The term dandruff generally refers to the condition of the skin wherein shiny, silvery scales separate from the scalp and collect amidst the hair. The condition can become troublesome when the skin gets infected. There are two main types of dandruff, namely dry dandruff and oily dandruff. Those with an oily skin tend to suffer from oily dandruff while those with dry skin suffer from dry dandruff. The type of dandruff home remedy that one chooses must therefore be decided according to the type of dandruff.
Oily dandruff can be a little tougher to treat as it tends to recur quite easily while dry dandruff can be prevented quite easily. Nevertheless, with a suitable dandruff home remedy and a regular hair care regimen, you can get obtain permanent relief from this condition. While most people see dandruff as a purely cosmetic problem that can be embarrassing at times, dandruff can have several serious repercussions.
Dandruff increases one’s risk of scalp infections, especially dry skin conditions, and it can also cause loss of hair which is generally temporary but which can be permanent. Dandruff can also cause itching on your forehead and face as it settles on your skin. A dandruff home remedy needs to be used for a prolonged period to ensure that the condition is successfully treated. Very often, people use home remedies for dandruff for just a week or so and as soon as the dandruff has seemed to have cleared, they stop the treatment. However, discontinuing treatment before the condition has cleared completely will cause the problem to resurface. A dandruff home remedy is usually made up of natural ingredients and can be used for at least two weeks or so as this will ensure permanent relief.
Cause of Dandruff:
Contrary to the old wives tales, dandruff isn’t caused by too much shampooing or dry skin. It is triggered by overactive oil glands, food allergies, stress, excessive perspiration, or harsh shampoos.
There is a common misconception that dandruff is caused by scalp skin being too dry. Hence some people avoid washing their hair, believing that the drying effect of shampoo will worsen their dandruff. Their scalp is probably not being cleansed enough; the scale is building up into larger, more noticeable flakes before it falls off the skin. Dandruff problems tend to occur more frequently in people with oily skin and hair.
Dandruff is caused by micro – organism called pityrosporum – ovle which are present in every body’s scalp. Symptoms of dandruff get aggravated when exposed to dust, UV light, harsh chemical based shampoo, hair dyes etc., this results in increase in number of microbes which causes unhealthy residue over the scalp which leads to dandruff, which is the cause of unhealthy scalp results in unhealthy, lifeless hair and may result in excessive loss of hair too.
Contrary to popular notions, dandruff is usually a result of too much oiliness of the skin and scalp rather than dryness. While mild dandruff may be caused by overactive oil glands, recent evidence suggests that the more severe dandruff associated with seborrheic dermatitis may be caused by an overabundance of Pityrosporum ovale, a yeast-like organism found on healthy scalp in low numbers. With the increased scaling and oiliness of seborrheic dermatitis, these yeast organisms thrive and multiply, aggravating inflammation and scaling.
Seasonal changes, stress, and certain diseases seem to affect seborrheic dermatitis. The cold, dry air of fall and winter often triggers a flare – up. Emotional stress can worsen the condition as well. Skin cells that grow and die off too fast are the cause of dandruff, but doctors do not know why this happens. Some people with severe flaking have overactive sebaceous glands (whose task is to lubricate the skin with oils); others have an elevated level of the fungus Pityrosporum ovale, which is present in most people but to excess in dandruff sufferers. Other causative factors include family history, food allergies, excessive sweating, use of alkaline soaps, yeast infections, and stress. Even the season of the year can contribute to the problem: Cold, dry winters are notorious for bringing on dandruff or making it worse.
If dandruff flakes are greasy and yellow, the probable cause is the skin condition known as seborrheic dermatitis; dry, thick lesions consisting of large, silvery scales may be traced to the less common psoriasis of the scalp. These forms of dandruff as well as the run – of – the – mill variety become a hazard only if you scratch to the point of causing breaks in the skin, which can place you at greater risk for infections, particularly from staph and strep bacteria.
Methods of Getting Rid of Dandruff:
Commercial Dandruff Shampoos
Here I will list the active ingredients used in the most common anti – dandruff shampoos and explain what they do. Make sure you read the labels when shopping for a particular ingredient since the same brand often produces similar products with different ingredients. Always follow the instructions on the labels.
Zinc pyrithione, or Zinc omadine is an anti-fungal and antibacterial agent that is most commonly used to fight the dandruff caused by yeasts and fungi. Once you begin using this treatment, stopping will often cause dandruff to return worse than before treatment began.
Ketoconazole is an anti-fungal drug used to treat dandruff caused by yeasts and fungi. Dandruff usually returns after treatment is stopped.
Selenium sulfide is an anti – fungal agent used to treat dandruff caused by yeasts and fungi. In the US, 1% solutions can be purchased over – the – counter and 2.5% solutions are available by prescription. Dandruff often returns when treatment is stopped.
Coal tar is a liquid by – product of the distillation of coal. It is used in shampoos meant to treat head lice and psoriasis. Be warned, coal tar is on the NIOSH carcinogen list as a potential cancer – causing agent.
Salicylic acid based shampoos are used to help the scalp shed excess skin more easily, which in turn helps to keep skin pores from getting clogged.
There are tons of home brew dandruff cures out there, every family likely knows of a different one that they will swear by to cure dandruff. Here I’ll list some of the most commonly recommended concoctions.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has an anti – fungal quality and can be mixed into lotions, oils and shampoos. Massage the mixture into the scalp and let it sit for 15 minutes prior to rinsing clean.
Coneflower and Red Clover Extracts
Aveda has a product named “Scalp Remedy” that is growing in popularity. It contains both coneflower and red clover extracts, comes with a dropper and is applied directly to the scalp after you shower.
Scalp massages with moisturizing oils an hour or so before bathing are said to rejuvenate a dry scalp. Skin lotions will likely work as well.
Some people have reported success after rinsing their hair with white or apple cider vinegar prior to bathing. It may have something to do with correcting your hair’s PH balance.