Five Natural Treatments for a Healthy Scalp
Ease dry, irritated scalp and banish dandruff
What is Dandruff?
A healthy scalp is one which is free from dandruff,seborrhoeic eczema, psoriasis and other problems. The scalp sheds dead skin cells regularly just like the rest of our skin. If this process speeds up, which can occur for a variety of reasons, the dead cells clump together forming the flakes we know as dandruff
These dandruff flakes can form when the scalp is either too dry or too oily which provokes the development of a fungus, which is always present on the scalp but which can proliferate in certain conditions. One of the triggers is puberty when overactive glands can cause the production of unusually high quantities of the scalp’s natural oil and provoke the fungus, known as pityrosporum ovale.
Another major trigger is stress that is known to provoke a moderate to severe condition known as seborrhoeic eczema which causes plaques of scale as well as eczema on other parts of the body. Other triggers are excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, or a diet which contains too much sugar or salt, spicy food or which is deficient in essential fatty acids or B vitamins.
Other Scalp Conditions
There are two conditions which tend to be more serious than simple dandruff and might need to consult a medical professional for treatment. Seborrhoeic eczema causes thick patches of greasy, yellow, itchy flakes on the scalp, that often can spread to the ears, behind the ears, eyebrows and occasionally other parts of the face. and the eyebrows Psoriasis is another condition which manifests in thick, itchy patches on the scalp. It is caused by new cells being produced faster than the old ones can be shed.
Steps to a Healthy Scalp
There are many shampoos on the market to deal with dandruff and many seem to work well and leave their users with a healthy scalp. There are also some simple cures using natural products or substances found in our kitchens, which are mentioned below.
Tar-based shampoos such as Neutrogena as well as antifungal shampoos can be effective for shifting stubborn dandruff or for treating eczema. Preparations containing selenium, zinc and salicylic acid can also be helpful.
For more stubborn dandruff or seborrhoeic eczema, selenium, zinc, coal tar in coconut oil or salicylic acid can be successful.
Take care not to damage your scalp with drying or irritating hair products. Switch shampoos occasionally, using a shampoo which reduces built-up of chemicals once a month. Make sure you eat a healthy diet with adequate amounts of the B vitamins and vitamin E, selenium and zinc.
If the condition still doesn’t improve try some of the natural treatments outlined below, but consult your doctor if these do not work either.
5 Natural Treatments
1. To treat mild cases of dandruff, rub baking soda or bicarbonate of soda into your scalp, wait a few minutes and then rinse. Leave for then minutes and then shampoo using a gentle shampoo or one for treating dandruff.
2. The polyphenols in green tea are said to kill off a type of fungus which might be behind your dandruff problem. Leave the green tea to brew and cool and then pour over the scalp, leave for ten minutes and was using a gentle shampoo. Shampoos containing olive oil or avocado oil do the job best.
3. According to the RealAge website aloe vera can help relieve seborrheic dermatitis, a condition that often causes more severe dandruff problems. To do this rub aloe vera gel into your scalp and leave on overnight. Wash off in the morning.
4. An alternative to this is to massage olive oil into the scalp and wash in the morning. Doing this once a month can keep dandruff at bay and help promote a healthy scalp.
5. Rinsing your hair with a solution of three parts warm water to one part of apple cider vinegar can eliminate build-up from shampoos and other hair products from the hair and scalp and make the hair shinier. Some people believe that apple cider vinegar also kills off the fungus which causes dandruff so using a solution of apple cider vinegar diluted with water may help your scalp as well as your hair.
(Sources: BBC Health and Beauty Pages, RealAge Website)
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