The Ayurvedic Dandruff Primer: how an ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil can help heal chronic dandruff

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Reading Time: 8 minutes

Looking for a safe, effective and completely natural ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil? We just finished making our most recent batch of the Krya all natural, ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil and thought we would share a small update on how we create our formulation, why it works so effectively against dandruff, etc.

 

The Krya ayurvedic primer to dandruff

Consider this your complete ayurvedic primer to Dandruff!

The Genesis of the Krya ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil

We started experimenting with Krya’s range of Ayurveda inspired hair oils in 2016. The first set of formulations we created after research were an ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil and an ayurvedic hair oil for premature greying and hair growth.

With R&D & feedbakc, we kepy on workingon and improving our ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil formula

Our earlier test batches were much more simpler formulations with 9 – 10 ingredients. As we tested, re-tested and kept on working on each batch taking consumer feedback, we worked more and more on the formulation and adding different kinds of herbs, fresh vegetables and fresh juices to make the formulation even more potent.

How is dandruff caused according to Ayurveda?

Dandruff is described as a minor “roga” in Ayurveda and there are several minor differences in the presentation of dandruff depending upon which dosha is aggravated. With all Dandruff, there is itching / irritation in the scalp, flaking of the scalp, sometimes thickening of the scalp flakes, and hair loss .

Dandruff can be of two types and are commonly called Dry dandruff and Oily Dandruff.

In Dry dandruff there is an aggravation in Vata dosha, caused primarily by the use of strong drying shampoos on the hair and neglecting regular hair oiling. This is further exacerbated by eating dry, crisp , hard foods, high mental stress, long commutes and a vata aggravating lifestyle.

Dry dandruff caused by excessive shampooing, infrequent oiling

 

 

Oily dandruff is often referred to as seborrheic dermatitis . This manifests as thick, yellow oil looking flakes, with scab formation and scalp thickening in these areas. There is intense itching and when the scalp is scratched, there is a visible sticky clump of scalp flakes that is dislodged form the scalp.

Oily dandruff has a Pitta-Kapha aggravation along with Vata aggravation. Pitta contributes the oily, smelly scalp secretions that attract fungal micororganisms to the scalp. Kapha contributes to the thickening of the scalp due to the oily, fat rich deposits in the sebum. Vata contributes to the scalp prickling and irritation and painful, scratchy feeling.

Oily dandruff is due to tridosha aggravation plus a fungal infestation

How oily / fungal dandruff progresses in the scalp:

When you have a serious Lice infestation or a serious Oily / Fungal dandruff issue, apart from scalp damage, you tend to see very high hair fall. This tends to alarm everyone and they seek to address this first – but we have seen that UNLESS the underlying issue of Lice / Fungal infestation is addressed, the hair and scalp health will become increasingly worse.

In the case of Oily / Fungal dandruff, the  actual problem starts internally . Perhaps due to an improper diet, lifestyle changes, there is an internal dosha imbalance. The quality of all secretions from the body (sweat, urine, semen, etc) is determined by the quality of food we take. So when our system has a pitta kapha imbalance, the sweat will also be rich in pitta and kapha based substances. To repeat: the  underlying body imbalance causes the sweat emanating from the scalp to have a composition that is sweet & fat rich. This attracts the presence of otherwise benign fungal organisms which then begin rapidly multiplying on the head.

Sweet oily scalp secretions attract fungal organisms that trigger dandruff

As the condition develops, there is itching, thickening and scaling of the scalp with thick, oily , large, creamy looking flakes. Due to incessant scratching, there could be micro tears in the scalp, which offer more food to the fungal micro organisms. In very chronic cases, at these infestation spots there is poor hair growth, and sometimes the hair falls out in clumps in these areas.

Challenges behind creating an ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil for Oily / Fungal dandruff:

We face a unique challenge in creating the Krya  ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil to discourage fungal dandruff. Ayurveda does not ever recommend the use of harsh “silver bullet” products which harshly discourage fungal organisms. As the underlying imbalance is not addressed, such products tend to give only temporary relief but also severely damage the scalp and make it very dry. This is why dandruff tends to be such a chronic problem.

A commercial Anti dandruff shampoo can be harsh and very drying on the scalp

The tricky part of creating an ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil is this: All ayurvedic oil formulations that encourage good hair growth essentially need to be Madhura (sweet), and Sheetya (cooling) in nature. But such formulations are tasty and give more nutrition to fungal micro organisms. So we cannot use a regular ayurvedic hair oil formulation to tackle dandruff.

Instead, an ayurvedic anti dandruff oil formulation needs to be bitter, slightly astringent and cooling in nature – this will cut down the growth medium of the micro organisms and encourage proper scalp growth without the thickening and flaking we see. To encourage proper scalp nutrition, mildly bitter ayurvedic herbs are used, which continue to nourish the scalp WITHOUT encouraging fungal growth.

Ayurvedic formulations to discourage dandruff are bitter, not sweet.

Therefore, our Anti dandruff formulation is HIGHLY bitter. We use different herb , fruit and vegetable compositions from our regular hair oils, selected to discourage the organisms we are dealing with.

