Dandruff is one of the most common hair and scalp problems, which affects almost 90% of individuals.
From toddlers to full-blown pre-pubescents and adults, this problem can affect anyone and at any time.
To make things worse, dandruff is actually a fungal infection. A lot of factors can trigger this issue further like pollution, dirt, dust, unhealthy lifestyle, improper cleaning, cosmetic products, and more.
The hair care industry is not the one to fall far behind compared to the massive skincare industry, and hence various products are launched in order to combat this issue. However, are most of them even useful? Let’s find out.
A common fungus called “Malassezia Globosa” is what grows on the human scalp that primarily causes flaking and dandruff.
Stress, excessive caffeine consumption, usage of harmful chemicals and bleach, and other factors can damage the hair follicles while making them prone to dandruff. With new product launches, hair masks, creams, and oils paving the way by quoting its “anti-dandruff” properties, more than often it fails to work on its claims.
If you are one of those people who love styling their hair with various products like gels, waxes, curlers, straighteners, crimpers, rollers, blowers, and more, then it might be another huge reason for dandruff formation. While the process of dandruff removal and recovery might be a little tricky, it isn’t completely impossible to achieve. Timely cleaning, nourishment, and a healthy pattern are good ways to get started on a journey to healthy hair. Today let’s dive right into the complete guide on “how to deal with dandruff.”
While there can be a lot of factors that cause dandruff, today we will be discussing some major ones.
These can happen to anyone, irrespective of their age or gender.
Unhygienic conditions and improper hygiene can also be the major factors that contribute to dandruff formation.
Let’s have a look at some causes:
People who suffer from redness, swelling, and seasonal triggers like eczema or psoriasis are prone to dandruff as compared to others. These conditions make the skin sensitive and highly reactive to outside elements. It is best to talk to a dermatologist and seek medical advice.
Unhygienic living conditions like not washing and changing the daily sanitary items (towels, pillow covers, bedsheets, hair combs, etc) can cause dandruff and other issues like blackheads and acne.
Dry and irritated skin lacks moisture, nourishment, and any sort of water retention. It is important to use gentle, moisturizing products which do not strip off the oils from the surface of the scalp. This in turn will prevent dandruff formation.
Excessive sebum production can clog the hair follicles and make them prone to irritation. This results in a greasy scalp and yellow, foul-smelling dandruff. To this issue, medicated shampoos, conditioners, and washes are your best friend.
Some people are naturally extra sensitive when it comes to hair and skincare products. In such cases, read the label of every product very carefully before purchasing in order to avoid dandruff formation.
Have you ever wanted to scratch your scalp only to find out a downpour of white, scaly flakes? Pesky dandruff issues are the crux of hair issues globally in current times.
In order to avoid it, it is better to take precautionary measures beforehand instead of finding solutions afterward. Identifying its symptoms in the early stages is what makes the problem of dandruff manageable.
Let’s take a look at some common symptoms of dandruff that can be easily identified and treated.
Itching is one of the earliest and most common symptoms when it comes to dandruff. You might feel a sudden urge to scrape at your scalp but doing it too vigorously will only damage your hair follicles further. Opt for a cooling aloe vera gel instead.
Hair fall and breakage is the result of dandruff formation as the nutrients are unable to absorb properly via the clogged hair follicles. Cleaning the excess sebum production with a mild anti-dandruff shampoo is the proper way to go about when it comes to reversing hair fall.
Hair thinning is when the density of your hair begins to drastically decrease due to excessive hair fall. Your thick and long hair might get drastically reduced due to severe dandruff formation. Consulting a dermatologist can help in curing the problem.
A greasy scalp is when the oil is excessively produced in an individual’s scalp. This can happen due to many factors like genetics, age, skin type, etc. If this is taken care of in the initial stages then the dandruff issue can easily be avoided.
A foul odor during an individual’s day-to-day activities can be a major cause of alarm when it comes to identifying the symptoms of dandruff. Fungal infection might be the root cause of the issue. Adding a few drops of tea tree oil which contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties will help in resolving this issue.
