One of the things that most affect us when it comes to showing our hair freely; is dandruff. And you may wonder what exactly is dandruff? Well, its scientific name is pityriasis capitis, and it is when the scalp begins to flake in an exaggerated way, which causes these remaining residues of dry skin to be seen with the naked eye because of its large accumulation on the outer layer of our head. They can even fall on our clothes, or just by shaking our hair, we can see it.
We would not have such a problem with it if it were an internal disease since we can have treatment without anyone noticing that it exists. But the problem is that it is external, so most of the people who have it are very embarrassed to go outside. Depending on its severity, it is difficult to treat. Its scientific name “Pityriasis” comes from its place on the scalp, since it comes from the spores of pityrosporum ovale, this is a fungus that lives on our head for free and that usually should not affect, but when dandruff attacks, this is a gigantic factor.
Who is more prone to dandruff?
Dandruff is even more prevalent in teenagers because of the huge amount of hormonal changes we can see from around 12 to 18 years of age. And also, because there is a greater movement in the glands that are in charge of sebum distribution in our head. Therefore this disease is quite frequent in adolescence and also in adulthood depending on the lifestyle that the person leads and the physiological changes that he/she presents throughout his/her development.
It should be noted that dandruff is very frequent in men, more than in women. But this does not totally exempt them from suffering from it, therefore the care must be equal since not all of us have the same type of sebum production. Therefore, some women may be more prone than any common man. It is also common in people with immunes system problems or neurological diseases.
What causes dandruff?
This has been a topic of debate among multiple dermatologists, and the exact cause of dandruff has not been determined. But we can contribute the appearance to some external factors that can serve as triggers. There are also some theories among specialists, which although not fully confirmed, serve as a guide to explain this phenomenon.
One of the theories that have been taken into account the most, is that the dermis of the scalp is a constant renewal, as well as that of our body in general. But as we mentioned before, this depends a lot on the type of person, therefore this can be accelerated or delayed, and this change in the structure of the body can make dandruff develop more easily.
As we mentioned before, a fundamental element in terms of the appearance of dandruff is the constant hormonal changes. But this has another debatable issue, as it does not appear with different types of emotions. rather, it appears with specific stress problems. Therefore anxious people or with emotional management problems may be more prone to dandruff. And even this disease can worsen in different environmental temperatures.
Another theory is the imbalance of the bacterial flora of the dermis of our head, as one studio has observed that people with this dermatological disease have had a considerable increase in the fungus Malassezia furfur or as we mentioned before, pityrosporum ovale. Therefore, if this fungus is triggered for no apparent reason, it can use dandruff.
And finally, the habits of the person. This can be linked to the misuse of products that are not specifically adapted to the type of hair that person has, or other similar dermatological problems that can lead to dandruff. As well as psoriasis or scabies. And the treatment we give to the hair, both in washing and in other general areas, including alimentation.
Types of dandruff and their characteristics
Let’s talk a little more about the most common types of dandruff. The main one is pityriasis simplex, which is called hard dandruff that as we explained, is caused by the desquamation of the papillary dermis, and we can observe it as small white flakes that come out from the action of scratching the head or just moving the hair. In addition, the hair is too rough and does not maintain any hydration. It also does not inflame the scalp.
Those with pityriasis steroids have different symptoms than pityriasis simplex. In this case, the scalp secretes greasy dandruff. Also, the flakes are large in size and not only limited to this, but it also develops sebum that falls spontaneously from the hair. Therefore this type of dandruff instead of being white and dry is yellow and greasy.
Both types of dandruff are commonly confused with another type of disease, which is seborrheic dermatitis. But in this case, there is extreme inflammation and redness.
What is the treatment against dandruff?
Today, there are multiple treatments on the market that can help treat dandruff and eliminate it quite effectively. The basic treatment that a dermatologist can send you is to use a daily shampoo that is not too strong and that helps to remove impurities from the scalp. In addition to massaging it well to remove dead cells that are the main cause of dandruff.
The use of shampoo in the treatment against dandruff
If constantly washing our hair with a mild shampoo does not work, it may be necessary to resort to a more specific shampoo for the case we are treating. These shampoos have a different chemical composition than general use shampoo, so they can be a little more effective.
