A lot of us are quite familiar with those embarrassing flakes falling on our shoulders. Usually, we just swat them off and pretend as though nothing has happened. But the truth is that these flakes are worth noticing. For some of us, this may be dandruff, but for some others, it might be something else entirely. However, it is important to recognize precisely what it is so that we can address it.
What is Dandruff?
What causes Dandruff?
In this piece, we are going to discuss the different dandruff solutions that exist and how you can manage your scalp health while having a dandruff treatment in place. However, before we do that, let’s take a moment to understand what dandruff actually is.
What Is Dandruff?
Our body naturally produces an oily substance called sebum to keep our body moisturized. This substance, when released from the scalp skin, is referred to as sebum. It gives your scalp skin protection and your hair follicles nutrition. Now, as you probably know, a lot of different microbes live on your body. One of them is this fungus microbe called Malassezia globosa. It primarily lives on all adult scalps and it feeds on this sebum.
When this happens, a breakdown is caused, and a byproduct called oleic acid comes into existence. About 50% of people in the world are sensitive to this oleic acid and we know this because their scalp skin responds by becoming irritated and flaking.
This is followed by the brain sending a signal to your scalp skin cells, signaling them to shed faster than usual. And, well, this shedding is what causes dandruff flakes to appear on your scalp and fall on to your shoulders!
In a nutshell, this shedding of the skin caused due to the allergic reaction with oleic acid is what we refer to as hair dandruff. But there’s a catch, and that is, dandruff is not the only condition characterized by these flakes.
So, how do you know that you have dandruff flakes? Well, dandruff flakes are usually big, oily and yellowish. Moreover, dandruff tends to make your scalp skin oily, red and scaly.
What Causes Dandruff?
Now that we know what dandruff is, it is pretty obvious that it’s not external factors that cause it per se. But before we jump into dandruff treatments and get into understanding what the best solution for dandruff possibly is, let’s talk about what are the factors that aggravate this condition.
One of the greatest and most obvious factors, pollutant-infused air or water can aggravate your problem. In fact, pollution tops the list of reasons for dandruff. Having said that, you must take good care of your hair and pay attention to your scalp.
It’s strange how most causes root from this singular cause, which is essentially a feeling if you think about it. But the truth remains that stress has a knack for making dandruff worse. Moreover, if you are already prone to dandruff, then you are even more likely to trigger it just by taking the stress.
Dry air, whether hot or cold, can dry out your scalp. It is important to note here that this might just be your good old dry scalp. But if you are someone who is already allergic to oleic acid, the weather might just exacerbate your condition. And well, then it’s just, ‘Say hello to dandruff problems’!
Yes, we know that this sounds unlikely, but hair accessories actually can have quite an impact on the health of your scalp. To elaborate, wearing headscarves or hats gives the microbe Malassezia globosa a microclimate for survival and thriving. So, you might want to be careful about what you wear on your head.
What To Do About Dandruff?
Finally, we know the truth about dandruff and what it entitles. Let’s dive into what are some dandruff solutions that we can apply.
Our lives get more and more stressful as we make our way through life. But there is one thing that doesn’t quite work out in our favor, and that is stress. As you probably already know, stress is that state of mind that causes an imbalance in your entire immune system. Confused? We will explain.
Your brain and your immune system communicate frequently. There is a certain delicate balance that their conversations have. However, when we add stress to this equation, the pressure on your brain to manage everything inside your body becomes slightly difficult. This ends up breaking the balance and weakening your immune system.
If you are allergic to oleic acid as discussed above, this leads to some serious dandruff. So, what’s the dandruff remedy here? Well, the best thing you can do in this scenario is to manage your stress on an emotional level. Another dandruff solution you can consider is doing some kind of exercise or even yoga. This can help restore the delicate balance and can be the best dandruff remedy you use.
Taking good care of your scalp and washing it regularly can be a great way of keeping a tab on that dandruff. But as far as dandruff home remedies are concerned, there are quite a few things that you can try. Various studies have shown the following remedies to be effective solutions when it comes to battling that evil dandruff.
1. Aloe Vera:
Rich with anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera is a dandruff treatment that can attack skin irritation as well as the microbe at the same time. Its gel contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants that are so effective that they can even treat your scaly, red scalp skin that dandruff causes. Try applying aloe vera gel to your scalp about 10-15 minutes before you wash it off.
