Even the most beautiful lustrous hair can lose some of their sheens and cause embarrassment if there are white flakes(or dandruff) falling over the shoulders. Scientifically referred to as Seborrhoeic Dermatitis, dandruff is caused by the rampant multiplication of bacteria called Malassezia Furfur. The Malassezia yeast that is normally present on the skin in minimal proportion tends to multiply rampantly due to sweat or pollution, leading to an oily scalp, white patches and flakes. Acne on the forehead, behind the ears, nape of the neck and upper chest can also be signs of dandruff. However, it is important to not mix dandruff with regular dry skin and take proper treatment for the situation. Leading Dermatologist Dr Deepali Bhardwaj shares useful tips while busting some age-old myths to treat your dandruff.
Busting the Oil Myth
While your Nani or Dadi would quickly apply a cupful of oil on your hair if she saw even a hint of white flakes in your hair, science suggests differently. Oil can actually block the sweat glands on your scalp and in fact help the Malassezia yeast to multiply, thereby increasing dandruff. Therefore, next time your mom or grandmother try to oil your hair, please do not oblige if you have dandruff. Instead, you can raid the kitchen for these simple ingredients and apply them regularly for a clean and healthy scalp.
The Magic Potion
Just because you have dandruff does not mean that you have to spend a fortune on expensive shampoos, hair spas or treatments. One of the most common treatments for the scalp includes mixing 1part Savlon (it has Cetrimide 2%) with 5 parts water and dabbing it on your scalp with a cotton couple of hours before shampoo. You can use this remedy for anybody above the age of 5 once a week. However, if you do not have Savlon at hand, just look into your kitchen cabinet for some common ingredients like lemon and vinegar. Mix the juice of 1 lemon with equal parts plain white vinegar and apply on your scalp overnight in case of severe dandruff. The magic potion will work wonders during the night and you will be blessed with soft lustrous hair and a clean scalp after shampooing in the morning.
Though it is important to use anti-dandruff shampoo once a week because of increasing pollution, it is important to keep rotating the brand every 3 months in order to vary the percentage of zpto or zinc pyrithione and ketoconazole (key ingredients in anti-dandruff shampoo) as persistent use of these chemicals can cause premature greying of hair. Though indispensable, the percentage of zpto and ketoconazole should not be more than 2-4% in your shampoo. Avoid warm showers as hot water stimulates the sweat glands and preferably use a wide-tooth comb to detangle that beautiful hair after a shower. Also avoid oily, spicy food and red wine if you have dandruff. Gorge on fresh fruits and vegetables instead. Hair’s to a lustrous, healthy mane always!