 The Krya ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil : an ayurvedic hair oil made with 25 herbs + 4 cold pressed oils

The Krya ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil is made from 25 ayurvedic herbs processed in 4 organic , cold pressed hair oils. Some of these herbs are repeated across Swarasa (fresh juice), Kashaya (herb decoction) and Kalpa (herb paste) to increase their potency in the formulation. Each method of extracting them selectively extracts different kinds of actives from the herb / vegetable. The Samhitas guide us with the right extraction method for each herb – so for example, Bhringaraj is always used fresh as a Swarasa / Kalpa, never as a Kashaya as it loses its potency this way.

Krya oil is made using many ayurvedic extraction methods of herbs

For this formulation, we add a mixture of highly bitter , moderately bitter and mildly bitter herbs ! So we can see Bitter gourd, Bottle gourd, Ridge Gourd, sometimes Ash gourd and sometimes Snake gourd in the formulation!

Potent anti bacterial and anti fungal herbs like Krishnatulasi, Neem, Triphala and Desert date help discourage the growth of fungal micro organisms. Herbs like Jushta and Ratanjot soothe the scalp, improve scalp health and reduce the scalp irritation and itching we see in dandruff.

Moderately and mildly bitter herbs like Bottle gourd, Neem, Manjishta, Fenugreek and Ratanjot boost scalp health, help seal micro tears and improve scalp blood circulation and encourage healthier hair growth.

Krya ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil - made from 25 potent ayurvedic herbs and 4 cold pressed oils

 Tila Paka veedhi: the ayurvedic oil processing method followed at Krya that boosts nutrition

We are proud to say that we make all our oils using the approved Ayurvedic manufacturing technique of Tila Paka veedhi at Krya. In this method, base oils are slow boiled and “cooked” over 8 hours with a large volume of fresh herb juice (Swarasa), herb decocotions (kashayas), and fresh and dry herb pastes (kalpas). Generally the oil volume in this mixture is only about ¼ the volume of all other ingredients put together – this can vary depending upon application and formulation .

Tila paka veedhi is a potent ayurvedic oil manufacturing process

When the oil is processed this way, the nature of the base oils change completely. The addition of these different mediums of herbs (fresh juice, boiled decoction, and paste) delivers potent bio actives to the oil. Due to repeated boiling and stirring the oil is gently broken down over the process and the particle size of the oil becomes smaller, making the oil easier to penetrate skin and scalp. The oil also becomes less dense, less sticky and more penetrative.

Tila paka veedhi is a transformative process

The tila paka veedhi method is a transformative process. It transforms a good vegetable oil to a nutrition rich powerhouse – which can give your scalp and hair quicker and much more deeper and holistic benefits.  We use this manufacturing technique across all Krya oils to boost their potency and increase the bio availability of the herbs that are delivered via the oil to hair or skin.

User feedback for Krya ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil :

The Krya ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil has often been termed slightly unpleasant to use by many users because of its bitter aroma and fragrance, but it is loved for its very high EFFECTIVENESS.

We have been able to help even very chronic cases of scalp psoriasis, very long term fungal dandruff which has lasted for years. No amount of ketoconazole / coal tar products can work as effectively as this oil – this is something we have seen and experienced repeated with users.

The Krya anti dandruff hair oil - potent and effective against chronic dandruff

The best part of using this oil? Unlike ketoconazole and coal tar products, the scalp is left well hydrated and healthy. The regular use of this product promotes scalp micro circulation and boosts root health.

The Krya Anti Dandruff hair system:

For best results, we recommend the use of the the complete Krya anti dandruff system with the  Krya anti dandruff hair washKrya anti dandruff hair mask along with the Krya ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil. Use of all 3 products multiplies the bitter principle effect and helps effectively create an environment which is unpleasant for fungal organisms, helping solve the problem faster.

The Krya anti dandruff system : holistic and highly effective for chronic dandruff

The Dandruff discouraging Diet:

All dandruff starts with an improper diet which leads to the sweet / fatty secretions that fungal organisms seem to love. So it is important to watch your diet and cut down pitta – kapha aggravating foods like curd, cheese, sweets , etc.

Here is a quick list of foods / lifestyle modifications we suggest that can help fungal dandruff:

Cut down on:

  • Maida
  • Curd / yoghurt
  • Ice creams
  • Cakes, pastries
  • Sweets
  • Chocolates
  • Cheese
  • Paneer (especially if bought outside)
  • Oily , fried food
  • Do not binge eat
  • Avoid getting dust into your hair (cover with a scarf)

Ensure that you:

  • Eat strictly on time
  • Eat home made food
  • Eat food spiced with turmeric, black pepper, ginger and other Pitta-Kapha balancing spices
  • Include fresh Amla in your diet regularly
  • Drink warm water regularly
  • Have a light dinner, early
  • Exercise regularly to balance aggravated Kapha
  • Ensure you do a regular abhyanga to balance doshas better

 

To Sum up:

In this post, we have described how an authentic ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil is crafted. We also discussed how Ayurveda suggests we tackle dandruff holistically, yet effectively.

As we have seen, when the right products are used along with the correct diet and holistic lifestyle, there is a more rapid control of the problem. If you or a loved one have been suffering from chronic dandruff and are seeking a safe and effective way of tackling this problem, do try out the Krya anti dandruff hair system.

