Hair is the most important part of our personality. Almost sixty percent of our looks are attributed to the kind of hair we have. Everybody wants to have smooth, silky and beautiful hair that can be easily styled and maintained. Well maintained hair enhances your personality and is the most important indicator of beauty and good health. It flatters the features, face and skin and can also create an illusion of width or height balancing with your personality. The root of the hair is the lowest part of a hair that enlarges at the end into a hair bulb. Hair develops from the cells of the bulb which divide rapidly. A structure called the papilla containing connective tissues and blood vessels that supply the blood necessary for the rapidly growing cells of the hair projects into the hair bulb at the base of the follicle. These cells move upwards as new cells begin to form beneath. They are cut off from nourishment and start to form a hard protein called keratin. This process is called keratinisation. The part of the hair where keratinisation occurs is known as the shaft which comprises of three layers – the outer layer, the cortex and the medulla. The texture of the hair depends upon the shape of the hair.
Flaky / itchy scalp is a common condition in both men and women. It is characterized by hair loss due to dandruff accompanied by infection. Dandruff accumulates in the form of scales of skin that fall from the scalp. This can be of two types resulting in a scurf or dry flaky scalp that keeps falling off the hair and the greasy condition known as seborrheic dermatitis. In the former condition, dry flakes cover the scalp in small patches at first and then cover the entire scalp surface, manifesting as powdery scales covering the head. The oily type of dandruff can be seen as the accumulation of thick crust. It is caused due to an increased secretion of sebum from the sebaceous glands. This may be a hereditary trait.
Dandruff can spread beyond the scalp to the forehead, ears, neck face etc. causing skin irritation and excessive itching. Increased oil secretion and perspiration on the scalp worsens this condition. Consumption of a high fat diet including butter, cream, cheese, chocolates, candies etc. can also be a cause for a flaky / itchy scalp.
Remedies for a flaky / itchy scalp:
The best way to get rid of this condition is by shampooing at least once a week and keeping the scalp clean. Use a shampoo containing selenium sulphide, resorcin, zinc and pyrithionate. In severe cases where bacterial infection is prominent, steroids combined with anti-bacterial preparations are helpful. Vitamin B and Vitamin B12 must be supplemented in order to get rid of this condition. Since dandruff occurs due to increased secretion of oil on the scalp, this can be neutralized by using lemon, buttermilk, curd and other traditional beauty aids.
One of the latest techniques for getting rid of dandruff is ozone treatment which focuses on the application of high frequency ozone rays on the scalp. The heat radiated by the rays has a germicidal effect that helps get rid of excess dandruff.
Hot oil treatment is also one of the most effective methods to cure dandruff. Massage hot olive, aloe or almond oil onto the scalp and wrap a hot towel around the head before rinsing off. You can also use liquid whey rinse after applying hot oil onto the scalp and leaving it overnight.
Dandruff is an annoying, itchy and persistent problem that needs to be treated immediately. Healthy hair care begins with taking the proper remedies at the right time. It is essential to get rid of this problem in order to promote the growth of healthy, well nourished hair.