Brushing my hair in the morning, I was gifted with a bunch of flaky hair in my comb. Before I could get over with this shock, I saw my top covered with white flakes all over. I let out a shriek. It was like the most horrifying nightmare to me!
This isn’t just my nightmare but a dreadful nightmare for nearly half of the population in post-pubertal age. How many times and at so many occasions, one may have faced this situation caused by dandruff. But what is this dandruff actually?
Dandruff is simply the chronic scalp condition where dry dead skin of our scalp is marked by flaking of skin. It isn’t due to poor hygiene exactly but can be seen more in people who do not brush their hair regularly (leaving the flakes on the scalp and not regularly removing them), people allergic to yeast, those with dry skin or in dry areas, people with Seborrheic Dermatitis which affects many areas of skin and not just scalp or other skin diseases like psoriasis, eczema, some have it due to the reaction of hair or skin products, not consuming right diet containing zinc, vitamin B and those taking a lot of stress are found to be more prone to dry scalp and dandruff. It has no proven cure. It isn’t a contagious disease while being very embarrassing to have but the good news is that it can be controlled using simple natural remedies.
10. Reetha Or Soap Nuts
An ancient Indian remedy which not only makes the hair long and strong but also has anti-bacterial properties, Reetha or soap nuts work efficiently against dandruff too. It has been majorly used in a combination with shikakai (Acacia concinna), an ayurvedic herb. For scalp issues, it can be paired up with one tablespoon Amla (Gooseberry) powder or juice for every ten to fifteen soap nuts. All one has to do is soak the soap nuts overnight, grind them and boil the powder in water. After straining this, add gooseberry juice or powder to make a paste. Apply paste on the scalp and keep it for thirty minutes before rinsing it off with mild shampoo.
9. Henna (Lawsonia inermis OR Mignonette)
Make a paste of a teaspoon each of mignonette, gooseberry powder, tea powder, lemon juice, and coconut hair oil and apply it on hair for some minutes. Wash it with a mild shampoo. This works as henna constitutes tannic and gallic acid and has the ability to bind the hair to the scalp by creating a protective layer relieving from scalp irritation. Use it once a week for better results.
8. Yoghurt and Pepper
Grind two spoons of black pepper and mix it with a cup of fresh yoghurt. Apply it on the scalp and wash with a mild shampoo after an hour. The mixture is helpful in reducing yeast growth as it has anti-fungal properties.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar and Fenugreek (Methi) Pack
Apply fifty percent dilute apple cider vinegar and cotton dab on the scalp. Leave it for half an hour before rinsing hair with mild shampoo.
Soak fenugreek seeds overnight in water and make a paste of it the next day to apply on the scalp. Leave it for an hour or so and then rinse off using a mild shampoo.
Though both-fenugreek seeds and apple cider vinegar have anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties, they can be used together to have better results. Apple cider vinegar’s two tablespoons can be added to overnight-soaked fenugreek seeds’ paste and applied as a hair pack. Leaving it for half an hour and then rinsing off with mild shampoo renders a scalp free from dryness and itchiness.
6. Moong Dal (Split green gram), Olive Oil and Yoghurt
Take two tablespoons of powdered split green gram. Mix it with four tablespoons of yoghurt and one tablespoon of olive oil. Mix the paste well before applying it to your scalp. Keep it for fifteen minutes before rinsing it off with cool water. Having these ingredients easily available, it’s an easy and efficient hair pack to make at home.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera gel directly collected from the leaves when applied on the scalp and left for fifteen minutes before washing it off with a mild shampoo, proves beneficial to remove dandruff as it has natural antibacterial and fungicidal properties. Having proteolytic enzymes, it can break down proteins, including dead skin cells making it act as an exfoliant.
4. Baking Soda
Baking soda powder can be used directly or mixed in water as a scrub on hair. It not only rejuvenates the hair and treat against dandruff fungus but also help in restoring natural oils.
3. Lemon and Coconut Oil OR Honey and Coconut Oil
Lemon, with its citric property, mixed with heated coconut oil of five times more amount than lemon juice can be used as an even nourishing oil on hair when put for twenty to thirty minutes. Rinse it off with a mild shampoo. This removes the dryness of scalp and dead skin. So, next time life renders you with lemon, use it to get rid of dandruff.
Honey and coconut oil in 1:2 ratio can also be used in the same way by applying it for ten minutes before washing the hair. Use it twice a week for better results.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil, natural oil, acts as an antiseptic for the scalp and can be directly massaged on the scalp even five minutes before hair wash. Having a great smell, it can be used twice or thrice a week for great results. It may produce allergy so a short period usage is only recommended.
1. Neem (Azadirachta indica OR Indian Lilac)
Neem, having natural antiseptic properties, works great for dandruff removal. It can be used as it is by boiling it in water and washing hair with that water or by creating its paste before applying on scalp. Letting it sit for thirty minutes, a mild shampoo wash renders with dandruff-less hair.
Naturopaths recommend a neem pack made from the paste of neem, coconut milk, beetroot juice of same amount mixed with coconut oil for better outcome.
Avoid using strong shampoos. Go only for mild shampoos. Strong ones can be turned into mild by adding hot water to it. Do not wash with hard water as it makes the scalp dry and itchy. Wash the shampoo properly off your scalp. Massage your scalp properly for five minutes before rinsing off the shampoo. Oil your scalp regularly so as to avoid dryness of skin. Comb your hair regularly. Wash your hair at least twice or thrice a week.
Now flaunt your hair without worrying about white flakes anymore. No more embarrassment, just soft hair to rock and roll.