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Say goodbye to dandruff

Dandruff, a scalp condition that affects almost everyone, can be cured with routine care.


DANDRUFF IS a common problem. All of us have suffered from the problem at one time or the other. In its mild form, dandruff consists of loose white flakes that fall off. At times, the flakes may be yellow in colour. Even mild dandruff causes itching.

There are two kinds of dandruff - oily and dry. Dry dandruff appears as loose white flakes and the scalp itches a great deal. The oily dandruff is sticky and yellow in colour and is smelly. The oily form is found mostly amongst adolescents and adults with an excessive oily skin.

Causes

Dandruff is caused by hormonal disturbance and emotional tension.

These trigger excessive secretion of sebum and a build-up of dead cells on the scalp. These are what we refer to as dandruff scales. The scales, along with sebaceous secretions, tend to stick to the scalp and together cause the common condition known as dandruff.

Infection due to disease, injury to scalp, faulty diet and excessive use of hair cosmetics like sprays and gels may also cause dandruff.

Solve the problem

If you have a dandruff problem, keep your hair and scalp clean. Wash your hair and scalp frequently - it could be daily or every other day depending upon how stubborn your dandruff is.

Shampoo: Choose a mild herbal shampoo that helps in cleansing the hair and scalp without disturbing the normal PH balance of the scalp. This is important as an alkaline surface encourages bacterial activity.

Dandruff shampoos: Two types are available.


The clinical anti-dandruff shampoos contain a special chemical preparation to fight dandruff. However, these are too harsh and you should exercise caution while deciding to use them. If you do use, avoid using them constantly for long periods.

Herbal anti-dandruff shampoos have gained a lot of popularity and are quite effective. Choose your shampoo from a reputed herbal company. Massage and daily brushings are extremely helpful in treating dandruff. It helps invigorate the blood circulation , spreads the natural oil and dislodges the dead skin cells sticking to the scalp for easy exfoliation. If you have dry dandruff, use natural oil such as olive, coconut or castor. Massage the oil on your scalp, especially before washing your hair.

Diet:

It has been established that a faulty diet can trigger dandruff or even cause the condition to flare up. Follow the suggestions given below:

* Make sure you eat at least one fruit and raw salad every day (cabbage, cucumber, tomato, radish or carrot)

* Eat one green leafy vegetable (greens) every day. It contains a lot of vitamins and minerals especially vitamin A, which is excellent for your scalp.

* Yoghurt is a wonder `food' for your hair.

* Include whole grain cereals such as wheat flour, millets, and legumes such as chana and rajma in your diet. These are rich sources of protein and micronutrients.

* Cut down on salt, sugar, fried food and snacks, as well as aerated drinks.

Lifestyle:

A daily walk or exercise helps circulation and also de-stresses you.

At times of stress, follow a conscious method of relaxation. Breathing deeply with your eyes closed is found to be an effective method for reducing stress.

Homecare:

Dandruff is one problem, which if properly taken care at home, can be completely cured.

The wonder boric acid treatment:

Buy a packet of boric acid powder. This is available at the chemist and it is usually used to wash eyes.

Heat any natural oil such as olive oil, coconut oil or castor oil, mix one teaspoon of boric powder and allow it to dissolve well. Part your hair into separate sections and apply oil and massage well into the scalp. Keep for 2-3 hours or preferably overnight and wash the hair in the morning. Do this treatment once a week and if dandruff is very stubborn, do it twice a week.

Oily dandruff

Buy trifla from the market - available at general stores or any herbal shop. Mix one teaspoon of trifla in one glass of water and boil.

Let it simmer for about three minutes. Allow it to cool well, strain it and mix with equal quantities of natural vinegar and massage the lotion into your scalp gently. Leave it on and wash it using a mild shampoo in the morning.

Vinegar rinse:

To a mug of water, mix two tablespoons of malt vinegar. After shampoo, the last rinse should be with this mug of water.

Dry dandruff

Oil massage: For best results, massage your scalp with one teaspoon of hot castor oil and one teaspoon of coconut oil and one teaspoon of sesame or til oil. Leave for 10 minutes and wash your hair.

Follow this routine at least once a week.

Finally, it is of utmost importance to maintain hygiene. Keep your combs, towels and pillow covers scrupulously clean.

Do not use other people's combs or brushes, as it can cause infection. If your dandruff problem is acute, wash your comb/brush daily with an antiseptic lotion.

LILY MADHOK

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