suitable remedy. However, if the dandruff forms in clusters at the roots of the hair and gets painful to remove, it is best to consult a dermatologist to find a suitable remedy. Scratching them can even lead to pain and bleeding on the scalp.
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Home Ingredients To Control Dandruff
There are several kitchen ingredients and items found in every household that can help to reduce and control dandruff. The following are some of the best ingredients that help to combat dandruff:
1. Tea tree oil
This is one of the best solutions to dandruff, irrespective of the type. Tea tree essential oil has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It can successfully hydrate the scalp and also soothe the itchiness. After using it consistently for months, the flakiness also gets reduced.
2. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has several health benefits, including being a natural remedy for dandruff. The vinegar helps to balance the scalp’s pH level and also prevents fungal growth. This, in turn, helps fight the dandruff.
3. Lemon juice
Lemon juice acts the same way as apple cider vinegar to prevent dandruff. The acidity of the juice stimulates the skin shedding and makes it loose. As a result, the dandruff will fall off and the itchiness will be reduced. However, if your scalp is inflamed from itching, the lemon juice can cause a burning sensation.
4. Black pepper
Black pepper is also effective when used as a powder in hair packs. It is a rich source of vitamin C that can cleanse the scalp and remove dead skin cells, thus preventing dandruff in the long run.
5. Baking Soda
Baking soda helps to reduce the oiliness of the scalp and maintain the pH balance. It is a quick solution to instantly get rid of dandruff. The baking soda also soothes the itchiness and the inflammation of the scalp.
DIY Tips For Dandruff Control
Apart from haircare products available in the market, there are also various home remedies using kitchen and garden ingredients that can effectively reduce dandruff. These are recipes handed down through generations which are effective and do not cause any side effects.
1. Lemon and Yoghurt Hair Mask
This is the simplest at-home remedy for dandruff and also makes the hair silky. Here’s how to make it:
- Take 3 tablespoons of yoghurt or curd in a bowl.
- Squeeze in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
- Beat it hard to make a thick paste.
- Apply the paste evenly on the scalp as well as the roots of the hair.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes to half an hour.
- Shampoo it off with a gentle cleanser followed by a conditioner.
- Let the hair dry naturally and do not use heating tools.
The lemon juice can get rid of the dandruff and make them come loose off the scalp. The yoghurt calms scalp irritation as well as makes the hair soft and hydrates the scalp. This can be used twice a week to get the best results.
2. Hibiscus, Neem and Black Pepper Hair Mask
This is another homemade hair mask that has multiple benefits and can be prepared with ingredients available in your backyard. Here’s how to make it:
- Take 20-30 leaves of the hibiscus plant and 10-15 neem leaves.
- In a blender add the leaves, 10 black peppercorns, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. If needed add very little amount of water or curd-water if available.
- Blend the ingredients to form a smooth paste.
- Apply the paste on the scalp and leave it for 20 minutes.
- Wash off with lukewarm water and then shampoo it as usual. Use a conditioner if necessary.
The hibiscus leaves make the hair stronger and silky. The neem leaves and lemon juice act as antibacterials that calm the scalp and also get rid of the dandruff while making the hair shiny. The black pepper improves the scalp’s health over time as you use the hair mask occasionally. Witness noticeable results by using the hair pack for three months and at least once every week.
3. Olive Oil, Egg and Apple Cider Hair Mask
This is a protein hair mask that also helps to get rid of dandruff, inflammation and fungal scalp problems in the long run. Simply beat the egg and 3 tablespoons of olive oil briskly till it gets slightly thick and creamy. Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the mix and whisk again.
The mixture will be slightly runny but not watery. Apply this to the scalp and leave it on for thirty minutes. After that rinse it well so that it is removed thoroughly and then cleanse the hair with shampoo and conditioner.
Note that the mixture will have the smell of raw eggs so it is wiser to use fragrant hair products during the hair wash. You can use this hair mask once a week initially and once every two weeks to see the results.
Lifestyle Tips To Reduce Dandruff
Apart from taking proper care with good products and home remedies, it is equally important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. diet, mental health and overall lifestyle have a profound effect on hair and scalp health too.
1. Food Items to Avoid
Limiting certain types of food items in your diet can prevent dehydration or hormonal problems that lead to dandruff.
- Refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta and crackers should be avoided.
- Minimize intake of red meat.
- Avoid processed and junk food as much as possible.
- Lastly, minimize sugar intake.
2. Do not stress
Stress has a profound effect on your hair and scalp health. It can alter the usual immunity and body functioning leading to side effects including dandruff.
It may not directly cause dandruff, but it worsens the side effects like itching and inflammation. Also, as stress can affect immunity, the body’s natural ability to fight bacteria and fungus problems gets diminished.
The best way to prevent such effects of stress is by practising yoga, meditation and deep breathing techniques. Also, ensure you get enough sleep at least 7 hours at night. Lastly, try and avoid stressful situations as much as possible.
3. Increase Intake of Omega-3
Omega-3 fatty acid has many benefits for the skin and hair. It restores hydration and ensures the skin remains youthful and supple. It reduces inflammation and also relieves you from irritation and itchy flakes. Some of the best sources of omega-3 are salmon, mackerel, walnuts, chia and flaxseed.
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When it comes to getting rid of dandruff, there are various home remedies to rely on. The above-mentioned tips are tried and tested recipes that are traditionally used in Indian households for hair care. Get shiny and soft hair that will turn heads by following a dedicated haircare routine including homemade hair masks to control dandruff.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a good remedy for dandruff if you are allergic to tea tree oil?
Aloe vera gel and coconut oils are good alternatives to get rid of dandruff if you are allergic to tea tree oil.
2. How to reduce itching caused by dandruff?
You can prevent itching by rubbing baking soda on the scalp and hair strands which gives instant relief from the inflammation and itchiness. Aloe vera gel also gives temporary relief.
3. What are precautionary measures to take if you have dandruff?
Avoid itching the scalp too much and make sure to drink ample water and stay hydrated. Also, avoid haircare products that make the scalp too dry.
4. Can dandruff cause hair fall?
Dandruff build-up clogs the hair roots and can cause hair fall. Also itching too much can cause tears and lead to breakage.