If you have any questions on our products or how to use them, please call our friendly Customer Service team on (o)75500-89090 or write to us .

 

The Krya Anti Dandruff Range of Products:

 

 

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Rapunzel Rachelle – my hair journey

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Reading Time: 6 minutes

This is a guest post written by Rachelle Chandran , a writer who explores subjects like environmental sustainability, feminism, spirituality, politics and other current issues.

The Backstory

I am a South Indian. I can hear groans of “do you madrasis always have to mention it?” And, yes you, wonderful reader, this time, you are right. I am a ‘madrasi’ but not born in Madras (wink wink). And, yes like most tamizh people, my mother used to oil my hair copiously and I used to wash my hair only once a week. So, as a child, I had super-straight, silky black hair. I mean, not to sound boastful, but my hair would have made to the ads for hair straightening and smoothening products. Yes, it was that good!

Empress_Elisabeth_of_Austria

Painting of Empress Elisabeth of Austria with thigh length hair in 1865 – by Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Fast-forward many years later, I suffered a long-drawn illness. It affected many things, including my hair (I was least bothered about it). And, during the past 4 years, I tried many alternative and traditional medicine and healing techniques to recuperate. All this while, the hair was not my focus because I had other major things in my physical and mental state that needed care.

The ‘winter is coming’ phase

Aug 12th blog post pic 3 winter is coming

Me: during the white flakes phase
Pic courtesy : HBO , Game of Thrones Series

Then, one day, I was casually scratching my scalp (as one usually does) and lo! And behold, there suddenly there was an outpour of white, tiny flakes. Winter was definitely coming! (Sorry, I had to say that). And, my nail bed had the most disgusting greyish grime-wax. These dandruff flakes were so bad, even my eyebrows had those flaky things.

Now they could have been dry skin flaking off, combined with the excess sebum production in my hair and dust that invariably accumulates during travel. If you have this sort of dandruff, read Dandruff dojo part 1 and part 2 on the krya blog. Before you go ahead and judge me, I must tell you I did use all those expensive salon-recommended shampoos and conditioners. And, they did help. But only for 2-3 days. But my scalp would return to their horror after that, forcing me to wash my hair 2-3 times a week. And for all my fellow long-haired men and women, ‘ain’t nobody got time for that’.

Also, I have to mention here that my hair was in this condition even without using any heating tools or colouring. But even with all the expensive shampoos, hair spa, and every other product, my scalp and hair health were dying a slow death.

As a personal healing journey, I started eating better and using eco-friendly and vegan products. I was shocked at the chemical output we put out in every product that we use and how it affects the earth and the multiple ecosystems in it. The first to go was my shampoo, body wash, face wash, and detergent. It was hard. Because I was attached to my shampoo-conditioner that I had to use 3 times a week to clean my hair, that smelled amazing and made me hair fall in natural curls.

The No-poo journey

I tried being ‘no-poo’. Because I saw the so-called ‘natural/organic’ products also had chemicals that were masked under ‘Indian-proud’ product prop. My intention of trying a natural lifestyle was more for the Earth/environment than for myself at this point. I couldn’t imagine the amount of soap-water that goes to the earth and endangers animals, fish and just multiple organisms, just from me.

So, I tried the classic baking soda, apple cider vinegar combination. The holy grail of no-poo lifestyle. I also tried tea washes, herbal flower washes. The latter worked but the former didn’t. I was part of a support group which was no-poo who all had wonderful results from BS/AC combo. Most were European/American, some were Indian. And as per the no-poo process, your hair/scalp will go through a detoxifying journey from all the chemicals dumped on it for years. So everyone goes through the process and for some it is harder than others. But in that process, my hair was falling out so much, I really needed an alternative. And I had been no-poo for close to a year and nothing had improved much.

How I found Krya

I am usually not the one to play the ‘Indians have a long history of innovation even before the dinosaurs’ card. But truly, Indians have washed their hair without shampoos and have had reasonably (awesome) hair and scalp health. So, I searched and searched for a product that would have organic products, vegan, no animal testing, would list all their products, and works well for my hair/scalp.

Surprise! I found Krya. I started with their clothes wash and dish wash. It was great. Then they had a hair wash powder. I tried it. But it just seemed to not be working for my hair. I have used hair powders before, so it really wasn’t about the convenience. The product didn’t wash off grime as well as I would have liked, those little grains stayed in my long hair and created so much tangle and knots that combing my hair was an exhausting upper arm workout. So, I stopped using it. And just washed my hair with water.

Aug 12th blog post pic 2 brave

Me, unable to comb my hair and feeling ‘Brave’

Picture courtesy – Pixar Animation Studios & Walt Disney Pictures

Finding the treasure-trove

The real breakthrough happened with the anti-dandruff hair mask, Krya launched. I had the anti-dandruff hair wash, it worked well for my hair. But the hair mask, just after one wash. And I really mean one wash, my hair was super smooth and all the white flakes were gone! The anti-dandruff hair wash removed all the grime. My hair was also easy to comb through.

