Dandruff is a shedding of the skin on the scalp that leads to white flakes on the head, neck, and shoulders. Scalp may also be itchy and red, and eyelids, nose, and forehead may be affected. Dandruff is usually associated with the growth of a yeast like fungus on the scalp, and in most cases it is produced when the scalp doesn’t receive a sufficient blood supply or it can be a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis—a scaly, itchy rash that can also affect the eyelids. Consequently there is a lack of protein in the skin, which becomes dry and flaky. Many people think that flaking occurs because the scalp is too dry, and stop using shampoo as it is believed to make the condition worse but this is not true. The flaking occurs due to the increased turnover of skin cells. Dandruff is more common in men and may become worse by stress, illness, and some hair products.
- Itchy, scaling scalp.
- A build-up of tiny white flakes of skin on the scalp.
- Angry red patches on the scalp.
- Occasionally, skin may crack and ooze liquid.
- Occasionally, hard yellow crusts can form.
Home Remedies for Dandruff
- Tea tree oil: Add few drops of tea tree oil to shampoo or use a tea tree oil shampoo for its anti fungal properties.
- Apple cider vinegar: Apply a mixture of quarter cup apple cider vinegar with a quarter cup water on your scalp. Wrap your head in a towel and let it stay for 15 minutes to an hour, then wash it off. Do this twice a week. The acidity of apple cider vinegar changes the pH of your scalp, making it harder for yeast to grow.
- Grapefruit seed extract: Add a few drops of grapefruit seed extract to your regular shampoo. Leave the shampoo for 3 to 5 minutes and then rinse it off. This kills the fungus.
- Lemon: Massage your scalp with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and rinse with water. Repeat this daily until dandruff disappears. Lemon’s acidity helps balance the pH of your scalp, which helps keeps dandruff at bay.
- Aloe vera: Massage your scalp with aloe vera before shampooing. The cooling effect of aloe vera soothe the itch caused due to dandruff. Or use 30% aloe lotion twice daily for 4 to 6 weeks.
- Egg white and lime: Mix two egg whites with the fresh juice of one lime, and apply to your hair. Let it stay for a half hour, then wash the hair with neem soap.
- Fenugreek: Two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds should be soaked overnight in water and in the morning ground into a fine paste. Apply this paste all over the scalp and left for half an hour. Wash the hair thoroughly with soap-nut (ritha) solution or shikakai.
- Neem: Make a paste of neem leaves (Azadirachta indica) and apply to the scalp. Leave it on for half an hour and then wash the hair with lukewarm water.
- Green gram: Mix two tablespoon of green gram powder in half a cup of curd and wash the hair with this mixture twice a week. The green gram powder is a non irritant substance which will remove dirt and soothe the skin. It also hydrate the scalp, resulting in less flaking.
- Vitamin E: Apply vitamin E oil or flaxseed oil or olive oil nightly and wash it off in the morning. It soothe and nourish the scalp.
Do’s for Dandruff
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Pears, carrots, radishes, celery, spinach, fish, oysters, and brown rice are particularly good for preventing dandruff.
- Eat a whole food diet including high in biotin, such as nuts, fruits, brewer’s yeast, and brown rice.
- Eat yogurt with live cultures.
- Take food rich in zinc, vitamins and minerals.
- Keep hair and scalp clean to avoid accumulation of dead cells.
- Use mild shampoo, use warm water not too hot or not too cold.
- Brush your hair daily to improve the circulation and remove any flakiness.
- Get out in the sun a little, it’ll help your dandruff problem. Ultraviolet light can reduce the scalp inflammation and ease the flaking problem.
Don’ts for Dandruff
- Avoid dairy products, nuts, sugar, gluten, fatty and fried foods which can help prevent dandruff.
- Avoid alcohol-based hair products such as hair sprays, which tend to dry out the scalp, and mousses, gels, and dyes, which may increase irritation and make dandruff worse.
- Do not wash hair too frequently. Shampooing too often may cause dandruff as it can irritate the scalp.
- Avoid irritating shampoo or soaps.
- Avoid hair dryer as it may aggravate the dandruff.
- Avoid stress. Stress affects overall health and can even help trigger dandruff or worsen existing symptoms.
- Do not drink too much alcohol, as they deplete the body of biotin.
- Dandruff does not clear up after using these home remedies.
- Scalp becomes red and develops sore patches or crusts.