The Annoying Dandruff
It is said that the first impression comes from the hair and shoes. Long, thick, and beautiful hair enhance the beauty of your face and personality. Ayurveda extensively talks about hair care and various diseases that affect hair. One of the common ailments that most of us experience is dandruff. Dandruff is called Darunaka in Ayurveda.
Dandruff is a common condition that causes the skin on the scalp to flake. The symptoms of dandruff are itchy scalp and skin flakes on the scalp, hair, eyebrows, beard, and shoulders. In infants, it can be scaly and crusty scalp with cradle cap. Dandruff is usually caused by dry skin, irritated and oily skin, sensitivity to hair care products, and other conditions like psoriasis, eczema, etc.
The cause of Darunaka according to Ayurveda classics are non-application of oil to the hair, improper cleaning, sleeping during the daytime, awakening at night, and exposure to dust. Due to the above causative factors, there is an aggravation of Kapha and Vata which causes the scalp to become hard, itchy, and rough with cracks.
Ayurveda has suggested a range of remedies to combat Dandruff. Bhavaprakasha Samhita talks about the drugs which are good for hair. These drugs are called Keshya and are 16 in number. The drugs mentioned are Vibhitaka, Sinduvara, Bhringaraja, Nili, Bakuchi, Japa, Tila, Gambhari, etc.
Ayurveda also suggests a number of hair oils to combat dandruff and for good hair growth. Oils like Bhringaraja Taila, Durdurapatradi Taila, Chemparathyadi Taila, Nalpamaradi Taila, Neelibhringadi Taila, and Triphaladya Taila are useful in dandruff. Not only external medications but internal medications like Bhringarajasava, Chandanasava, and Narasimha Rasayana are useful in hair care. Drugs like Nimba and Manjista help in maintaining healthy hair and scalp. Panchakarma treatments like Shirodhara and Shirobasti are helpful to prevent dryness and fight against scalp problems.
Apart from medications, diet and lifestyle play a vital role in preventing dandruff. Exposure to mild sunlight is good for the scalp and hair. A calm and relaxed mind along with nutritious food is very good for hair growth. Hair washes with plain water alone is not recommended. Combing hair when it is still wet should be avoided. It is not good to wash your hair with extremely hot water.
Foods like chocolate, sugar, seafood, fried and greasy food should be avoided. Shampoos or hair treatments that are strong and irritant in nature are not recommended.
Some simple home remedies to prevent dandruff is to wash the hair with a paste of hibiscus flowers. A decoction of Neem and Reetha is beneficial for the hair. Washing the hair with a decoction of Triphala is useful in fighting against dandruff. Applying a paste of fenugreek seeds and washing the hair after 1 hour is also a useful remedy.
Thus, we have discussed dandruff, its causes, and some commonly used medications to manage the condition. Consult your ayurvedic doctor before trying out any remedies on your own. I hope you have gained a lot of knowledge about hair health. In the next blog, we shall learn about some more common ailments and their remedies.