Then, Krya launched the anti-dandruff hair oil. So, I used this triple threat. All my dry flakes/grime was gone. And, I went back to washing my hair only once a week. My hair when braided had such thickness, I was surprised. A little more than five months into washing my hair with Krya products and I am super excited to tell you that my hair is awesome!

And to satisfy the environment-love in me, the water from the hair wash/mask is recyclable. I mean, I would have continued using their product just for the environment sustainability and the no-animal testing values they hold. But, getting my hair- super soft, smooth, shiny, and most importantly manageable was truly a gift I had not expected. And, especially in such a short time. Now, my hair is back to proudly attempt auditions for hair products 😉

Aug 12th blog post pic 1 rachelle

 

Rachelle is a writer. She loves to write about things that matter to her deeply , be it environment sustainability, spirituality, politics, current labour issues, feminism, and other sensitive and seemingly controversial topics. She is an ardent fan of books, grumpy cat, and krya (needless to say). ‘Limited’ in this world but ‘unlimited’ in her imagination, she tries to merge those two worlds of parallel realities and has failed so far. But the experiments continue.

 

 

 

(Actual super-shiny hair with curls.

No filter or effects added.)


Krya would like to thank Rachelle for several things : her generous support of our work, constant feedback on both our products and the information we share – this helps us validate what is useful for our readers and also helps us refine our product formulations. Most importantly, Thank you Rachelle for sharing your hair care journey so authentically and generously for all our readers!

What Rachelle has shared today about the effect of synthetic products is literally the tip of the iceberg. Besides triggering contact dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis (full blown dandruff), synthetic shampoos are extremely harmful for hair health in the long run, are loaded with unnecessary chemicals and are extremely harmful and toxic to the planet and the other living beings that share this earth with us.

We were there too, right where Rachelle was a few years ago – with hair that wouldn’t grow, chronic dandruff and colour and treatment damaged hair. From there, we have seen remarkable transformative results when we removed the toxins, cleaned up our diet and used health giving, completely natural products. This experience inspired the many Krya hair and skin formulations that you see today, because we wanted to give many more people the same health giving benefits we had experienced for ourselves.

To inspire more and more people to make the switch, we are celebrating this August as the Krya Hair Olympics Month.

Do you want stronger, healthier better hair? Throw away your toxin filled synthetic shampoo, conditioner and hair oil and try Krya’s goodness filled haircare products instead. Your hair will thank you for this switch.

Every Krya hair care product for adults carries a special discount only in August 2016

  • 10% off if you buy a single piece of any Krya hair care product for adults
  • 20% off if you buy 2 or more pieces of any Krya hair care product for adults or a Krya hair care system for adults

Explore Krya’s huge range of good-for-you hair care products at very special prices here.

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Dandruff Dojo part 2 – making an anti dandruff hair oil at Krya

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As we have written before, the quest for dandruff free hair is a popular concern among many Krya consumers. So on a fine Saturday a few weeks ago,we tried out a second pilot batch in our hair oil range and made a pilot batch of a hair oil for dandruff prone hair.

Dandruff is described as a part of minor ailments / rogas in Ayurveda and Ayurveda lists several reasons for dandruff in the hair.

Dandruff can be of two types: dry, light, white and small flakes and thick, oily, yellowing large flakes. The first type of dandruff occurs with a strong vitiation of vata dosha, and embodies the qualities of air – dry, light, without moisture and without weight.
Dry dandruff is often caused by inherent dryness in the body or the use of very strong and drying products on the body, or by eating vata promoting substances or by a lifestyle that promotes vata.

The second kind of dandruff , which manifests as psoriasis on the scalp, or seborrhoeic dermatitis with thick, yellow oil looking flakes is a kapha vitiation. Kapha is responsible for building mass in the body, so in this case vitiated kapha contributes to extra thick scale like growth on the body which is full of oil and is itchy and painful.

Most of the dandruff complaints we see at Krya belong to type 1. This scalp aggravation arises as a result of seemingly unconnected events that include:

Vata promoting eating habits:

  1. Eating erratically at varying times everyday
  2. Eating vata promoting foods – dry food like bread, millets, foods high in wind like potatos, cauliflower, and certain types of food, limited use of oil and other lubricating substances in the food, and eating foods that are very pungent or spicy
  3. Eating too fast without proper chewing
  4. Eating a heavy amount of lentils that are vata promoting

Dosha vitiating lifestyle habits

  1. Excessive travel
  2. Eating at erratic times
  3. Eating at times that are not connected to the sun’s movement (for example eating late into the night)
  4. Drinking tea, coffee and cola – all three have astringent, diuretic properties and remove water / moisture from the body and wind you up further
  5. Eating a strong amount of sour food or drinking very cold drinks
  6. High exposure to the sun
  7. Excessive sweating or very oily scalp
  8. Suppressing natural urges like urination and defacation
  9. Keeping late hours

Dosha vitiating  cleaning and cosmetic products:

  1. Use of extremely harsh and strong cleansing agents like synthetic soaps and shampoos that aggressively removes sebum from the skin
  2. Frequent use of these harsh and strong cleansing agents – we’ve discussed the toxic cleaning cycle of using a shampoo before. As the shampoo strips hair aggressively of sebum, the hair’s ecosystem counters with a larger production of sebum to make up for the loss. Therefore you will find your hair feeling oily a day or two after a wash. You will therefore wash it more frequently in an attempt to get it to feel clean. This will further aggravate the sebum production.
  3. Lack of moisture supplementation – Ayurveda advises regular or sometimes daily abhyanga, with medicated taila or sesame oil for vata vitiation

