09 December 2013

4 Natural Remedies Against Dandruff

Although a very common condition, dandruff is by no means pleasant. You can choose to live with it or you may look into its causes and try to prevent them.

Dandruff can be dry or oily.

Dry dandruff often results from incorrect brushing/combing, reveals bad skin circulation, or is the effect of the use of alkaline hair products that disrupt the natural pH of the hair and scalp.

Ivory white flakes of dandruff can signify high activity of the sebaceous glands or lack of nutrients due to poor diet. This type of dandruff could also be a sign of a fungal infection.

There are plenty of anti-dandruff shampoos on the market but what they do is load your hair and scalp with an array of chemicals and rarely if ever actually treat dandruff. On the contrary, they will damage your hair and strip the protective oils that prevent dandruff.

If, like me, you want to keep your hair as chemical-free as possible and are willing to try nature's way, here are several natural remedies that will help you effectively treat dandruff.

Photo: stockimages on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

But before that, a few steps you can take to prevent dandruff.

How to prevent dandruff
  • Brush your hair thoroughly each day. Make sure you use a hairbrush with natural bristles.
  • Massage your scalp with the tip of your fingers thoroughly, as if you are washing your hair, pull your hair gently to increase blood circulation.
  • Avoid using strong hair dyes and perfumes.
  • Increase the intake of Vitamin A, which can be found in fish oil, milk, cream, egg yolk, liver.
  • Increase the intake of zink, which is naturally found fish, lamb, chicken, spinach, beans, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, nuts, cocoa, 
  • Dandruff can be a symptom of food allergies, so check if you have any.
  • Replace your daily dose of citrus fruits and juices with bananas, avocado, raw and steamed vegetables.
  • Reduce sugary foods.
  • Wash your hair with lukewarm water, as hot water can strip the hair of the natural oils that prevent dandruff.
  • Blow-drying can dry the scalp, causing itch and dandruff. Read more about why I stopped blow-drying and maybe you will too. If you must blow-dry, hold the dryer at least 10 inches from your scalp.

Natural remedies against dandruff

Tip: Before starting any anti-dandruff procedure make sure that your comb/ hair brush is disinfected, your towel is clean and your hair is washed and dried.

To disinfect your comb or brush make a one-to-one mixture of water and lemon juice, and soak them overnight.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) relieves dryness and nourishes the skin. It is especially good for treating dandruff because of its anti-fungal properties. Rosemary is also known to strengthen your hair, promote hair growth and deter gray hair.
  • Add 1.06 oz (30 g) of fresh or dry rosemary to 1.06 pt (500 ml) boiling water and let stay for 24 hours. Sift and rinse your hair. Repeat daily for 2 weeks or until dandruff is gone.
  • Boil 0.7 oz (20 g) rosemary leaves in 2.11 pt (1 l) water. Sift and cool. Wash your hair with the rosemary water. Make sure you massage it well into the scalp.

Stinging nettle
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica, Urtica urens) is used for fortifying hair, boosting hair growth and preventing hair loss. It is known as one of the most effective treatments for oily hair and dandruff.
  • Cut 7 oz (200 g) fresh nettle leaves and boil for 15 minutes in 2.11 pt (1 l) water. Set aside for 2 hours. Sift. Massage your scalp gently twice a day. Store in a fridge for no more than 3 days and warm up before use.

Burdock root
The roots of Burdock (Arctium) are often used as a scalp treatment to combat hair loss, improve hair strength, shine and body. It is also used  against dandruff and scalp itching, promote healing of skin and scalp conditions. It is rich in phytosterols and essential fatty acid, nutrients required for healthy scalp and natural hair growth.
  • Soak 0.53 oz (15 g) burdock root and 0.53 oz (15 g) rosemary with 1.06 pt (500 ml) boiling water. Sift after half an hour and massage the roots of the hair.
  • Mix 0.7 oz (20 g) burdock roots, 0.7 oz (20 g) camomile, 0.7 oz (20 g) walnut leaves, 0.35 oz (10 g) nettle leaves, 0.7 oz (20 g) nettle root. Soak 3 tablespoons of the mixture in  2.11 pt (1 l) lukewarm water and warm up for 30 minutes. Massage into the scalp. The mixture is also very effective against hair loss.

Wine vinegar
Vinegar works well in treating dandruff because it is high in potassium and natural enzymes that help protect the scalp. It is also know to fight fungi and helps reduce fatty acids in the organism.
  • Mix 2 teacups wine vinegar with 2 teacups water and 1 teacup fresh or dry nettle leaves. Boil for 10 minutes. Sift and cool. Massage your scalp twice a day.

Tip: Make sure you use white wine vinegar if your hair is blond because red wine vinegar will darken it.

Now it's your turn: What kind of natural home remedies have you found useful for treating dandruff?

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