Dandruff is one of the most common skin conditions among people. It’s a skin condition which causes flakes to appear and it’s usually accompanied by itching. The exact causes of dandruff are unknown but it’s believed that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in their appearance.
Dry skin, sensitivity to hair products and seborrheic dermatitis are believed to be some of the underlying causes. Seborrheic dermatitis is linked with the fungus Malassezia which lives on the scalp and feeds on the oils that the hair follicles secrete. Though its presence causes no problems, when it becomes overactive it can cause the scalp to get irritated and to produce extra skin cells. These cells, together with the oil from the hair and scalp, form dandruff.
One of the most common misconceptions about dandruff is that it’s related to poor hygiene. Until now, no links have been found between the two, however, dandruff is indeed more visible on unwashed and unbrushed hair. Having dandruff is perfectly normal and it’s nothing to be embarrassed by. In fact, about half of the population (including babies!) is affected by it. It’s more common among males than females, and its onset is usually during puberty.
There are plenty of shampoos and other products specifically made to treat dandruff. These remedies can control seborrheic dermatitis but they cannot cure it. When buying an anti-dandruff or anti-fungal shampoo, make sure they contain at least one of the following ingredients: ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione, coal tar, salicylic acids or tea-tree oil. Before washing your hair with anti-dandruff shampoo, you should try to remove the crusty patches on the scalp as much as possible for better results.
In addition to over-the-counter products, there are plenty of natural remedies you can use to treat dandruff. Read on to find out which ones work best.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is rich in anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that fight the fungus which can cause both seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. Additionally, it helps treat other skin diseases such as acne and psoriasis.
Keep in mind that tea tree oil can cause irritation when used directly on the skin, which is why it should be diluted. Add a few coconut oils or any other carrier oil before applying it on your scalp. You can also add a couple of drops to you shampoo or conditioner instead.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has already made a name for itself in the skincare world. It treats skin conditions such as burns, psoriasis and cold sores. Just like tea-tree oil, aloe vera is rich in antibacterial and antifungal properties which are beneficial in the fight against dandruff. It helps remove bacteria and other fatty deposits which clog hair follicles.
Simply extract the gel from the aloe vera leaf and apply it to your hair and scalp. Gently massage it for a few minutes before you wrap a damp towel on your head. Leave it on for a few minutes and wash it off with a mild shampoo.
3. Coconut Oil
By now, you’ve probably stumbled upon many of our coconut oil articles. What can we say, we simply love this amazing gift of nature! Coconut oil is well known for its multiple skin care benefits including deep cleanse, hydration, regeneration and many more. Coconut oil can help treat dandruff because it improves skin hydration, which can worsen dandruff. It also helps with the treatments of eczema, a condition which is thought to contribute to dandruff.
Using coconut oil on your hair is pretty simple. Make sure you thoroughly brush your hair and remove as many crusty patches as you can. Take the oil and apply in all over your hair, while gently massaging your scalp. Leave it on for at least 15 minutes before hitting the shower.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is yet another highly acclaimed natural component with many proven health benefits, from improving insulin sensitivity all the way to weight loss. It works well against the battle with dandruff because its acidity changes the pH levels of the scalp which in turn stop the yeast growth.
There are many ways on how you can use apple cider vinegar for your hair but the most simple one is this: take 1/4 cup of the cider and mix it with 1/4 of water. Put in on a spray bottle an apply it on your hair. Wrap your hair on a towel and let it stay from 15 minutes up to an hour before you shampoo it. You can also simply add a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your shampoo.
Aspirin contains salicylic acid, the same main ingredient which is used in medicated dandruff shampoos. Salicylic acid is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It’s especially helpful in loosening scaly skin and flakes, making it easier for us to remove them.
To create your own dandruff remedy all you need is aspirin and a shampoo. Crush two tablets of aspirin and add them to your shampoo before washing your hair. It’s just as simple as that!
We know you’re thinking about the horrible smell, but sometimes sacrifices must be made. Garlic is one of the most beneficial anti-dandruff remedies due to its anti-fungal properties which attack the bacteria. We’re pretty sure you can tolerate the pungent smell considering how good you’ll feel afterwards.
Pound a clove of garlic, mix it with water and apply it on your scalp. Massage gently for a few minutes before you wash your hair. In case you cannot stand the smell of it at all, add a bit of honey and ginger to your mix.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article: text, graphics, images, and other materials contained are strictly for informational purposes only. The Content is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Please ALWAYS seek the advice of a qualified health provider with all the questions that you have related to, or about, a medical condition.