The chilly winter days are never very friendly to your hair. Winter air is usually devoid of moisture which may lead to a commonly encountered condition called dandruff, characterized by itchy and flaking skin of the scalp.
Apart from irritation and itching, dandruff is a root cause of hair fall. Also, excoriations made in the scalp due to continuous itching may provide a bed for infections. Dealing with this condition would be an easy thing if you follow these simple steps mentioned below.
1. Treating the root cause:
Dandruff can be simply due to change in weather and dryness, but sometimes there is an important underlying cause for it. Treating that root cause is essential because no treatment will benefit you until the reason behind it is treated.
There are various dermatological and systemic conditions associated with dandruff. Seborrheic dermatitis, fungal infections like tenia, psoriasis, eczema are some common dermatological conditions causing excessive flaking of skin and dandruff. Chemotherapy with certain drugs and people with the weak immune system and have chronic systemic conditions are also prone to having dandruff.
Treatment of such conditions by a dermatologist is therefore mandatory before you treat dandruff.
2. Maintain scalp hygiene
Maintaining the best hygiene and cleanliness of scalp plays a vital role in getting rid of dandruff. Too much oil, dead flakes of skin accumulate due to lack of proper washing of hair causes the overgrowth of certain fungi like Malassezia, Pityriasis Versicolor and bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus. This microbial growth can worsen your condition or sometimes cause inflammation. Washing your hair at least twice a week is recommended. Please note that wash your hair regularly not obsessively as excessive washing causes dryness of scalp and hence dandruff.
3. Regular oiling
Moisturizing hair with natural oils is a known treatment for dandruff for decades. Oiling and gentle massage helps to increase the blood flow to the scalp, nourishes hair and prevent dandruff. Olive, mustard and coconut oil are among the most used ones. Apply about half an hour before going for a shower. Regular use at least once a week works well against dandruff.
3. Anti-Dandruff shampoos
Use anti-dandruff shampoo containing zinc pyrithione and salicylic acid as active ingredients. These help to eliminate the scales. Some shampoos may contain anti-fungal too which helps to reduce Malassezia and other fungi.
4. Home treatments
•Eggs: rich sources of proteins, like eggs when applying locally over scalp provides excellent results in making hair healthy and prevent dandruff.
•Lemon: apply lemon juice to the roots of the hair and it will have a protective effect too.
• Apple cider vinegar: the acidity of vinegar prevents the fungus and yeast to overgrow.
•Aloe Vera, garlic and baking soda also give good results when applied for treating various hair conditions including dandruff.
5. Recommended scalp care
•Hydrate your scalp. Drink at least 2 liters of water daily.
•Reduce stress as it weakens your immune system.
•Take a good diet rich in B vitamins and zinc.
•Use good quality hair care products and avoid overheating. Frequent use of styling products and hair sprays should be avoided.