Dandruff is one of the most common hair problems faced by the millions across the globe. And, maybe because the condition is so common, people are aware that there is nothing much to worry. There are several shampoos and hair-care products available in the market that often go the length of making fancy claims of removing dandruff in 15 days. While some of them are indeed effective, most of these products are laden with chemicals that may prove harmful for your lovely tresses. Dandruff is portions of your scalp that chip off gradually upon drying. They are caused due to cells underneath the skin that have a very short life. The scalp condition is caused by a fungus, called Malassezia, which feeds on sebum (the oily secretions from our scalp) and the dead skin cells, which occur naturally due to formation of new skin. Although, this microbial activity is a normal phenomenon; the problem occurs when the fungus aggressively feeds on sebum, leading to irritated scalp.
Ayurveda has many home remedies that may help fight dandruff. Here are some ways in which you can manage the condition naturally.
“If a fungal infection of the skin is causing the dandruff, the neem oil, which has disinfectant properties, will help heal,” notes ‘The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies’ by Dr. Vasant Lad. Neem has been a significant part of Indian hair care regime since time immemorial. Neem is known to have antifungal and antiviral properties. Its antimicrobial qualities can help fight dandruff. You can prepare neem oil at home or purchase it from the stores near you; better still, you can prepare an effective neem hair mask. Make a paste of neem leaves, add it to a bowl of curd and apply all over your scalp. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and then rinse. The antifungal properties of neem in combination with soothing curd could do wonders in fighting dandruff.
2. Egg White And Lime Juice
“Put two egg whites in a small jar or container with fresh juice of one lime; mix together and apply to your hair for a half hour, then wash your hair with a neem soap. The egg-white will provide the scalp with the lacking protein, and the dandruff will soon disappear,” notes Dr. Vasant Lad in his book. Egg whites are rich in protein, which is essential for good health of hair. Vitamin C too on the other hand is effective in protecting against the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Vitamin C also helps boost circulation and collagen, which further enhances the scalp health.
This vitamin C-rich juice cures the dryness and prevents the accumulation of dandruff. Amla with its vitamin C, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties can stop dandruff formation. Additionally, it would also help prevent the itchy feeling that is triggered due to dandruff. You can make a hair mask of amla to treat dandruff. Start by making a paste of amla powder in water. Now, grind about 8-10 tulsi leaves with a little water and mix this paste into the amla paste. With the help of your hands, apply this paste on to your scalp. Let it sit for about 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water and mild shampoo.
4. Fenugreek Or Methi Seeds
Fenugreek seeds also have a high protein and nicotinic acid content, which helps prevent hair fall and dandruff, moreover, treats a variety of scalp issues like dryness of hair, baldness and hair thinning. Applying this fenugreek hair mask may help treating dandruff. Soak three tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in the water overnight. With the help of a blender, blend the soaked fenugreek seeds the next morning. Make sure you blend them well until you reach the consistency of a paste. Now, add one tablespoon of lemon juice to the paste. Apply this paste to your scalp and hair ends. Leave it on your hair for 30 minutes. Rinse your hair with a mild shampoo. This mask would help revive your scalp health.
5. Amla, Reetha, Shikakai
Amla, reetha (soap nut) and shikakai acacia concinna are all rich in vitamin C, which can do wonders to your hair and scalp. Reetha is quite effective in cleansing your scalp by removing infection-causing microbes. You can make amla, reetha and shikakai shampoo easily at home. Soak 5-6 reetha pods, 6-7 pieces of shikakai and a few amla pods in water overnight. Heat the mixture in the morning till it begins to boil. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Now, blend the mixture with the help of a blender. Strain the mixture and discard the residue. Use this liquid concoction as a shampoo.
Use these kitchen ingredients as part of your hair care regime and see the results for yourself.