You can also create an aloe vera hair mask at home, with honey and yogurt, to get rid of any dandruff. Using a combination of aloe vera with neem oil or coconut oil has also shown to significantly improve your scalp health. Research also shows that aloe vera juice is rich in antioxidants and can be consumed, but be careful with your quantities. To avoid all the hassle of making the mask, you can simply use Head & Shoulders Supreme Scalp Soothing Shampoo with aloe vera and argan oil to get the same benefits in an easy way.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar:
You might have heard the term pH scale or pH balance. In case you haven’t, pH or potential hydrogen is a measure of the acidity or the alkalinity of your scalp. Its scale ranges from 0 to 14, where up to 7 indicates acidity and above it indicates alkalinity. While your hair can have a pH balance from 4 to 5.5, the ideal pH balance for your scalp is at 5.5. When you have dandruff, the pH balance of your scalp reduces. Now, apple cider vinegar is a dandruff remedy that stabilizes your scalp’s pH levels, which helps treat dandruff.
To use apple cider vinegar, dilute it with water and apply it to your hair after shampooing. Let it stay for a couple of minutes and then rinse it out. Be careful to dilute with water as it can upset the pH balance of your scalp. In addition you can also combine it with Aloe vera to create a hair mask at home.
3. Tea Tree Oil:
This is among those dandruff home remedies that you will hear about everywhere. Tea tree oil is known for its antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. According to a recent 4-week study, this oil doesn’t just attack the fungus in question but also the greasiness and itchiness that tag along in the package we call dandruff. It is advised to massage your scalp using this oil, let it sit for some time and then just wash it off.
You can also mix it with your shampoo or with another oil like coconut. This can reduce any itchiness and cut out the dandruff, but the quantity used should match the shampoo or oil. Try to use fresh tea tree oil rather than oxidised oil, and ensure that you never ingest it.
One of nature’s easiest solutions is found in each home. Lemon is full of antioxidants, vitamins and acids that are essential for the health of your hair and skin. Studies have shown that applying lemon juice can eliminate excessive oil build up on your scalp and prevent inflammation, becoming a natural dandruff solution.
You can apply lemon juice directly to your scalp, allowing it to penetrate the hair follicles. Wash it with warm water, and use a mild shampoo after. If you’re pressed for time, use the Lemon Fresh anti-dandruff shampoo for a quick fix. Mixing lemon with coconut oil and sugar can create a scrub like texture, that you can apply to exfoliate your skin. Even drinking diluted lemon juice can cool your system and reduce scalp sweating.
5. Argan Oil:
Argan oil is known as liquid gold not only for its colour, but also because of the effect it has on your scalp. This essential oil is rich in Vitamin E which can reduce oxidative stress and rejuvenate the scalp. It prevents dryness and reduces itchiness by creating a moisturising layer on your scalp, thus acting as a dandruff solution.
Take a small amount in your palms and apply it directly onto your hair, allowing it to create a protective layer. You can also add a couple of drops to your shampoo and wash your hair as you normally do, or find a shampoo that has Argan oil in it like the Supreme Scalp Rejuvenation shampoo. Another way is to deeply massage it into your hair and scalp, use a hair wrap, and then leave it overnight as your own creative hair mask.
Your diet impacts your health in more ways than you know. What you ingest into your body shows on you. So, when you have nutritional deficiencies in your body, your scalp is going to be directly affected by them. On top of that, if you are prone to dandruff, you are saying hello to some dandruff flakes! So, then what’s a good dandruff remedy?
Well, to begin with, foods with vitamins A, B6, C & E along with zinc and allicin are great for dealing with dandruff. They up your defenses against the microbe, Malassezia globosa, and thereby, make for a great dandruff solution.
It is also important that you include Omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics in your diet. These stimulate blood circulation in your body and help your scalp fight dandruff effectively.
Dandruff is something we don’t quite want to live with. But even though it is going to reoccur, it’s not the end of the world. There are many dandruff home remedies and dandruff solutions you can go for. It’s important to note that it is not the fungus itself that causes that dandruff. However, using a shampoo that counters the fungus does make a huge difference by slowing the production of the excess skin cells, thereby putting a halt on to those flakes.
Head & Shoulders contains zinc pyrithione, which is primarily an anti-fungal ingredient. This makes it the best solution for dandruff. Of late, we have come out with a 2-in-1 product range containing, both shampoo and conditioner. So, make a wise decision and stay a few steps ahead of that evil dandruff! We hope you have great scalp days more often than not!
How Often Should You Wash Your Hair. Healthline.
How Often Do I Need to Shampoo. WebMD.