Dandruff is a condition where the skin of the scalp rapidly replaces itself causing thin white flakes of dead skin. It causes itchiness in the scalp. Dandruff is more common than you suppose, as most of us have had it at some point in our life. Dandruff is the result of the overrun of dead skin, but it can also be caused by numerous other factors such as winter air that produces dry skin, a nutrient-deficient diet, and harsh chemicals found in unhealthy shampoos, even dandruff shampoos that are supposed to reduce the flakes. Hot water dehydrates the scalp and destroys the natural oil of the scalp making it dry and patchy.Also Read - Tips to Get Rid of Dandruff Before it Starts Causing Extreme Hair Loss

Dandruff is the earliest manifestation of a condition known as seborrheic dermatitis. It is generally accepted that yeast Malassezia is a causative agent responsible for dandruff. Apart from the scalp, it can affect the face, presternal, and intrascapular regions and the flexures. In severe cases, dandruff may cause some degree of hair loss, which is reversible once inflammation is suppressed. Behind the ears there may be redness or greasy scaling may also develop in the fold. Also Read - How to Use Neem Leaves to Get Rid of Dandruff

Not every scaling of the scalp should be called dandruff. More severe conditions like scalp psoriasis, contact allergy, scalp infections lichen simplex of the nape of the neck may mimic dandruff therefore a consultation with a dermatologist should be considered in severe and recalcitrant cases. Also Read - Hair Care: How to Get Rid of Chronic Dandruff

Dandruff sometimes gets worse throughout the autumn and winter as a result of the dry air whereas improving in the summer. But there are many ways to prevent the formation of dandruff, some are mentioned:-

Massage your hair using natural oils

Using natural oils like coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, etc. for massaging the scalp twice a week can help in keeping the scalp moist and prevents dandruff from developing. A hot oil massage could do wonders for your scalp and hair. But, it is advised not to apply too much oil and for a longer duration.

Avoid washing your hair with hot water

Hot water makes the hair rough and dehydrates the scalp. Which ultimately leads to brittle hair and a flaky scalp.

Rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar once a week

Doing this can help in the prevention and reduction of dandruff. The antimicrobial property of apple cider vinegar kills the fungal or bacterial growth in a short period.

Drink adequate water.

Water keeps our body as well as the scalp hydrated which ultimately reduces dandruff. During winters people tend to drink less water and thus in winters, every person complains of getting dandruff.

Do not take stress

One of the reasons for dandruff is maybe stress. Stress causes hormonal imbalance in our body which leads to excessive oil secretion in our scalp and then dandruff.

Follow a healthy diet

Diet plays a main role in keeping the skin healthy. Excessive intake of carbs and sugar does badly to the body as well as the scalp. Sugary foods trigger the sebaceous gland to produce more oils. So avoid foods that have carbs or are sugary.

Choose your shampoo wisely

An anti-dandruff shampoo that contains salicylic acid and Vitamin E, which breaks up the buildup of dandruff is the answer, washing it away effortlessly and soothes the skin to reduce irritation respectively, making your scalp feel fresh.

Avoid using hairstyling products

Hairstyling products like hair spray, hair wax can lead up to the formation of oil in the scalp and thus lead to dandruff. Avoid excessive usage of these products. Opt for a styling product that does not have alcohol as it tends to dry out the scalp.

Stop broad-spectrum antibiotics therapy

Dandruff is usually treated with frequent and regular use of shampoo to act against fungal yeasts including 2% ketaconazole or zinc pyrithione, selenium sulphide, 1% terbinafine weekly once. Sometimes oral medications like itraconazole might be required