Dandruff is a non-contagious condition that is characterized by the appearance of skin flakes on your scalp. The disorder is not a serious one, but can be embarrassing for the person concerned. Mild symptoms of this disorder can be taken care of by shampooing with a mild cleanser on a regular basis. In case of severe dandruff symptoms, treatment may be required.
The symptoms of dandruff are easily spotted; white flakes of dead skin appear on the hair and shoulders. You may experience itchiness on the scalp due to the accumulation of the dead skin cells. The condition tends to aggravate in dry and cold weather conditions.
Dandruff can be caused by a variety of factors such as:
Not shampooing regularly: Irregular shampooing can cause dead skin cells to accumulate, leading to dandruff.
Oily and irritated skin: This condition is characterized by the appearance of greasy skin covered by flaky white scales. It occurs in areas, which are rich in oil glands such as the eyebrows and the nose.
Fungus: Yeast like fungus, known as ‘malassezia’, lives on the scalp and may lead to the buildup of excess skin cells, thereby, causing irritated skin.
Dry skin: Dry skin is the perfect spot for the accumulation of dead cells, a condition that results in dandruff.
Ayurveda places the problem of dandruff in the category of Shudra Roga, which appears due to an imbalance of all three doshas. The primary doshas involved are Pitta and Vata. Pitta is an Ayurvedic humor which symbolizes heat or fire and Vata is dry and rough in nature. In an aggravated state, both doshas cause production of specific impurities, called ama, which are dry and heating in nature.
These impurities accumulate in the deep tissues of the scalp and contaminate them. Contamination of the deep tissues and aggravated Vata-Pitta Dosha cause itching and patches on scalp. Due to these factors, the scalp sheds larger than normal amounts of dead epidermal cells, which leads to the problem of dandruff.
The Ayurvedic line of treatment is to generally pacify Pitta and Vata through herbal medicines, as well as a tailor-made diet and lifestyle plan. Also, special herbs are administered to cleanse the body of accumulated digestive impurities.
Ayurvedic treatment options:
If the cause lies on the scalp such as dry skin, then just hair oil application or local treatment will be sufficient to cure dandruff.
If the cause lies in underlying skin disease such as psoriasis, treatment for the causative disease will be required.
Ayurvedic treatments such as shirodhara, shirobasti helps not only to relieve dandruff and improve hair quality. They also help you to relieve stress and lack of sleep (which also cause for dandruff).
Ayurvedic herbal hair oils for dandruff:
-Nalpamaradi taila etc
Internal medicines helpful in this complaint are-
Saptamrita loha – Contains Indian licorice and Triphala, useful in skin diseases
Bhringarajasava – an alcoholic Ayurvedic medicine. Improves immunity, skin complexion
Chandanasava – improves immunity, relieves excessive oiliness
Narasimha Rasayana – Improves hair quality and scalp skin health. Especially useful when dandruff is caused due to dryness in the scalp.
Diet & Lifestyle Advice
Wash hair regularly 2-3 times a week with a mild shampoo.
Massage your hair with oil every time before washing the head and hair.
Avoid spicy, greasy, hot and penetrating foods, junk food, and aerated drinks.
Have food with good nutritive value; include fiber-rich foods, salads, fruits, and lentils.
Do regular yoga and exercises to minimize stress levels.
Avoid scratching the scalp with hands or any other objects.