Tags: dandruff | natural | remedy | dry | skin | winter

7 Natural Remedies That Combat Dandruff

7 Natural Remedies That Combat Dandruff
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By    |   Thursday, 26 October 2017 10:35 AM

If winter brings a blizzard of flakes to your shoulders, rest assured that you are not alone. Experts estimate that some 50 million Americans suffer from dandruff, which cold weather seems to exacerbate.

Surprisingly, no one seems to know exactly why winter has this effect. Some experts believe it has to do with less exposure to ultraviolet light, which controls a type of microbe that contributes to dandruff.

Others surmise it may be due to people wearing tight-fitting hats more frequently, or less hair-washing because of the cold. Still others say the flakes just show up more on the darker clothes we tend to wear come winter.

“The bottom line is that dandruff gets worse in the winter months for reasons we can’t explain,” admits dermatologist Dr. Patricia Farris, who practices in Metairie, La. “It’s really an enigma.”

This much we do know: Dandruff is not normally caused by dry skin, but just the opposite. Most cases are triggered by an excess of sebaceous oil, which is secreted by glands in the skin. The yeast-like fungus malassezia feeds on the oils, causing skin cells to shed more frequently and clump together to make the telltale flakes.

“The overactive or inflamed glands produce a greasy scale, and the yeast grows in that,” explains Farris, who is also a clinical associate professor at Tulane University in New Orleans. “In treating dandruff, you have to address both the yeast and the inflammation.”

The simplest way to do that, she adds, is to use a medicated shampoo regularly. The shampoos have anti-inflammatory and/or anti-fungal ingredients such as ketoconazole and coal tar.

“One of the biggest misconceptions is that people with dandruff think their scalp is dry, so they quit washing their hair,” Farris tells Newsmax Health. “That allows the greasy scale to build up and the yeast to overgrow. Washing your hair once a day is better than more infrequent washing.”

Although Farris insists that medicated shampoos – both over-the-counter and prescription – are safe and effective, they contain chemicals that some natural practitioners say are best to avoid. Coal tar, in particular, has been a mainstay in dandruff shampoos for decades but is also a known carcinogen. Dandruff shampoos are also notorious for turning hair dry and frizzy.

“Medicated shampoos may work temporarily, but the dandruff usually returns,” notes Trevor Cates, a naturopathic doctor based in Park City, Utah. “They are not a long-term solution.”

Here are some alternative ways that natural health experts say may help you control winter dandruff:

Salt exfoliation: Massage a handful of salt into your scalp before showering. The crystals will remove a lot of the dead skin cells and scales.

Apple cider vinegar: TV’s Dr. Mehmet Oz is a fan of this remedy. The acidic nature of the vinegar inhibits growth of the yeast. Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle, wet hair and let sit 15 minutes before rinsing. Try it twice a week.

Tea tree oil: You’ll find this essential oil in natural dandruff shampoos because of its potent anti-microbial properties. You can add a few drops to your regular shampoo or just massage them into your scalp.

Baking soda: This all-purpose cleaner is also good at cleaning out the yeast on your scalp, say experts. Massage a handful of the powder into your wet hair, then rinse in the shower.

Coconut oil: An ancient remedy, coconut oil is another anti-fungal agent. Massage about four tablespoons into your scalp once a day and leave it on for an hour before showering.

Diet: Dandruff can be affected by what you eat. Sugar, processed foods and unhealthy fats are all known to contribute to sebaceous oil excesses. Eating more whole foods, especially those rich in zinc and vitamin B6, will help keep the oils in check.

Lifestyle: Obviously, practicing good hygiene is important. And dandruff has been linked to stress, so doing whatever you can to relax – meditation, yoga, gardening, etc. – may also help you to avoid getting an accumulation of winter snowflakes on your shoulders.

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Millions of Americans suffer from dandruff, which cold weather seems to exacerbate. While medicated shampoos are often recommended to treat it, a handful of natural remedies are just as effective – or more so. Here are seven to try.
dandruff, natural, remedy, dry, skin, winter
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2017-35-26
Thursday, 26 October 2017 10:35 AM
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