This type of product is characterized by containing antifungals, which helps to stop the reproduction of new microscopic fungi that can be the main cause of dandruff. Besides containing another type of formula that can help to maintain a reproductive cycle of sebaceous cells in control and other types of chemicals that help to reduce the amount of grease that we will find in the papillary dermis.
When we are going to buy a shampoo for this type of purpose, the person in charge of selling it (a certified pharmacist) will specify which one to use depending on the type of dandruff you have and will explain how to use it. The general rule is that this type of shampoo should be used about four times a week, and for each week that passes, the frequency of use will decrease.
If dandruff does not decrease its production after about three weeks, you will probably have to change the brand or formula of the shampoo you were using to try another type of chemical compound. It also happens when dandruff disappears, but after a while, it comes back and the shampoo is no longer effective, so you should attack it from a different angle with another type of shampoo.
The last option to use is a cream or lotion that has a hydroalcoholic composition that helps to solidify the treatment that we are already carrying with the shampoo; therefore it should be in charge of addressing dandruff from another formula that is not the same as the active ingredient that we are already using. It will be applied as a styling cream and should have a high percentage of alcohol to help the hair follicles better absorb the chemicals that are in the shampoo.
Good habits to avoid or control dandruff
Maintain a constant wash with a non-aggressive shampoo
When washing your hair, make sure to use enough shampoo that is neither too little nor too much. After this, rinse the hair and apply another small amount of shampoo. Throughout this process apply a little pressure on the head with your fingertips (Never with your fingernails) to remove the dandruff flakes that may remain in the hair throughout the day.
Follow what the product says to the letter
Although its use is more than obvious, we must pay attention to the labels of the shampoo we are going to use, because its use may vary depending on the formula. Some shampoos should be washed out immediately after using the product, and others should be left for a few minutes. Therefore it is always good to make sure because a bad use of this can cause an imbalance of pH in our scalp.
Don’t use too many products on your hair
Constant use of styling gels, hair creams, hair perfumes, straightening products, among others can cause an increase of sebum in the hair. Therefore it can create a constant accumulation of dead cells that will not be removed and can cause temporary dandruff that in addition to causing itching, can be seen with the naked eye, worsening or personal image.
Natural remedies to eliminate dandruff
Sometimes it is quite exhausting to deal with multiple types of chemicals of which we do not know their origins, a clear example is that some shampoos can work on some people while on others they are a nightmare of a product. We can also consider natural remedies as something healthier for our hair and that also takes care of our pocket. Therefore it is good to implement them from time to time and here we will leave you with some options for you to encourage to try at home:
● Aloe vera:
One of the most effective home remedies for all kinds of diseases is the direct gel of aloe vera. Since this plant can be obtained at any time of the year, has antibacterial, antifungal, and antibiotic functions.
This plant, which we can consider miraculous, helps to eliminate dandruff and to deal with the internal symptoms it can cause. Among them, the constant irritation caused by the itching that can be done by dandruff flakes. It also has sedative effects on the skin and moisturizes the hair strand with a single application. To use this remedy we will need to peel and let stand for a whole day the inner crystal of the aloe vera plant. This will allow us to remove all the internal toxins that the plant has as self-defense.
After the day has passed, with a spoon we will extract and crush the aloe vera crystal and with a constant massage, we will apply it all over our freshly washed hair. We will put a bag over it and let it rest for about half an hour. It should be noted that we cannot go out in the sun for the next 24 hours after applying the product. Then we will rinse it with warm water and our usual shampoo to remove the residues of the plant. This can be done about 4 times a week, preferably in the afternoon when the sun is no longer shining.
● Apple cider vinegar:
This type of vinegar is widely used in natural medicine, and it is that in these cases it serves for all types of dermatological problems that have to do with dandruff. since its acid component makes the decomposition of sebum accumulated in the capillary area even faster. It also regulates the pH of our scalp, It should be noted that it helps to attack different types of fungi that can inhabit our head; therefore it would be attacking several problems with a single application. This is applied directly to the hair and is removed after 20 min penetrating the scalp.
● Natural Yogurt:
Homemade or naturally purchased yogurt without any added sugar is quite useful to combat different types of fungus. Both stomach and dermatological. Since the acid that comes directly from the dairy moisturizes the skin and also helps to balance the pH of the dermis. To apply it you will need to put the yogurt on clean hair, directly to the root area. You can leave it there for half an hour while lightly massaging it in with your fingertips. After this, you need to wash your hair thoroughly.
