Dandruff is a skin condition that many people suffer from regardless of race, age or geography. Even though a multitude of studies have been done on the condition, there doesn’t seem to be much cohesion on the cause or how to effectively eliminate it.
Dandruff is the rapid turnover of skin cells, so fast that the skin doesn’t have time to shed the first layer before the next layer of dead skin cells is added. This compacting of the dead skin cells builds up on the scalp, clogging the pores and preventing new hair from growing. This stunts hair growth and leads to hair loss.
In addition, there are some bacteria and yeast strains that live on our skin and scalp. They are opportunists that take advantage of the feast of dead skin cells, feeding and growing, exacerbating the issue and promoting a vicious cycle. The one linked mainly to dandruff is called Malassezia globosa.
It isn’t fully understood what causes dandruff – chemicals in hair products, nutritional deficiencies, bacteria, too much sunlight – and it is oftentimes confused with seborrhoeic dermatitis. The difference though, is seborrhoeic dermatitis is more inflammatory and sometimes goes beyond the scalp.
It has been said that dandruff is a mild version of seborrhoeic dermatitis not innately harmful to the skin, however it produces symptoms such as itching, which can lead to damage to the scalp from vigorous scratching and flaking which is annoying, looks unhygienic and can negatively affect the self-esteem of the person with the condition.
The diet of someone with dandruff or similar scalp conditions usually has a severe B Complex deficiency as well as a lack of essential fatty acids and zinc. A diet rich in flaxseed oil, vitamin E, Vitamin A, PABA (Para-amino-benzoic Acid), Folic acid, B6 and Zinc, will help improve the condition. A plant-based diet will help improve the condition of your scalp as well as stocking up on your supplements.
Herbal Hair Rinse
Herbal hair rinses have been used for centuries to cleanse the hair and soothe scalp conditions. The cause of the condition of dandruff needs to be dealt with inside the body through the diet, however, herbal rinses can help with the symptoms, soothing the itching and killing the bacteria that proliferate the problem.
Herbs To Use:
- Burdock root – antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant helps control cell mutation
- Comfrey – healing and soothing
- Aloe vera gel/powder – healing, soothing, cooling for itchy skin
- Ginger – antioxidant and germ killing, cleansing
- Common Plantain – healing, antibiotic, soothes itchy skin
All the above herbs have antibacterial, anti-fungal and soothing properties, exactly what your scalp needs, they are mild and won’t cause the additional issues of drying out your scalp as some commercial shampoos for dandruff.. You can use one or a few of these to make your hair rinse.
How To Make A Dandruff Hair Tea Rinse
Make just enough for single use:
Use 20g of dried plant leaves to 100g of Water. (Use the leaves, as they are easier to strain)
Add leaves to boiling water, cover, boil for 20minutes
Remove from heat and let it steep for 1-3 hours.
Once cooled, strain and use it up.
Another option is to boil the water, remove it from the heat, stir in the leaves, cover it and let it steep for 1-3 hours.
Once cooled, strain and use it up.
I do not suggest leaving it overnight without some form of preservation, however, you could freeze the tea and thaw the cubes when you need to use it. Just take it out a couple hours before you need it (not overnight), let it sit at room temperature until thawed.
If you want to use aloe vera in the tea, use the powdered version and add it after the tea has cooled. It will easily dissolve into the tea. You only need a small amount as the powdered form is highly concentrated, 2-3g or half teaspoon in 100g of water/tea should be more than enough.
You can use the gel on its own, rub it all over the scalp, leave it on for a few hours and wash it out, leave it overnight then wash it out the next day or just leave it on for a few days.
The best way to use the rinse is to pour it into a bottle with a spout then apply it directly to your scalp. It’s best to leave it on your scalp, but ultimately that’s up to you. As it’s water based, it will dry quickly.
This is optional, but you may also add apple cider vinegar to your herbal hair rinse, which will help balance the pH of the scalp.
I don’t have dandruff, but I do experience itchy scalp sometimes and my go to is my hair tea, it not just soothes the itch but adds extra moisture to my hair and scalp. I am developing a hair tea for hair moisturising, but you’ll have to wait and see.
In the meantime, make your own hair rinse, see what herbs work for you, there are many more herbs I could mention but it can be overwhelming. Do some research and see what ones call to you.
Let us know how you get on with your hair tea rinse, connect with us on our Facebook page and share what has helped you with dandruff or any other scalp condition you may be living with.
Until next time,
Be Great x
The Natural Remedies Encyclopedia; Ferrell, V.H; Cherne, H.M.
Ranganathan, S, and T Mukhopadhyay. “Dandruff: the most commercially exploited skin disease.” Indian journal of dermatology vol. 55,2 (2010): 130-4. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.62734