Dandruff is a pesky problem which aggravates in winter. The easiest way to deal with it is using an anti-dandruff shampoo but does using anti-dandruff solve the problem? Some medicated shampoos cant but the variety of shampoo available just wash the dandruff away.
Let’s look at the causes of dandruff:
- Dry scalp
- Over Shampooing
- Yeast-like fungus called Malassezia
- Medical conditions like Psoriasis
- Sensitive to ingredients in hair care products or hair dyes (Minoxidil – use in hair loss treatment, Paraphenylenediamine – hair dyes)
Some home remedies to remove dandruff:
Fenugreek seeds (Methi seeds): Fenugreek seeds have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal Properties. Soak them overnight, grind to a paste. Apply on scalp and keep for 20 minutes. Wash.
Lemon juice: Help correct pH balance of the scalp. Two teaspoons on lemon juice apply on scalp wash off after 20 mins. Combination of lemon juice and coconut oil also works very well. Coconut oil has anti-bacterial properties and is a good conditioner.
People with Color treated hair do not try this. Lemon is natural bleach.
Gooseberry ( Amla) with Basil (Tulsi) leaves: Mix basil leaves paste and gooseberry power. Apply on the scalp. Wash off after 30 mins.
Yoghurt(Curd): Has good bacteria and conditions hair. Apply for 30 mins. and wash off. You can also combine yoghurt and lemon juice for better results. Another remedy uses yoghurt(enough to cover scalp) and black pepper powder (two teaspoons).
Apple Cider Vinegar: Has anti-fungal properties. Equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar and apply on scalp rinse after 5 mins. Vinegar has a bad smell and that will stay until you rinse your hair again.
People with color treated hair do not try this. Vinegar has bleaching properties.
Ginger and Beetroot juice: Ginger has anti-bacterial properties. You can add vinegar to this mix as well for better results.
Neem Leaves : Have Anti-bacterial properties. Boil neem leaves. Use the boiled water to rinse hair.
Coconut oil and Camphor: Coconut oil conditions and has anti- bacterial properties. Camphor cools the scalp. Heat the oil with camphor and apply to the scalp with a cotton ball. Rinse with shampoo after 20 mins.
Aloe Vera Gel: Conditions and soother itchy scalp. It helps in removing the dead skin.
Henna: Creates a protective layer and reduces scalp irritation. Henna is also a conditioner.
Banana and Vinegar: One mashed banana with vinegar. Banana conditions and vinegar has anti-fungal properties. Keep for 20 mins. Use daily or alternate days.
Baking soda: Cleans and exfoliates. Add one Tablespoon of baking soda with 1 cup water.
Salt: Yes, that right! Salt helps exfoliates and can relive that itchy scalp.
Tea Tree Oil: Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and soothes skin. It also moisturizes the scalp. It is a known remedy for dandruff, often used in dandruff shampoos. Add it to coconut oil or olive oil (or any carrier oil) and apply to scalp. You can leave it overnight if possible or wash off after 30 mins.
Jojoba and Rosemary oil: Jojoba conditions and Rosemary has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
Hibiscus leaves: Helps regain pH balance and relives itching. Make a paste of hibiscus leaves and leave on scalp for 30 mins.
Egg and Lemon: Egg conditions and lemon maintains pH balance. Lemon reduces the offensive smell of egg.
Other things to consider:
- Include zinc, B vitamins and essential fatty acids, vitamin D in your diet.
- Reduce hair styling.
- Shampoo less. Shampoo strips the hair of its natural oils causing the scalp to produce more oil.
If you don’t have time for the home remedies then look for the following ingredients in your anti-dandruff shampoo.
Anti-dandruff shampoo should have
- Zinc Pyrithione
- Zinc Omadine
- Selenium Sulfide
- Salicylic Acid
- Blue Lagoon Algae
- Proctone Alamine
- Tea Tree Oil
- Coal Tar (controversial, said to increase cancer risk. Has several side effects).
Some people swear by the no shampooing method. Go without a shampoo, just rinse hair with water for a month. The body adjusts the scalp oil production and restore pH balance. I don’t think I can live with the greasy hair for so long though, it’s not for me!
The only shampoo that has worked for me for dandruff is Nizoral. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised not to use it.