Split ends and brittle hair are some signs of unhealthy, weak hair. Treating the dandruff issue in its early stages will make sure that your hair is restored and healthy.
Acne on the hairline and in the middle of the eyebrows can be another cautionary symptom of dandruff formation. This is due to the pores being clogged. Using non-comedogenic products can resolve this issue.
Flakes on the hairline, eyebrows, behind the ears, neck, and nose can be an obvious sign of dandruff. Contrary to popular belief, dandruff can form anywhere and not just on your scalp. If you are someone who has suddenly begun flaking on certain areas then it might be eczema-triggered dandruff. Visit a dermatologist at the earliest to prevent it from spreading further.
Different types of dandruff are formed under various circumstances. For example, dandruff which is caused on a dry scalp will be different from dandruff which is caused on an oily scalp. Let’s have a look at some of the most common types of dandruff.
It is a result of loss of moisture from the skin. When the scalp loses its natural oils a dandruff formation is bound to happen. It is important to use mild cleansers and not strip away the nutrients.
It is yellow in color and often emits a foul odor. It is usually a result of excess sebum production which clogs the hair follicles. This can also cause acne, pus, and pimples without a head. Visiting a dermatologist and using medicated products are the best option.
Unusual growth of the excessive fungus which lives on a human scalp can also be a major cause of dandruff. Pollution and dirt can also add to the problem.
People who have sensitive skin are prone to allergies that flare up seasonally. Eczema, Psoriasis, etc. are some common issues that people face.
This is what essentially causes the flaking of the scalp. This cannot be cured with over-the-counter products and hence it is best to consult a professional.
There are various risk factors that come in with the prolonged issue of Dandruff.
Right from, hair fall, breakage, thinning, split ends, and hair loss to more serious issues like scaling, balding, infections, allergies, and more, this problem is not one to resolve easily if not taken care of properly.
Let’s take a look at some risk factors which come in with “Dandruff.”
Balding is more common in men as compared to women when it comes to dandruff.
Scaling and redness are other major risk factors when it comes to dandruff. Itchiness is accompanied by this and if scratched too hard, then it can also cause trauma and bleeding.
Hair Loss is undoubtedly one of the most common risk factors for hair fall. Whether combing, taking a shower, or doing simple day-to-day activities an individual starts losing a lot of hair.
People with thick, curly, or wavy hair might notice a huge drop in the density of their hair.
Split ends are one of the most common risks of early damage and dandruff.
Foul odor can hugely reduce an individual’s confidence and self-esteem if not treated properly. This is one of the major risk factors when it comes to dandruff.
There are various ways to get rid of dandruff and that includes methods that are right from our kitchens.
Everyday staple ingredients also work wonders when it comes to Dandruff removal.
Those pesky white flakes sitting comfortably on your hair are commonly known as Dandruff. The medical term of Dandruff is “Dermatitis” or “Seborrhea.” Dandruff can be pretty ruthless.
It is extremely stubborn and can be a pain to get removed. While this situation affects people of any age and gender it is also extremely common to find dandruff on your chest, eyebrows, nape of the neck, and behind your ears.
While it is almost impossible to get rid of dandruff completely, timely care and a hygienic lifestyle will get the problem under control effortlessly. People suffering from long-time dandruff issues might resort to “medicated creams, ointments, shampoos, and conditioners” for their rescue but it is still not a “permanent cure.”
It is bound to pop up from time to time due to various lifestyle and weather factors. If an individual is prone to seasonal and food allergies then this dandruff issue can get aggravated further. Home remedies are an efficient yet inexpensive way to permanently remove dandruff.
Let’s take a look at a few steps on “how to cure dandruff” from your home and stop it from coming back.
Apple cider vinegar is an excellent concoction to remove dandruff from the scalp. Mix one part of apple cider vinegar in four parts of water and wash your hair with it before pulling out the shampoo bottle. This will prevent those pesky flakes from coming back after a few days.
