I have been suffering from severe dandruff and an itchy scalp since a month. I have tried various remedies and shampoos but nothing has worked. Are there some preparations in ayurveda that would be helpful?

Our skin cells are forever renewing themselves. When the skin cells on our scalp are renewed the old ones are pushed to the surface. For a person with dandruff the renewal is faster and more dead skin is shed. Dandruff may be associated with dry skin conditions that aggravate in winter.

Seborrhoeic dermatitis is a frequent cause of dandruff, marked by red, greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow rashes on the scalp/eyebrows/behind ears/groin/armpits.

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Some of the other reasons for dandruff are lack of regular hair wash that leads to oils and skin cells build up; skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema; shampooing too often or using too many styling products that irritate your scalp; too much oil on your scalp; changes in hormones, stress, a suppressed immune system — all of these may contribute to the development of dandruff.

Here are a few tips to help your condition

• Keep hair and scalp clean so as to minimise the accumulation of dead skin cells; shampoo-wash twice or thrice weekly. Switch between 2 different shampoos

• Massage and rinse with plain water on the other days

• A paste of fenugreek seeds or amla or Thriphala choornam can be used to clean the scalp

• Mix coconut milk and lemon juice and apply on scalp before a head bath

• Mix green gram powder (1 tablespoon) and yogurt (3 tablespoons) and use it as a hair wash weekly.

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• Gently massage ayurvedic oils like Dhurdhoorapathradi keram or Malathyadi keram on the scalp 15 minutes before shampoo wash

• A healthy diet plays an important role in the treatment of dandruff

• Severe dandruff may require internal medication; consult an ayurveda doctor.

Dr VL Shyam is a Dubai-based Ayurveda practitioner. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.