A glorious, shiny, bouncy mane adds to the beauty of an individual and manifests confidence like no other alternative. However, the same hair can be marred with many problems including dull, frizzy hair, dandruff, head lice, scalp allergy, and dermatitis. Most of these problems can be tackled by eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet, and oiling and hydrating the hair regularly. A complete ban on the usage of chemical-based products is essential for immediate relief. Using vegan and organic products like shampoos, conditioners and hair masks will go a long way.
With that said, here are some ways to tackle common hair scalp problems the right way.
Ways To Tackle Scalp Allergy
If you suffer from symptoms like stinging or burning sensation in the scalp, or blisters along with an itching sensation, it is important for you to understand that this could be a scalp allergy. Sometimes, white flakes that look like dandruff can also be seen, not just on the scalp but on the forehead and eyes as well. Most of the time, these reactions can be triggered by using hot water on the scalp which robs it of essential oils or using hair products that might be laden with chemicals. If you have sensitive skin or scalp read the labels of hair oil, hair gel, hair sprays, shampoos and conditioners before you buy them. Salon treatments that are very popular nowadays, like keratin, smoothening, and hair spa also contain harsh and harmful chemicals. For sensitive scalps, even natural ingredients can cause allergies.
Scalp allergy can be fungal or bacterial. Both of them need to be treated in different ways by a doctor. On your end, you can understand the cause of these infections, and try to avoid them. Your diet and the products you use on the scalp play an important role, these allergic reactions or contact dermatitis are often caused by chemical-laden hair dyes. For sure they give instant and long-lasting results, but the damage they do is often manifold of their positives.
Look Out For These Chemicals When Buying Hair Products
Para-phenylenediamine (PPD) and para toluenediamine (PTD) are the most basic ingredients in any chemical hair dye. PPD is mixed with an oxidizer and gives the result that helps in changing colour. However, if the oxidation process is not complete, it can often lead to allergic reactions. PTD on the other hand can cause dermatitis, despite being less reactive. Ammonia and its by-products, namely- Ethanolamine, Diethanolamine and Triethanolamine are those chemicals to look out for and avoid when you buy hair dyes.
It is suggested to do a patch test, every time you apply a hair dye and wait for a few hours to see if it irritates the skin or causes allergy. Remember it as a thumb rule, and never skip it. Today there are ample ammonia-free hair dyes available, but a better alternative would be vegan and organic hair colours, that are based on natural plant products. Henna cream is the perfect option for those with sensitive skin and those who would rather skip the harsh chemicals.
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Keep In Mind...
After the patch test, if there are symptoms, immediately rinse the area with water and mild shampoo to wash out the product on the scalp. For mild symptoms, take an oral antihistamine, which will immediately reduce inflammation and itching. However severe rashes or bumps need immediate attention from the doctor, thus seek medical help immediately. A topical corticosteroid-based cream should suffice to help with the symptoms immediately.
Do not scratch your scalp under any circumstances, or apply more chemicals to an already irritated scalp. This will further aggravate the problem and increase the affected area by spreading the allergens. Another piece of advice would be to avoid self-medicating as it can do more harm than good. Go vegan, go natural and organic and it will solve all your hair, scalp and skin issues.
(The article is contributed by Dr Vatsal Panwar, Cosmetologist, Medharbour Hospital, Gurugram)