Baking Soda is another great option for absorbing any excess oil and stopping fungus formation. It acts as a great exfoliator. The anti-bacterial properties of baking soda are beneficial in easing the itching, restoring the PH balance. Take a teaspoon of the product and mix it in with some water to form a thick paste. Massage it on the scalp and wash it off with lukewarm water.
This Oil is a great substitute for people who are not too fond of the smell of coconut oil. Olive Oil is lightweight in texture with a mild fragrance and can be used for multiple purposes. This includes restoring the moisture into a dry scalp which prevents further flaking, scaling, and dandruff formation.
Mouthwash, especially Listerine is a great and effective option to remove stubborn dandruff. It removes itching and stops stubborn dandruff from coming back. Mix it in with water and wash your hair with it and enjoy the cooling after effect.
Homeopathic Treatment focuses on the individual as a whole instead of just zoning in on the specific issue. Homeopathic Treatment deals with the core issues of the person and other neurotic disorders.
From medical history to physical and mental constitution everything is checked before prescribing medicines to the individual. In the case of dandruff, a wide range of medicine is available, depending upon the severity of the issue and the type of dandruff. After a full examination and case investigation of the patient, a range of medicines are prescribed for the treatment of dandruff.
Let’s have a look at some of these medicines
Dry hair and extreme hair fall due to excessive washing and chemical treatment can cause dry and flaky dandruff in patients. Sulpher is used to treat such issues.
Graphite can be used to treat a sticky and itchy sensation on the scalp. A foul smell can also be eliminated by this. Patients who are fair, stout, and have constipation issues can build up their immunity and eliminate dandruff issues by opting for this treatment.
Phosphorus can be used to treat specific areas where balding is occurring including anemic and blonde patients. If dandruff is occurring on eyebrows, eyelashes, neck, or behind the ears or causing eczema triggers, then this is the perfect option.
Patients suffering from alcohol abuse and dependency have a higher chance of extreme inflammation. This problem can be treated with carbon em sulphurated.
Kali sulphuricum is used in treating the extreme stages of dandruff in which there is redness, swelling, and inflammation. The dandruff is usually yellow in color and has a foul odor. It gets worse in summers and humid conditions.
Alopecia, balding, scaling on the edges tingling, and blazing of the hair follicles with greasy yellow scalp is a problem that is treated with Kali sulphuricum.
This specific medicine is used to treat dry scalp dandruff. Itching, dry flaking, and excessive scaling. White dry dandruff is extremely common for patient who is suffering.
If you are tired of your washroom looking like an endless aisle of shampoo and conditioner bottles, it is for sure that you need a different route for treating your dandruff.
The natural chemical-free ayurvedic components will do their job subtly without damaging your hair further.
Let’s have a look at some of the options for a holistic overall treatment
Its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties help in reliving dandruff efficiently. It also kills the dandruff-causing fungi which multiply in the scalp.
Amla is a huge source of Vitamin C. This helps in cleaning the scalp from greasy and odor-causing yellow flakes. When powdered and mixed with tulsi leaves, it can be effective natural dandruff eliminating treatment.
The citric acid and zinc found in lemon are a huge component in removing flaking and scaling caused by the dandruff-causing fungi. When mixed in with shampoo and rubbed on the scalp, it can be an effective method to naturally remove dandruff.
Methi or fenugreek seeds are an excellent source of nutrients that nourish the scalp and help in removing dandruff. Soak them overnight in water and grind them into a fine and smooth paste. Mix it in with yogurt and apply it to the scalp as a mask. Let it sit for 20 minutes and wash it off with a regular shampoo. This treatment can be done twice a month to remove dandruff.
Home remedies are a popular way to relieve an individual from dandruff. These methods are easy on the pockets, quick, and convenient to use. More than often they are also found in staple kitchen ingredients.
Today, let’s have a look at some easy and convenient products to use which are probably lying around on your shelf right now.