Vata balancing diet:

Ayurveda advises the use of specific food in the case of severely vitiated vata. White rice, green mung cooked with minimal masala and spiced with substances like jeer and pepper and sun ripened vegetables like gourds and pumpkins are generally advised. Traditional medicine also advocates the consumption of internal lubricants like fresh coconut oil, coconut meat, and fresh native cow ghee in severe vata affliction like joint and bone disease, spondylitis and of course severely dry skin and hair conditions.

What Ayurveda advises in dandruff (both types):

As vata is a drying condition, the simplest and most effective remedy if you have type 1 dandruff and dry skin or hair is to lubricate yourself internally and externally. Traditional medicine advocates the extensive use of oil on both the body and the hair, as it believes that this type of dandruff is only a symptom of overall vata vitiation – so the entire system requires lubrication.

Dandruff caused by an oily scalp or conditions like psoriasis of scalp and seborrhoeic dermatitis is seen as a kapha vitiation.

The Krya dandruff hair oil formulation:

The Krya hair oil to combat dandruff has been made using a mixture of scalp nourishing herbs. We follow the traditional Ayurvedic process of making hair oils which uses both an aqueous and an oil phase to extract water soluble and fat soluble nutrients from the same herbs.

To make 10 litres of oil, we have to boil nearly 55 litres of material until the moisture evaporates and the herbs come to the correct “pakha” or consistency and are just extracted – the herbs when tested in the oil after processing should neither be hard and dry nor soft and oily – and should be at the “Madhya” or medium pakha / consistency.

Traditional medicine advocates a 7 day curing period –the herbs continue to steep in the oil after moisture evaporation so that a greater nutrient transfer takes place.

For the Krya dandruff beta oil, we use herbs that soothe scalp itchiness and work on fungal infections like thyme and Citriodora leaf.

We also use a versatile ayurvedic ingredient called karun jeeraka / black cumin seed in this hair oil. Nigella sativa seeds are an excellent hair ingredient and contain upto 100 different nutrients to nourish hair and work on hair fall, and hair thinning. In this case, it also soothes inflammations and itchy scalp conditions and has an anti fungal action.

We also use a special native green(or keerai) from Tamilnadu in this formulation. This keerai is called “sigappu ponnaganni keerai”  or Alternanthera sessilis (Dwarf copper leaf) and is excellent in bringing down pitta conditions, is very moisturizing and soothing on hair and helps soften and bring new life to hair. This is an excellent native green to eat in the summer and helps internally cool the body as well and is light, nutritious and easy to digest.

Krya dandruff hair oil collage 2

Apart from these, we have also added excellent shade dried organic curry leaf, forest collected Indian Liquorice and Indian madder to add shine, gloss and health to hair.

The holistic approach to great skin and hair:

The Bhaisajya Ratnavalli by Shri Govinda Das Ji is an important textbook in Ayurveda. It is compendium of Ayurvedic formulations taken across different texts like the charaka sanhita, Sushruta Samhita , Sarangadhara samhita, Yoga Ratnakara etc and compiled by the author to make Ayurveda more physician friendly and easy to prescribe and practice.

Chapter 83 in Volume 3 of Bhaisajya Ratnavalli talks about “skhalitya chikitsa” or the treatment for aloepecia and it says thus:

“Swakhamarno nivritasthu skhalithye beshaja shubam. Katuthikshanakashayaadhi pathyam vyartha tu thadivna”

“The best remedy for skhalitya is nothing but properly conducted and regulated physical habits. If they are not carried through properly, all the hot, soft and bitter drugs would not yield any effect”.

This statement could be used across any skin or hair care remedy. As I have said before, truly good skin and hair comes from eating well, sleeping well, following balance in life, AND using the right products in the right frequency on yourself.

Jim Rohn, the great motivational speaker says pretty much the same thing in a very pithy way: “You can’t eat seven apples on Saturday and hope to feel better!”

So also, the route to great skin and hair comes from the building blocks of healthy living. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

A happy Friday to you (with just one apple, good company, loved ones, and great food!) from all of us at Krya.

The Krya range of hair products for Dandruff:

Here are our 3 dandruff fighting products for hair:

  1. The Krya anti dandruff hairwash – low foam, and especially formulated to reduce itching and scalp irritation.
  2. The Krya anti dandruff hair oil – Formulated to soothe irritated and flaking scalps. Also helps healthy hair growth and strengthens hair
  3. The Krya anti dandruff hair mask – reduces irritation on scalp, gives scalp and hair a good herb boost

 

 

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Dandruff Dojo – why Krya tells you to throw away that shampoo

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“I am using a popular brand of anti dandruff shampoo. I shampoo every single day, because I’ve been told that only this will keep away my dandruff. While my shampoo removes the dandruff, my scalp feels itchy by the evening and the flaking starts again. What do you think could be the problem? Am I stuck with dandruff and shampooing everyday forever?”

