Question : FOR years, I have been having occasional dandruff which last up to a week at most after applying anti-dandruff shampoo. But for the last few months it would not go away even after trying different shampoos. Is there any herbal treatment I can try?
Answer : DANDRUFF is a common scalp condition that occurs when dead skin is shed, producing irritating white flakes. It is usually a condition of oily, rather than dry skin. Recent research shows that severe cases of flaking scalp, usually associated with seborrhoea (a type of dermatitis), may be caused by an overgrowth of the yeast Pityrosporum ovale which lives naturally on the skin.
Dandruff can be triggered by trauma, illness, hormonal imbalances, and consuming too much carbohydrates and sugar. A deficiency in nutrients such as B-complex vitamins, essential fatty acids and selenium has been linked to dandruff as well. There is no cure for it, but the condition can be minimised.
Essential fatty acids help to relieve itching and inflammation. It is also essential for a healthy skin and scalp. Evening primrose oil is a rich source of Omega-6 EFA that delivers 12-14 per cent of GLA (gamma linolenic acid).
B vitamins are needed for healthy skin and hair. Supplementing with antioxidants such as vitamin E, zinc and selenium is also important. Vitamin E will improve circulation and selenium helps in controlling a dry scalp.
Consume a diet consisting of 50 to 75 per cent raw foods. Eat yoghurt or supplement your diet with friendly bacteria. Avoid fried foods, dairy products, sugar, flour, chocolate, nuts and seafood.
Do not scratch the scalp. Wash your hair frequently using a non-oily shampoo. Massage your scalp first before washing. Alternatively, before washing your hair, add eight tablespoons of pure organic peanut oil to the juice of half a lemon and rub the mixture into your scalp. Leave it on for five to 10 minutes, then shampoo.