How to get rid of dandruff?
Do the irritating itchy scalp and white flakes on your clothes and pillows troubles you and restricts you to enjoy your outing freely? Then it’s time to find out how to get rid of dandruff?
You are not alone in this fight, at present, approximately 50% of the population across the world is suffering from this severe hair problem, dandruff as a result of it the global haircare market is expected to rise to 102 billion dollars by 2024.
Before finding remedy for dandruff, let’s find out what is dandruff and why it is so problematic?
Dandruff is a condition of escalated flaky white to yellowish scaling of the scalp with itchiness, and inflammation resulting in the more active end of physiological desquamation.
It is problematic because it is indelible, it comes again and again, no matter what you do! It becomes in-washable and everlasting.
The excessive scaly scalp looks untidy and unhygienic, which can embarrass you and make you self-conscious. It profoundly affects your confidence and self-esteem.
What causes dandruff?
The postulated causes of dandruff can be following:
These are the secondary stage dandruff caused by either fungus or bacteria.
- Fungal: Malassezia species cause fungal infections of hair. Malassezia is a kind of fungi found on the skin surface of many animals, including humans.
This fungus triggers the enzyme called, Lipase on the scalp, which leads to oxidation of sebum triglycerides to generate saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.
Saturated fatty acids are used by fungi itself for its growth, and degrade unsaturated fatty acids which irritate the skin, cause inflammation and dry flakes.
- Bacterial: The fungi are not the only microbes that live on the scalp, bacteria live there too, especially two bacterial populations – Propionibacterium and Staphylococcus. It also acts on sebum triglycerides and lately causes dandruff due to overproduction of bacteria on the scalp.
- Excessive exposure to the sun may cause scalp desquamation.
- Overuse of shampoo, harsh cosmetic products, dust, dirt or sometimes frequent combing may cause dandruff.
- Dry skin is also one of the common cause of dandruff in which flakes are generated due to the dehydrated skin of the scalp.
Apart from microbial and non-microbial factors, some physiological factors also affect the sebaceous gland activity or integrity of the epidermal barrier.
- Sebaceous gland activity: Dandruff and sebaceous glands activity also have significant associations. Active sebum secretion or excell oil may cause dandruff.
- Epidermal barrier integrity: Change in the composition, cell size, number or the thickness of the outer skin layer of scalp leads to disrupted lipid organization and disrupts the desquamation process, which causes dandruff.
Other factors which may trigger the dandruff are –
- Infrequent shampooing or inadequate hair rinsing
- Oily scalp and hair
- Hypersensitivity or allergy
- Weak immune system
- Medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease
- A diet lacking zinc and vitamin B
The next question which comes in mind is that whether the dandruff is of different types or same?
Generally, the dandruff is of two types – dry and oily.
- Dry Dandruff: This type of dandruff is characterized by excessive minute white-greyish or ashen colour scales. This usually first accumulates in the middle of the dry scalp and then spreads towards occipital, parietal and frontal areas. No inflammation is seen in this case and also no hair loss.
- Oily Dandruff: It is a type of dandruff which occurs along with the sebum.
The intensity of sebum varies from person to person.
The oily dandruff is yellowish, which may cause inflammation and itching.
What issues can dandruff cause if persist for a prolonged time?
Severe dandruff may cause seborrheic dermatitis, a condition with red and oily scalp skin with a crusty layer of dead skin cells of white to yellow colour. These dead flaky cells may adhere to the hair follicles.
It may also lead to eczema, a condition of sensitive skin with dry red rashes or psoriasis, a condition in which dead cells don’t leave the place and pile up and form hard scales.
Dandruff in severe conditions may trigger hair fall. In a published study, the association can be seen in which as compared to 50-100 normal people, the rate of shed hair in dandruff sufferers found was 100-300. In some cases, dandruff also leads to alterations in the exogen phase (This phase leads to the release of the telogen club and results in hair shedding) and hair eclipse phenomenon. Therefore, it is essential to tackle dandruff as soon as possible.
However, dandruff doesn’t disappear itself. The most efficient approach to get rid of dandruff is the implementation of a good quality anti-dandruff and anti-hair fall shampoos.
So, which shampoo is best for dandruff and hair fall?
An ideal anti-hair fall and anti-dandruff shampoo should be sulfate, paraben and silicone-free as these chemicals may harm the hair to a great extent.
But, why the shampoo comprising sulfates, paraben and silicones should not be used as these helps to clean the hair thoroughly and effectively?
For many supermarket shampoos, sulfates like sodium dodecyl sulfate are the main ingredients as these ingredients easily mix with water and produce foam and remove dirt effectively.
However, these are very harsh chemicals, and its constant use may lead to the removal of natural hair proteins and oils from the scalp, which cause irritated and itchy scalp.
