refers to the flaking scalp which falls like a snow flakes and settles on one's brows,
shoulders and clothes, but assumes an unpleasant , irritating condition associated with bacteria,
in the case of excessive formation of scales on the scalp. These scales are formed from the
horny layer of the skin.
The scaliness increases whenever the hair is brushed or rubbed. It may also appear as lumps or
crusts on the scalp. Often there is itching as well, and the scalp may become red from
The main causes of dandruff
are : impairment of general health, toxic condition of the system
brought on mainly by wrong feeding, constipation
and lowered vitality due to infectious
Other factors contributing to dandruff
are emotional tension, harsh shampoos, exposure to cold
and general exhaustion.
Numerous medicated shampoos are available in the market for the treatment of dandruff
of these, however, in the process of curing the disorder, cause irreparable damage to the hair
roots because of the synthetic ingredients contained in them. The treatment of dandruff
be constitutional, if a permanent cure is desired.
The foremost consideration in the treatment of this disorder is to keep the hair and scalp clean
so as to minimise the accumulation of dead cells. The hair should be brushed daily to improve
the circulation and remove any flakiness. The most effective way to brush the hair is to bend
forward from the waist with the head down towards the ground, and brush from the nape of the
neck towards the top of the head. Short or shoulder-length hair can be brushed right from the
roots to the ends in one stroke. In the case of long hair, two strokes would be best to avoid
stretching the hair.
The scalp should also be thoroughly massaged every day, using one's finger tips and working
systematically over the head. This should be done just before or after brushing the hair. Like
brushing, this stimulators the circulation, dislodges dirt and dandruff
and encourages hair
growth. For a proper massage, spread your fingers fanwise and slip them through the hair. With
your thumb pressed behind your ears, press down on your scalp with your fingertips. Now rotate
your fingers so that they move the scalp over the bony structure of the head. You will feel your
skin move and the scalp tingle. Move up an inch at a time until you have covered the whole
head. It is a very simple procedure, and takes only a few minutes to perform.
Several home remedies have been found useful in the treatment of dandruff
. The use of
fenugreek (methi) seeds is one such remedy. Two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds should be
soaked overnight in water. The softer seeds should be ground into a fine paste in the morning.
This paste should be applied all over the scalp and left for half-an hour. The hair should then be
washed thoroughly with soap nut (ritha) solution or shikakai.
The use of a teaspoon of fresh lime juice for the last rinse, while washing hair, is equally
beneficial. This not only leaves the hair glowing but also removes stickiness and prevents
. Washing the hair twice a week with green gram powder in curd is another useful
can be removed by massaging one's hair or half-an- hour with curd which has been
kept in the open for three days, or with a few drops of lime juice mixed with amla juice every
night, before going to bed. Another measure which helps to counteract dandruff
is to dilute cider
vinegar with an equal quantity of water and dab this on to the hair with cotton wool in between
shampooing. Cider vinegar added to the final rinsing water after shampooing also helps to
Diet plays an important role in the treatment of dandruff
. To begin with, the patient should resort
to all-fruit diet for about five days. In this regimen, there should be three meals a day, consisting
of fresh, juicy fruits, such as apples, pears, grapes, grapefruit, pineapple and peaches. Citrus
fruits, bananas, dried, strewed or tinned fruits should not be taken. Only unsweetened lemon or
plain water, either hot or cold, should be drunk. During this period, a warm water enema should
be taken daily to cleanse the bowels and all other measures adopted to eradicate constipation
After the all-fruit diet, the patient can gradually adopt a well- balanced diet. Emphasis should be
on raw foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables ; sprouted seeds, raw nuts and whole grain
cereals, particularly millet and brown rice. Further short periods on the all-fruits diet for three
days or so may be necesssary at a monthly interval, till the skin's condition improves.
Strict attention to diet is essential for recovery. Starchy, protein, and fatty foods should be
restricted. Meats, sugar, strong tea or coffee, condiments, pickles, refined and processed foods -
all these should be avoided, as also soft drinks, candies, ice cream and products made with
sugar and white flour.
Exposure of the head to the rays of the sun is also a useful measure in the treatment of dandruff
Simultaneously, an attempt should be made to keep the body in good health. This also helps