What is Dandruff?
Dandruff is the loose dry scales of dead skin that are shed from the scalp, which becomes botheration for many people, on account of its excess amount. The outermost layer of skin i.e. epidermis regularly rejuvenates itself by pushing the cells, ultimately leading to the old cells’ death and flaking off.
It’s a normal process of the body, but when the cells start getting replaced at an abnormal pace, in the scalp within 2-7 days, as compared to the month in case of the person who is not prone to dandruff, leading to the repercussion of the process emerging in the form of shedding of large number of dead skin cells, formation of oily clumps, which come into view as white/gray colored patches on scalp, skin and clothes, called as dandruff.
Medilexicon’s medical dictionary, describes dandruff as “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.”
Basically there are two kinds of dandruff, which are classified on the basis of their root of origin, i.e. internal one concerning the metabolism of the body or the abnormal behavior of the body, in the form of lack of sleep, hormonal imbalance, suppressed immune system etc., where as in case of external dandruff case, the external factors are responsible like hair dryers, hair coloring products, cold weather conditions etc.
Whether considering the dandruff as a social or self-esteem issue, you need to take care of your hair, as just can’t afford to go bald. Can you?
Causes and symptoms of Dandruff
To eradicate the problem with its roots, it’s vital to know the cause. The very precise root cause of dandruff is not yet discovered, yet there are certain factors, which are held responsible for causing dandruff.
The causative factors of dandruff are:
• Irregular brushing and combing of hair
Brushing and combing of hair is very necessary for dandruff free hair, as it helps the shedding of dead scalp cells. But when it’s not done regularly, then it leads to its deposition on the scalp, resulting in the dandruff.
• Yeast/Dry skin
Few people are very sensitive to the microbe i.e. yeast, and hence experience lesser problems in warmer months, as compared to winters, when the environmental conditions are suitable for their growth. Other expert opines that, the dry conditions of the winter season make the skin dry, thereby triggering the dandruff on the scalp. Hence, it’s still not determined whether its yeast or the dry skin that causes dandruff in the colder season.
• Dry skin
Some people have dry skin, and hence are more susceptible to the dandruff, as compared to normal counterparts. The hair problem gets more acute with the onset of winter season, as the season brings along with it the very dry cold air, thereby complicating the issue further.
People with certain diseases like Parkinson’s sickness and other neurological infirmities are very likely to have dandruff in their hair. Additionally, the patients recovering from the heart attacks and strokes, and those having the weak immune system are further prone to have the dandruff, than a normal human being.
• Over/under shampooing
Everything looks and sounds cooler, within the normal doses, and same is true about the shampoo as well. You are very likely to have the dandruff, in case you aren’t in the habit of shampooing your hair regularly, as shampooing the hair makes the hair free from the oily clumps and the dead cells, which are responsible for dandruff.
Over shampooing the hair also causes dandruff, as the over dose of shampoo to the scalp, causes the irritation, thereby causing dandruff.
• Seborrheic dermatitis (irritated, oily skin)
The people suffering with Seborrheic dermatitis, are more vulnerable to dandruff. In such a condition the dandruff’s influence extends beyond the scalp and affects the area behind the ear, breastbones, eyebrows and the side of the nose. The patient is likely to have red-greasy skin covered with whitish or yellowish scales.
• Specific skin problems
The person having the psoriasis, eczema or certain other skin maladies are more likely to get dandruff, as compared to normal counterparts.
It’s a fungus, which is found on all the person’s scalps and problems start emerging when its growth becomes unlimited, coupled with its feeding on the oil secreted by the hair follicle, leading to the initiation of the irritation. The scalp counterchecks the process by the increased formation of extra skin cells. These extra cells die and fall off, and ultimately mix with the oil from the hair and scalp and lead to the formation of dandruff.
• Dietary influence
Many hair experts also suggest that the kind of diet a person takes, also influence triggering of dandruff. For instance, food rich in zinc, vitamin B and some types of fat are very likely to cause dandruff.
• Mental Stress
The stress is the root cause of many body ailments, and dandruff is not an exception.
Symptoms of Dandruff
The symptoms of dandruff are very noticeable in the following forms:
• Oily looking flakes, which appear as a drop in your hair roots
• Itching and sore feeling at head
• Red greasy flaky patches on the scalp
• Scaling and crusty scalp in babies
Natural Home Remedies for Dandruff
Dandruff being a hair problem requires your attention, as it can make you loose your very precious hair. There are various natural home remedies available for dandruff, which are as follows:
• Make a habit of combing your hair daily, to keep the blood circulation normal inside your scalp and to prevent the deposition of dead skin cells on the head, which actually cause dandruff. Furthermore, abstain from letting your hair dirty and oily by regularly shampooing them up, preferably with the herbal one. Massaging your hair with the good quality herbal oil in circular motion with the fingertips, can also go a long way in keeping dandruff at bay.