This was in response to the Krya newsletter I had sent out last week. This query was sent to be by a man who described his hair as having worsened after he started to work. He was now in his 30s, and his dandruff had become extremely noticeable and quite alarming.

There are 2 causes of dandruff: the first is an underlying skin condition like psoriasis, eczema or seborrhea. And if you had any of this, any part of your skin will be affected, including your scalp. Also, when you have an underlying skin condition like this one, you wouldn’t just have your scalp affected, but atleast some part of the rest of your skin.
The other kind of dandruff which the Mayo Clinic describes as the most common cause of dandruff today is dry skin caused by aggravated sebaceous glands. This aggravation can occur because of how often you shampoo or what you shampoo your hair with.

What is in your Anti dandruff shampoo:

The lead chemical used by an anti dandruff shampoo is a fungicide – this could be ketoconazole, zinc pyrithione or selenium disulfide, miconazole and even hydrogen peroxide or common bleach. Now the thing to note is this: this solution is logical only if your dandruff is caused by a fungal infection like seborrhoeic dermatitis.

Even then the fungicides do not heal the root cause. Worse still, they are excessively harsh and drying on the scalp and could lead to the other type of dandruff. This could explain why people using an anti-dandruff shampoo feel that they are worse off than before.

Environmental effects of fungicides like Ketoconazole:

With the increasing use of fungicides in anti dandruff shampoos, it should come as no surprise that these fungicides find their way into fresh and salty water bodies through our sewage lines. As is common with many classes of synthetic chemicals, fungicides like ketoconazole are easily absorbed into the body of fishes and other aquatic organisms – here they tend to get stored in the body and bio accumulate with increasing exposure.

Studies indicate that increasing doses of these fungicides retard the activity of CYP3A, an important enzyme group present in human beings and acquatic organisms like fish. This enzyme group helps catalyse many reactions in drug metabolism and also help synthesize cholesterol, steroids and other lipids.

In rainbow trout and killifish, ketoconazole accumulation decreased the catalytic activity of this enzyme group by 60 – 90%. Needless to say, ketoconazole is not healthy for these fish or the human beings who eat them.

Adverse effects on hair and scalp due to use of fungicide based shampoos

One of the common side effects caused by fungicides on hair and scalp is skin and scalp irritation. Because of their harsh and excessively drying nature, the sebaceous glands in your scalp can get aggravated leading to extremely dry or extremely greasy hair.

Other allergic reactions may include severe itching, burning or irritation, redness or pain on the scalp, oozing or weeping of skin, eye redness and swelling and hair loss.

The main cause of dandruff today: aggravated sebaceous glands

Dandruff used to be an isolated problem and a specialized problem, usually affecting men, 20 – 30 years ago. However today, it is one of the most commercially exploited scalp condition – estimates of dandruff in urbanized populations range from 20% to 50%! And it is now a gender agnostic condition – women and men suffer from dandruff.
It is important to note here that while dandruff has rapidly increased among urbanized populations the incidence of skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and sebbhoroea have not multiplied this rapidly.

What appears to have increased is a non-specific type of dandruff caused by aggravated sebaceous glands – which is dandruff caused due to an excessively oily or an excessively dry scalp.

 Why do your sebaceous glands become aggravated?

We’ve written in our last few posts about some of the hazards behind the chemical ingredients that go into your shampoo.

SLS and SLeS

SLS and SLES dissolve your hair and scalp’s sebum layer and strip skin of all its natural oils leaving you with dry skin and hair. “The lathering power of liquid soaps is actually an enemy. It can bubble the oil out of your skin” says Dr. Marianne O’Donoghue, associate professor of dermatology at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Dermatology.

Skin below 35 years reacts aggressively to this systematic stripping of sebum. With the increased use of Sulphate containing product, you may find your skin and scalp becoming oilier, creating a vicious cycle where you are compelled to wash more frequently. If you find that your hair is getting greasy and oily a day after shampooing, then you need to investigate your shampoo – the excessive harshness of this product usually forces a defensive skin reaction where the scalp starts to aggressively produce sebum to make up for the loss every time you shampoo.

Of course this will only prompt you to use more shampoo to counter this greasy defense – the result damaged and dry hair and scalp.

MEA, DEA and TEA:

The effect of ethanolamines, added to shampoos to increase foam and to thicken the liquid is equally worrying. Ethanolamine based products can trigger contact dermatitis, and irritate your scalp leaving your hair feeling dry and lifeless and breakdown your hair’s keratin structure.

Even an industry funded body like the Cosmetics Ingredient review is cautious about the use of ethanolamines – they ask users,( i.e., us who love our synthetic shampoos), to use Ethanolamines only briefly, scrub vigorously and to not use it continuously.

Contrast that with the Shampoo industry’s prevalent paradigm: where we are asked to wash frequently, even every single day, and rinse and repeat shampooing to ensure our hair is “clean”.

blog post graphic sept 4

Ok, its harmful – but I rinse it right off. So there isn’t going to be any long term effect, right?

Wrong.

One of the properties we have come to fear in some of the most toxic chemicals used on the planet, the pesticides / fungicides / herbicides that are sprayed on your food is this: their ability to persist in the atmosphere, long after they have been used.

