There is nothing as annoying as noticing white flakes on your cloths the moment you touch your head! Unfortunately very many of us suffer from dandruff and despite doing so many things that we think will alleviate the problem we still find those ANNO-YING white flakes on our sparkling clean cloths.
In this article, based on extensive research, I have put together all the relevant details on: What is dandruff?, Causes of dandruff and most importantly How to effectively use natural remedies to treat dandruff in 4C hair.
What is dandruff, What causes dandruff in 4C hair?
Dandruff is a chronic non inflammatory scaling of the scalp. It is a common scalp disorder affecting so many people. As a result it is one of the most exploited skin disorder, as people continue to search for a lasting solution for the condition. [Source]
Dandruff is caused by a dry skin, malassezia fungus, Seborrheic Dermatitis, poor hygience and contact dermatitis, mostly caused by use of some irritating products.
The scalp like any other part of the skin usually undergoes continuous shedding (horny desquamation). The normal process of shedding is more visible on the scalp because the rate of production of horny cells is greater on the scalp than on most parts of the body. In addition, the hair retains scale and especially when you miss a week or two of washing. This usually creates the appearance of dandruff.
Effective natural methods to get rid of dandruff in 4C hair
There are many remedies for dandruff, from topical over the counter medications, medicated shampoos and natural remedies.
Natural remedies that can get rid of dandruff in 4C hair include: 1. Apple Cider Vinegar, 2. Aloe Vera, 3. Tea Tree Oil, 4. Eucalyptus Oil, 5. Peppermint Oil, 6. Baking Soda, 7. Lemon Grass Oil, among others.
It is important to try out different solutions to find one that perfectly works for you, however remember that it boils down to figuring out the cause of your dandruff so you deal with it.
Below are 9 effective natural remedies to help you get rid of dandruff in 4C hair.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar has a wide range of benefits on the hair, in this article we have talked more about the benefits of AVC on natural hair. If you are dealing with an itchy scalp, or hair breakage, Apple Cider Vinegar might just be the solution that you need.
Apple Cider Vinegar contains a range of minerals and vitamins that are good for natural hair. It also contains alpha- hydroxy acid which helps to exfoliate the scalp and also has anti inflammatory properties that help fight dandruff. This study indicates that apple cider vinegar inhibits growth of certain fungus that may cause dandruff to thrive.
Apple cider vinegar can be used as a hair rinse after shampooing and conditioning. However, the amount used should not be overdone as it contains acetic acid which may irritate or burn the skin.
2. Aloe Vera
The Aloe Vera plant is known for its long spiky succulent leaves which have a cool feel on the skin. Although mostly renowned for its treatment of burns and inflammation, the gel in the aloe vera plant is effective treatment for seborrheic dermatitis, the condition that causes dandruff. It contains radioactive compounds such as aminoacids and antioxidants that help in reducing dandruff.
The Aloe Vera gel is efficient in improving moisture retention on the skin and in promoting wound healing. This makes it a powerful solution to dandruff effects caused by itching. According to a 2015 study, the antifungal and antibacterial properties of Aloe Vera help in prevention dandruff.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil extracted from a native Australian plant called Melaleuca alternifolia. The plant has been used to treat a variety of conditions. Tea tree oil contains a compound called terpinen- 4-ol which possesses powerful antimicrobial properties. It is also known to have antifungal properties. Its -antifungal properties make it effective in alleviating some causes of dandruff while the high concentrates of terponen-4 –ol help reduce dandruff by suppressing the growth of fungi and bacteria on the scalp. [Source]
Tea tree oil reduces yeast over growth on the scalp. There is a fungus that grows on every one’s head known as malassezia. In some cases the fungus which has yeast like properties may become over grown. This may occur due to a medical condition or poor hair hygiene habits, such as not shampooing enough.
This study conducted on the antimicrobial and medicinal properties of tea tree oil showed that it is effective in the treatment of dandruff and is highly effective in reducing itchiness, greasiness and sometimes lesions that result from dandruff.
It is highly recommended to use Tea Tree oil indirectly on the skin/scalp as it may cause irritation. It should be applied indirectly by adding a few drops of the essential oil into a regular shampoo. Shampoos containing the essential oil are also available in some stores.
4. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil is good for your hair and scalp and will help with dryness, itching and other symptoms. Peppermint oil has antimicrobial and anti inflammatory properties meaning that is also efficient in easing dandruff related symptoms. This article give more details on the properties of Peppermint Oil and the benefits on 4C hair.
5. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus oil is packed with nutrients and minerals necessary for your 4C hair. It also has antibacterial and anti fungal and anti inflammatory properties which help in fighting dandruff related symptoms.
Eucalyptus oil is essential in treating an itchy scalp. The oil has cooling properties which help in relieving pain in an itchy scalp. The antifungal properties help in wading off fungus that causes dandruff. Eucalyptus oils with leave your 4C hair strong and healthy. It can be applied easily with any other carrier oil by massaging the scalp directly.
6. Lemon Grass Essential Oil
Lemon grass is known to contain healing properties. Lemon grass oil possesses antifungal, antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties which make it a wonderful oil for your 4C natural hair.
The anti microbial and inflammatory properties are known to reduce dandruff symptoms.
Findings on a 2015 study indicated that 10% of lemon grass significantly reduced dandruff by 81% in two weeks. As such, lemon grass is an efficient natural remedy for dandruff. Lemon essential oil can be mixed or diluted with water or can be used after mixing with a regular shampoo or conditioner.
7. Baking Soda
Sodium bicarbonate commonly known as baking soda will not be missed in many kitchen pantries. It is therefore a readily available solution to dandruff. According to this research, the use of sodium bicarbonate inhibits fungal agents that are responsible for causing dandruff.
The antifungal properties in Baking Soda makes it efficient in fighting dandruff. It is also known to act as a gentle exfoliant of the skin; which works by removing excess skin cells on the scalp. If used too frequently, baking soda can pause a danger to the skin. Baking soda can be used as a hair rinse and can be applied directly to wet hair by massaging it into the scalp.
Due to its very high PH levels, sodium bicarbonate can damage the scalp and strip the hair off its natural oils if used too much, therefore practice caution when using it.
8. Increase Omega 3 uptake
According to research a deficiency in omega 3 can have several effects including formation of dandruff. Omega 3 fatty acids, have several skin benefits including improving hydration, managing oil production, regulating inflammation and aging. Omega 3 is also important as it has been noted to reduce anxiety disorders, which in turn are known to cause dandruff.
Foods with omega 3 include salmon, mackerel and walnuts. Supplements can also be consumed to provide omega 3.
9. Reduce Stress
If you’re wondering how stress and dandruff relate, this is for you.
A 2006 research indicates that dandruff is commonly aggravated by emotional stress. Dandruff is caused by a naturally occurring microbe, Malassexia globosa which is always present on the scalp. It is not normally affected by stress. However, stress weakens the body against natural defenses making it more difficult to deal with the presence of malassezia.
There are various activities that one can take up to reduce and control stress levels. These include meditation, taking up yoga, music classes and other engaging exercises.
In summary: There are several natural and conventional remedies for dandruff however it is important to determine what is causing your dandruff in order to apply the right remedy. A proper, consistent natural hair care routine will put you in a better place in combating dandruff overall and so focus of understanding your hair and developing a suitable routine.