Every time a hair shampoo commercial is aired on television and my son sees it, he scratches his head in annoyance and blurts “so many products and yet none works on my dandruff!” Growlll!
Can’t blame him though; after trying so many anti-dandruff shampoo, he is losing hope of ever achieving that dandruff free hair! So, what’s the real score with this dandruff dilemma?
What DANDRUFF is:
Those flaky somethings are actually dead skin cells from the scalp which separates from it to decorate the hair. Argh!
Seriously now, dandruff is a common condition because our skin cells are continuously renewing and so the old skin are pushed out to make way for the new skin. Some people shed very thin dead skin while others shed much much more, especially those who are frequently exposed to extreme temperatures. Dandruff shouldn’t be confused with having a dry scalp though; which means not every dry scalp has lots of dandruffs.
A small amount of flaking is normal when skin cells die. But those inflicted with unusually large amounts of flaking are most often accompanied by redness and irritation; scratching the scalp worsens it and causes pain.
What causes heavy flaking or severe dandruff:
Studies have revealed that what worsens the shedding of dead skin are the following:
- Fungus on the scalp – the most common
- Poor health
- hormonal imbalance
- Poor hygiene (quick baths and lack of hair washing)
- Improper nutrition
- External conditions which include frequent exposure to very hot and cold temperature, dust and wind, use of shampoos and chemicals on hair
What you can do to treat dandruff:
- Learn to practice proper hygiene on your head, too, and not just your body. Frequent shampooing to remove excess oil on your scalp helps. Find that medicated shampoo which works well with your hair and scalp.
- For thick dandruff that has caused scalp to become red and inflamed on some areas, apply cortisone-based creams and lotions (which reduces inflammation or the yeast that builds up on scaly areas )
- If you have oily skin, make sure to wear protective hats when you are in dusty areas so that dust won’t blend with the oil on your scalp.
- Coconut milk mix with a little lemon juice applied to your scalp and hair for an hour and then rinsed with plain water thoroughly.
- If you don’t have oily skin, regularly massaging your scalp and hair with oil is helpful.
- Applying curd to your scalp for two to three times a week
- Water plus Cider vinegar in equal amounts can be applied on the scalp before taking your shower
If all efforts and home remedies to treat dandruff still doesn’t work for you, better consult your dermatologist because you might be inflicted with dandruff that is associated with scalp seborrhea; a common form of skin eczema that can occur in other parts of the body which has high oil or sebum production. Telltale signs: flaky skin like dandruff on scalp, ears, face, chest and other parts of the body where yeast can develop like underarms and folds of skin.