One never thinks about persistence in the products we use on ourselves.

A recent paper published by researchers at Cornell University attempted to do something utterly fascinating: capture 3D photographs of our microbiome and the chemicals that reside on our skin to understand how the two interact.

As a part of this research, the volunteers were asked to forego shampooing and bathing for a few days and 3D photographs were taken before and after this abstinence.

The results are scary:

In the picture given below, on the male volunteer, SLES persists on the scalp several days after the last shampoo – and we assumed these chemicals would get washed right out.

On the female volunteer, avobenzene lingers on her neck several days after a sunscreen was used and washed off, lingering on despite the shower and the soap.

Facebook post sept 15 2015

We’ve said this before: the skin is one of our key organ groups in protecting our body from invasion. Unfortunately, the skin is also extremely susceptible to the synthetic formulations we apply, rub and wash it with. The dermal route is one of the fastest routes of letting synthetic chemicals bypass your powerful intestinal tract (where they would be made less harmful), and directly invade your major internal organs.

Remember what we had to say about Parabens? 60% of breast cancer tumours were found in the area where deodorants are sprayed – and this area represents only 1/5th of the entire armpit area.

Co-incidence? We think not.

How does dandruff caused by aggravated sebaceous glands look?

Dry dandruff – caused by under active / stripped sebaceous glands

Dandruff that is caused by under-active sebaceous glands will have a few tell tale signs: you should begin feeling worse immediately after shampooing – your scalp should feel itchy and dry. The dandruff flakes will be small, light and not clumped together. The problem will worsen as you increase your shampooing frequency. And the rest of your skin will usually be okay – there will be no underlying skin condition like psoriasis, eczema or dermatitis.
Oily dandruff – caused by greasy scalp / over active sebaceous glands
Dandruff caused by over active sebaceous glands is also usually easy to spot – you will find your hair to start secreting oil and look limp, greasy and unwashed one or two days after washing your hair.

The dandruff flakes will be large, heavier & will clump together. This will of course prompt desperate measures on your part like increasing your shampooing – and you will find that the more you shampoo, the more oil and flakes your hair seems to be secreting.

Sometimes this kind of dandruff can lead to a fungal infection. The excessive oil secreted on the scalp can attract fungi which then start to east some of the excessive oil on the scalp, break it down and secrete a hydrolysed oil compound. This compound leads to itching on the scalp and irritates it further.

So the key to controlling this kind of dandruff is to ensure that you do not over wash your hair – if you wash it too aggressively with synthetic products, your sebaceous glands will also respond aggressively.

The second part for this kind of dandruff is to ensure balance: your hair regime must clean without stripping. Your oiling regime must moisturize without loading your hair.

The changing nature of dandruff – from oily to dry as you age

When you are below 30, your sebaceous glands are at their peak – so excessive shampooing triggers a compensatory response from them. You will find your hair looking greasier, as your sebaceous glands work overtime to replace and add more oil to protect your hair and scalp. This response goes down as you age, so in your 20s, excessive shampooing might give you oily dandruff which changes to  dry dandruff as you age.

The point of all this is simple

Ketoconazole and such fungicide based anti-dandruff shampoos are not the answer to any hair problems. And neither is washing your hair everyday with a synthetic shampoo.

If you suspect dry or greasy scalp dandruff, start by washing your hair less, moisturize and nourish your scalp more, and oh yes, throw away your chemical shampoo.

It should NOT be used to wash your hair.

A fantastic hair month to you from us at Krya – You deserve the best.

This article is a part of Krya’s series on healthy and happy hair, which we are writing all this September. Through the Krya healthy hair series, we hope to inform, educate and inspire you to restore your hair to its natural state of great health. Synthetic shampoos and hair products contain a huge host of suspect industrial chemicals that are not just toxic for us to use, but are polluting and toxic to the planet as well. The natural world is full of safe, environmentally sustainable, cruelty free options to care for your hair, and our series will try to present atleast a small part of this exciting world to you. 

 

Consumers love our all natural, synthetic free, gentle hair washes- explore more here. We are running an introductory offer on all of our skin and hair care products this month – just subscribe to our newsletter above to get the coupon code in your inbox.

 

If you would like to explore our series further, here’s what We’ve written about hair health before this piece:

  1. What goes into your Shampoo – part 1 & part 2
  2. What’s the deal with SLS and SLES – and why it shouldn’t come anywhere near you or your hair
  3. What is your hair supposed to be? A trial? A challenge? Or simply, your best friend
  4. Is beauty external? We think not
  5. What should you be looking for on that product label?  
  6. Common carcinogens implicated in breast cancer found in your home 
  7. Is it a conspiracy? A pre-planned genetic supremacy race? Or simply misinformation? Some reasons behind common toxics & why they continue to be used
  8. Are we putting our children at risk by using these products on them? Here are 3 toxins that plague children through the products we use on them.
  9. Do the products we buy contain toxins? How do we decode what goes into them? Here’s Urban Survival 102 telling you how to decode a cosmetic label

 

 

 

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Hair hara-kiri – throw away that shampoo Part 1

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My biggest hair problem as a teenager was hair that wouldn’t dry fast. I had waist length hair back then which was as thick as my palm. My hair literally took hours to dry, and before I started using shampoo, I would sometimes have to comb out clumps of shikakai from my home made hair wash after it dried.

