Let us first discuss what dandruff is. Remember seeing some white-colored flakes that are dry and mostly seen either on collars or shoulders. You guessed it right, it is dandruff. Even though having dandruff is almost harmless physically, it dramatically impacts your personality and confidence, and it can embarrass you since having dandruff in your hair leads to itching.
Dandruff has nothing to do with how your hair is washed or if it’s of a certain texture, and it all comes down to your scalp and its health. Dandruff has a lot to do with how you feel and how the weather outside it. If you are already dealing with dandruff issues and you fall sick or if you are stressed, chances are dandruff with trigger or worsen. Similarly, cold and dry weather can also worsen a dandruff situation.
Another reason that has recently become a popular reason for having dandruff is colored hair. Coloring hair exposes your hair and scalp to many chemicals and dries them out by sucking out all the moisture. This dry and damaged hair would form an excellent base for fresh dandruff, or it would worsen the already existing. This is why individuals with colored hair and dandruff are constantly looking for good dandruff shampoos for color-treated hair.
For mild dandruff conditions switching to gentler shampoo and trying out a home remedy is a great option that works in case the severity of the problem is beyond control. One can always consult and start with a medicated shampoo.
Symptoms of Dandruff:
- Skin flakes that are white to yellowish and could be either of small size or a little larger.
- Flakes are not just restricted to your scalp; dandruff could also be seen on eyebrows, nose, hairline, back, and chest. In case of itching in any of these areas is experienced, along with flakes, it is a clear symptom of having dandruff.
Possible Causes of Dandruff:
Some common known causes that act as triggers of dandruff are as under:
- Chemically exposed hair
- Dry textured skin
- Malassezia fungus, which is said to live on your scalp and feed on its oils
- Hair products that could cause sensitivity to the scale
- Oily and irritated skin
Even though anyone can have dandruff at any particular age, some become susceptible to having dandruff. The factors that make you more susceptible are:
- Age: Having dandruff at a young and middle age is more common than having it at a later age. This, however, does not mean that people of the older age group cannot have dandruff; of course, they can. For some, dandruff stays with their life long.
- Over-damaged hair: As we have already spoken, color treating your hair often can lead to significant damage to hair, in turn making it super dry and susceptible to dandruff. Coloring hair and being in fashion is in no way wrong. Still, one should never forget that if they have a dandruff condition, they buy good quality color protecting dandruff shampooso that the shampoo doesn’t damage your newly colored hair and maintains the longevity of color and yet deals with the condition of dandruff.
- Illness that affects the nervous system in any way increases the chances of having dandruff. Also, when someone has a weak or compromised immune system, their chances of having dandruff become very high.
There are two broad methods that can treat dandruff:
- Home Remedies
- Using medicated hair products
Home remedies for treating dandruff are a great way of getting rid of dandruff, especially when the severity is not as much. Specific hair masks that, when applied, can apply to hair work wonders in treating the problem. Let us discuss home remedies here under:
- Onion pack:
One such thing that has excellent anti-microbial properties is an onion. One does not need to go out to buy extraordinary things; it is just an onion readily available in all Indian households. Cut and grate an onion to form a fine paste; apply this paste all over your hair from roots to tip. Keep this paste on for at least an hour. Wash with a gentle hair shampoo after that. Repeating this process once a week can do wonders for your hair dandruff.
- Banana and honey mix:
Make a paste with the help of 2 bananas, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp olive oil, and 1 tbsp lemon. One important tip is to ensure that while mashing the banana, there should be no visible lumps because if the paste has any form of lumps, it will become difficult for you to get it off. For someone who has naturally dry and brittle hair, this is a great recipe to apply to your hair since it not only treats dandruff but will also moisturize the dry hair due to the moisturizing properties of the banana. Banana is also said to soothe any itchiness that one may have.
- The usual yogurt and egg mask:
One of the oldest and most known remedies to treat dandruff is applying a mixture of some yogurt and an egg. In case you have dry hair, you can add the egg yolks, or else you can skip them. The yogurt powerfully clears dandruff, and the eggs will effectively nourish your itchy scalp.
- Methi dana or fenugreek power: Fenugreek seeds are a household staple and have excellent anti-fungal properties. Soaking 1 tbsp at night in water, then making it into a paste, and adding lemon to this makes it an intense hair mask that fights dandruff and completely vanishes the irritation and white flakes.