This root is a remedy also often used in alternative medicine to help with digestive diseases, common colds, and allergies. It has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory functions that make it very useful for the type of dandruff that leaves swelling on the scalp. To use it we need to make ginger juice, through a grinder. After this, we need to pour the liquid on our scalp and leave it there for a whole hour. Then, we have to rinse it well and as a bonus, it will leave your hair smelling delicious!
● Coconut oil:
Despite what you may think, coconut oil will not make your hair greasier. In fact, it will help your scalp hydrated and keep it shiny, which is a problem when it comes to dandruff. It also helps the itching to stop and the inflammation to go down. This essential oil has lauric acid, which is an exceptional anti-fungal. The application procedure of coconut oil can be done once or twice a week, and direct contact with the sun should be avoided.
This medicinal plant is quite useful when treating dandruff that increases the amount of sebum in the scalp, as it tends to close the sebaceous gland and control the pH. It also has anti-inflammatory effects and is a great antifungal, therefore it will collaborate perfectly with dermatitis we are treating. It also stimulates the blood circulation of the scalp, which can help with hair growth. To use this remedy we will need several nettle leaves to boil, and we will wash our head with the remaining liquid. Then we will remove it with plenty of warm water.
It may sound a bit weird, but multiple people assure the functionality of this remedy to treat dandruff! To use it we will need to wash our hair in the usual way, and then we will apply the mouthwash directly on our scalp. This from the antifungal components it contains and the pure alcohol could help remove the flakes caused by dandruff.
This is a remedy from our grandmothers, and as always, they are right! The vitamin C and antifungal functions of lemon can help dandruff disappear, as well as keep hair pH in check and prevent the proliferation of other types of fungi. All this through its acidic pH, which also helps reduce the itching caused by dandruff. In fact, it can also contribute to moisturizing the hair roots. To use it we will need the juice of half lemon well squeezed, and with the help of a handkerchief, we will apply this juice little by little on our scalp. After about 15 minutes, it should be removed with cold and abundant water, in addition to shampooing. It should be noted that sun exposure should be avoided for the first 24 hours of treatment, as it can be so strong that it can cause discoloration and burns on the scalp.
● Omega 3
One of the causes of dandruff can be seen due to fundamental vitamins for good pigmentation and the development of the scalp’s vital functions. Therefore if we have a deficiency of omega 3 we can see that it can dehydrate and create small flakes of dandruff. Besides that, it will help us in other kinds of things, such as improving our cardiovascular health. We can add to our diet this element through foods such as oily fish, nuts, and other types of foods such as nuts and rice.
Its composition is perfect to use as an exfoliant, in addition to the fact that it leaves our skin quite soft and smooth. To use it we are going to apply a small handful of sea salt on our wet hair and you are going to massage by little on the areas where itching develops the most. This will help to exfoliate the area and remove those little white clouds of dandruff that pile up on the scalp. This can be done daily and we should wash our hair with a salt-free shampoo.
● Garlic and honey
Garlic is universally used to grow hair, applying it in shampoo and also in nail polish thanks to its nourishing properties. Not surprisingly, it also helps us to reduce the amount of dandruff in our hair. To make this mask we will need to crush several cloves of garlic and in a bowl mix them with a large spoonful of honey. Place it on the hair roots and let it sit for about 10 minutes, then rise with plenty of shampoos and avoid exposure to the sun as much as possible.
● Olive oil:
As we had mentioned before, dandruff stems from a scalp lacking nourishment and lack of attention. If we need to moisturize our hair, olive oil is ideal, in addition to giving it an exquisite aroma that will leave everyone wondering about that perfume you use. You don’t need to make a mask directly, but apply a splash of olive oil in the shampoo you usually use and you will see how it changes the composition of your hair. Or if you prefer it to be more effective since your dandruff is a little more advanced, you can apply it directly to your hair about twice a week for extra hydration. If things don’t change after three weeks of application, you should look for another way to fight dandruff or visit a specialist.
So much for today’s top! Although it is a very common problem, treating dandruff as soon as we intercept it is very important to set an effective treatment so that it does not proliferate. If none of the alternatives given here work for you, you can go to a specialist to be prescribed a treatment depending on your case. Your health is not a game, so it is important to take care of it on time.