Dandruff is a common scalp disorder affecting almost half of the population at the pre-pubertal age and of any gender and ethnicity. As the outer layer of skin continually replaces itself, cells are pushed outward where they eventually die and flake off. In most people, these flakes of skin are too small to be visible. However, certain conditions cause cell turnover to be unusually rapid, especially in the scalp. The result is that dead skin cells are shed in large, oily clumps, which appear as white or greyish patches on the scalp, skin and clothes.
Although not a serious skin problem, it is embarrassing to see your shoulders covered with flakes every time you comb your hair. Here are a few trusted remedies that will go a long way relieving you of the dandruff menace.
- Goldenseal is considered to be an effective remedy for dandruff. It contains berberine, which has strong antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. To get the optimal benefits, chop goldenseal root and put it in a cup of boiling water. After it cools down, use it as a rinse your scalp after you have shampooed your hair. In case you are not able to find goldenseal root, add few drops of goldenseal tincture to shampoo. It help to relieve the irritation and itching of scalp.
- Rosemary actively fights fungi and bacteria. Boil some rosemary in a cup of water and cool it to prepare a Rosemary rinse. Pour it on your scalp and leave it for 10 minutes. Use it once a day. If it does not suit your skin, try another remedy.
- Bay leaves too, are great for anti-dandruff treatments. Add a handful of crushed bay leaves into a bowl of boiling water and allow it to steep for about 20 minutes. Strain the leaves after the water cools down. Apply the concoction on your hair. Leave it for about an hour to let the anti-bacterial properties work on your scalp, thus treating the dandruff.
- When it comes to anti-dandruff home remedies, apple cider vinegar is highly recommended. Prepare a rinse by mixing one part of water with one part of apple cider vinegar. Apply it on your scalp and hair.
- Lemon and gooseberries (Amla) too are a boon for people suffering from dandruff. Squeeze 2-3 lemons or take a cup of crushed gooseberry juice and apply it on the scalp. Leave it for about an hour and rinse it. The Vitamin C in it will help to nourish the flaked skin.
- The anti fungal properties of tea-tree oil are quite popular. Add 6-7 drops of tea-tree oil in a tablespoon of any carrier oil. Apply it to your scalp and leave it overnight. Next day wash it off with a shampoo containing tea-tree oil.
- Yoghurt works wonders for dandruff. Apply fresh yoghurt, and leave it on the scalp for half an hour before rinsing. Yoghurt contains friendly bacteria that keep the yeast in check. That’s the reason it is considered to be a traditional remedy for all yeast infections.
- Flaxseed oil contains essential fatty acids, which helps to cure itchy skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. It is also believed to cure dandruff. Taking 1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil may help one in the long run. However, there have been instances where it has not shown desired results. Nevertheless, flaxseed oil is a good supplement as it also helps guard against cardiac diseases.
- Use anti-dandruff shampoos that contain Selenium Sulphide, Zinc Pyrithione or Tar. Anti-dandruff shampoos will give results only when you leave them on the scalp for 5-7 minutes. People with a severe dandruff problem may leave it for even longer.
Follow up with a doctor, in case the condition worsens. In case of mild dandruff though, aforementioned home remedies and over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoos work quite effectively. However, allow minimum of two weeks’ time before expecting good results. On the other hand, if you fail to observe any improvement or you have persistent itching along with an irritated scalp, check with your doctor/ dermatologist as these may be the symptoms of some other skin infection or disease.