If you are someone who loves experimenting with little DIYs in the kitchen, then you will probably love these little tips, tricks, and hacks:
Lemon Juice is one of the most popular components when it comes to removing dandruff. Their astringent property, when combined with shampoo, removes even the most stubborn dandruff effectively.
Mix one part of shampoo with 2-3 tablespoons of dandruff and mix it well. Apply it to wet hair and lather on nicely on the hair while gently scrubbing on the scalp. Wash it off and apply a regular conditioner to finish the process.
Coconut Oil is also a great way to add some moisture back to the scalp. The loss of natural oils from harsh chemicals (bleaches, hair dyes, etc.) and hot hair tools can often cause flaking which is a major cause of dandruff. Massaging lukewarm coconut oil on the scalp before shampooing can also curb dandruff formation.
Tea tree oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties which are a major game-changer when it comes to removing dandruff. They stop the fungus formation on the scalp which further helps in eradicating dandruff. Mixing it in with your regular shampoo/hair oil will do the job effectively.
Aspirin tablets contain salicylic acid which is a great way to remove dandruff. Crush an aspirin tablet and mix it in with a little bit of water and lemon juice. Pour the mixture into a bowl of shampoo. Stir well and apply to the scalp. Rinse off with cold water and reap the benefits of dandruff-free hair.
Omega 3 acids in your diet like fish oil and skin can help in healing scaling and dryness. Its deficiency is sometimes the major cause of dry hair, scalp, and skin. It also promotes nourishment and brings back the balance of natural oils to the scalp. An inclusion of omega 3 acids in your diet can help in combating dandruff.
Eating a clean and fresh diet with plenty of green, leafy fruits and vegetables will lead to healthy hair and scalp. Minimizing stress, and leading a clean lifestyle are some key factors in getting rid of dandruff.
Fresh Aloe Vera is easy and convenient to find. It also serves as a great natural remedy to deal with dandruff. As compared to the stored gels from the containers, use fresh aloe vera to get instant results. Break open an aloe leaf and scoop out the gel. Rub it gently on the scalp and leave it on for around 15-20 minutes. Wash it off with regular temperature water to get instant relief from scratching and itchiness.
Dandruff, as pesky as it sounds, might require some time, effort, and energy to go away. Even after making consistent efforts, it might not completely dissolve via home remedies and other over-the-counter shampoos.
In some severe cases, it is imperative that one visits a doctor to get it treated and medically examined.
A doctor might be able to look at your scalp and figure out any scaling, flakes, or infection caused by a fungus. In some cases, when dandruff begins to peel away, bleed, and cause redness and swelling it is a major sign that a dermatologist needs to have a look at it on an urgent basis.
This will stop any further inflammation and major damage to the hair follicles.
A doctor may also run some tests in some rare cases if the situation really worsens. People with diabetes are more prone to dandruff due to the unbalances in the system.
Some other diseases which might trigger dandruff formation are HIV, Perkinson’s disease, and more. Today, let’s have a look at some possible causes which might be a major concern for dandruff and hair fall and the clinical treatments available to fix them.
Dandruff is not just limited to flaking and white scales. An underlying condition called Psoriasis can trigger the issue further. The doctor will examine the scalp and check out for any problems related to psoriasis and treat the patient accordingly.
Charting out a healthy scalp routine is also a part of the dandruff checkup by a medical professional. This helps in eliminating any serious underlying disease and checking if the current products are the main cause behind any damage.
Checking the levels of stress is also an important aspect that the doctor might be able to diagnose properly. Apparently, this is also a major factor why dandruff formation is prevalent among some.
Brushing with a gentle comb/brush to remove all the crusty, stuck-up dead skin cells and dandruff might be suggested by your doctor before continuing to use the medicated shampoos, conditioners, and other medicines to make it work faster and easier.
It has been found that certain conditions can also cause dandruff in individuals. Some of them are – epilepsy, alcohol addiction, depression, eating disorders, stroke or heart attacks, a weak immune system, fatigue, obesity, etc. Treatments and medicines will be prescribed according to those issues.
