What is Dandruff or Seborrhoea Dermatitis?
It is a skin disorder of scalp when skin cells are shed off at a fast pace.
During our lifetime, almost all of us suffer from dandruff. In general, we shed dead skin cells off approximately every 28 days. Dandruff occurs when the skin cells are shed off at an accelerated rate even before they are dead. These cells appear as itchy white flakes on a dry scalp, or as waxy scales on an oily scalp. The areas that may get affected are: scalp, face, nose, eyebrows, and ears.
What causes Dandruff?
A fungus called Pityrosporum ovale (P. ovale) lives on our body including scalp. When this fungus gets out of control, it leads to dandruff. Oily scalp supports the growth of P. ovale. The other factors include diet, hormonal changes, weather (specially the winter), and use of hair-care products.
There is no known cure for dandruff.
Ketoconazole is the only ingredient found to be effective against the growth of P. ovale. This is marketed as Nizoral in a shampoo form.
How to Manage Dandruff?
- Cleanse your hair and scalp. Choose a cleanser that will loosen the scales and wash them away. New batch of flakes are regenerated every three days. You can manage the growth through proper cleansing, every third or fourth day. Make a schedule to cleanse your hair twice a week, for example every Sunday and every Thursday.
- Brush your hair. This will increase the blood circulation as well as loosen more scales.
- Massage the scalp with finger tips.
- Do not use harsh shampoos. Harsh shampoos cause sebaceous glands to react by producing more oil.
Cleansing Bases (Fenugreek Seeds, Mung Dal, Beets)
Dandruff Cleanser (Yogurt Lemon)
You can prepare cleansers that may be worked in to scalp with your finger to break loose the flakes.
- Soak whole Fenugreek seeds overnight in water. Make a paste, apply for 30 minutes.
- Mix fine powder of Moong beans and yogurt. Make a paste, apply for 30 minutes
- Beets can be ground to a paste and applied for 30 minutes.
Prepare a solution of vinegar and water (3 parts water to each part of vinegar). Work the solution into your scalp with fingers. Wear a shower cap to cover your hair and go to bed. In the morning, apply the solution again. Work up the scalp with finger tip to break loose the flakes gently. Wash and rinse with plain water.
Shampoo Shikakai, Reetha
Use mild shampoo. Harsh shampoos only promote more oil production. Shikakai is an organic pH balanced powder sold in the stores. You can use either Reetha or Shikakai, or a combination of both.
Add-in Ingredients for cleansers or shampoos
Sulfur helps with cleansing. Sources of sulfur include: Egg yolks, hot red peppers, Horseradish, Radishes, Mustard greens, Mustard Seeds, Onions, and Garlic.
Wash your hair once a week with sulfur based soap. Avoid hair products that contain alcohol which dries out the scalp.
Exfoliating agents Lime, Yogurt, Cider vinegar
Helps dissolve the gummy stuff that hold the scales stuck to the scalp.
Amla is normally added to Shampoo. It is the best source of Vitamin C. It also helps as a natural dye compatible with the color of Indian hair.
- Eat a diet rich in B vitamins, especially Vitamin B6
- Avoid allergens such as: Chocolates, Peanuts, and Shellfish
- Foods high in sulfur (Eggs, Onions, and Mustard Greens)
- Foods high in omega 3 acids (Fish, Walnuts, Pistachios, Flaxseeds)
How to make Dandruff Cleanser (Yogurt Lemon)
This paste is made of ground Moong beans, yogurt, mustard powder and lemon juice to help cleans dandruff off the scalp.
- Moong Dal Powder (Ground Mung Beans): 3 Tablespoon
- Plain yogurt: 1 Cup
- Mustard Powder: 1 Tablespoon
- Lemon Juice: 2 teaspoons
Process and Store
Mix all the ingredients together to form a paste to the consistency of a batter. Let it rest at room temperature for 20 minutes and store in the refrigerator.
How to Use
1. Stir the batter then use 2 to 3 Tablespoons of batter to apply to the scalp. Work the batter in to the scalp with the tips of your fingers.
2. Wait 30 minutes. Work the batter again with your fingers into the scalp.
3. Wash off with Luke warm water.