Dandruff! A story that half of the world is familiar with. The white flakes that magically appear in our hair and make their way to the shoulders. The itchy, red scalp that keeps bothering us, making us scratch our head and wonder how to cure dandruff permanently.
Luckily for you, there are various steps you can take to deal with your dandruff, including the use of dandruff home remedies. Before we get into those tips and tricks of solving dandruff, let’s take a detour and learn more about this scalp ailment.
What causes dandruff?
Dandruff is caused by a fungus, particularly a yeast called Malassezia Globosa. It thrives in humid environments, such as those found on your scalp and face. These areas of your body have a high density of sebaceous glands, which secrete an oil that is supposed to hydrate your skin and hair strands. However, in certain situations this oil can start to build up on the scalp.
The fungus then interacts with the oil or sebum, creating a fatty acid as a by-product. 1 in 2 people have a sensitivity to this and end up with a reaction. Your body triggers a build-up of dead skin cells at the point of oil breakdown, in order to get rid of the irritant. That’s why you see flakes falling down, along with redness and an itchy scalp. This oil and fungus are key in figuring out how to remove dandruff.
6 tips on how to get rid of dandruff
Getting rid of dandruff naturally is relatively safe, easy and inexpensive. Here are a few ways that don’t require allopathic intervention and can be done in the comfort of your home:
- Use natural remedies
There is a long list of natural remedies that you can use to get rid of dandruff. Tea Tree oil, lemon and apple cider vinegar are three well-known dandruff home remedies. But you can also use aloe vera, neem, fenugreek seeds, etc.
Tea tree oil has strong anti-fungal characteristics which is also great at hydrating your hair. This helps keep the fungus at bay, while providing you relief from an itchy scalp. You can add a few drops of this oil into your scalp shampoo and apply it to your head.
Lemon also works wonders for your scalp, since it has an anti-microbial nature and can maintain the pH balance. When used as an exfoliating hair mask, mixed with sugar and coconut oil, it can remove the dead skin cells from your scalp and break any oil build-up.
Apple cider vinegar is also an anti-fungal substance and thus acts like a natural dandruff shampoo. Its acidic nature puts a stop to the growth of dandruff causing microbes, letting your pores and hair follicles breathe. It can also reduce inflammation and provide relief to your itchy scalp.
- Change your diet
While the food you eat can’t be the cause of your dandruff, it can aggravate your condition. Eating complex carbohydrates and high sugar content can cause a spike in your blood sugar which invariably leads to a fluctuation in your oil secretion. So the idea should be to limit fried or processed food, sugary beverages and meals, as well as refined carbs such as white bread, white pasta, crackers and tortillas.
And what should you be eating? Fruits and vegetables. They contain essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can help your scalp recover. Make sure to include foods that have zinc and biotin, which play an important role in scalp health. Oysters, eggs, yoghurt, fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, apple, banana and leafy greens, are just some of the foods that can help you with dandruff.
- Build a regular hair wash routine
One of the most effective methods on how to remove dandruff is to create a hair care regimen. You shouldn’t be washing your head every day, as it can strip away the natural oils and lead to even more issues. But it is vital to wash at least 2-3 times a week, as part of a healthy routine. This keeps your scalp clean and controls the amount of oil on your head.
You should also use shampoos that have been created for dandruff. Use the Head and Shoulders Smooth and Silky which deep cleanses your scalp and provides dandruff protection. Conditioning is also required as it can help regulate the flow of oil down your hair strands. Some products even combine a shampoo and conditioner in one, like the Head and Shoulder 2 in 1 Cool Menthol. This can kill the dandruff causing germs while restoring any damaged hair strands.
- Minimise your stress levels
Much like your diet, stress can aggravate and increase your dandruff condition. Stress can disrupt your body’s hormonal function and spike the oil secretion on the scalp. Prolonged stress can also weaken your immune system and impact the body’s ability to fight infections, even dandruff. If you want to learn how to remove dandruff from hair, try reducing your stress.
Choosing how to minimise the stress in your life really depends on what works for you. Maybe that’s getting regular exercise, meditation with deep breathing, or doing yoga. For some it can be video games. Incorporating stress-busting methods in your life can help regulate your body’s normal function and impact your dandruff levels.
- Products and stylingAn often-overlooked step in your dandruff care, you might want to change the products that you’re using on your head. You could be sensitive to certain sprays, creams, gels or perfumes, which can lead to inflammation and allergic reactions. A combination of these products can also trigger a reaction and excessive secretion of oil on your scalp.Furthermore, you should put away your heat styling equipment as this can severely increase the temperature on your scalp. This can dry out the skin, causing your body to secrete more oil as compensation. All of these can lead to an increase in dandruff.
- Visit a DermatologistSometimes you might not be able to solve your dandruff troubles at home and it becomes important to visit a doctor or a dermatologist. They can diagnose the problem effectively and identify the underlying causes.Dermatologists can prescribe medicated shampoos and creams for your dandruff. You might even need anti-fungal ointments or oil blockers, if your problem is too severe. But often they’ll simply recommend an anti-dandruff shampoo like the Head and Shoulders Neem, which is clinically proven to give you up to 100% dandruff protection.