Dandruff is one of the most common scalp conditions, affecting up to 50% of adults at some point in their lives. It’s a skin condition that makes your scalp seem dry, flaky, and irritated. Learn how to cure dandruff permanently with some simple home remedies, healthy hygiene practices as well as dietary changes.
What is Dandruff?
Dandruff is a scalp condition that causes skin flakes to form and fall off. It is a very common condition, affecting both men and women.
While dandruff is not usually a serious condition, it can be annoying and challenging to treat.
There are many different causes of dandruff, including dry skin, oily skin, sensitivity to certain hair products, and fungal infections.
Treatment for dandruff will vary depending on the cause. For mild cases, over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoos may be all that is necessary. More severe cases may require prescription medications.
If you are struggling with dandruff, talk to your doctor or dermatologist about the best treatment options.
That being said, there are natural remedies that have also been shown to combat dandruff.
Risk for Dandruff?
There are several factors that can increase your risk for dandruff, including:
- Oily skin: The oil on your scalp can trap dead skin cells, which can then flake off and become visible as dandruff.
- Not shampooing enough: If you don’t shampoo regularly, the oils and sweat on your scalp can build up and cause dandruff.
- Using harsh shampoos: Shampoos that contain harsh chemicals can strip your scalp of its natural oils, which can lead to dryness and flaking.
- Stress: Stress can trigger or worsen dandruff symptoms. This is because stress causes your body to produce more hormones, which can then lead to an overproduction of oil on your scalp.
- Dry scalp: A dry scalp can also lead to dandruff because it’s more likely to flake.
- Certain medical conditions: Conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis
- Allergic reactions to hair and skin products
- Overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia
How to cure dandruff permanently
1. Lemon grass oil
Lemon grass oil is a type of essential oil that is extracted from the lemon grass plant. It has a fresh, citrusy scent and is often used in aromatherapy.
Lemon grass oil has also been used as a natural remedy for dandruff. The oil is thought to help reduce the build-up of sebum on the scalp, which can lead to dandruff.
Lemon grass oil is also known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, which may help to treat scalp conditions that can cause dandruff.
It has specifically been shown to fight against Malassezia furfur, a yeast that causes dandruff.
To use lemongrass oil for dandruff, add a few drops of the oil to a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil. Massage the mixture into your scalp and leave it on for at least 30 minutes before shampooing.
2. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has a wide range of potential health benefits. It is extracted from the leaves of the tea tree, which is native to Australia. Tea tree oil has been used traditionally as a topical antiseptic and disinfectant.
Recent studies have shown that tea tree oil has antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
It can be used to treat a wide variety of skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, and fungal infections. Tea tree oil is also effective in treating respiratory infections and boosting the immune system.
For its scalp benefits, one study found that using a shampoo with 5 percent tea tree oil improved dandruff severity and symptoms like itchiness and greasiness after 4 weeks of use compared to a placebo.
3. Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that is essential for human health. These fats are found in fish oil and certain plant foods. They are important for many bodily functions, including promoting cardiovascular health, lowering cholesterol and triglycerides, and boosting brain health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for healthy skin. They help keep the skin hydrated and prevent dryness. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the inflammation associated with dandruff.
When you don’t have enough omega-3 fatty acids, your skin can become dry and flaky, leading to dandruff and other skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids include
- Chia seed
- Brussels sprout
- Kidney beans
- Hemp seeds
Zinc is one of the most effective minerals for preventing and treating dandruff.
It helps regulate the production of oil in the scalp, which can reduce the amount of dandruff-causing fungus on the scalp.
In addition, zinc can also help reduce inflammation and itchiness associated with dandruff.
If you’re looking for a way to prevent dandruff or already dealing with flakes, adding more zinc to your diet is a good place to start.
Best plant-based sources of zinc include:
- Pumpin seed
- Whole grain
- Hemp seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Chia seeds
5. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is an excellent natural remedy for dandruff. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties that help keep the scalp healthy and free of infection.
Coconut oil also helps moisturize the scalp and keeps it hydrated, which prevents the formation of dandruff. Coconut oil also helps soothe the itchiness and irritation associated with dandruff.
Simply massage a small amount of coconut oil into your scalp before washing your hair as usual. You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to the coconut oil for additional benefits.
6. Manage stress
Stress is a major trigger for dandruff flare-ups. That’s because when you’re stressed, your body produces more of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol increases oil production in your skin, which can lead to dandruff.
In addition, stress can also lead to poor hygiene and neglect of self-care. When we’re stressed, we may not take the time to shampoo as often or take care of our hair the way we should. This can also contribute to dandruff.
So how can you keep your stress levels in check and prevent dandruff?
There are a number of ways to do both.
First, try to identify the sources of stress in your life and find ways to minimize them. This may involve making lifestyle changes or adjustments at work.
Second, ensure you’re taking care of yourself physically by eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep.
