AT SOME TIME or the other, most of us are confronted with problems related to hair. One of the most common among these is dandruff, which can occur at any time, right from childhood to old age
Dandruff is the single most common problem that anybody could have. To have a few white-flaked cells is normal, for, it is simply the sloughing off matured skin cells and waste materials through the pores of the scalp. It is only when this becomes excessive that it has to be considered a problem. Well looked after, clean healthy hair with proper acid balance does not have the problem of dandruff.
There are two forms of dandruff — oily and dry. The dry dandruff appears as loose white flakes and the scalp itches a lot. The oily dandruff is sticky and yellow in colour. The oily form is found mostly in adolescents and adults with an excessively oily skin and scalp.
Causes of dandruff
The basic causes of dandruff are:
1. Faulty diet
2. Emotional tension and stress
3. Hormonal disturbances *
(*The reason why so many adolescents have dandruff is that this is the time they secrete an excess of androgen hormones which produces more sebum and the sebum attracts dirt and breeds bacteria resulting in dandruff).
dandruff is a scalp disease. Some forms of dandruff can cause severe itching and when one scratches the scalp to relieve itching, further damage is caused. Any damage to the scalp, with nails can cause secondary bacterial infection. All these put together give rise to a more serious problem, accelerating hair loss and undermining the health of the hair.
How to get rid of dandruff:
Your mantra to get rid of dandruff is to keep your hair clean. Follow the routine given below:
1. Wash your hair and scalp frequently — it could be daily or every other day depending upon how stubborn your dandruff is. Rub your scalp with your fingertips and not your nails. This will clean the scalp as well as improve blood circulation.
2. If your hair and scalp are oily, you should use a herbal shampoo since washing your hair with frequent strong shampoo can cause harm to your hair.
3. Massage and daily brushing are extremely helpful for treating dandruff. They increase the blood circulation to the scalp and dislodge the dead skin cells sticking to the scalp.
4. If you have dry dandruff, use oil to massage your hair, especially before washing your hair.
5. Dandruff can be infectious; so, avoid using other people's hairbrushes and combs. If you have dandruff, soak your brush and comb in a mug of hot water containing an antiseptic solution, every time you wash your hair.
6. Medicated shampoo and rinses are available in plenty. These are actually anti-dandruff lotions whose main ingredients are made up of (a) An antiseptic agent to clear the infection (b) An agent to maintain the natural acid mantle of the scalp. The anti dandruff shampoo `Head & Shoulders' has been shown to give good results for controlling dandruff.
7. Dandruff can cause skin problems like pimples, acne or rash. Those prone to dandruff often get small rashes/pimples on the forehead or cheeks or the back. In fact, it can lead to severe acne infections, spreading to the back, chest and upper arms, wherever the skin comes in contact with hair.
8. Diet plays a very important role in the treatment of dandruff. The objective is to restore health to the scalp.
* Drink 6-8 glasses of water
* Avoid nuts and dried fruits, chocolates, deep fried foods.
* Include green leafy vegetables like spinach or any keerai daily in your diet.
* If you are a non-vegetarian, eat more of fish and chicken than mutton.
* If you are a vegetarian, include more milk and its products to give you more protein.
* Vitamin A and C play an important role in keeping the skin healthy. Vitamin A is present in some animal foods like butter and ghee, whole milk, curds, egg yolk, liver etc. Fish liver oils like Cod & Holibut are some of the richest known natural sources of the Vitamins. Today these oils are available in the market in the form of capsules. Take one capsule daily. For the vegetarians, leafy vegetables such as spinach, amaranth and red and yellow coloured fruits and vegetables like mangoes, papaya and tomato are rich sources of Carotene — the precursor for Vitamin A.
For Vitamin C, include citrus fruits like orange, sweet lime and guava in your diet. Sprouted legumes and amla are also high in Vitamin C.
Dandruff is one problem that can be easily taken care of with home remedies.
For Oily Dandruff:
1. Trifla Lotion: buy some trifla from the market, powder it, mix one tsp. of it in one glass of water and boil. Let it simmer for about 3 minutes, cool it and strain it. Mix with equal quantity of cider vinegar or malt (not synthetic vinegar) and massage this lotion gently in the scalp and leave it on. Use it as a nightly massage. Shampoo with a mild herbal shampoo in the morning.
2. Vinegar Rinse: To a mug of water, mix two tablespoons of malt vinegar. After shampooing, rinse the hair with it. Towel-dry your hair. This is an excellent remedy to prevent oily dandruff.
3. Dandruff Cleanser — Soak two spoonful of fenugreek (methi seeds) in water overnight. In the morning, make a paste of the seeds and apply on the head. Leave it on for half an hour. Then wash your hair with soapnut (reetha) or shikakai and water. You could also use a herbal shampoo instead to wash your hair. Do this routine twice a week.
For Dry Dandruff:
1. Boric Powder treatment: Take one tsp of boric powder which is available with the Chemist — this is what you wash your eyes with. Take one spoon of this powder, mix it with warm coconut oil and apply on the scalp; keep for 2-3 hours and then wash with a mild or herbal shampoo. Repeat at least once a week. This is a very effective treatment for dandruff and helps to maintain the acid balance of the scalp.
2. Oil Massage — For best results, massage your scalp with 1 tsp. hot castor oil and 1 tsp. coconut oil and 1 tsp. of til oil. Leave it on for about half an hour and then shampoo. Follow this routine twice a week, especially in winter.
3. Shatone Treatment — This is a Salon treatment that combines electric high frequency treatment and a hair tonic made from herbs. Usually 10 sittings help to get rid of dandruff. This treatment is available at all Shanaz Hussain Franchise Salons.
4. Cleanser — Take about 5 tablespoons of yoghurt and squeeze half a lime in it; add 2 spoonful of green gram powder and mix it well. Apply on scalp and leave it on for 10 minutes. Wash your hair with a creamy shampoo thoroughly. Follow this routine at least once a week.
If your dandruff does not clear up after this treatment, then you should take medical advise as it could be due to a fungal infection.