Beauty basics with SHAHNAZ HUSAIN
There are enough problems to deal with when it comes to your hair. Of these, dandruff is a major problem for many.
Dandruff is a skin condition that affects the scalp, causing itchy, flaking skin and greasy patches.
One of the main signs of dandruff is an itchy scalp. You may also feel dryness, tightness or irritation on your scalp. There are several reasons for the growth of dandruff on your head, such as age, hormones, stress, dry skin, overgrowth of Malassezia globose, a fungus, psoriasis, oily skin, usage of chemical-based haircare products etc. Excessive oiliness of the scalp can also lead to dandruff. This is because the oiliness of the scalp can block the pores and interfere with the proper distribution of natural oils.
A doctor can often diagnose dandruff simply by looking at your hair and scalp.
Oil-based treatments can help to balance some of the scalp’s excessive oil production.
Well-known for its multiple health benefits, coconut oil/olive oil is often used as a natural remedy for dandruff. Oil treatment is effective in hydrating the skin and preventing dandruff. Applying oil on the scalp will help draw oils from it and remove them. It’s the classic law of attraction.
Heat olive oil or coconut oil and gently apply it on your head the night before shampoo using cotton wool. For sticky dandruff, rub the scalp gently to loosen the flakes. The next morning, apply the juice of a lemon on the scalp 15 minutes before shampoo.
Combine five to 10 drops of tea tree oil with five tablespoons of coconut oil. Apply the mixture to your scalp at night and then rinse it off in the morning or if you’re pressed for time, just leave it on for 30 minutes and then rinse it off. Coconut oil also fights against fungi. Tea tree oil will help bring the shine back to your hair.
Massage a few tablespoons of coconut oil into your scalp and hair. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes and then hop into the shower! Be careful not to make the oil too hot, as doing so increases the risk of burning your scalp.
Found in kitchen pantries around the globe, baking soda is another quick, convenient and readily available ingredient that can be used as an extremely gentle exfoliant to remove dead skin cells from the scalp and reduce the scaling and itchiness.
Just rub this magic ingredient into your hair or mix it with lemon juice and massage your scalp to get the best results.
To use baking soda, wet your hair and sprinkle a tablespoon of baking soda along your scalp and massage gently. Let it sit for a minute or two, then continue shampooing your hair as usual.
The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of neem have raised its medicinal value and made it an amazing cure for a lot of problems, one of which is dandruff! Take handfuls of neem leaves and 4 to 5 cups of hot water. Let it stand overnight. Next morning, make a paste of the leaves and apply. Wash off after half an hour.
Just boil some neem leaves in a cup of water and strain. Allow it to cool and rinse your hair with this water thrice a week and notice the difference yourself.
Rinsing well is all the more important after applying hair packs, or ingredients like yogurt or methi paste.
Wash the normal to dry hair at least twice a week, using less shampoo and rinsing well with water.
In hot and humid seasons and for oily scalp, wash the hair more frequently. Use a mild shampoo and use only one application, unless the oil has been applied.
Avoid oil if the scalp is excessively oily. If there is dandruff, don’t use creamy conditioners. A hair rinse is much better.
Apple cider vinegar is also often used as a natural remedy to get rid of dandruff. Apple-cider vinegar has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Use a hair rinse after shampoo. Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a mug of water and use as a last rinse. Henna treatments will also help.
Add a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your shampoo or combine it with other essential oils and spray directly onto hair.
If there is dandruff, don’t use hair-dressing gels and pomades. If used, wash your hair the next day.
Poor nutrition can lead to dandruff. A balanced diet, especially one rich in fatty acids and probiotics, can be incredibly helpful in reducing dandruff.
Avoid fried and spicy foods. Drink plenty of water and take fresh fruit juices. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of warm water and have it first thing in the morning. Take some daily exercise.
In cases of severe dandruff, wash brushes, pillow covers and towels daily in hot water, after adding a few drops of antiseptic lotion, like Savlon.
Use these remedies on their own or pair them with over-the-counter products like anti-dandruff shampoos to maximize treatment effectiveness.