Third, find ways to relax and unwind on a regular basis. This could include journaling, meditation, or simply spending time outdoors in nature. By managing your stress levels, you can help prevent dandruff flare-ups and keep your scalp healthy and happy.
7. Baking soda
Baking soda is a popular home remedy for dandruff. It is thought to work by absorbing excess oil and exfoliating the scalp.
To use baking soda to treat dandruff:
- Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of water.
- Massage the mixture onto your scalp and let it sit for 5 minutes before rinsing it out.
- Repeat this process 2-3 times per week.
You can also add a few drops of essential oil to the baking soda mixture to boost its efficacy. Some good options include tea tree oil, lavender oil, or rosemary oil.
8. Aloe vera gel
Aloe vera has long been known for its healing properties. The gel from the aloe plant is often used to treat burns, wounds, and other skin irritations.
It can also be useful in treating dandruff. The gel has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties that make it an effective treatment for dandruff.
To use aloe vera gel to treat dandruff, simply massage the gel into your scalp and leave it on for 30 minutes before washing it off. You can do this once or twice a week until your dandruff clears up.
9. Fenugreek seeds
Fenugreek seeds contain several compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. These properties may help to soothe the scalp and reduce dandruff. Fenugreek seeds can be used in a variety of ways, including:
- Soak the seeds in water overnight and then grind them into a paste. Apply the paste to the scalp and leave it on for 30 minutes before rinsing off.
- Adding fenugreek seeds to your shampoo or conditioner.
- Boiling fenugreek seeds in water and then use the water as a final rinse after shampooing your hair.
10. Salicylic acid
Salicylic acid is a common ingredient in dandruff shampoos. It works by exfoliating the scalp, which helps remove dead skin cells and other debris that can contribute to dandruff.
In addition, salicylic acid can help reduce inflammation and irritation of the scalp, which can also be a trigger for dandruff.
A number of studies have shown that salicylic acid is an effective treatment for dandruff, with some even finding it more effective than other popular treatments like ketoconazole.
Other studies have found that salicylic acid is also effective in treating seborrheic dermatitis, another common cause of dandruff. In one study, participants who used a shampoo with 2% salicylic acid had significantly less seborrheic dermatitis after four weeks of use compared to participants who used a placebo shampoo.
Overall, the studies suggest that salicylic acid can be a helpful treatment for dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. If you’re interested in trying this approach, look for dandruff shampoos and treatments that contain salicylic acid as an active ingredient.
Probiotics are live microorganisms similar to the good bacteria in your gut. When taken as supplements, they can offer a number of health benefits.
Probiotics supplementation can help restore the natural balance of gut bacteria. This is especially beneficial after a course of antibiotics, which can kill both good and bad bacteria.
Probiotics can also help with digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and diarrhea. They may also help improve the absorption of nutrients and reduce inflammation in the gut.
In addition to gut health, probiotics have also been linked to improved immunity, better skin health, reduced allergies, and improved dandruff symptoms.
In a small study involving 60 people, a daily intake of probiotics for 56 days resulted in reduced dandruff severity.
Foods to Avoid
It’s no secret that what you eat can affect your skin and hair. If you’re struggling with dandruff, you might want to take a closer look at your diet, as some foods can actually make dandruff worse.
Here are a few foods to avoid when treating dandruff:
- Sugar: Eating too much sugar can cause inflammation and dryness, leading to dandruff. Consuming too much sugar can also lead to an overgrowth of yeast on the scalp, which can aggravate dandruff.
- Spicy Foods: Spicy dishes may not be the best choice if you’re struggling with dandruff. The spices can irritate the scalp and make symptoms worse.
- Dairy: Dairy products can cause your skin to produce more oil, which can lead to dandruff. So, if you’re struggling with flakes, try cutting back on dairy for a while and see if it makes a difference.
- Alcohol: Alcohol dries out your scalp and strips away its natural oils. This can leave your scalp feeling dry and irritated, which can lead to flakes.
- Caffeine: Caffeine can also dehydrate the scalp, making dandruff more likely
- Processed foods: Processed foods are often high in sugar and unhealthy fats, both of which can contribute to dandruff.
- Deep fried foods: When it comes to deep-fried foods, they are not only bad for your health but can also worsen dandruff. The reason behind this is that when you fry food, the oils from the food can seep into your scalp and clog your pores. This can lead to an overgrowth of yeast on your scalp, which can then worsen dandruff.
If you already have dandruff, eating deep-fried foods will only make it worse.
Dandruff is a problem that many people suffer from, but it can be cured and banished.
To cure dandruff permanently, you will need to understand the underlying causes of your specific type of dandruff, then apply the appropriate treatment, including avoiding certain things, using a variety of types of medicines, and eating certain foods.
If your dandruff persists despite treatment, you may need to see a dermatologist for further evaluation and treatment.
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