- Dandruff is a common hair problem which affects millions of people worldwide. It is a scalp disorder which is characterized by excessive shedding of dead skin from the scalp.
- In people affected by Dandruff, dead skin cells accumulate on the scalp and form a white flaky layer. This layer of white flakes weakens the hair and leads to hair fall. Along with the appearance of white flakes which can fall onto the shoulders, eyebrows, and clothes, Dandruff can also lead to dryness of scalp, redness/irritation on the scalp, itchy scalp, and tenderness of the scalp skin.
- Dandruff can be caused by a number of factors, which may include general health issues, harsh hair products, blood impurities, frequent exposure to heat or cold, stress, chronic constipation, fatigue, emotional stress, pollution, hormonal imbalance, problems with the immune system, and skin disorders like psoriasis, eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis.
- Dandruff can be managed effectively with the help of some excellent Ayurvedic remedies which can provide long-term relief from the problem.
Dandruff: Ayurvedic Outlook
- In Ayurveda, Dandruff is classified under the ‘Shudra Roga’ category, which includes disorders that are believed to be caused by an imbalance of the body’s three energies or ‘doshas’ — Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
- The main doshas involved in this scalp disorder are Vata and Pitta doshas. The aggravated Vata and Pitta result in the production of certain impurities (Ama), which get accumulated in the deep tissues of the scalp and cause contamination. The build-up of ‘Ama’ causes the scalp to shed excessive amounts of dead epidermal cells, thereby leading to the problem of Dandruff.
- Ayurvedic treatment of Dandruff is aimed at pacifying the Vata and Pitta doshas through beneficial herbal products and some recommended changes in dietary and lifestyle habits which can eliminate the accumulated impurities.
How Ayurveda Can Help In Managing Dandruff
There are some time-tested and proven remedies in Ayurveda which can help in managing Dandruff in a safe, natural and effective manner. Some of the Ayurvedic remedies for Dandruff are
1. Neem (Azadiracta Indica)
- The Neem herb has the ability to cure different types of skin disorders because of its anti-microbial, anti-fungal and disinfectant properties.
- Dandruff can be managed with Neem either by using Neem oil to massage the scalp and hair or by using a Neem rinse — by boiling Neem leaves in water — and using it as a final wash for the hair after shampooing. Moreover, chewing a few Neem leaves every morning on empty stomach is probably the best way to get benefits from Neem; or, alternatively, Neem tablets and Neem capsules are also beneficial.
2. Amla (Emblica Officinalis)
- The use of Amla is another Ayurvedic remedy for managing Dandruff and promoting healthy hair growth. Amla is rich in Vitamin C and has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which can prevent the excessive formation of flakes on the scalp, and control itchiness and dryness.
- For managing Dandruff, Amla powder should be made from a few Amla leaves, and a paste should be prepared with the use of some water. This paste should be applied as an anti-dandruff hair mask for around 30 minutes and rinsed with cold water, followed by shampoo. Another way to use Amla for managing dandruff is to prepare a home-made shampoo with Amla, Reetha and Shikakai.
3. Fenugreek (Trigonella Foenum Graecum)
- Fenugreek or Methi seeds are also very effective in managing Dandruff because they contain a high amount of protein and nicotinic acid. Fenugreek is widely known in Ayurveda for its ability to treat Dandruff as well as to check hair fall and balding.
- To manage Dandruff, fenugreek seeds should be soaked in water overnight, and a paste should be prepared in the morning, with one tablespoon of lemon juice added to it. The paste should then be applied to the scalp and hair-ends and left for 30 minutes. The hair should later be rinsed with a mild shampoo.
4. Green Gram (Vigna Radiata)
Another excellent herbal shampoo for managing Dandruff can be prepared by using a green gram or moong dal. A paste of green gram should be made by using water, and some curd should be added to it, especially if the hair is oily. This paste should be applied on the scalp for 15 minutes, and rinsed off with lukewarm water, followed by a mild shampoo.
5. Curd and lemon
The combination of curd and lemon is also a proven Ayurvedic remedy for managing Dandruff naturally. Curd moisturizes the hair and keeps the scalp cool, while lemon can eliminate the flaky layer of dead cells on the scalp. To benefit from this combination, a bowl of curd and the juice of two lemons should be used for cleaning the hair and the scalp.
6. Egg white and lemon
- Another remedy for managing Dandruff is to use a mixture of egg white and lemon juice on the head. Egg whites are rich in protein, while lemon contains Vitamin C which can keep the scalp healthy by boosting circulation.
- To control Dandruff, a mixture of two egg whites and the juice of one lemon should be applied on the hair for nearly 30 minutes, after which the hair should be washed with a mild shampoo, preferably Neem shampoo.
7. Almond oil and Olive Oil
A solution made from Almond oil and Olive oil is also an excellent Ayurvedic remedy for Dandruff, which can manage the scalp disorder if used regularly. Both the oils have remarkable qualities to promote hair growth and provide nourishment to the hair. A solution of the two oils should be used for massaging the hair and the scalp on a regular basis. While shampooing the hair, tea water should be used for rinsing.
8. Sandalwood Oil
The use of Sandalwood oil is also a beneficial Ayurvedic treatment for Dandruff. Sandalwood oil, mixed with some lemon juice, should be massaged on the scalp for a few minutes, and then rinsed with lukewarm water. The massage treatment will strengthen the roots of the hair, promote healthy circulation, and prevent the formation of Dandruff.
Along with the above remedies, Ayurvedic treatment of Dandruff also includes some diet and lifestyle suggestions, which can be listed as follows:
- Wash the hair regularly with a mild shampoo, 2-3 times a week
- Massage the hair and scalp with oil before shampooing
- Avoid excessive scratching of the scalp
- Avoid spicy, hot and greasy foods, junk food, and aerated drinks
- Consume foods with high nutritive value; eat fiber-rich foods, fruits, salads, and lentils
- Consult an expert Ayurveda practitioner for further guidance.