How many of you have experienced an itchy flaky scalp in your life time? Yes, we are talking about Dandruff – the perennial skin irritant that relentlessly affects the adults and teens of today from time to time. Although, a seemingly harmless condition initially, it badly affects your confidence levels by causing public embarrassment and often leads you to many other issues like hair loss / hair thinning, pimples and acne. Usually people ignore it at its onset and by the time they realize that they need a treatment, it has already aggravated.
Excessive oily/ dry scalp, improper diet, poor brushing techniques, poor hygiene or fungal and bacterial infection; any of these can be a reason behind your dandruff flare-up. Sometimes it can also be caused by other diseases like Psoriasis. The immediate course of action for most of us is to run to our nearest store to pick up a bottle of latest anti dandruff shampoo, only to repent afterwards. Anti dandruff shampoos can only wash off the dead oily skin flakes from your scalp and are no treatment to the actual causes of dandruff. As a result, the problem resurfaces after a few weeks, in more aggravated form, leaving us in despair.
Most of the time, this seemingly permanent problem can be easily cured by over the counter solutions. In this article we present a few natural remedies for this everlasting hair chronic that our moms and grand moms swear by.
Over the generations, Olive oil and Coconut oil are considered nourishing for hair & scalp. Treatment of dandruff is also one of their multiple hair benefits. Just take any of these two oils and heat them a little. Apply them on to your scalp with a gentle massage, and leave it overnight. Wash it off with your regular shampoo in the next morning. Avoid too much oiling for longer duration as it can aggravate your dandruff condition instead of providing relief.
- Tea tree oil
The exceptional anti fungal and anti bacterial properties of tea tree oil makes it an effective home remedy for dandruff. Take a mild shampoo and infuse it with pure tea tree oil. The recommended proportion is to add approximately 10 drops of this essential oil to per ounce of shampoo. Use this infused shampoo to wash your tresses, just don’t rinse immediately, instead allow it to rest on your scalp for a few minutes, so that the tea tree oil gets soaked in. Besides treating your dandruff problem efficiently, this treatment gives a pleasant lingering odor to your hair.
Why to roam around in search of a good salon when a simple kitchen ingredient can solve your exasperating dandruff problem. Take 2-3 days old curd and apply it generously on your hair and scalp. Leave it for an hour and then continue with your regular head wash. Curd exfoliates the scalp to get rid of the dead skin cell deposits. It further keeps bacterial and fungal infections at bay, providing lasting respite from dandruff.
- Baking soda
This one is another magical weapon from your kitchen shelf against dandruff. Baking soda can offer a complete treatment to this maddening problem. It chucks out dead skin cell deposits by gently exfoliating the scalp. The anti fungal and soothing properties of baking soda help in reducing the redness and itching. You need to wet your hair first. Next, grab a spoonful of baking soda and rub it gently all over your scalp. Let it rest for 1-2 minutes and follow with your regular hair wash. Alternatively, you may add little amount of soda into your shampoo and continue with your regular shampoo routine to enjoy the benefits. Don’t freak out if usage of baking soda initially makes your hair dry. Its continue usage stimulates the production of natural oils and will make your hair softer and lustrous.
Vinegar is another effective remedy for your itchy and flaky scalp.
All you have to do is to mix vinegar and water in equal proportion, apply this solution to the roots of your hairs using a cotton ball. Leave it at least for 30 minutes, preferably overnight and wash it off afterwards. The acidic content of vinegar maintains ph level of the scalp, obstructs the growth of fungus and cleanses the scalp from dirt and flaky skin as well. Do it twice a week to get desired result. Opting for Apple cider vinegar is equally good for this treatment.
Sometimes I wonder if there is any skin problem that cannot be cured by the miraculous aloe vera gel. Yes for dandruff too, the thick fluid of Aloe leaf can give wonderful results. Squeeze out the fresh aloe vera gel from the leaf and apply it all over your scalp. Wait for a while and then use a mild shampoo to wash it off. The potent aloe vera gel gently exfoliates the skin, provides relief from itching and inflammation, and wards off all kinds of fungal and bacterial infections as well.
If you can bear its smell, garlic can also be used for eradicating dandruff permanently. Pound a few cloves of garlic; mix little honey into it to make a paste. Rub this paste on your scalp before going for bath. Repeat this treatment a few more times to get the desired results.
Lemon juice is the easiest and fastest way to wipe out those annoying white flakes from your scalp. Either you can squeeze a lemon or you may get it directly from the nearest grocery store. Mix a tea spoon of lemon juice with 1 cup of water and spread it all over your head. Wait for 20 minutes and then rinse with fresh water. Just a single sitting of this treatment will not only solve your dandruff problem, but it will also give your hair a healthy shine.
The anti fungal and anti bacterial properties of Neem extracts have been celebrated over generations across the globe; and this makes it an effective age-old remedy for dandruff as well. Boil a bunch of Neem leaves in water. As it cools down to room temperature, use this water as a final hair rinse after your regular head wash and bid good bye to dandruff forever.
Many times the solution to our problems lies within ourselves, while we keep looking for it elsewhere. Studies have affirmed that anxiety, chronic stress, mood swings and depression can also lead to various skin break outs including dandruff. Practice meditation regularly to keep your mind calm. Learn ways to deal with stress. It will also save you from many other unwanted health conditions.
Regular usage of these natural remedies over a period of a few weeks will lead you to complete and permanent solution of your dandruff problem. Do ensure proper hygiene, healthy diet, well moisturised scalp and clean hair accessories to get faster results. In case your dandruff problem still persists, consult a dermatologist.
“Let your hair rejuvenate your life”
A full time work from home mother, she utilises her spare time to contribute insightful articles around day to day lifestyle challenges and their remedies, that all can relate to. Trust Aafiya to provide apt advice on diet mechanism, nutritional facts and common home remedies.
Away from writing, Aafiya is statistics post graduate, has worked earlier in the field of Research & Education and loves travelling.
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