Remedies for Dandruf
Shedding dead skin cells is a natural process and often goes unnoticed; however, in persons who develop a scalp infection due to a type of fungus called malassezia, there is an increased turnover of these cells. When these cells combine with the oil secreted from the scalp, there is a formation of greasy clumps that we call dandruff. Shampooing your hair takes off these flakes and therefore, appears to be effective in reducing dandruff; however, this is only a temporary solution. For lasting results, you can try a few of the remedies mentioned here that have been traditionally used in Indian homes for healthy, dandruff-free hair.
Warm sesame oil or olive oil and apply it onto the scalp at night. The next morning, squeeze out a little lime juice and rub it onto the scalp. After about one hour, wash and rinse your hair with shikakai. This is especially useful if you have dry dandruff which is non-greasy. Many people also swear by a regular, weekly massage of the scalp with a combination of equal quantities of castor oil, sesame oil and coconut oil that has been warmed before application. According to Ayurveda, an oil massage allows you to imbibe the antimicrobial benefits of the oil and the massage also serves to improve the blood circulation to the scalp – the net result is lesser dandruff.
Neem contains several active constituents that have marked antifungal action and this makes it an effective remedy for dandruff. Take two handfuls of neem leaves, wash thoroughly and add into five cups of hot water. Allow to steep overnight and the next day, pass the liquid through the strainer and use it to rinse your hair.
Alternatively, you could also grind the soaked leaves into a paste and apply this to your scalp; leave it on for about 30 minutes and then wash with plain water. If you chronically suffer from dandruff, make it a practice to massage your scalp regularly with neem oil. Leave on for a few hours and wash off with shikakai.
Methi or fenugreek seeds
Soak a fistful of methi seeds in water overnight. In the morning, grind the seeds into a coarse paste and apply this gently onto the scalp. Allow the paste to stay on for a few hours and then rinse it, washing your hair with shikakai.
Amla is well-known as a hair conditioner but it also has valuable anti-dandruff properties. Mix a little amla powder into water and apply this to the scalp; leave on for about half an hour and wash with water. You could also dry amla and store; when necessary, grind with a little water, mix in two teaspoons of lime juice and apply to the scalp and wash off with shikakai.
Amla can also be used in combination with tulsi or basil for action against dandruff. Make a paste of amla powder in water. Grind 10 tulsi leaves with a little water and mix this paste into the amla paste and apply on the scalp. Leave on for about 30 minutes and then wash with water.
Triphala powder is generally available at stores that sell herbal powders and is made up of three fruits – amlaki, haritaki and vibhitaki – that make it a valuable source of vitamin C as well as antioxidants. Mix a teaspoon of this powder with a glass of water and boil for about three minutes. After it cools, strain the liquid and mix it with an equal amount of vinegar; rub this liquid onto the scalp very gently, leave it on for about 30 minutes and wash off with a mild shampoo.
Curd or dahi
Curd is obtained from fermentation of milk and contains a lot of lactic acid and other ingredients that have antifungal action and this makes it a good remedy for dandruff. Whip curd into a smooth paste in a bowl. Wet your scalp with water, and rub the curd onto the scalp. Leave it on for about one hour and then wash off with water; make sure you wash the curd thoroughly or your hair will develop an unpleasant smell.
Roast a few corns of black pepper and grind to a fine powder. Mix in 2 teaspoons of this powder into one cup of curd and blend. Massage this mixture onto your scalp and leave on for an hour, then wash it off with a mild shampoo.
If you have an itchy scalp and dandruff, one of the best remedies you can use is egg. Collect the whites of two eggs and beat it well; mix in the juice extracted from one small lemon. Rub this mixture onto your scalp and keep for five minutes and then wash off with plain water or a mild shampoo.
Dandruff is not just an embarrassing problem, it may also lead to other problems such as premature loss of hair and acne. Therefore, as soon as you notice those flakes making an appearance, it is vital you try one of these remedies to get dandruff under control.