When it comes to feeling secure and enhancing your appearance, hair plays the most important role and given how severe the weather may be and how it can result in dandruff all over the scalp, our hair needs a little additional care now that winter is just around the corner. Dandruff is more prevalent during the winter months due to the dry air and low humidity that are its two contributing factors.
Bathing in hot water and using room heaters, both deplete the skin and scalp of natural oils and aggravate the situation. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Neena Sharma, MD Ayurveda and Founder of Neem Ayu, suggested, “One of the most effective ways to reduce dandruff is to maintain a healthy and holistic way of life, health and hair care routine all throughout the year and not just during the winter season. Keeping hydrated (which can be difficult in winters) and eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables are two natural ways to help prevent dandruff and dry scalp. Dandruff sufferers should use specialised treatments designed to treat the scalp, keep it from becoming too dry and prevent dead skin flaking.”
Recommending regular ‘shiro abhyanga’, a calming head massage with anti-dandruff oil, Dr Neena Sharma called it a good practise and revealed, “This nourishes and moisturises the scalp. Choose a gentle shampoo formulated with ayurvedic herbs instead of harsh shampoos that contain chemicals and further strip the scalp of its natural oils. Natural dandruff prevention herbs such as anantmool, tulsi, neem, and manjistha should be considered when purchasing hair care products. Ayurveda recognises dandruff as a skin condition known as ‘darunaka’ and recommends consuming the correct nutrients to help the body’s internal & skin health. The right supplement will help the body detoxify and nourish the scalp from within, preventing dandruff from reappearing.”
She added, “Along with regular hair maintenance, two things should be avoided at all costs to prevent dandruff – don’t overheat your hair by blow drying it for longer than necessary and avoid using hot water when shampooing to keep the skin on your scalp and hair from becoming dry and itchy.”
Bringing her expertise to the same, Dr Shireen Singh, Dermatologist and Cosmetologist at Chicnutrix, insisted that to maintain a dandruff-free scalp during the winter, there are few things to avoid. She advised:
1. Maintain good scalp hygiene by keeping it free of the fungus known as funfus manazazia
2. Do not oil your hair. Dandruff can be brought on by too much oil in the scalp. Additionally, using oil to treat dandruff could make things worse. This is true because oils contain saturated fatty acids, which the yeast that causes dandruff feeds on. Therefore, putting oil on an inflamed scalp may cause hair to come out more quickly.
3. Wash your hair every other day and if you work out every day and frequently go to the gym, wash it every day.
4. Use shampoos that contain ketoconazole, zinc parathion, coal tar or amino salicylic acid as anti-dandruff agents.