Braiding Essentials: Dandruff Care Tips
Braided hairstyles provide various benefits to many African American women, but sudden outbreak of dandruff is a very common cause for concern among many of them raising doubts about keeping braids. Let’s find out how to maintain your scalp moist, clean, and free of irritation in order to prevent dandruff.
Do this once a week! Shampoo
If you simply leave your braided hair alone, dandruff is quick to plague your hair. You must shampoo more or less once a week while preferably using mild shampoos and conditioners. You might consider using dandruff shampoos available over the counter. When you use a dandruff shampoo, do not rinse it away immediately but to leave the shampoo for about 5 minutes to let the active ingredient work on the scalp.
Dry thoroughly for best result
After shampoo, you should dry your hair completely to reduce dandruff. If you leave the hair wet after shampoo, it can cause inflammation on the scalp. If you are using a hood dryer at home, you may want to run the dryer for about 30 minutes. Before you ponytail your hair for braiding, you should make it sure that the hair is completely dry. Also, before you wear a scarf for styling or a bonnet for sleep, make sure your hair is completely dry.
Peppermint and jojoba oil treatment
Peppermint oil is well known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal activity. If you have olive oil or coconut oil around, mix it with peppermint oil for dilution with a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil and up to three drops of peppermint oil. You can use q-tips to reach the scalp through the braided hair. Especially, jojoba oil is known to be structurally most similar to the natural sebum released in the scalp while rich in antioxidants; you can apply it directly on the dry scalp for healthy hair.
Make a tea tree hair spray
Tea tree oil has long been known as an all-natural remedy to soothe itchy scalp and treat dandruff. Tea tree oil, called a natural anti-inflammatory drug, can be mixed into a witch hazel toner to make a spray. Add about ten drops of tea tree oil to five tablespoons of witch hazel solution and a teaspoon of coconut oil or olive oil to complete a mixture that can be applied directly with a q-tip to the scalp or sprayed onto the scalp using a spray bottle.
Malnutrition can cause dandruff?
Healthy scalp is directly related to food we consume daily. Zinc, protein, and omega-3 are nutritions known to promote healthy scalp and reduce dandruff. You include foods rich in those nutrition in your diet or consider taking them as supplements.
Give scalp a break!
Braiding is a low maintenance style, but leaving it too long can cause sweat or hair products to irritate the scalp, worsening your dandruff. It is recommended to unbraid and shampoo your hair after 8-10 weeks of braiding and have a 1-2 weeks break before braiding your hair again. Maintaining your scalp free of any residue during the break period is also an important step to prevent dandruff. Be careful not to use excessive amount of gel, hair spray, or hair mousse on hair or forcefully scratch your head.
Getting rid of dandruff using natural remedies
If your scalp does not respond well to the products above listed, you can make natural dandruff remedies at home. Grab a mild organic hair conditioner, brown sugar, and fine ground oatmeal. You can apply the mixture to your hair after shampoo taking about 2 tablespoons of each at a time. Gently massage it into your scalp and rinse. There are also natural ingredient products available for purchase such as scrubs made with Himalayan salt.
Keep the scalp moisturized with almond oil
Applying almond oil will not automatically reduce dandruff, but the underlying cause of dandruff could be dry scalp. In this sense, the natural moisturizer, almond oil, can help soften the scalp and soothe irritated scalp for healthier hair growth. Of course, you need to avoid using almond oil if you have nut allergies.
Homemade dandruff treatment
Mix an egg yolk, 10 drops of castor oil, a tablespoon of yogurt, and two tablespoons of sea salt in a bowl and stir them well. Soak your entire hair with the mixture and wrap a clean cloth or towel around the head. Leave it for about thirty minutes. Wash the hair with a mild shampoo. You can add coconut oil or avocado oil to provide supplementary nutrition for the hair. If you have a known allergy, leave some ingredients out as needed. Sea salt has anti-fungal activity, so it can inhibit the growth of mold and absorb excessive sebum, reducing dandruff.
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