The first thing you need to do is go *here* to find out whether what you have is dandruff or a dry scalp. Dandruff grows only on oily skin, so there isn't such a thing as dry dandruff.
CAUSES OF DANDRUFF
Treating your dandruff from within:
Ayurveda and homeopathy tells us that skin problems are not diseases, they are symptoms. Skin is the biggest eliminating organ in the body. I personally support this view, because I clearly observe the way my skin reacts to sickness, food and lifestyle changes.
Dandruff is a signal that there is an imbalance in your body.
* Hormonal imbalance
This may also cause dandruff. If you suspect that you have this condition, contact your doctor.
* Diet: Clean up your diet to clean up your scalp.
Malnutrition is a big cause of diet. Malnutrition doesn't necessarily mean starving because you can't afford food: it means putting junk into your body.
How are you eating right now that could be causing dandruff by creating a disbalance in your body?
* Do you eat a lot of fried food, heavy oils or too much animal protein ? -- Dandruff is built of protein and fat.
* A lot of processed food ? Unhealthy sweets ? (Only sweets with refined sugar, chemicals and other crap are unhealthy. For fantastic recipes of healthy sweets go *here*) Our body works very hard to get rid of stuff that is not good for it, and the appearance of our skin suffers as the result.
Try to eliminate the processed stuff. Replace white flour with dark whole-grain flour. Eat organic when you can. Throw out the sugar, aspartam and other artificial sweeteners, and try out Stevia: the natural 0 calorie sweetener; or Agave nectar. Making 50% of your food raw works wonders for dandruff, and for the rest of your body too !
* Food allergies
Very often dandruff is caused by our body being allergic to some kind of food. The most common cause in milk and wheat. To find out if you're sensitive try eliminating that food from your diet for a while and see if the dandruff goes away.
Dandruff is a fungus that thrives on an oily scalp. An oily scalp is often caused by zinc deficiency. Try eating foods rich in zinc to lower the oiliness of your scalp.
- Fruit & Veggies: avocado, olives, squash, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, onion, artichoke, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, spinach, radish and peas; blackberries, kiwi fruit, strawberries, bananas and peaches.
- Nuts & Seeds: All nuts and seeds have zinc, but the ones with most are pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashew, pine nuts, brazil nuts, almonds and walnuts. ♥ Tip: to gain the maximum nutritional value and digestibility soaking your nuts (lol) before eating them.
- Pulses: Lima beans, soya beans & their products, chickpeas, kidney beans and even baked beans.
- Supplements: If you eat a healthy diet which includes some zinc-rich food, supplementing is unnecessary. However if you do chose to take zinc pills, take them at least on hour before or after a meal, because food interferes with zinc absorbtion from pills. Also, most zinc tablets are not meant to be taken every day, so do read the instructions and ask your doctor before tinkering with your body ! (yes, i told you that eating healthy is easier than popping supplements.
Magnesium deficiency is also a common cause of dandruff. Megnesium rich foods include cocoa, nuts, beans, tofu, pumpkin and squash seeds
You can take a magnesium sulfate supplement 25-50 mg, 3-4 times a week. Discontinue after a few weeks, when the dandruff is reduced.
* Evening primerose oil
Evening Primrose oil is rich in Gamma-Linolenic Acid (Omega 6), and it helps with skin problems. Try taking internally about 250 mg per day for 3 days a week.
* Selenium and Vitamin C
Both of these are antifungal, so be sure to include them in your diet ! Brazil nuts have a loooot of selenium, so much that you need to eat them only once in a while. Vit C is found in a lot of fruits and veggies, however it is very easily destroyed by cooking. So, be sure to include some raw stuff in your food !
* Blocked circulation
Ayurveda states that dandruff might be caused by sluggish blood flow in the scalp area. To give your circulation a boost, try massaging your scalp. *more on scalp massage*
TRIGGERS OF DANDRUFF:
Eliminate external aggravations
Though the cause of dandruff lies within the body, these factors trigger it and further aggravate it:
This little chemical demon lives in shampoo bottles. It's an irritant, and along with giving you that squeaky clean feel and the nice lather, it makes your skin angry.
♥ Look on the label before buying shampoos, choose one that is SLS free. *more*
* Harsh Shampoos
A lot of normal or anti-dandruff shampoos contain too many harsh chemicals. Anti-dandruff shampoos often aggressively clean your scalp instead of curing the problem.
♥ Try going for gentle shampoos, try out natural products, or give up shampoo altogether and clean your hair with conditioner.
* Hair dyes
The chemicals in hair dyes often aggravate sensitive scalps.
♥ Try switching to Henna for a few months, and watch how your scalp react.
* Styling products
Harsh chemical ingredients in conditioners and styling products may also aggravate dandruff.
♥ Stop using them or find milder alternatives, and observe the reaction of your scalp.
Often you can tell whether someone is going through a rough patch because their dandruff gets worse.
♥ After you identify the causes (not just triggers -- yes, there is a difference) the stress, there are 3 main ways to deal with it:
♥ Find ways to do it better: research online for ways to do stuff more efficiently (like getting things done, more efficient software,
♥ Get away from it, physically or mentally: end the draining relationship, get a job that you actually like, or simply find an hour every day to do what gives you pleasure.
♥ If it is something within you that is causing the stress, try EFT. It really works ! Learn about controlling your anger or jealousy, try exercise to let out pent-up energy, try Tai Chi or Yoga...
Coming up: natural DIY treatments for dandruff.So stay tuned !