Parabens are used as a preservative in shampoos, and as it is very low-priced, that is why it is used in most of the shampoo preparations. But this compound can mimic the estrogen hormone and may interfere with the hormonal levels in women. Also, it can easily be absorbed via the skin and can cause other health issues as well, along with damaged hair and scalp. So, it is best to avoid paraben containing cosmetic products.
Silicon-based products are used to provide hair with a smooth and shiny look but deep inside this ingredient weighs the hair down, making it dull and lifeless with time.
Thus, it is advised to avoid these ingredients and should opt for gentle natural active ingredient based hair care products as they do not have such harmful effects.
So, what ingredients you must look for in an anti-dandruff shampoo?
To rescue hair from dandruff, itchiness, inflammation and dullness and to dispense soft, smooth, dandruff free scalp, and healthy-shiny hair texture, the constituents that can be used are –
Lemon oil is one of the most suitable ingredients for shampoo as it enriches with strong antibacterial properties and anti-fungal properties as it has a high concentration of citric acid which makes the lemon oil as a potential candidate to reduce and treat dandruff. This natural oil also helps to attain appropriate pH levels for scalp and reduces irritation and itching.
Tea tree oil:
The phytochemical, Terpinen-4-ol present in tea tree oil dispense powerful anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, which significantly inhibits the growth of Malassezia furfur and prevent the scalp from grime and dead skin cells. This stops the dandruff formation and reduces hair fall.
With remarkable anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, Piroctone olamine significantly acts as an anti-dandruff agent. It reduces flaking, inflamed scalp and itching. Along with lowering dandruff, this agent also offers moisturising properties.
Due to excellent efficacy and well-tolerability, Ichthyol Pale is a suitable ingredient for an anti-dandruff shampoo. Also, this agent adds further valuable effects in combination with other potent anti-fungal agents.
Nasturtium officinale Extract & Tropaeolum majus Extract
This combination is very efficient in strengthening hair, initiating keratin production and preventing hair loss by enriching hair with sulphur, stimulating keratinocyte terminal differentiation, prolonging the growth phase of hair and inhibiting an enzyme which led regression of hair follicles.
Yes, this agent also aids to provide strong hair by maintaining healthy scalp circulation and improving moisture retention.
Works miraculously by ameliorates hair manageability and improving tensile strength, thereby preventing hair loss.
The Rosemary extract helps to soothe the scalp, reduces irritation, improves the blood flow in the hair follicles, thereby strengthens the hair.
Caffeine is also an excellent agent to use as a shampoo ingredient as it reinforces the hair texture by stimulating matrix keratinocyte proliferation, prolonging anagen duration and improving hair shaft elongation.
Therefore, a shampoo with these ingredients is very beneficial for preventing hair loss and dandruff.
Well, there is one more question which is very prevalent in people, and that is how to get rid of dandruff in one wash?
Well, to get rid of dandruff is a long process. But, using some great home remedies along with an excellent hair-friendly anti-dandruff shampoo can be a worth to try.
Let’s talk about how to get rid of dandruff naturally?
You can prepare the mask of the mixture of neem powder, aspirin tablets, and yoghurt and use it before shampooing.
Neem: The neem is used because of one of its phytochemical, Nimbidin; it is magical as it dispenses anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
Aspirin: The other ingredient, aspirin, also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, and it contains salicylic acid, which helps to remove scaly skin effectively.
Yoghurt: Yoghurt is also very beneficial to hairs, and therefore, their combination will dispense significant action on dandruff.
Prepare the mixture as follow –
Neem powder – 4-5 teaspoon
Aspirin tablets – two
Yoghurt – 4 tablespoon
Take a bowl, mix yoghurt and ground soaked neem leaves. Then add the paste of aspirin tablets in it and apply on hair.
Other options which you can also be used to get rid of dandruff –
1) Mix tea tree oil in your regular shampoo and rub the mixture into your scalp, leave it for 5 minutes and rinse with cold water. Tea tree oil possesses robust anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a suitable ingredient for removing dandruff from the scalp.
2) Mix equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Wash your hair and then scrub your hair with this mixture, leave it as usual for 15 minutes and later rinse it with water. Apple cider vinegar with its great anti-fungal properties is very beneficial against dandruff.
3) Take some amount of curd and add lemon juice to it. Massage the hair with this mixture and leave for 10 minutes. Afterwards, rinse the hair as usual. Lemon juice is enriched with citric acid, which effectively fights against dandruff.
Except these, also consider the following things –
- Avoid stress and stay relaxed.
- Nourish your hair with the richness of oils like coconut oil, almond oil or any other regular oil on regular intervals.
- Maintain proper hair-hygiene.
- Consult your dermatologist in case of a severe condition.
So, take care of your hair, Use natural hair-friendly shampoo and conditioner and use these home-remedies regularly, also if you are not suffering from dandruff as these prevent your hair from further damage.