Did You Know That Dandruff Is a Fungus?
Dandruff. It’s commonly relegated to the, “stuff no one likes to talk about” file, but today we’re calling it out. Current research shows that dandruff is caused by a scalp fungus that creates excess skin-cell turnover. As the skin is sloughed off, those fine white flakes start to appear on your shoulders. Dandruff can be a difficult and embarrassing problem for many people, but I’ve got some great, all-natural remedies that can help you finally stop the flake-fall for good.
Prevention – Vitamin B Complex
Dandruff is the result of an imbalance on the scalp. It can be caused by your body chemistry, allergic reactions to certain hair products and sometimes by excess sweat and perspiration that is allowed to sit on the scalp for too long.
The ultimate goal for all dandruff treatments and shampoos, is to restore the balance on your scalp. In recent years, the nutrient biotin, part of the Vitamin B complex, has shown promising results when it comes to preventing and stopping dandruff. Biotin is found in many foods, such as soybeans, garlic eggs and avocado.
Kitchen Healing – Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has long been known as the go-to solution for dandruff. It’s acidic properties raise the pH of your scalp, helping prevent further fungal growth.
Apple cider vinegar should always be diluted before use, I suggest going 50/50 distilled water and apple cider vinegar. I like to use distilled water (often found in grocery stores for about $2/gallon) because it has a neutral pH and will not further exacerbate the pH imbalance on your scalp. Put the mixture in a bottle and while in the shower, pour it over your scalp and hair, being careful to avoid getting it in your eyes or in any open sores. Allow the mixture to penetrate for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse with water and follow with a gentle shampoo and conditioner.
Herbal Healing – Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is known for it antiseptic properties and that’s just perfect for dandruff. There are several tea tree oil shampoos available today but you can make your own if you’re feeling DIY. Select a gentle shampoo like a baby shampoo or an herbal shampoo and mix 1 tsp. tea tree oil with 1/2 c. (4 oz.) of shampoo. Next time you’re in the shower, wash your hair and gently massage the shampoo into your scalp – don’t use your nails and don’t scrub – be gentle to your sensitive scalp. Allow the shampoo to sit on your scalp for 5-7 minutes, then rinse with warm water and condition as you normally would.
If you’re not sure if your flakes are caused by dandruff or by a dry scalp, you can check with your doctor to confirm which condition you have.
These are just a couple of the great homeopathic, steroid-free ways to stop the fungus that causes dandruff. So this year, the only white flakes showing up on your shoulders should come from falling snow!