Dandruff refers to the shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp. Normally, around 487,000 cells/cm2 are shed off following detergent treatment. However, some people experience shedding up tp 800,000 cells/cm2, along with erythema (redness) or irritation.
According to Mayo Clinic, dandruff has several causes, which include skin dryness, irritated and oily skin or seborrheic dermatitis, not shampooing enough, a yeast-like fungus (malassezia), contact dermatitis due to sensitivity to hair care products, and other skin conditions, such as eczema (a chronic inflammatory skin condition) or psoriasis (a skin condition characterized by fast accumulation of dry, rough, and dead skin cells.
The symptoms of dandruff include white and oily looking flakes of dead skin on the hair and scalp, falling on the shoulders. In some cases, the scalp becomes scaly and itchy due to irritation. In children, a sort of dandruff, which is called cradle cap, may be present. It is characterized by a scaly and crusty scalp.
But are there natural treatments or recipes to manage dandruff?
Vinegar is one of the natural aids for treating dandruff. According to Everyday Roots, using apple cider vinegar or white vinegar is viewed as a scary idea in the management of dandruff; however, they are also promising agents to eradicate the skin disorder, since they target the main cause of the problem. The mode of action is to get rid of the unwanted skin that will flake off into dandruff, without clogging up the pores or aggravate the dandruff. Also, vinegar serves as a fungicide, which means it can kill fungi, which cause dandruff due to overgrowth.
As per the publication, the ingredients include 1/2 cup of warm water, 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, and a cup. To prepare, the warm water and vinegar are mixed together in a cup, with the total amount dependent on the amount and volume of the person’s hair. Then, the person pours the resulting mixture over the hair, scrubbing it around mildly for several minutes. After that, it is rinsed thoroughly with water and the person waits about eight to 12 hours before taking a normal shower. The procedure is done once every week or two weeks.
Aside from vinegar, tea tree oil and pure grated ivory soap can also be used to treat dandruff. According to Remedies For Skin, tea tree oil has anti-fungal properties while the ivory soap has a cleaning effect on the scalp. More than that, the mixture is able to moisturize the hair and scalp. The ingredients are two drops of tea tree oil, two heaped tablespoon of pure grated ivory soap (non-scented), a teaspoon of jojoba oil or one tea spoon of coconut oil, and two cups of water.
To prepare, the oil is mixed with water and the resulting mixture is put in a pan on low heat. Then, the grated ivory soap is added and mixed until melted. Once the soap has melted, the heat may be taken off. After that, the tea tree oil is added and the mixture is mixed again. The final mixture can be stored in a container for several weeks while it is being used. It is throughly applied as a shampoo into the hair and is massaged with the tips of the fingers. It is best used once a day for two weeks for best results.
While majority of dandruff cases do not necessitate a physician’s care, one should consider seeking for a professional consult, especially if he is still scratching his head after several weeks of using over-the-counter medication or if the scalp becomes red or swollen.