Dandruff can be a really embossing condition at times, especially when your scalp is dry as a desert and the flakes falling all over your shoulders. Even combing repeatedly to get rid of the dry dead cells don’t help much. It can get really itchy as well and sometimes can even make you want to wash your hair in the middle of the night. With right shampoo and some scalp rinse which you can prepare yourself at home, you can just be able to keep the whole condition under check.
Why do you have dandruff?
Its natural mechanism that our skin sheds its old and dry outer layers to make way for the new skin cells. However, when this whole mechanism takes place at a faster pace in your hair scalp then you have a condition what we called Dandruff. There are many reasons as to why you might be having dandruff, this includes stress, overactive oil glands, and could even be due to certain skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis which causes scaly rashes in your face, chest, and scalp that are very itchy. Many studies suggest that majority cases of dandruff are usually caused by the overgrowth of a yeast called as Pityrosporum orbiculare. This yeast mainly feeds on skin oils. This is the main reason why people with oily scalps are more prone to dandruff.
Wash off the Dandruff
- There are many anti-dandruff shampoos available in the stores. Check for the ones that contain selenium sulfide, tar, or zinc pyrithione. These chemicals will retard the grown rate of the scalp cells and reduce the occurrence of dandruff. Furthermore, they will loosen up the dead skin layers or flakes from your scalp so that they can be washed off easily.
- Sometimes shampoos mentioned above may not respond well to keep your dandruff under control. This may happen when your scalp has high levels of fungal growth. In these cases look for a shampoo that contains ketoconazole. This ingredient is antifungal in nature so it will keep the yeast and fungus on your scalp under control.
- When you repeatedly use a same anti-dandruff shampoo for few months, you might notice it stops to work after a period of time. This is quite normal, it only indicates that your scalp has got used to the active ingredients present in the shampoo and now it has developed the ability to shield itself from its effects. In this case, you can switch your shampoo to a different brand containing a different active ingredient. You would be needed to switch your shampoos every few months.
- Never wash off a dandruff shampoo immediately after its application. Let it stay for at least 10 minutes before you rinse it. Chemicals present in the dandruff shampoos take time to react with the scalp, if you do not give your shampoo the time it needs, it will not fetch any positive results. If you have some extra time, you can even leave it for 60 minutes while having your shower cap on. If that’s something you can do of course.
You can prepare your own hair rinse at home and use it regularly on your scalp to keep dandruff at bay. Just follow the ones listed below.
- Goldenseal: This herb contains an active compound called berberine which is well known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. So using goldenseal to rinse your hair will keep dandruff causing fungus under control. Take two teaspoons of chopped roots in a cup and fill up the cup with hot boiling water, and let the root steep for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain off the roots and use the extract as a rinse every time you shampoo your hair. Goldenseal roots are easy to find in most herbal stores, but if you cannot find it for some reason, then you can make use of goldenseal tincture. Just add few drops of it to a little shampoo and use it to wash your hair.
- Rosemary: Rosemary is well known for its fragrance. Like goldenseal, rosemary herb is also antibacterial and antifungal in nature. Find rosemary is also fairly easy. Take one cup of boiling water and pour it over 1 teaspoon of chopped rosemary. Let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain it out and use the extract for rinsing your hair after a shampoo wash. Some people may experience scalp irritation after using this rinse, if you find yourself in a similar position, then just stop using it and try out a different rinse.
- Bay leaves: Bay leaves are well known for its aroma and it is popularly used in many Indian recipes. Apart from its aromatic nature, it has bacteria and fungal fighting properties. Just pour a cup of hot boiling water onto few crushed bay leaves. Cover off the cup and let it steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Filter out the leaves and use the extract as a rinse. Apply it over your scalp and let it stay for at least 40 to 60 minutes before rinsing it off.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: A very popular ingredient in many home remedies is apple cider vinegar. It is mainly used for its antibacterial and antifungal property, and its a very commonly used as a home remedy for dandruff. Mix water and vinegar in 1:1 ratio and use it to rinse your hair after shampooing.
When to Seek Doctor’s Help?
Dandruff is not a serious condition, so you can take your time and try out some home remedies mentioned in this article. Additionally, you can also try out over the counter products and give at least two weeks time for it to notice the results. If none of the remedies and products are fetching you any results, and you have drastically increased your condition with severe itching and redness in the scalp, then you would need a Doctor’s help. You might also need a Doctor’s help if your condition is expanding to other regions like your neckline.
Few time-tested remedies
- Tea tree oil: Many people found tea tree oil to be very effective on their dandruff problem. This may be due to its strong antifungal property. Just add some tea tree oil to a carrier oil such as olive oil or almond oil or coconut oil. Apply this oil to your scalp before sleep and wash it off in the morning. You can also try adding a few drops of this oil to a little shampoo and use it for washing your hair regularly.
- Yogurt: Sounds bit gross, but there are strong claims that it works. Spread some organic yogurt over your scalp and leave it for 30 to 40 minutes before washing it off. Yogurt is a probiotic, it contains good bacterias which keeps the fungus under control and help to soothe your dandruff and itching problem.
- Flaxseed oil: This is not a topical remedy, so do not apply the oil over your scalp. Take 1 or 2 teaspoons of flaxseed oil along with your food every day. Flaxseed oil contains antioxidants which help to fight against harm causing microbes, bacterias, fungus, and free radicals that might be causing skin problems like dandruff, eczema, and psoriasis. Remain patient, as it takes at least 3 months time to notice any changes.