“My scalp is covered with oily dandruff”- Here's the fix.
- Feb 12, 2019
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Tired of fighting that nasty oily dandruff? You have tried all the anti-dandruff shampoos available in the market. The problem goes away for 1-2 days and comes back harsh. You have tried topical ointments and oral medications as well for oily dandruff. But nothing seems to work. You have read a lot of blogs and watched a lot of videos on Ayurveda, home remedies and quick fixes for oily dandruff but the problem is still aggravating.
What exactly is oily dandruff?
Your scalp has tiny glands that produce natural oils and is responsible for the nourishment of the hair. However, sometimes these glands become super active and start producing a lot of oil resulting in greasy hair. For some people, the problem starts when along with greasy hair they start experiencing flaky skin. This is the sticky oily dandruff we are talking about in this post. The color of the flakes might vary from white to yellow. The scalp becomes itchy when this type of dandruff stays for a prolonged period.
It is not easy to get rid of oily dandruff unless we understand the underlying reasons.
The problem can be because of
1. Seborrheic dermatitis
2. The water quality is bad
3. Too many anti-dandruff shampoos
Oily dandruff vs seborrheic dermatitis?
Seborrheic dermatitis is a condition in which your scalp develops oily and flaky scales. The problem is sometimes in the form of a red itchy rash or widespread across the scalp. Skin can itch, burn, or look red. It is difficult to identify this as a medical condition initially and people often confuse it with dandruff.
It can resemble other conditions and it is best to see a doctor for proper diagnosis. But there are other methods of self-diagnosis if the problem is not so grave.
What causes seborrheic dermatitis?
While it is still unknown what causes seborrheic dermatitis, it is thought to be a fungal infection. There are research studies connecting Malassezia yeasts and seborrheic dermatitis. The oil glands being super active can lead to increase of fungus on the scalp from the dust and pollution outside. Also, if you workout regularly or have a tendency to sweat a lot, you have an increased susceptibility of seborrheic dermatitis.
I am a huge fan of home remedies. But remember anything done in excess is bad. You have to strike a balance. It might take time but it will work for sure.
ACV rinse: Apple Cider Vinegar rinse is a potent treatment for seborrheic dermatitis. It has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It might dry out your hair in the beginning but eventually, your hair will become shiny soft and dandruff free. You will start seeing the results after 1 or 2 washes.
You can buy ACV on Amazon India for INR 632 here.
If you are buying from amazon.com, go for Bragg's organic ACV for $11.88 here.
Lemon Rinse: Another very effective remedy is lemon rinse. Squeeze out the juice of a lemon and dilute it with water. After washing your hair and scalp thoroughly, rinse your hair with lemon water. This should be kept as the last rinse. This will give you a lemony freshness throughout the day. Also, the citric acid will kill the fungal growth effectively.
Neem water rinse: Neem is the best antibiotic found in nature. If you have a neem tree around grab a couple of leaves, wash them and boil them for 15 mins. If not you can buy neem powder in India for on Amazon india for INR 125. If you are an international customer, you can buy neem powder on amazon.com here for $9.97.
Let this water cool down at room temperature. Wash your hair completely with a shampoo and rinse your hair with neem water. Let it stay for 1-2 minutes before washing it off with plain water.
The second reason for oily dandruff can be water quality in your region
Another often ignored reason is hard water. According to Wikipedia, “Hard water is water that has high mineral content (in contrast with "soft water"). Hard water is formed when water percolates through deposits of limestone and chalk which are largely made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates.”
When the mineral content of the water is so high, it has a tendency to accumulate in the roots of your hair. The white scales, when accumulated over a long time resembles dandruff.
The scales, however, have a distinct appearance when compared to dandruff flakes. These mineral particles are finer than the flakes and often stick to the roots and don’t come out easily even with a comb.
Hard water will also make your hair rough and dry. You can find home remedies for dry hair here.
Check for the TDS (Total Dissolved Salt) level in the water you use for bathing. If the TDS levels are above 900 mg/lit, the water quality is bad. Although it is impossible and not sustainable to use RO purified water for bathing, you can use purified water as the last rinse. There are some other methods as well which are mentioned below.