• Application of Neem oil for two weeks regularly is one of the best natural home remedies for dandruff. Massage the oil for two hours, followed by washing of hair, and you can expect some wonderful results.
• You might be fond of tea a lot and now it’s time to make good use of tea-tree oil for getting rid from the dandruff.
• Fenugreek seeds soaked in water overnight, followed by the formation of paste in the morning, and its application on the scalp for half an hour can help you to get rid of dandruff. Don’t forget to wash your hair with the soap-nut (ritha) and acacia concinna after half an hour.
• A tablespoon of fresh lime juice applied for the last rinse, while washing the hair, is yet another one of the excellent natural home remedies for dandruff. Its application not only helps you to overcome the problem of dandruff, but also gives you the very shining hair without any kind of stickiness.
• You might not like the green grams but the green gram powder’s can be put to use in removing the dandruff. Two tablespoon of green gram powder mixed with the half-cup of curd, and using the mixture twice a week can help you beat dandruff.
• Beet is one of the best natural home remedies for the dandruff, whose tops as well as the roots should be boiled in water, the mixture obtained can be massaged onto scalp with the fingertips every night. It would be better if you use white beet for the purpose.
• The juice of snake gourd is found effective in curing of dandruff, which should be applied on the scalp.
• Vinegar is one of the very commendable natural home remedies for dandruff. Mix two tablespoon of vinegar in six tablespoon of hot water, and rub onto your scalp in the night. It is suggested for you to wrap your head with a towel, as you certainly don’t want to stain your pillows. Rinse your hair properly in the morning. This doing can help you to be free from the dandruff.
• Curd is more often liked by many people, but you are more likely to like it, if suffering with dandruff. To remove the dandruff from the scalp, just ferment the curd for 2-3 days, by exposing it to the atmosphere. Thereafter just apply it on your scalp, and allow it to dry. Although the remedy might be sounding very strange, yet the results of its application are surely going to please you.
• Coconut oil is also considered one of the wonderful natural home remedies for dandruff. Massage your hair with the coconut oil, and brush your hair with a brush, which will remove the dead skin cells from the scalp. Thereafter, hold your head either under hot water faucet or shower for fifteen minutes. You will immediately experience the nice results, which are likely to last for next six months.
• You must have applied baby oil on your babies, if have any, now it’s time to apply on your own head to have dandruff free scalp. Apply it on your head in the evening, and then wrap your head with a towel until shampooing your hair in the morning. It work wonders, and regarded as one of the easiest natural home remedies for dandruff.
• A mix of olive and almond oil, and its application on your scalp, can help you overcome dandruff. Apply the mix on the head, once it starts tingling; just rinse the hair and shampoo.
• Aspirin might have proved to be beneficial in getting rid of pain, but it also helps you beat the dandruff. You need to crush 2-3 aspirins, and mix it in liquid shampoo, followed by its application on the head for merely two minutes. Then rinse your hair properly and appreciate one of the natural home remedies for dandruff.
• Include fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet regularly, as the green vegetables are known for fighting with dandruff effectively.
• The peel and seeds of the ash gourd can be put to good use in curing dandruff, and thus again one of the good natural home remedies for dandruff.
Diet for Dandruff
The inappropriate diet has both the kinds of adverse influences i.e. short and long term. Thus, keeping in view the same, you just can’t afford to overlook dandruff, which has something to do with the kind of diet you take. Thus, here are the some dietary recommendations, which you are well advised to follow:
• Mainly the unsound food habits account for the growth of dandruff. So deny yourself the very oily and junk food, to beat off the dandruff.
• It would be better for you to refrain from the vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables, as it’s not considered suitable for dandruff. Thus, avoid eating tomatoes, oranges, tamarinds and lemons.
• Avoid eating bananas and tinned food, to check the dandruff in hair. Rather include grams and cereals in the food, followed by drinking a lot of water.
• Do without the hot tea, coffee and the alcohol. Additionally limit the consumption of the sea-food, dairy products and fatty foods.
• Dandruff also stems from the dry conditions of the scalp, so make sure you oil your hair regularly, to guard your hair against dandruff.