Nobody wants to be the person who looks like they just seasoned their shoulders with salt after a good old head scratch. You can’t ignore those embarrassing dandruff flakes, which go flying with every itch or scratch of the scalp. Dandruff is a medical issue that you need to address, otherwise you’ll always see those dry flakes on your shoulders.
What Is Dandruff?
Roughly 50% of adults worldwide have dandruff, which is a scalp condition caused by malassezia, a fungus that feeds on sebum and dead skin cells. Malassezia is actually a normal part of the scalp, but it becomes an issue when it feeds on sebum. It breaks down the sebum into fatty acids that can irritate the scalp, which causes the itchiness. People have varying sensitivities to fatty acids on the scalp, and this determines the severity of dandruff.
While there is no magical cure to banish dandruff from your life, there are easy home remedies that can help you control it. To avoid those unsightly flakes on your dark black T-shirt, use the following home remedies to nourish the scalp and keep dandruff at bay.
The proteins, enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids in raw honey can do wonders for the skin and hair. In fact, some of the earliest civilizations used honey for its medicinal properties. The antimicrobial, emollient, humectant, and soothing properties help to nourish the scalp and condition the hair. When you apply it on the scalp, it can fight pathogens that cause dandruff. Mix one or two tablespoons of raw honey with two-thirds cup of warm water. Once you have dissolved the honey in the water, rinse the hair with this mixture and massage the scalp. Rinse with warm water to wash out.
It’s impossible to ignore the medicinal properties of garlic. When it comes to dandruff, the anti-fungal properties are the ones that matter. Mince two cloves of raw garlic and mix it with a little water. Massage this mixture on your scalp and then rinse with warm water. You’ll definitely smell like garlic, so be prepared for that, but you’ll also experience reduced itchiness and flakiness.
Skip your regular shampoo routine for a little while and focus on massaging the scalp with baking soda instead. The baking soda gently exfoliates the scalp, which helps avoid the build-up of flakes or sebum. Additionally, the anti-fungal properties help to soothe the scalp and reduce and itching or redness. After massaging baking soda into the scalp, rinse it with warm water and dry with a towel. You can use this method for a couple weeks to prevent flaking. When you see improvement, you can return to your regular shampoo routine.
You don’t need to plop a pile of kimchi on your head, but it is beneficial to add more fermented foods to your diet if you want a healthier scalp. A Hungarian study found that daily probiotic consumption decreased dandruff symptoms by 57%. Over time, the subjects who consumed probiotics experienced a reduction in malassezia, the yeast that feeds on sebum and causes itchiness. In addition to boosting the immune system and improving digestion, probiotic strains help to reduce greasiness and itchiness on the scalp. You consume fermented vegetables, kefir, natto, miso, kombucha, or sauerkraut to get a healthy dose of probiotics.
Tea Tree Oil:
Tea tree oil gained popularity in the health world because of its the antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Many studies confirmed that tea tree oil has the ability to fight both fungal and bacterial infections, making it an excellent dandruff remedy. One study found that tea tree oil was effective against all dandruff-causing malassezia species. A 0.25% dilution of tea tree oil inhibited the growth of this fungus. Mix 6 drops of tea tree oil in a carrier oil (like coconut oil), and apply the mixture to your scalp daily until symptoms subside.
Neem extract is a common ingredient in many skin medications because it has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Because dandruff is mostly caused by the malassezia fungus, neem may be an excellent choice to put an end to the flakiness. You have to be careful with neem because it is very powerful. Health experts advise that people use a diluted version of neem. To do this, simply boil a neem leaves in a pot of water. You can rinse with this neem water to avoid further skin irritation.