Although Dandruff can be a persistent issue, it can be solved with proper care and a timely routine. Clinical treatments to treat issues like eczema, ringworm, yeast, and contact dermatitis are also some of the reasons why a long-time dandruff issue refuses to go away, even after using various products.
Try and go for routine checkups with a medical professional for the issue to get resolved once and for all in the long haul. This will also lessen the chances of getting a dandruff outbreak all over again.
Dandruff is a huge cause of concern for people of all age groups. However, one particular age group which suffers the most is teenagers.
Teenagers of the current generation lead an extremely hectic lifestyle. It is also one of the first generations to have witnessed lockdowns and quarantine sessions firsthand.
Stress, outdoor activity, and various other factors can be major contributing factors for dandruff formation.
During pre-pubescent ages, an individual goes through various hormonal changes. Teenagers have raging hormones and all thanks to that, are more prone to virus and fungal infections like scaling.
Excessive sebum production is another major cause of dandruff in the teenage years. The oil particles trap and clog the hair follicles which in turn causes scalp acne.
Outdoor activities are prevalent in teenagers. Dirt, dust, impurities, and more gets trapped in the scalp along with grease and oils which are another major cause of dandruff. A hygienic routine is what helps in keeping this problem at bay.
Heat and hot hair tools are what make the hair dry, rough, brittle, and prone to breakage. This includes weakening the hair from its roots. Blow drying the hair on a cool setting or air drying them is what will keep the dandruff issue at bay.
The Indian market has been always ahead to commercialize and bank upon one of the major hair issues, which is Dandruff.
Celebrities, Sportspersons, and various media personalities have heavily advertised anti-dandruff shampoos, conditioners, etc over a period of time. These shampoos usually have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties which stop fungi formation on the scalp.
Although these shampoos are assumed to cause dry and brittle hair, the myth has been busted by many.
Today, let’s take a look at some of these best shampoos and their contents to get your dandruff removed effectively.
Its antifungal and antibacterial properties help in fungus formation.
These help in thoroughly cleansing the scalp and getting rid of any dirt, dust, and debris.
Dries up scalp acne and pustules if any.
Its antibacterial properties can help in removing stubborn, greasy dandruff which causes a foul odor.
This particular agent gets rid of the main dandruff-causing fungus which lives on the scalp.
This particular product helps in curbing itching, flaking, and inflammation.
The massive spectrum of dandruff is difficult to define in a particular way, as it blurs with seborrhoeic dermatitis and some other similar, scaly conditions. The inflammation and extension of scaling outside the scalp eliminate the diagnosis of dandruff from seborrhoeic dermatitis.
Seborrheic dermatitis which is popularly known as dandruff appears to be more common among people with –
Scalp psoriasis is an extremely common skin disorder that makes raised, reddish, bluish, and scaly patches. It can pop up as an individual patch or several patches, and can sometimes affect your entire scalp. It can sometimes also spread to your forehead, the back of your neck, behind and inside your ears, and on your hairline.
Dandruff is a common symptom in HIV, and it can be harder to treat in people who have been living with this chronic condition for a long time now. Dermatitis can be treated with steroid ointments and tablets in some cases or with anti-fungal creams. Some scalp problems can be treated with anti-dandruff or anti-fungal shampoos, serums, and conditioners.
Keep your hair off the face as when dandruff comes in contact with the facial skin, it can lead to pimples. A good hot oil massage once a week can help in reducing the problem of pimples caused by dry scalp dandruff. It also keeps the scalp healthy and improves blood circulation.
With rosacea, there is no permanent cure for seborrheic dermatitis, but therapy is available to bring its signs and symptoms under control. When seborrheic dermatitis appears with a combination of rosacea, a safe and effective antifungal alone may often be prescribed.
The long-term use of topical steroids is associated with rosacea-like symptoms like scaling, redness, etc. This specific condition is known as steroid-induced rosacea. Rosacea patients who suspect that they may have this disorder are urged to see a dermatologist at the earliest for diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin condition in the general population, but even more commonly found in people with Parkinson’s Disease. It causes patches of scaly, flaky, red skin and dandruff, primarily on the scalp and on the oily parts of the face such as the sides and tip of the nose.
