There are bad hair days and then, as in the case of dandruff, there are really bad hair days. Dandruff can torment your scalp—making it itchy, irritable, and excessively flaky—and create some rather embarrassing social situations.
Some haircare issues occur when the scalp sheds dead skin cells at an accelerated rate, resulting in flakes or scales. Doctors haven’t nailed down what causes it yet, but triggers such as diet, stress, cold weather, poor health, and excessive use of hair products can provoke it. The true culprit, however, may be the oil-eating fungus Malassezia.
Although it also dwells on healthy heads, this fungus thrives, feasting on the hair’s oil and dramatically increasing the skin cells’ turnover rate. While there are plenty of over-the-counter products designed to treat it, natural remedies can be just effective.
Natural Remedies for Dandruff
Natural remedies for dandruff abound. Experiment with the following options, and see what works for you.
Tea tree oil: Almost all-natural shampoos contain tea tree oil, a potent antibiotic, antiseptic, and antifungal agent. It is also proven to have powerful anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help alleviate symptoms of dandruff.
Zinc: This important mineral, found in some dandruff shampoos, helps regulate oil glands, promotes healing, and supports the immune system.
Omega-3 fatty acids: Found primarily in coldwater fish (such as salmon and herring), and walnuts, as well as oils of canola, soybean, flax, and hempseed, omega 3s support normal skin functioning and may protect against dandruff.
B vitamins: Just as important for healthy hair as omega 3s, you can find these vitamins in dark leafy greens, whole grains, soybeans, avocados, bananas, and, of course, supplements.
Eastern treatments: Dandruff responds well to acupuncture and acupressure, as well as yoga headstands, all of which improve circulation.
Stress: Stress is believed to impact many aspects of health and well-being. It can influence everything from chronic conditions to mental health. While stress itself doesn’t cause dandruff, it can aggravate symptoms like dryness and itching.
Although dandruff can be a frustrating problem, there are plenty of natural remedies available that can reduce symptoms and provide relief. Next time you start spotting flakes, give a few of these natural remedies a try.