Off to a party tonight? Would you love to wear your little black dress? But as soon as you pick out a dress from the wardrobe you remember you cannot wear black! Why? Because you have dandruff! And those annoying flakes are a dead giveaway on a black dress!
Why is it that is despite making the best efforts, you still cannot get rid of dandruff? Maybe because you are not addressing the root cause of the problem! What is dandruff and why is it so hard to get rid of? Dandruff is a condition of the scalp that causes dead skin cells and is often accompanied by scaly or itchy skin. This condition sometimes snowballs into a bigger problem and dandruff spreads to the eyebrows and eyelashes. If it is not kept under tight rein, it can also affect your skin.
So, black dress or no black dress, dandruff is a problem which needs to be tackled at the very onset. The only good part of this skin condition is that you can eradicate it completely, just by following a few home remedies.
Reasons Why you Get Dandruff
We treat the symptoms but hardly pay heed to the causes. Now, if you find out the causes, treatment is a cake walk and the chances of it returning become far lesser. A few lifestyle changes and simple habits can help you get to the bottom of the problem. There are some simple everyday habits which can impact or aggravate our dandruff problem, here’s what they are:
- You are too stressed- We often do not understand that we are stressed until it becomes a chronic problem. Even if it is a little hard to believe, stress causes dandruff. Stress impacts your immune system and the result is a dandruff flare up. If the tension in the workplace, or at home is getting a bit much to handle, you might have to take steps to reduce it. Try yoga, meditation and pranayama. It works, do give it a try.
- Poor brushing technique- If you are one of those who feels too lazy to follow a few beauty rituals before hitting the sack, beware, you might face skin and hair issues, including dandruff. Regular brushing of hair helps get rid of the accumulated dead skin cells. Once you get rid of them, there are fewer chances of a dandruff occurrence. Brushing or combing twice a day activates the blood circulation in the scalp, which ensures that you have problem free healthy hair.
- Improper shampooing technique- We shampoo our hair but more often than not we do it with haste, not washing our hair well. It is important to shampoo every alternate day to get rid of the dirt and greasiness accumulating on the scalp, but it is also important that you use lots of water so that no residue is left on your hair. Chemical residues from the shampoo and conditioners often cause dandruff. So remember to wash your hair well, and also use a mild herbal shampoo which will cause minimum damage to your hair.
- Too many hair styling products- Don’t get us wrong here, we are not saying you should not use styling products, but some of these products which you end up using have loads of chemicals in them, causing your hair to turn dull, weak in the process, and you also end up with dandruff. Cut back on hair sprays, styling gels, and mousses when possible. These styling products can build up on your hair and scalp, and the residue is one of the chief reasons of oiliness. You need to be careful about the kind of products you are using, try to choose ones which have fewer chemicals and additives.
- Not eating right- Modern day lifestyle is the chief cause of inflammation, and inflammation leads to dandruff. Our diets today largely contain processed food, which has too much of salt and sugar. This causes a toxic build-up in the body and invites a host of other health problems. Stick to a largely unprocessed diet which includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and meat- a balanced diet, which will fulfill all your nutrient needs.
Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, vitamin B are the vitamins and minerals which you need to stock up on. Try to eat more healthy monounsaturated fatty acids or MUFAs, whenever possible. The ideal sources are avocados, nuts, olives, and safflower oil. Have more vitamin B-rich foods like oatmeal, rice, eggs, and bananas. It will keep your hair healthy, shiny and also dandruff-free.
- Dry skin dandruff- People with overly dry skin suffer from dry dandruff. It is exacerbated during the time of winter when the skin is at the mercy of the dry weather and cold winds. This is unlike oily dandruff as the flakes are smaller.
- Seborrheic Dermatitis – This is a skin condition where you will find a red itchy rash on your scalp. This inflammatory skin condition and can occur on your body as well. It looks pretty similar to eczema, psoriasis and so on.
Home Remedies for Dandruff
Dandruff is not something you cannot cure; all you need to do is follow the right remedies. So without further ado, here are dandruff remedies that will totally do away with dandruff for good!
1. Yogurt- Sometimes yeast in our bodies causes inflammation. The best way to curb the yeast in our body is by increasing the growth of friendly bacteria. Yogurt is one of the best probiotics which increases friendly bacteria.
A cup of plain yogurt will do. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo. After that, apply the yogurt on your scalp and let it stay for 15 mins. Rinse your hair with herbal shampoofor a squeaky-clean scalp. You can do it twice or thrice a week for a month to get dandruff free hair.
2. Apple cider vinegar- Apple cider vinegar helps in curbing the proliferation of yeast. It helps maintain the PH balance of the scalp as well.
