Can Camphur (Kapur) Remove Dandruff?
Certain cultures use camphor & camphor hair oils for dandruff treatment, but is there any truth to that claim?
You might have seen small cubes of camphor or kapur being lit on fire in certain rituals across South Asia and Southeast Asia. It is a waxy translucent solid, which is highly flammable and has a distinct aroma.
Camphor is made from turpentine and is accounted as an organic compound. It was originally extracted from the wood of a camphor laurel tree, but most of the camphor found in the world today is synthetic.
It is widely used and is found in creams, ointments, lotions and even medicines. Certain traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines use camphor for topical application, coming in handy for skin irritation and cough/cold. It is an ingredient in various vapour-rubs, some that you might have used since you were a child.
What are the benefits of using camphor?
There are intrinsic properties of camphor that make it an extremely useful product to apply. These also lend weight to the claim of using camphor for dandruff.
• It is said to reduce itching.
• Can offer pain relief at the point of application. This includes muscle spasms and joint aches.
• Contains anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties
• Anti-inflammatory in nature and can calm down any breakouts.
• Increases elastin and collagen production, which provides anti-aging benefits.
• Might help with healing burns.
• Said to stimulate blood circulation, which brings nutrients to your skin.
• Can be used as a disinfectant.
What about camphor for hair dandruff?
Dandruff is a skin ailment which is caused by excessive oil and a naturally occurring fungus. If you want to use kapur for dandruff, you need to go after the factors that cause dandruff.
Your scalp is covered with sebaceous glands that secrete oil. This is important for the normal functioning of your skin, the largest organ in the body. But if for some reason your skin starts to accumulate oil, it is a sign of trouble. Because this activates the fungus Malassezia Globosa, which feeds on this oil and grows.
The fungus breaks down the oil and creates fatty acids that you might react to - almost 3 billion people across the world do. If you are one of them, your body triggers a reaction and leads to scalp itching, redness, and flakes of dead skin cells.
So, using camphor for dandruff might make sense because of its anti-fungal nature. It can possibly cut down the growth of the dandruff causing fungus, while reducing the itching and inflammation. The increased blood circulation can also bring nutrients to your scalp, helping in the entire process. This is why some people choose to use camphor as a technique on how to remove dandruff.
How should you use camphor for hair dandruff?
There are certain methods on using this crystal-like terpene compound for your dandruff problem. But it is important to note that these solutions are all anecdotal and affect different people in different ways. Camphor is not something you want to mess with, so use carefully. Make sure that no form of camphor enters your eye.
Camphor and Coconut oilWarm up coconut oil and then dissolve some camphor powder in it. Apply this to your scalp, leave it for about an hour and then wash with a gentle shampoo after. This should calm down the itching and work on the dandruff causing fungus.
Camphor oil for dandruffYou get readymade camphor oil in the market, or you can make your own at home. When using camphor oil for dandruff, you can add it to a carrier oil or to your hair products. Apply it onto your scalp and leave it for about 30 minutes. You can choose how long you want to leave it on your head but ensure that you wash thoroughly after.
Camphor, Reetha and GandhakThis is one of the many Ayurvedic dandruff home remedies. Soak reetha overnight, before boiling it. Add the other two ingredients and allow it to cool down. Strain and then use the resulting liquid as a cleanser. This could act like a scalp shampoo for your dandruff.
Camphor and olive oilThis should help with your itchy scalp. Add the camphor powder to warm olive oil and apply it to your scalp. Leave it for 30 minutes and then wash with a shampoo after.
Camphor oil and lemon juiceMix these two ingredients together before applying it to your hair and scalp. Leave it for 30 minutes and then wash thoroughly with a shampoo. The expectation is for this concoction to clear away the build-up and calm down the itching.
Risks and concerns with camphor
Although this substance is used in various products, it comes with a host of concerns that you need to be aware of before applying it to your head.
IrritantIt can cause severe skin irritation. If used in large quantities, it can cause burning sensations and even seizures.
Dangerous to consumeCamphor poisoning is a known phenomenon which can be deadly for children. It is extremely risky to consume.
ReactionsUsing camphor orally can also cause seizures and lead to troubled breathing, especially for asthma patients. In extreme cases it can cause vomiting, disorientation, and even muscle spasms.
Purity of productThere are different types and purities of camphor, you should be aware of what you’re using.
Interaction with other ingredientsCamphor can have a strong reaction when combined with different products, so always check how it affects your body.
Allergic reactionsThese can be extremely strong and it is important to conduct a patch test before you use it on your scalp.
WoundsNever apply it on open wounds or broken skin. It can enter your system and lead to problems.
Certain people should avoidIt is recommended to keep camphor away from pregnant women and children .
If you are sold on camphor, use it after diligent research and careful consideration. But if you’re in a rush and need something easy that can get rid of your dandruff, try the Head and Shoulders Cool Menthol. This clears out the dandruff causing germs and leaves your scalp feeling revitalised. Or maybe if you want to add a touch of nature try the Head and Shoulders Neem, that can leave your scalp free of any dandruff flakes. Camphor might work for you, but you’re better off with simpler methods on getting rid of your dandruff.