Have you also been constantly avoiding or hesitating to wear dark coloured clothes?
I know and understand what a hassle it is to get off those tiny yet visible white flakes- dandruff- on the shoulders! And oh the constant need to scratch the scalp!
But do you know the reasons behind dandruff or the types of dandruff you have? Research shows that dandruff impacts up to 50% of people due to dry/oily scalp, sensitivity to some products, fungus growth, and many more. Fortunately, there are various kinds of treatment, medication, and natural remedies available for dandruff treatment.
However, before you begin your treatment, let us discuss the causes of dandruff, the type of dandruff and the precautions and treatments one can take against dandruff.
Different types of dandruff, know which one you might have
Dandruff can be due to various reasons and if you thought that everyone suffers from similar dandruff, you are wrong. There are different types of dandruff and it is important that you identify yours and then decide on the medication
Dry skin dandruff
This condition usually occurs during the winters, and as the name suggests it occurs when the scalp goes dry and flaky. This can be due to various reasons like taking a head bath with hot water, and is more common in individuals with dry, curly hair. They are small and white and feel itchy.
For this condition, it is necessary to have good moisturizing shampoo and avoid dying, coloring, or perming. Regular oil massages will also help stimulate blood circulation and provide the necessary nutrition to the scalp.
Oil related dandruff
Surprising, eh?! This dandruff is due to the accumulation of sebum oil, from the scalp glands, on the scalp. Sebum glands are glands below the surface of the skin that produce sebum, an oily substance that is used to moisturize and protect the skin. Too much oil makes the scalp oily, leading to clumps of dry skin cells and also accumulation of dirt, forming itchy flakes.
Some of the reasons for a high amount of sebum oil are stress and anxiety. The oil related dandruff are larger than dry skin dandruff and more yellow than white, and oilier.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a more severe form of oil skin dandruff. It is necessary to consult a dermatologist before you start medication for oil-related dandruff as the shampoo must clean the excess sebum oil off the scalp.
As discussed earlier, Malassezia is a natural component that is found on the skin and scalp. This fungus survives on excess oil in the scalp and produces oleic acid, in turn leading to the formation of white flakes.
Shampoo containing zinc pyrithione or tea tree oil may help treat this kind of dandruff.
Skin conditions related dandruff
Some skin conditions cause excessive production of skin cells like psoriasis, eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis, which lead to scaly skin on the scalp. This skin when comes in contact with sebum oil and dirt causes dandruff.
Seborrheic dermatitis is more common in people with oily skin and can cause red scaly patches and itching.
Eczema causes itchy skin, and in some conditions red rash. They are usually larger than dry skin dandruff flakes.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, in which cells grow too quickly causing thick scaly patches.
Different ways to get rid of dandruff
1. Home remedies for managing dandruff and itchy scalp
Kitchen ingredients have always been our favorite to manage almost every concern. For dandruff, there are few home remedies which are considered quite useful. Since dandruff is a problem of scalp, so before directly applying any raw ingredient on scalp skin, consider doing a patch test to avoid any inflammation or allergic reaction.
Tea Tree Oil
For ages, tea tree oil has been used for treating dandruff and many other skin concerns, due to its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Caution - It can also cause irritation in skin, so make sure to mix it with a few drops of coconut oil before applying it directly to the skin.
Famous for its multiple health benefits, coconut oil also helps in managing dandruff. It improves skin hydration and prevents dryness. Studies have also shown coconut oil to be effective in the treatment of eczema, a skin condition that contributes to dandruff.
Rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants, Jojoba oil is a great remedy for reducing scalp inflammation that appears as redness, itching, or flaking. It helps treat dandruff and helps calm your flakes.
Lemon can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment. It thoroughly cleanses the scalp with its microbial properties and also helps in tightening the follicles.
Too much lemon can also be damaging for your scalp due to its acidic nature.
Note- It is necessary to keep in mind that although home remedies are available at our kitchen table, they might not be as effective as over-the-counter treatments.
2. Right hair care routine to get rid of dandruff
Dandruff can be easily managed with a right care routine.
Yes, you heard it right !
There are special hair and scalp products including the shampoos and pre-wash lotions that act as a treatment for dandruff. Anti - fungal and anti - inflammatory properties of these products make them a better choice to eradicate dandruff and calm scalp inflammations.
Luckily, it is very simple and uncomplicated to build an anti dandruff regimen.
Choose a shampoo that contains anti fungal ingredients
Antidandruff shampoos are specially formulated to clear dandruff flakes and ease the inflammation and irritation. They are made up of using antifungal ingredients that kill dandruff causing fungus to restore overall health of the scalp. Additionally, these shampoos work to balance out scalp sebum. This helps to hinder the growth of fungus which feeds on scalp sebum.
For oily skin, in case of mild dandruff, you should first try cleaning your scalp with mild shampoo to reduce the oil and skin cell buildup.
For dry skin, shampoo may not be a great dandruff treatment. Instead, you should try less frequent shampooing and using more moisturizing conditioner for the scalp.
Pro tip - To get rid of dandruff apply the shampoo on wet hair, massage it on your scalp, and rinse out with water. Do not forget to accompany this with the conditioner for soft and strong hair.
To get rid of stubborn dandruff flakes, look for a pre wash lotion
From mild to stubborn, dandruff can be of different types. To eliminate the dandruff flakes that are clumped together strongly, pre-wash anti dandruff lotions work to loosen up dandruff flakes while hindering the fungal growth.
As the name suggests, pre-wash anti dandruff lotion is applied to the scalp before shampooing. It is helpful in treating severe, greasy, and flaky dandruff. Due to the use of antiseptic and antifungal agents in product formulation, it provides relief from dandruff symptoms like itching, redness, and inflammation on the scalp.
Taking care of your hair and body is vital to self-care. It is important that you pamper yourself and ensure that your scalp is as healthy as your body. This will keep your hair strong and shiny, and your scalp free from any dandruff.
However, if you have dandruff then remember that dandruff treatment is not overnight work. Based on the severity of dandruff and your skin type you can either opt for home remedies or use right anti dandruff products that will make your scalp dandruff free and also prevent future growth of dandruff. In severe conditions of dandruff, you must visit a dermatologist and get the right medication as in worse conditions it can also lead to hair loss.
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