Dandruff or pityriasis capitis is a cosmetic problem is a simple scaling of the skin on the scalp in which a fungus/yeast called malassezia might play a role. This aggravate the scalp and cause excess skin cell growth. The top layer of the skin is constantly being shed and renewed . Due to inflammation of the scalp some cells stick together and shed as large lumps of cells or visible flakes known as dandruff.
The most common reasons for dry and itchy scalp are a skin condition called Seborrheic Dermatitis which leads to redness, itching and flaking skin. When this affects the scalp , it is termed as Dandruff. It is mainly due to irritated and oily skin.Dandruff can easily be treated using medicated shampoos and in rare cases steroid creams are needed. Men develop dandruff more often than women.
- According to some, deficiency of Vitamin D from lack of sunlight in winters is one reason to develop dandruff. Dandruff is at its worst during winters as it is really cold .
- The simplest reason of getting dandruff or making the condition worse is not washing the hair often enough. This causes the skin cells to accumulate and create itching and flakes.
- Stress is another factor that can make dandruff worse.
- Flaking, itchy and scaly scalp are the most common symptoms of dandruff.
- Scalp psoriasis may also lead to dandruff like itching and flaking. Psoriasis is not dandruff but people with psoriasis are more likely to get dandruff. People with Parkinson’s and HIV are prone to dandruff . People with oiler hair are at higher risk of developing dandruff.
Restoring moisture to the scalp helps with itchiness. The best product to be used is coconut oil as it has moisturizing and antibacterial properties. It has anti-fungal properties and helps in stopping dandruff. Massage a spoon of warm coconut oil on the scalp for 5 minutes, focusing on the roots .The oil should be kept on for half an hour or overnight. Then it could be rinsed off with the shampoo.
Mixing 2-3 spoons of baking soda with water and apply to the hair. It is advised to apply some olive oil on the hair before using baking soda paste on the scalp. Let it remain for 10 minutes and then rinsed with water. This procedure should be repeated twice a week for best results. Baking soda helps exfoliate the scalp and remove the dead skin right away. It also eliminates excess oil and promotes a healthy pH balance thereby preventing the growth of yeast.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Mixing half cup of Apple Cider Vinegar with half cup of water and massaging in the scalp is another simple, easy home remedy to overcome dandruff. It should be left on for 15 minutes and then rinsed with cold water. This procedure should be repeated twice a week for best results. Apple Cider Vinegar is known for its probiotics and anti-inflammatory properties. It soothes the scalp irritation and prevents dandruff from coming back. Apple Cider Vinegar works by changing the pH of the scalp and making it difficult for yeast or dandruff forming fungi to grow .
Fresh Lemon Juice
Massaging fresh lemon juice on to the scalp for atleast 5 minutes is another way to get rid of itchy scalp. This procedure may be repeated every day till the itchiness goes away.
Banana and Avocado Mixture
Another very simple and effective home remedy to keep dandruff at bay is using banana and avocado mixture. One needs to mash 2 bananas with 1 avacado and apply it onto the scalp . This mixture should be left for half an hour and then rinsed with cold water. This procedure can be repeated daily.
Essential oil like tea tree oil is known as a natural anti fungal , anti inflammatory and anti bacteria oil. One needs to mix at least 3 drops of tea tree oil with a spoon of olive oil and massage it in the scalp . This can be rinsed in few minutes with normal water. Olive oil is one of the best moisturizers so it provides instant relief for dry, itchy scalp.
Tea tree oil can also be mixed with 2 spoons of aloe vera gel and applied to the scalp .The mix can be left overnight and rinse in the morning. This procedure may be repeated a few times in a week for best results.Simply massaging pure aloe vera gel directly onto the scalp and leaving it on for few minutes is also very effective. This can be washed off with the shampoo later. Aloe vera contains pectin which helps strengthen the cells in the scalp and stimulating the growth and division of healthy , dandruff free new cells.
Anti-Dandruff Garlic Hair Mask
Anti-dandruff garlic hair mask can be easily made by crushing 5 to 6 cloves of garlic and mixed with some honey .The mix can be applied to the scalp and left on for 10 minutes . This can be rinsed with water and shampoo. Garlic , when crushed releases an enzyme known as allicin which is antibacterial and antifungal in nature. It has antioxidants that prevent infection and keep dandruff from coming back.
Lifestyle Changes to Overcome Dandruff and Itchy Scalp
It is advised not to use too many products in the hair as they can irritate the scalp and lead to more itching.One needs to relax as stress compromises the immune system and aggravates the dandruff. Brushing the hair regularly increases blood flow to the scalp and aids the normal shedding of the skin thereby reducing risk of dandruff.