1. Complaint to the respective water department for proper purification of water. Most of the time these problems can be treated effectively by the water department easily but the lack of awareness and feedbacks allows them to take a leverage.
2. Water softener
A water softener is a small device that can fit onto your shower or a tap and convert the hard water to soft water. You don’t need to have a storage device because it does so while you take your shower. Pretty quick right!! There are some perks of technology after all.
The best water softener available in the market today is Water Science CLEO SFW-815 Shower Filter on Amazon India available for INR 2295.
Or this is the best choice on amazon.com AquaBliss High Output 12-Stage Shower Filter and is available for $31.
1. Yogurt, oil, and lemon: Take 2-3 tablespoons of yogurt and add 1 teaspoon mustard oil and juice of half lemon. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and apply on your scalp and hair. Massage your scalp to loosen the dirt and scales. Wash it off with your favorite shampoo.
2. Oiling before washing: The culture of oiling had been predominant in a country like India and still is in some parts of India like south India. And it’s no surprise how black, long and healthy their hair looks. Not only this, oiling prevents hair fall and early greying of hair.
Give your hair some dose of nourishment and use oils like mustard oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, amla oil, almond oil or castor oil to massage your scalp. If you wish to mix them all, do that to make your own hair elixir. Oiling will loosen the particles accumulated on your scalp and give a healthy shine to your hair.
The third reason can be too many anti-dandruff shampoos
The truth is, anti-dandruff shampoos that you use result in even more dandruff. The chemical composition of a shampoo is such that it cleanses the scalp and hair at the cost of depleting the natural oils of the hair.
Your body does not understand what is happening and if you are deliberately drying up your scalp. The signals it will get is “No natural oils on scalp” and will start working hard to produce more natural oils. This results in overactive oil glands. The more frequently you use a shampoo, greater is the risk of developing this problem.
Stop stop stop!! Anyone who is telling you to wash your hair every two days is tricking you into buying those fancy shampoos in pink and green bottles in the supermarket.
Don't fall a prey to consumerism. Wash your hair once a week if possible. But if you are someone who likes to keep her hair open or your daily commute requires your interaction with dust and pollution wash it twice. But not more than that.
1. Deep conditioning: Use a deep conditioning mask like one made from yogurt, banana or oils. If you are too lazy to do any DIY, you might want to pick up Buddhica’s 100% natural deep conditioning hair mask with shea butter. Wash it off with your favorite shampoo and enjoy the lustrous hair.
2. Yogurt+ Gramflour mask cum shampoo: If you really feel like washing your hair twice use this simple and moisturizing cleanser. Mix 3 tablespoons of yogurt with 2 tablespoons of fine gram flour. Apply it on your hair and leave it for 20 mins. Wash it off with water.
It might frighten you initially because there will be a large number of gram flour particles in your hair left even after washing. But the after effects will make you fall in love.
The particles will fall off on its own when your hair dries up completely. Don’t fret. Gram flour will give you a fabulous shine to your hair. But I recommend trying this only over a weekend because it takes a lot of time and efforts but is worth it.
3. Buttermilk + fullers earth: Now this is my favorite old time grandmoms recipe for fantastic hair. In a bowl mix fullers earth (Multani mitti) with buttermilk. You can get fullers earth here ETHERIC Multani Mitti Powder, 100g on Amazon India for INR 135 or if you live outside of India you can buy Majestic Pure Indian Healing Clay Powder for $10 on amazon.com.
Apply it on your scalp and leave it for 20 mins and then wash it off without a shampoo if possible. You might not like the feel of your hair when you wash them. But the hair will get better when they dry off. Have patience with home remedies.
4. Sour buttermilk: Another simple trick is to use sour buttermilk. By sour I mean sour!! Pour some on your head and massage from the roots to tips. Leave it for 5 mins and wash it off with water or shampoo as you prefer. Enjoy your lovely hair.
Now that you know how to get rid of the nasty oily dandruff, go ahead and experiment. Stick to one remedy that works for you.
In order to give people a more sustainable solution, I created Buddhica's natural hair mask, which is a wonderful remedy for oily dandruff.
The hair mask is 100% pure and cruelty-free. If you want to order Buddhica's natural products, you can do so by following us on Instagram.