Dandruff is harmless. Generally, we all have it, more or less. The scalp of our head is constantly shedding, the dead cells are falling off, and that’s what dandruff is. The causes of excessive dandruff can vary. Both men and women have dandruff.
Often the causes are linked to overhygiene – or washing the hair too often, washing the hair with a shampoo that is too aggressive, the use of gels, hair-sprays and creams, dyes etc. Still, the real reason we have dandruff is a fungus called Malassezia furfur. This fungus feeds on fatty acids, which are produced by sebaceous glands found beneath the scalp. This yeast irritates the skin and causes itching. Dandruff usually appears at the age of 15-25, because during puberty these sebaceous glands secrete more intensely.
Factors that affect the occurrence of dandruff are genetics, hormones, climate, stress, allergies and diet. In some specific cases, dandruff can be caused by some serious illnesses like psoriasis, rosacea or neurodermatitis. If the crown of the scalp is red or has a rash, it’s best to go and see a dermatologist.
There are two different kinds of dandruff: oily dandruff (yellowish “snow-flakes”, different sizes, clustered together) and dry dandruff (one sized, usually round and small, you can see them on dark clothes). The second one is present if you have a dry scalp.
Dandruff is best treated with an anti-dandruff shampoo. You can find some in the drugstore, there are special anti-dandruff shampoos for different hair types: oily or dry hair. If normal shampoos don’t work, try the anti-dandruff medicinal shampoos. Consult your physician or the pharmacist.
But, there are also some natural products that can help you, too!
- Apple cider vinegar is well known for its antibacterial properties. Mix equal amounts of vinegar and water. Wash your hair with it, and the next day wash your hair with a mild shampoo.
- Coconut oil is also very good. Massage the crown of your scalp with 2 spoons of coconut oil, half an hour before you wash your hair normally. Do this at least 3 times a week.
- Rosemary stimulates hair growth and helps in scalp regeneration. Chop 3-4 rosemary twigs and put them in a bowl. Pour 1 liter of boiling water over them. Let this sit for 24 hours. Then strain it, and store in a spray bottle. After washing the hair, spray this liquid on your hair and don’t wash off.