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How to Get Rid of Dandruff

Dandruff

Dandruff, a scaly disorder of the scalp, is a benign affliction that almost half of the human population suffers from, regardless of age, sex and ethnicity.

Dandruff is a problem of cosmetic nature and is typically viewed only as a source of esthetic disturbance because it is neither life-threatening, nor a source of pain. It is also very easy to get rid of dandruff if you know how.

Though regarded as trivial from a medical point of view, dandruff is a complex and fascinating field of skin research composed of microbiological, physiological and immunological components.

Causes of dandruff

The human scalp is a sebaceous-rich region, where daily amounts of sebum are delivered to the scalp and hair surfaces. If this balance is disturbed for whatever reason, dandruff will appear.

The most common causes of dandruff are:

Dry skin

Dandruff can be a seasonal disorder that you get during winter when your skin is extra dry due to the cold air and overheated rooms.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a very common, inflammatory skin condition that causes flaky scales (usually white or yellowish in color) to appear on extra oily areas of the scalp.

Improper hair care

Bad hygiene or poor choice of shampoos and conditioners can lead to the disruption of the sebaceous glands causing them to produce extra oil. Additionally, people who don’t brush their hair on a regular basis, not aiding the shedding of the skin on the scalp, also have a higher risk of getting dandruff.

Sensitivity to hair care products

Certain ingredients in hair dyes and other hair products can cause dandruff in some people who are sensitive to them. Using shampoos and other styling products too often can also irritate your scalp and cause a red, itchy scalp.

Hard water

The water we drink is sometimes oversaturated with calcium salts which can cause not only dandruff, but hair loss as well. Instead of using tap water to wash your hair, consider using a cheap bottled water in order to get rid of dandruff. This is one cause of dandruff that many people disregard.

Lack of vitamin B

Foods containing vitamin B (especially B12) are important for healthy hair growth. Consuming more eggs, meat, poultry, fresh vegetables and nuts will help you get rid of dandruff

Illnesses

Adults with Parkinson’s disease as well as patients recovering from heart attacks are more likely to get dandruff. Also, people with weak immune systems are more prone to having dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is serious skin disease that is characterized by the accumulation of dead skin cells on your knees and elbows, but it can also affect your scalp and other parts of the body. These dead skin cells form thick, silvery scales.

Eczema

When you experience flaking on your scalp, this can only mean 2 things: you either have scalp eczema or dandruff. Note that these are similar, yet different diseases and they are not to be confused with each other although they have similarities. However, some research has shown that scalp eczema can lead to the formation of dandruff as well.

Malassezia

Malassezia is a type of fungus living on the scalp of healthy adults without causing any issues. However, if it grows out of control it will feed on the oils produced by hair follicles causing more skin cells to grow. When extra skin cells die and fall of, they will combine with oil from your scalp and form dandruff.

Dandruff treatment

Dandruff treatment

In most cases, an anti-dandruff shampoo is all it takes to get rid of dandruff. An active anti-fungal agent is, most of the time, incorporated in a shampoo base. Although you can find many anti-dandruff non-rinsed lotions on the market, shampoos are still preferred by customers. Active ingredients in the shampoo leave an active residue on the scalp and induce a fast reduction in itching and scaling. If used regularly (a few times per week), most shampoos will suppress the symptoms and help you get rid of dandruff

The list of active anti-dandruff ingredients that can be found in most shampoos include:

Selenium disulfide
Ciclopirox
Climbazole
Ketoconazole
Piroctone olamine
Zinc pyrithione

By physically eliminating the scales, the act of shampooing is of great help. If used regularly, it will eliminate scales, although it won’t “treat” the condition.

Note that most anti-dandruff shampoos show a lingering effect i.e. a delay (typically a few weeks) from which, when treatment is stopped, scales begin to reform.

Dandruff home remedies

Though people usually turn to over the counter treatment options to get rid of dandruff, they can sometimes cause more harm than good by causing skin irritation and chemical reactions. In these cases, you should try and find an alternate solution for your dandruff condition.

Here a list of natural home remedies that have proven to be very effective for getting rid of dandruff.

Tea tree oil

Teat tree oil has been used for ages in treating many skin related disorders. It has strong anti-fungal qualities so you can mix it into lotions and shampoos. Massage this mixture into your scalp, let is sit for 10-15 minutes and then rinse it.

Vinegar

If used correctly and regularly, vinegar (especially white and apple cider vinegar) can be a very effective home remedy for getting rid of dandruff. It helps blood circulation on your scalp and fights dandruff-causing bacteria and yeast. It also relieves common dandruff symptoms such as itchy and flaky skin.

It is very easy to make a dandruff-fighting vinegar concoction. Mix a a small amount of vinegar and water (just enough to change the color of water) and gently rub this mixture onto your scalp. Let it sit for 15 minutes (or more, depending on the severity of your condition) and then rinse.

Lime

When washing your hair, add one teaspoon of fresh lime juice to the final rinse. Not only will this leave your hair glowing afterwards, but it will also remove any oil buildup on your scalp and prevent dandruff from forming.

Listerine

Some people claim to have cured their dandruff condition using nothing but listerine. Gently rub the listerine after wetting your scalp, wrap your hair in a towel and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Rinse your hair afterwards.

Fenugreek Seeds

Take a few tablespoons of fenugreek seeds and let them sit in water overnight. Grind them into a paste in the morning and apply the mixture on your scalp. Let it sit for an hour and then rinse.

Beet (the white variety)

Cut the vegetables into small pieces and boil them for half an hour or more to allow for their essence to mix with water. Take this mixture and gently massage into your scalp. Sleep on it. Rinse in the morning.

In order to get rid of dandruff, controlling or eradicating the yeast on the scalp is the key. With time, improved methods and new approaches gave us a much clearer portrait of this multi-factorial affliction.

The increasing use of anti-dandruff products over the last decades follows both individual and social logic. Individually, they bring both esthetic gains and comfort, with regard to itching.

In our societies, flakes on shoulders have for a long time been negatively perceived, socially. Today, it is a problem that is overcome and achieved by efficient, pleasant and easy to use products.

Whether you opt for over the counter treatments in the form of shampoos and lotions or natural home remedies, we are sure that you will manage to get rid of dandruff by applying some of the aforementioned tips.

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One Response to “How to Get Rid of Dandruff”

  1. EF5Twister says:

    Hard water, mentioned above, can be easily cured by using water softeners. Most people use whole-house systems but using point of use devices is also possible.

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