All of these conditions and diseases in an individual can be a major cause for triggering dandruff as researched by medical professionals.
Alcohol addicts, people who are on anti-depressants and going through a recovery process should also be careful regarding dandruff as it can get triggered easily.
Research has found that almost 30–83% of people with HIV have seborrheic dermatitis, as compared to 3–5% of the general population. The symptoms may also be more severe and life-threatening in certain rare cases.
A person with HIV who experiences severe scalp disorders and dandruff should visit their doctor urgently who will recommend an appropriate treatment.
Eczema not only affects the easy-to-see parts of your body but it can affect your scalp, too. In fact, scalp eczema is a type of disease which causes inflamed, itchy, and dry skin to form on your scalp.
Ringworm may start off as a small sore that looks like a regular pimple before becoming patchy, flaky, or scaly. These flakes may resemble dandruff. It can make hair fall out or break into a stubble while leaving a bald spot. It can also make the entire scalp swollen, tender, and red.
Contact dermatitis takes place when your skin reacts to contact with something around you. You may also need to treat the active rash, but one should be able to manage the reaction once one identifies the trigger causing the symptoms. Further contact can be avoided with that particular irritant.
There are many factors that can contribute to a scalp yeast infection, but an overgrowth of yeast/fungus is the primary underlying cause. Various types of medicated shampoos/cosmetics, as well as prescription medications, are useful for treating a yeast infection.
Dandruff is an irritant that we don’t have to live with, as it gets worse during the winters. Anti-dandruff shampoos can make life simple and convenient by eliminating it to quite an extent.
Although this combination can feel extremely comforting and relaxing, overheated, cozy rooms in chilling winters can be a drastic cause for dandruff due to the extreme varying temperatures.
A good thorough brush is extremely necessary for eliminating any leftover dry and flaky skin. This is turn lessens the possibility of dandruff.
Stress can be the number one contributing factor when it comes to dandruff formation. A clean diet, good food, and sleep with a healthy lifestyle can help to combat this issue.
Dandruff is more likely to occur between an individual’s teenage years and midlife. (although a specific type of dandruff which is also known as cradle cap is common among babies)
Fluctuating hormonal factors in men and women during pregnancy, menstruation cycles, etc. can also be a major factor in the triggering of dandruff.
People can obtain zinc from animal proteins, fats, nuts, and certain types of whole grains. According to research, severe zinc deficiencies have often been associated with hair loss, diarrhea, impotence, and skin lesions. A specific review lists zinc deficiency as a major factor for seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.
Dandruff might be caused by various factors, with a nutrient-poor diet being one of them. For example, low blood levels of zinc, niacin, riboflavin, and pyridoxine may each play a role in the formation of dandruff.
Omega 6 fat is also known as gamma-linolenic acid, which is present in evening primrose oil. Essential fatty acids, including foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, help in supporting healthy hair and skin in general.
Dandruff can be an extremely long and persistent condition, which can leave you in distress but there are plenty of treatments available right at your doorsteps that might help you to relieve your symptoms.
Dandruff can take a bit of time to respond to a particular treatment, but if you are experiencing symptoms even after trying plenty of anti-dandruff shampoos and over-the-counter products for at least a month, then it might be time to speak to your doctor.
A doctor will look at your scalp, examine its underlying causes and chart out a treatment plan accordingly. It is also imperative that in cases of extreme itching, scaling, flaking tenderness, and redness immediate and urgent care is provided.
This is to cure the issue of the roots and stop it from further coming back. In cases of allergic reactions, and other irritants it is best to avoid self-diagnosis or home remedies and consult a professional at the earliest.
In conclusion, Dandruff removal is a long and painful process but with proper care and treatment, it can be resolved to a great extent. To summarize it simply, dandruff is basically when the skin begins to shed itself in bits and pieces. This can be cured with professional help as well as various home remedies.