Have you ever noticed those white flakes in your hair or falling on to your shoulders? The telltale signs that you have dandruff. Although dandruff is not a serious health concern it is an indicator that there is an imbalance in your body. Also, for many people it can cause emotional upset or embarrassment. The good news is that for most people there are natural solutions to help you have beautiful, healthy hair and scalp.
What is Dandruff?
Dandruff is a common skin condition caused by an over production of skin cells on the scalp. These cells build up and die off quickly, causing that familiar appearance of white flake off in hair and on shoulders. For some people, dandruff is also often accompanied by itchy, dry and/or inflamed (red) skin.
What is the cause of Dandruff?
There are many factors that may make a person prone to dandruff:
- A fungus called Malassezia. I know its not pleasant to think we have a fungus feeding on our sebum (the oily secretions from our scalp) and dead skin cells (which occur naturally due formation of new skin) but it is one of the primary causes of dandruff. The fungus irritates the skin on the scalp, which then increases inflammation, cell growth and die off (flaking).
- Seborheic Dermatitis is a more severe form of dandruff also believed to be caused by the Malassezia fungus. Seborrhea often appears as red patches of greasy flaking skin, which can appear almost anywhere on the body, but most often occurs on the scalp and on the sides of the nose and eyebrows.
- Contact dermatitis – Sensitivity to certain chemicals in shampoo/conditioner/hair colors can cause skin to become inflamed and itchy resulting in the dry flaky skin.
- Excess oil production resulting in buildup of oil and dead skin cells, that leads to flaking.
- Dry skin – if you are experiencing dkin on your arms and legs then it is likely your scalp may be extra dry too.
- Stress and other skin conditions: as we know stress can aggravate all imbalances in the body including skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema. These conditions cause increase in inflammation and build up of dead skin cells that result in flaking.
- Unhealthy food habits using excessive of oily, greasy, cold foods
- Environmental allergies from dust, sun light, pollution.
Natural Ayurvedic Solutions
Ayurveda supports bringing the whole body and doshas back into balance for both improvement of the condition and overall wellbeing.
Ayurveda offers a number of home remedies and treatments shown to be highly effective for balancing the body, eliminating the cause of dandruff, along with nourishing and soothing the scalp. Modern medicine often focuses on suppressing symptoms, using topical immunomodulators and steroids but Ayurveda supports bringing the whole body and doshas back into balance for both improvement of the condition and overall wellbeing.
In Ayrurveda, dandruff is believed to occur due to an imbalance in the bodily doshas primarily a Vatta imbalance that causes dry scalp; or Pitta-Kapha imbalance that causes dermatitis.
Ayurveda focuses on applying oils and herbs to first detoxify the body, then balance the doshas and thus the sebum production.
Natural remedies such as Ayurvedic Panchakarma have been shown to be very effective in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis. Herbs like Bakuchi (psoralea corylifolia), Mulethi (glycyrrhiza glabra), Amla (indian gooseberry) can be used as an herbal treatment. Tea Tree essential oil has natural antifungal properties, studies have shown that a 5% dilution used to massage the scalp and affected area to be both a safe and effective alternative to traditional dandruff soap and shampoos that are often chemical based and harsh for your skin.
Food and Lifestyle
Ayurveda focuses on the whole person not just the issue at hand. Lifestyle adjustments are an important aspect of balancing the doshas and supporting overall health and wellbeing.
According to Ayurveda, dandruff could be caused due to prolonged intake of cold water (icy water) excessive use of salty food, excessive exposure to UV of sun, excessive consumption of alcohol, and not using hair oil.
For those with eczema and psoriasis in the Ayurvedic tradition it is best to avoid the following foods.
- citrus fruits
- gluten or wheat (if you can’t avoid, then reduce consumption to half)
- spices, such as vanilla, cloves, and cinnamon
Neeta Naturals Solutions
I recommend using Neeta Naturals Elaadi oil (for oily and sensitive skin), Neem Kiss (for dry and normal skin) and apply Shila hair tonic on regular basis to maintain healthy, vibrant scalp and hair.
Visit our website to learn more about each product. Elaadi, Neem Kiss, Shila Hair Tonic.
Do you enjoy DIY options? Here are some easy recipes to use.
Coconut oil with Lemon
Lemon is the key and common ingredient used to clear dandruff. Mix 2 tablespoon lemon juice in 1 tablespoon of warm coconut oil and apply on your scalp, leave the mixture on for 30-45 minutes before washing off with a gentle shampoo and warm water.
Neem trees are abundant in India and are referred to as the village pharmacy; this tree has many therapeutic properties that help to balance and repair the skin and reduce the appearance and severity of skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.
Neeta Naturals Neem Kiss is a convenient and easy way to get all the benefits of neem oil in a ready to use product. Neem Kiss is prediluted with organic jojoba (jojoba is closest to the skin natural sebum) and enhanced with Tea Tree essential oil. This is the perfect balance of ingredients to calm, sooth and nourish your skin. Apply to scalp and leave on for at least 30 minutes. Wash off with a mild shampoo and warm water. For best results, repeat twice a week.
Amla is Indian Gooseberry, you can buy Amla powder online. Take 2 tablespoon of Amla powder mix it with water to make a paste and apply it on your scalp, leave it on for 30-45 min before rinsing. You can also use this herbal paste as facemask and apply to affected area of your skin.
Try one of Neeta Naturals products or create your own DIY remedy and let us know how it works for you. Join the conversation on Facebook or Instagram.
Celebrating the Beauty Within
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, April 2017, pages 193 213
PLOS One, February 2015, e Publication
Journal of the American Medical Association Dermatology, February 2015, pages 221 222
American Family Physician, February 2015, pages 185 190
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002 Dec;47(6):852-5.
Treatment of dandruff with 5% tea tree oil shampoo.
Satchell AC1, Saurajen A, Bell C, Barnetson RS.