Dandruff which is also known as Pityriasis simplex capillitii is the shedding of dead skin cells or flakes from the scalp. It is a very common hair problem. Our skin cells are forever renewing themselves and during this time of renewal the old ones are come to the surface and get out of the scalp. In case of a person having dandruff the renewal process is faster, that denotes more dead skin is shed, making the dandruff more visible. Dandruff can also be seen if the scalp is frequently exposed to extreme temperatures.
Dandruff occurs due to three required factors:
- Skin oil (commonly referred to as sebum or sebaceous secretions).
- The metabolic by-products of skin micro-organisms (more specifically Malassezia yeasts).
- Individual susceptibility Studies reveal that 50% of adults get afflicted by dandruff at some time or the other in their lifetime. More often than not, it is the consequence of a disorder in the body’s metabolic process.
The metabolic process can be disturbed by:
- The onset of puberty
- Emotional stress and strain
- Sudden changes in the climate or your diet
It is also believed that dandruff occurs due to a fungal infection of the scalp.
Seldom, dandruff can be a symptom of an allergic reaction to chemicals present in hair gels, sprays, shampoos, hair oils, or sometimes even dandruff medications like ketoconazole.
It is evident that foods like sugar and yeast, excessive perspiration, and climate play major roles in the pathogenesis of dandruff.
Do you really have dandruff?
Before you start treating your hair for dandruff, it is necessary to confirm that you really have dandruff. Sometimes a flaky scalp may be a result of too much exposure to sun, or excessive use of hair dryers. It can also be caused also due to the application of soaps or harsh shampoos on the hair which can’t be rinsed easily.
Avoid using the brush or comb of the person suffering from dandruff because dandruff is dangerous and very infectious. Likewise, you must wash your comb/brush after every shampoo if you yourself are suffering from dandruff.
Many medicines, medicated soaps and shampoos are available to cure dandruff, but which is actually required is maintaining cleanliness of hair. Maintaining good health of your hair brush your hair thrice a day and shampoo at least once a week.
Many Shampoos are now available in the market which is a combination of such ingredients that control dandruff. Salicylic acid helps remove dead skin cells from the scalp and decelerates the rate of the production of dead cells.
Zinc pyrithione kills pityrospora.
Selenium sulfide or Ketoconazole works like both salicylic acid and zinc pyrithione.
Increasing the usage of normal shampooing will help remove flakes. Nevertheless, removal of the fungus brings about dramatic improvement. Therefore regular shampooing with an anti-fungal product can reduce recurrence.
Soothing preparations may contain Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and coal tar based products that work well for preventing dandruff.
The most common antifungal agents are Zinc pyrithione, Selenium sulfide and Ketoconazole. Other products which are useful enough to prevent dandruff include Tea tree oil and Piroctone olamine (Octopirox).
HOME REMEDIES FOR DANDRUFF
Add six spoonfuls water, two spoonfuls pure vinegar and apply it on the scalp with cotton wool before going to bed. Tie a towel around your head to protect the pillow getting stained. Wash your hair next morning. After shampooing, wash again with vinegar water. Follow this method once a week for at least three months.
Make a mixture of a spoonful of lemon juice and two spoonfuls of vinegar and massage the mixture on the scalp. Now wash your hair with an egg shampoo after this.
Soak fenugreek seeds in yogurt overnight and apply the curd on your scalp. Leave it on for half an hour before washing in the morning.
Hair washed with fenugreek seeds’ paste prevents dandruff, falling hair, and baldness and restores long, healthy and black beautiful hair. In order to make a paste just soak the fenugreek seeds overnight in water to soften the seeds and then grind in the morning and prepare a paste. Before washing hair, apply this paste all over the scalp and hair and let it on for half an hour. Rinse well with shampoo later.
Beat two eggs and add two tablespoons of water to it. Wet the hair and apply the egg mixture over the hair. Now massage your scalp gently and leave the mixture for ten minutes to fifteen minutes. Then rinse the hair well with lukewarm water. This is effective for curbing both dandruff and hair fall problem.
Beets have been found beneficial in preventing dandruff. Boil both tops and roots of beet in water and massage this water into the scalp with your finger tips every night. White beet is better for this purpose.