- Honey and yogurt mask:
Honey, lemon, and yogurt mixed to form a paste, applied, left for 30 minutes, and then washed is another unique mask worth trying. Lemon is acidic, naturally balances the scalp, and controls any oiliness. Along with this, honey and yogurt become a powerful combination that moisturizes hair, leaving it soft and shiny.
All the above are some of the most influential and standard hair masks made from things that are readily available at home and that work effectively in getting rid of any dandruff. A hair spa is a great way to eliminate dandruff because it will fight dandruff and moisturize your hair. Remember to be consistent when trying out any natural remedy because these may work only when done regularly and not as a one-time job.
How a change in lifestyle can help
With everyone being busy and stuck up in their work and life, it has become tough to find time for yourself, and several factors have started to directly or indirectly affect our lives. Some of these that we can control which eventually help in clearing dandruff are:
- Managing stress:it has now become a part of everyone’s life, whether a small kid worried about his exams or a full-grown adult worried about clearing his monthly dues. Stress has a huge impact on overall health. We cannot tell you to stop taking stress entirely because that would not be possible on today’s date and time, but try to keep it under control as much as possible.
- Diet:A healthy diet is essential for good living, and it would be best if you always ate a well-balanced and complete diet. Oily and fried food should only be consumed occasionally or avoided for the betterment of your scalp. Foods rich in zinc, Vitamin B, and good fats are a great way to get rid of dandruff.
- Sun: Spending a minimum of time in the sun is excellent for overall well-being and the scalp. Remember not to go overboard and get exposed to ultraviolet rays since they are incredibly harmful and can lead to cancer. Also, remember always to wear sunscreen when you get exposed to sunlight.
- Limited hair styling:It is always a good idea to restrict the usage of hair styling products unless necessary. The more products you use, the more they settle on your hair and scalp, making it oily, and this oily base becomes an invitation for dandruff.
- Work on maintaining a healthy hair and scalp routine:If you have a dry scalp, it would be a good idea to wash it on and off and if you have an oily scalp, switch to dry shampooing is a good idea.
The treatment you use to get rid of dandruff mostly depends upon what is the intensity of dandruff that you have. If the amount of itchiness and flaking is not as much, you can consider buying an excellent gentle shampoo to get rid of it. If this gentler shampoo does not treat dandruff, it is a good idea to switch to a medicated one.
These hair care solutions are readily available in the market in different forms, be it gels, shampoos, ointments, sprays, and even oils. You can select whatever suits you best according to your hair type. The application of these medicated or non-medicated products also depends upon how much your scalp and hair can tolerate. Some individuals can do the treatment once a week and still feel uncomfortable; others may do it thrice a week and still be comfortable.
It is a good idea to switch to another treatment form if the existing one has stopped working.
Treatments contain robust prescribed formulations like salicylic acid, fluocinolone, Tar-based, pyrithione zinc, and ketoconazole shampoo. The main of all the shampoos is to get rid of dandruff, dried and irritated scalp, and flaking. Each of them is different from one other yet solves the same concern.
Ketoconazole shampoo is the most heard of and prescribed solution when it comes to the treatment of dandruff. It works upon killing any fungal infection that has developed on the scalp. The job of a ketoconazole shampoo is not just to get rid of the existing fungal infection but also to prevent it from coming back again.
The dosage of medicine and its reapplication depends majorly on the severity and is usually prescribed by the doctor. What is essential to keep in mind here is that you should ultimately follow the doctor’s plan. Since stopping the treatment in between would lead to incomplete treatment and could be a cause of return for dandruff.
One of the commonly known brands that have helped several individuals dealing with severe dandruff and inflammation is Ketomac. Ketomac shampoo contains 2% of ketoconazole, an anti-fungal agent in a concentrated form.
All the tropical applied shampoos should be well applied, massaged to the scalp, and left for a few minutes for the ingredients to work. Once you have waited 5-10 minutes, you can rinse off the product. Continuation in using this is the key to thoroughly treating the dandruff situation and other scalp-related issues that come with it. For initial times you should be using it twice a week for almost a month and then later once a month to stop its reoccurrence.
Alternative form of medicine
It is surprising to see how often tea tree oil is used in all the products used for treating dandruff. There is no such proven evidence that tea tree oil can control dandruff. The only thing we know here is that it is naturally antiseptic and has anti-fungal and antibiotic properties.
All the above explains clearly what dandruff is, how one can recognize it, and when is the correct time to switch from home remedies to medicated solutions.