Seborrheic dermatitis, also known as dandruff is one of the most common and embarrassing hair problems that affect people. It is a common medical condition in which a fungus called malassezia grows out of control, causing blockage in the sebaceous glands. Clogged sebaceous glands lead to inflammation, itching and flaky scalp. These flakes, when mixed with the oil secreted by the hair follicles, form greasy clumps that stick to the hair. There are two kinds of dandruff- wet and dry.Wet dandruff occurs when the scalp if left moist for a long time, while dry dandruff occurs due to the dryness of the scalp.
Causes of dandruff:
- Improper brushing of the hair
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Neurological disorders
- Change in climate
- Yeast allergy
- Dry and dirty scalp
- Medical conditions
- Weak immunity
- Improper diet
Although dandruff may seem as an unconquerable enemy, you can effectively lessen its severity. Here are some simple home remedies to clear dandruff in just a few days.
Yogurt is an excellent dandruff fighter. It prevents the aggravation of the scaling of the scalp and soothes the inflammation. The anti-fungal properties of pepper, on the other hand, halt the spread of fungus in the scalp. Grind 2 teaspoons of black pepper and mix with 1 cup of yogurt. Apply it on the scalp and leave it for one hour. Rinse off with a gentle shampoo.
2. Olive oil:
Scalp dryness is one of the major causes of dandruff. Olive oil contains excellent moisturizing and clarifying properties. Massage warm olive oil in the scalp in circular motion and leave it overnight. Cleanse it off with a mild shampoo in the morning.
3. Lemon juice:
The anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties of lemon make it an effective weapon against dandruff. The high acidity in the lemon helps to break down the fungus that causes dandruff outbreak. It will also balance the pH level of the scalp, keeping dandruff at bay. Mix juice of two lemons with ½ cup of coconut oil and massage your scalp gently with it. Leave it for half an hour and wash it off with a shampoo. You can also use lemon water rinse to treat dandruff. Lemon rinse will also leave the scalp smelling clean and fresh.
4. Apple cider vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar has been used for years as an effective treatment of dandruff. The acetic acid present in apple cider vinegar prevents the growth of bacteria and fungi in the scalp. It restores the pH balance of the scalp, thereby inhibiting the growth and yeast and fungus. It also acts as a clarifier to get rid of the dead skin cells, which clog the hair follicles. Massage apple cider vinegar to the scalp and leave for an hour. Wash it off as usual. Alternatively, take half cup of apple cider vinegar and mix with 1 cup of water. Use this as a final rinse when you are washing your hair. Be careful so that it does not enter your eyes.
5. Baking soda:
Baking soda acts as an exfoliant to clear off the dead skin and fungi from the scalp. It acts as a fungicide to kill off the fungi that cause dandruff. It also helps to remove the loose flakes that stick to the hair, instead of breaking it off into smaller pieces. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to your regular shampoo and wash your hair with it. Just one wash will clear off the stubborn flakes hiding in the hair strands. Alternatively, rub a handful of baking soda in your scalp and then rinse it off with plain water. Repeated usage will restore the production of natural oils in the scalp, preventing dandruff.
6. Aloe vera:
This miracle plant has an array of medicinal uses. It repairs the broken skin of the scalp caused due to itching. Aloe vera also inhibits the process of cell proliferation, restoring them to normalcy. Apply fresh aloe vera gel on the scalp and wash it off after an hour. Do this thrice a week for best results.
Neem is an excellent natural ingredient to treat scalp and hair related problems. The antibiotic, antiseptic and antifungal properties of neem inhibit the over-growth of malassezia and relieve itching. Make a smooth paste from neem leaves and apply only on the scalp. Leave it for an hour and then wash it off. Regular usage will give you a clean and healthy scalp. You can also use neem steeped in water to as a final rinse for the hair.
Garlic has natural antibiotic properties that help to kill the bacteria present in the scalp. Mash a few cloves of garlic and apply on the scalp. Wash off the hair after 1 hour. Make sure you wash the hair properly to repel the pungent smell of garlic. To avoid the strong smell, mix crushed garlic with honey and massage into the scalp.
9. Fenugreek seeds:
Fenugreek seeds are rich in protein and amino acids that ward off these annoying flakes, while encouraging healthy hair growth. It also contains lecithin, a natural emollient that leaves the hair silky soft and smooth. Soak a handful of fenugreek seeds in water and make a fine paste out of it. Apply the paste on the scalp and leave it for an hour. Follow this remedy once a week to get rid of dandruff completely.
Thyme contains both antiseptic and antifungal properties that can help to kill the fungi that cause dandruff. Mix four teaspoons of dried thyme in 2 cups of water and boil for 10 minutes in medium heat. Strain the solution and leave it aside to cool. Massage your scalp with this solution and leave it for 2 to 3 hours before washing it off.
Acetylsalicylic acid in aspirin is very effective in controlling dandruff. It also contains salicylic acid, an active ingredient used in many dandruff shampoos. Salicylic acid has anti-microbial properties that fight the extra flakes caused by dandruff. Crush two aspirin and mix with your regular shampoo. Wash your hair properly with this mixture. Leave it for a few minutes and then rinse it off. It also soothes the inflammation of the scalp that accompanies dandruff. Alternatively, pound three aspirins and mix with half cup of white vinegar. Massage your scalp with it and wash it off after an hour.
The anti-fungal properties of Listerine will prevent the dandruff causing yeast from growing. Wash your hair with regular shampoo and then rinse with 2 cups of Listerine. Alternatively, mix two parts of water with 1 part of Listerine. Pour or spray the solution on your scalp and leave it for 30 minutes before washing it off.
13. Tea tree oil:
Tea tree oil is very effective in treating dandruff. The fungicidal properties of tea tree oil soothe the scalp inflammation and itching. Shampoos with even 5% of tree tea oil could significantly reduce dandruff in the scalp. Add two to three drops of tea tree oil in your regular shampoo and wash your hair with it. Alternatively, add one teaspoon of tea tree oil in 1 cup of warm water and transfer to a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the hair after shampooing and let it stay for a couple of minutes. Pat the excess moisture, but do not wash it out. Remember, tea tree oil should not be ingested in any way.
The abrasive crystals of table salt work as a natural exfoliant, scrubbing off the dandruff flakes from the scalp. It clears the scalp path to help the anti-dandruff shampoo work to its fullest potential. Salt also relieves from itchiness and discomfort. Sprinkle some salt in your hair and give yourself a gentle scalp massage. Wash if off with a gentle shampoo to remove the flaky skin from the scalp.
Egg yolk contains a stellar amount of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin A that can help to attack dandruff and improve the health of the scalp. These components also decrease the dryness of the scalp by increasing its natural oil production. Beat three eggs and apply on the scalp. Leave it for half an hour and then wash off. This remedy will also give you a smooth and shiny hair.
A healthy and strong body is a marker of good health. Avoid oily and fatty foods and indulge in vegetables and fruits instead. Consume loads of lean protein and omega 3 fatty acids to promote hair growth and maintain the health of the scalp.
17. Dandruff shampoo:
Over the counter dandruff shampoo is the most convenient way to get rid of dandruff. While purchasing the shampoo make sure it contains coal tar, salicylic acid, tea tree oil, selenium, zinc pyrithione and sulfide as one of its active ingredients. These ingredients limit cell turnover and slough off the dead skin from the scalp. Apply shampoo generously on the scalp and leave it for 4 to 5 minutes before washing it off. A regular shampooing will also get rid of excess oil that contributes to the overgrowth of malassezia.
Remember, home remedies take some time to show results. You have to be patient to see positive results.