Take 8 to 10 tablespoons each of apple cider vinegar and water. Mix the apple cider vinegar and water in a bowl. Wash your hair and then as an after-treatment, rinse massage your hair with a mixture of vinegar and water. Let the mixture sit in your scalp for about 15 mins. After that, you can wash your hair.
3. Eggs- Eggs are a great source of biotin, and since biotin can treat dandruff effectively, this should be your go to DIY mask to control dandruff. Eggs also help make your hair healthier, so it’s a win-win situation.
Mix the yolks of the eggs in a bowl. Keep your hair dry, and then apply the yolks to the scalp. Make sure you cover your hair with a plastic bag as it can get a bit messy, and let it sit for an hour. Washing thoroughly after applying the mask can help you get rid of the smell associated with eggs. Wash your hair with lemon water or cold tea liquor to mitigate the odor and lend a shine to your hair.
4. Lemon juice with Coconut Oil- If the PH balance of your hair is spoilt; you will definitely suffer from dandruff. Lemon juice restores the PH balance of the scalp and stops the growth of yeast. Coconut oil is antifungal and antibacterial, especially the cold-pressed variety. It helps in strengthening the roots of the hair. Combined together, it makes for a potent mixture.
Mix one part lemon juice with five parts coconut oil. Apply the mixture gently on your scalp and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Wash using a mild shampoo.
5. Garlic- Garlic has almost reached superfood status, it keeps at bay a number of diseases, and can also reduce dandruff as it has anti-fungal properties.
Crush one or two garlic cloves till gets powdered; and blend with the honey till you form a smooth paste. Gently massage this paste onto your scalp, let your it soak in the goodness of the garlic and then wash off with a mild shampoo.
6. Aloe vera- Aloe vera contains anti-bacterial and anti- fungal properties. Get fresh aloe for maximum benefits. It also contains an enzyme called proteolytic enzyme, which has the property of breaking down protein like dead skin cells. As the dead skin cells are removed with the help of aloe, the chances of eradicating dandruff are that much higher.
Cut fresh aloe and extract its gel. Apply it on your scalp. Then wash it off with a mild shampoo. It’s an easy and very effective remedy to try.
7. Baking Soda and Lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar- Another effective blend of potent ingredients. It works because baking soda kills the fungi responsible for increasing dandruff.
Mix the ingredients i.e. baking soda, lemon and apple cider vinegar in a bowl and apply the mixture on your scalp. Let the mixture sit on your scalp for about 10 minutes; don’t keep it for too long as it can start itching. Wash your hair with lots of water. You can also use apple cider vinegar as an after rinse.
8. Fenugreek Seeds- The herb fenugreek has antifungal properties that can help control dandruff to a great extent. It not only weeds out dandruff but also stops hair fall and lends body and bounce to your hair. It’s a must have remedy for your hair health.
Soak two to three tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in water overnight. In the morning, grind them into a fine paste. Add two tablespoons of yogurt for best results. Apply the paste all over your scalp and let it stay there for a few hours. Wash off and shampoo your hair. Follow this routine twice or thrice a week for best results.
9. Neem leaves- Another great ingredient which has potent anti-fungal properties. It stops itching and can stop dandruff right in its tracks. It is easily available and is an inexpensive way to treat dandruff.
Add two handfuls of neem leaves to 4 or 5 cups of scalding hot water. Let it stand overnight. The next morning, strain the liquid and use it as a hair rinse. The alternative method of using neem leaves is making a thick paste and applying the same on your scalp. Let it stay for an hour and wash off with a mild shampoo.
10. Tea tree oil- Tea tree oil has been used from time immemorial for its medicinal properties. It has fungicidal qualities which help combat dandruff effectively.
Pour a generous one tablespoon of tea tree oil into 1 cup of warm water in a squirt bottle. Shake well. After washing your hair with shampoo, spray the mixture all over your scalp, massage, and let it sit for a couple of minutes. You can squeeze the excess water out, but do not wash it away.
Dandruff is a recurring problem for most of us today, but you can beat dandruff by following some simple rules. You do not always have to visit a doctor or pop expensive pills to wipe out dandruff. Just be kinder to your hair, try and seek natural means to clean and condition your hair.
Also, eat right and exercise. Yes, following a healthy lifestyle can sort out most health, skin, and hair problems and it includes getting rid of dandruff once and for all. The home remedies mentioned here are some of the easiest DIY remedies which you can do, without having to spend long hours on yourself. So, squeeze out some time for yourself from your busy schedule and pamper your hair, as the severity of the condition can gradually worsen and you may end up losing clumps of hair.
Your tresses are really special, and you truly understand the importance of your crowning glory when they are no longer there to flaunt. Search for the right ingredients from your kitchen shelf or nearby grocers and use them for a great result. So, the next time you take out your favorite black dress, make sure you wear it without a care in the world.