|Photo courtesy of Wikimedia|
Dandruff, the bane of beautiful hair. According to Mayo Clinic and WebMD, factors such as poor diet and stress can contribute dandruff. One common reason is that a natural occurring fungus called malassezia (aka pityrosporum,) that crops up on the scalps of healthy individuals. This fungus can get out of control and become seborrheic dermatitis.
Malassezia likes to live off the oil secretions of your hair follicles, which causes irritation to your scalp. Your scalp reacts by increasing cell production which ends up being the masses of dried skin cells, or dandruff.
Stress, infrequent hair washing, and fluctuation in hormone levels, high sugar intake are possible reasons for the fungus to get out of control.
- Apple cider vinegar – this is the number one natural remedy used to combat dandruff, and most people already have it in their kitchen pantry. Mix equal parts water with apple cider vinegar. Wet hair and massage thoroughly into scalp. Wrap your head with a towel and let the vinegar do its thing for 15 minutes and up to an hour. Shampoo. Apply apple cider vinegar twice a week till you get relief.
- Tea tree oil – is an essential oil obtained from the Melaleuca alternifolia tree that oil that contain compounds with antiseptic and antifungal properties. Tea tree oil is a strong essential oil, it’s best to purchase shampoos that contain this oil rather than make your own. Tea tree oil can fade dyed or tinted hair.
- Coconut oil – Warm up a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil in a bowl of warm water to liquify. Apply enough oil to coat the scalp thoroughly, wrap your hair in a towel and leave on for several hours or overnight. Shampoo as usual.
- Listerine – The eucalyptus oil in Listerine is the active ingredient that what works on the malassezia. Use original flavor Listerine for mild dandruff by wetting scalp, leaving it on for 15 minutes and shampooing as usual.
- Burdock or Sage tea – Make a tea of either of these herbs, cool and use as a rinse after shampooing. Burdock contains biotin, a water soluble vitamin B that breaks down fats. Sage also helps break down fats and is mildly astringent.
- Ginger -- Mix two tablespoons of olive oil with a tablespoon of finely grated ginger. Let sit for about 15 minutes so the ginger infuses the oil. Apply to scalp just before shampooing. If you have a particularly bad case of dandruff, let the mixture sit on your scalp for 10-15 minutes before shampooing. Repeat a few times a week till dandruff is under control.
Here are some additional helpful tips for controlling your dandruff:
- Wash your hair in warm or cool water.
- Do not apply any dandruff remedy to broken skin
- Take a close look at your diet. Are you eating healthy or chowing down on burgers and fries all the time?
- RELAX! Dandruff could be taken as warning sign that your life is getting out of control.
- Reduce or eliminate yeast from your diet.
- Keep hair dryers about 10 inches from your scalp to keep from over drying your skin.
Different cultures have their own tried and true treatments and these are just a handful of remedies I found when researching this subject. Hopefully one will work for you.