Dandruff, also known as seborrheic dermatitis is a widespread inflammatory condition that affects the scalp of a person. It causes white and yellow flakes on the oily scalp, causing the skin to shed and leading to embarrassing situations. Dandruff is mostly the result of exposure to extreme heat and cold and causes a lot of itching and discomfort. Several anti dandruff shampoos, steroids and antifungal agents are used for treating dandruff. However, most of them give unsatisfactory results and the dandruff almost always recurs. It is here that we must explore the wonders of ayurvedic remedies. Ayurvedic remedies are gentle on your body and treat the root problem without any side effects.
The remedies that are discussed here use lemon peel, fenugreek, apple cider vinegar, yoghurt, beetroot and ginger, castor oil, green gram, sesame oil, neem etc. These simple remedies are easy to use, though they might pose some practical problems in application while travelling. They also require time for its effect to seep into your scalp. Ayurvedic remedies work by curing the scalp off its oiliness and remove the fungus and inflammation that triggers the formation of dandruff.
Because of its natural acidity, lime peel helps in treating the dandruff by removing the flaky skin and oil that is accumulated on the scalp. For preparing a healing mixture out of lime peel, take adequate amounts of lime peel for the procedure and soak it in a bowl of pure and unrefined coconut oil. Unrefined coconut oil is antifungal in nature and also helps as a moisturizing and nourishing agent for the scalp, increasing blood circulation and preventing the formation of dandruff and fungal infections on the scalp. Leave the lemon peel along with the oil out in the sun for ten days so that the oil absorbs the properties of lemon peel and is ready for action on the scalp. You can now massage this oil into the scalp for about 15 minutes. Allow it to exert its action on the scalp for about half an hour before washing your hair. Continue application every day and for three to four weeks for complete relief. Use lemon peel every day for massaging your scalp after that to prevent dandruff.
Application of fenugreek seeds will take care of the fungal action and remove the dirt and grime that is trapped in the hair and scalp as well. For preparing a paste out of fenugreek seeds, soak adequate amounts of fenugreek overnight so that it becomes soft and easy to grind. In the morning, grind the softened seeds to form a paste. You can add some lemon juice to it or just plain water for getting the right consistency. Massage it on the scalp and leave it for an hour. Wash if off with a mild herbal soap. Continue application until the dandruff is completely removed from the scalp and your scalp becomes free of dead skin cells and flakes. The water in which the seeds were soaked can be used for the final rinsing for protection against dandruff. Fenugreek paste can also be used along with warm coconut oil to enhance its effect.
Apple cider vinegar
Being an acidic solution and an anti inflammatory and antibacterial agent, apple cider vinegar helps in the removal of dead and flaky skin on the scalp and also removes the fungal action on the scalp, leaving it clear and shining. If the dandruff is particularly severe, use undiluted apple cider vinegar on the scalp for massaging. Allow it to soak your scalp for 15 minutes and rinse off with a herbal shampoo. For mild dandruff, mix equal quantities of apple cider vinegar and water and apply on the scalp. Wash off with a herbal shampoo and give a final rinse with two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar added to half a bucket of water. This will ensure smooth and silky hair that is protected from dandruff as well.
Yoghurt has live cultures of acidophilus bacteria which overpowers the fungal action on the scalp that causes dandruff. For making a strong fermented yoghurt with active cultures, leave the yoghurt outside for two to three days. Use this thick and fresh yoghurt for massaging your scalp. Apply generously for the massage and massage for about 15 minutes. You can cover with a shower cap and leave it overnight. Wash off with a mild herbal shampoo after this. Continue treatment until the dandruff is put to rest and you hair attains a golden glow that is unbeatable. As yoghurt is very cooling, avoid this remedy if you have cough, cold and other respiratory problems.
Beetroot and ginger
Rich in iron and other skin friendly nutrients, beetroot has been used for centuries for treating dandruff. The root is the most potent part of beetroot and hence must be included along with the treatment. Grate the beetroot along with the root. Grate a medium sized ginger stalk and add that too to the beetroot and boil it in a cup of water. The water can be massaged on the scalp and left overnight for its action to take place. Beetroot and ginger combination helps in eradicating the fungal action and also removing the dead skin cells. In the morning, wash the juice off with water. Beetroot juice can be applied along with vinegar as well instead of ginger. This will increase its cleansing and exfoliating action on the scalp. Again, apply every day until the dandruff is completely gone. Addition of vinegar gives a lustrous sheen to your hair as well, leaving it beautiful and healthy.
This viscose oil can create a mess while application. However, its medicinal properties are unmistakable and have been under use since centuries. Castor oil is used for curing a number of common ailments of the body. For dandruff, first take adequate amounts of castor oil for your entire hair and heat it. Burst some sesame seeds in the oil as sesame seeds too are known to cure dandruff. Wait for the oil to turn warm before you use it for massaging on to your scalp. Cover the entire hair, taking special care to deep massage the scalp and the roots. Allow the oil to absorb completely and increase the blood circulation on the scalp. Leave it on for one or two hours by wrapping a warm towel around the head to aid good absorption. Wash your hair after this treatment. Continue every day until you find marked improvement in the dandruff and the fungus starts receding and cures completely.
Green gram is an excellent herbal soap for cleansing the skin and also removing any dead skin cells from the scalp. For curing dandruff, take adequate quantities of green gram and grind to form a powder. Add a cup of yoghurt and mix well. This paste can be applied on the scalp and massaged thoroughly for fifteen minutes and then washed off. This treatment can be topped by adding a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar along with half a bucket of water. Lemon juice too can be diluted along with water and applied on the scalp for adding a shine to the hair and giving it a fresh smell as well.
Sesame oil is an antifungal and antibacte
rial agent and is also good for treating inflammations of the skin. Sesame oil has many antioxidant properties and hence good for healing a number of bodily ailments and skin and scalp conditions. Sesame oil helps in removing the bacterial action on the scalp and also nourishes as well as feeds on the scalp, thereby controlling the dry flaks on the scalp and preventing the bacteria and fungus from causing dandruff. For treatment, warm the oil slightly and massage into the scalp for ten to fifteen minutes. After massaging, cover the head with a warm towel for an hour. Wash off the oil with a herbal shampoo. Continue treatment for about three weeks or until the dandruff is completely removed.
A wonderful antifungal agent, neem can be used for curing dandruff effectively. Take fresh neem leaves and make it into a paste. Apply this paste on the head and leave it on for an hour. Alternatively, you can take neem leaves and boil it along with adequate water for 15 minutes. Allow the water to cool and apply on the scalp. Leave it on to dry and wash it off after an hour. Neem leaves can be used every day if the dandruff is very severe. Otherwise, application of neem leaves is necessary only for 2-3 times a week. Continue application until the dandruff is completely removed and the scalp is clear of all the dry flakes of skin and fungus. Apply neem water once a week for a month to remove the instances of recurrence and protect the scalp form fungal and bacterial infections.