DOES AMLA HELP IN REMOVING DANDRUFF?
Should you use Amla for dandruff trouble?
If you’ve grown up in the Indian subcontinent, chances are that you’ve eaten amla at some point in your life. It’s a yellow green fruit which has a slightly tangy, bitter taste to it. You might have even come across sugared versions of dried amla. But what about using amla for dandruff?
Amla, also known as Indian Gooseberry, is found on a deciduous fruit tree which has been used for centuries in Ayurveda and other forms of traditional medicine. It is used in the form of a fruit, ground into a powder, or distilled as an oil, depending on who you ask. And there are certain characteristics that might lend credibility to the claim of using amla powder or amla oil for dandruff.
Properties of Amla
• It is packed with vitamin C and antioxidants which can help reduce premature ageing of your skin and hair. It has a concentration of vitamin C which is even higher than oranges.
• Has anti-inflammatory properties that can calm down any skin irritation. This comes in handy for itchy scalp or skin.
• Contains fatty acids, tannins, iron, calcium and vitamins A, E.
• Can increase blood circulation, especially to the scalp, which brings nutrients to your hair roots.
• Has a strong anti-bacterial nature that reduces the impact of microbes and infections.
• Contains conditioning and moisturising properties when used in a certain manner.
• Can nourish your hair follicles, thereby strengthening your hair and reducing hair fall.
• It has shown to clear excessive oil build-up on your skin when used as a cleanser.
Amla for dandruff
Traditional medicines have long used amla powder for dandruff. It utilises the properties of amla to go after the root cause of dandruff, which is usually excessive oil on your scalp.
Your scalp secretes oil or sebum to form a protective layer against germs and infections. It also hydrates your skin and prevents it from drying out. But when your oil production is disrupted, often due to hormonal fluctuations, there is a tendency for this oil to build-up on your scalp.
This is when a naturally occurring fungus, known as Malassezia Globosa, goes into overdrive. It breaks down this excess oil into by-products that you might be sensitive towards - every second person in the world is. This leads to a breakout of severe scalp itching, redness, and white-yellow flakes of dead skin cells.
When you use amla powder for dandruff, you simultaneously attack the oil build-up and the dandruff causing germs. It tries to regulate the oil levels on your scalp and stop the growth of fungus, while calming down the itching and inflammation. The increased blood circulation also brings nutrients to the scalp, which can possibly reset the health of your head. This is why amla is used as a method on how to get rid of dandruff.
How should you use Amla?
There are various ways to utilise the anti-dandruff benefits of amla. You could eat it - but most people look at topical application through home-made hair masks. When using amla for dandruff, always see what works for you and how your body reacts. These are all anecdotal recipes and should be approached with caution.
Amla powder and waterMix amla powder with water and add ground tulsi leaves into it. Apply this mixture onto your scalp and leave it for about 30 minutes. Wash with a gentle shampoo after. Using amla powder for hair dandruff can clear excess oil and microbes from your scalp, while calming down any itching sensation.
Amla, Reetha and ShikakaiSoak all these ingredients overnight and create a mixture from them. You can heat it over a low flame, straining after it has cooled down. Use this as a cleanser and rinse after. All of these are rich in vitamin C and can clear away build-up.
Amla powder and Lemon juiceMix these two together and apply it to your hair for about 20 minutes. Rinse it thoroughly and use a shampoo if required. This combination can work on the bacteria and oiliness, while giving you relief from itching.
Amla oilWhile using amla oil for dandruff, you can add carrier oils like coconut oil for better delivery to your scalp. You can apply it as is or heat it slightly. Massage into your scalp and leave it for an hour, before washing with a shampoo. This can soothe any itching and reduce inflammation. Some people even use amla oil for dry scalp.
Amla juice and Aloe veraCombine these two dandruff remedies and apply to your scalp. Leave it for about 30 minutes and wash with a shampoo after. This mixture can work on your oil build-up, any scalp itch, and on the bacteria.
Amla and NeemThis uses two traditional dandruff medicines to help with your scalp issues. Grind amla and neem together, applying it to your scalp for about 30 minutes. Wash thoroughly. This has strong anti-bacterial properties that can calm down your dandruff.
When using dandruff home remedies, there is always some concern. These are usually safe, but it all depends on how you use it.
• There might be impurities in the amla powder that you’re purchasing. Always be sure of what you buy.
• Allergic reactions are common. To check if you are allergic to amla, conduct a patch test on a small part of your skin.
• The quantities and combinations you choose are not an exact science. Tread carefully and understand how mixing different ingredients affects your body.
• It is not recommended for pregnant women and children. Research further before using.
• Although it has been used in Ayurveda, scientific studies for dandruff and amla are limited and further research is required on the effectiveness.
An amla-based cleanser might feel like the best scalp shampoo you’ve ever come across. But if you feel like it’s not doing the trick, or you just want a simpler solution, try a product that has been specifically designed to get rid of dandruff. Like the Head and Shoulders Neem, that cleans and protects your scalp. There is also the Head and Shoulders Cool Menthol 2in1 shampoo and conditioner, that brings the combined effect of a shampoo and conditioner to clear out your dandruff flakes and restore any dry hair strands.