Yup, pretty much a case of my diamond shoes being too tight.

Of course, I grew up. Started to use synthetic shampoos, and then of course, all hell broke loose. Because just a few years later, my biggest hair problem, was that my hair, simply would not grow.

Instead, I grappled with hair that broke easily, was thinning everywhere, and just didn’t grow as fast as it used to. So to keep the focus off my non growing hair, I kept cutting it shorter, until at one point, I sported a pageboy cut.

The reasons for my hair’s state are now quite apparent – I committed every single one of those 5 hair mistakes we wrote about last time on the Blog. If there was a treatment or a new hair product out, you could be sure I was right there, asking for it.

But today I want to focus on the single hair mistake almost all of us are committing – and this one is a hara kiri (a hair-a-kiri?) – using a synthetic shampoo.

A dated report I’m reading tells me that the world spends close to 60 billion dollars every year buying shampoo. Yes, you read that right. We are as a race, spending collectively the equivalent of the GDP of Zambia,or Slovenia, on just Shampoo!

The modern shampoo was “invented” in the 1920s. Of course, this news was not as exciting for people in general because all of us had been washing our hair with herbs, clays and water for time immemorial. Shampoos therefore cleverly position themselves as modern, scientific products that provided a great experience and gave us what we did not have with herbs – Lots & Lots & Lots of Copious lather.

Today’s shampoo formulation has evolved, dangerously from its 1920s version. Besides being actually harmful for your hair, a shampoo today contains ingredients that are extreme irritants, environmental toxins and are even carcinogenic.

 What’s in that foaming, coloured, scented mess?

1. Detergent

The most important ingredient in a shampoo is the part that cleans. And this comes ingredients like SLS, SLES or even ALS (Ammonium lauryl sulphate) and its ethoxylated cousin ALES (ammonium Laureth sulphate).

We are extremely concerned about the all pervasive and toxic nature of SLS and SLES – you will find SLS / SLES in almost everything that foams and is a cleanser of some sort from your laundry detergent to your baby wash and of course your shampoo. We actually spent a whole post talking about the dangers of SLS and SLES .

Sulphates were initially used as cheap detergents – typically in car washes and mechanic workshops to easily cut through axle grease. They are today widely used to lift off grease from hair and to clean your body, face and even your clothes.

We have 3 major concerns over the almost obsessive use of SLS and SLES by the consumer product industry:

Sebum stripping ability

The first is that both these Lauryl Sulfates  are almost too effective at stripping hair (and skin)  of its protective layer of oil – the result, all the vital and necessary sebum in your hair which protects the cuticles and its integrity is stripped out, leaving it dull and lifeless.

Irritant nature

The Journal of the American college of Toxicology notes that concentrations of SLS that are as low as 0.5% (and upto 10%) cause slight to moderate skin irritation, while 10% – 30% routinely causes skin corrosion and severe irritation. Ironically, in lab testing of skin care products like healing creams or lotions, skin is first irritated using SLS before it can be healed with the test product! SLS also causes severe eye irritation which is a point of note if you want to use it in a shampoo that is definitely going to reach your eyes.

Role in cell destruction and premature aging

This should get your interest right now. SLS is described as a protein de-naturing compound. So with consistent use, it will break down the protein matrix of your hair, effectively stopping hair regeneration and impeding its health.On skin, SLS will disrupt the protein structures in it and could hasten skin aging.

2. Silicones

Silicones like dimethicone or PEG-12 dimethicone are often described as “conditioning agents”. Silicones are an interesting addition to shampoos. They were added precisely because of the detergents in shampoos – because the detergents are harsh , strip sebum and break your cuticular scales, the silicones are added to coat hair.

Silicones are laboratory made chemicals which are made from combinations of silicon, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They are flexible and plastic like with a rubbery feel and are used in adhesives, sealants, lubricants, cooking utensils, insulation AND personal care products.

It is important to note here that silicone should be accurately described as a “coating agent” and not a “conditioning agent”. So a silicon cannot “penetrate” or “deep condition” your hair. But what it can do is form a layer on top of your hair, hiding the damage caused by the detergent in the shampoo – and this coating is precisely why it takes so long for you to find out that your hair is damaged (hint: its because your shampoo is doing a darn good cover up job after damaging your hair).

Silicones are found both in hair care products and skin care products. It is the primary ingredient in hair conditioners and is also used in make up products like foundations and primers, because it does the same job of coating over the damage on your skin and helps the rest of the product glide smoother.

Because silicone covers the damaged cuticular scales of your hair, it produces a kind of gloss/ shine – which deceives you into thinking your hair is healthier than it is.

And because it coats your hair, it also decreases the ability of natural oils to penetrate your hair or skin – so if you are regularly using a conditioning shampoo or a conditioner, and trying to oil and restore your hair to health, then chances are that your oiling is not going to be very effective.

If you apply a silicone containing product on your skin, you can have similar bad results – because the silicone coats your skin, it prevents healthy skin functions like sweating, and sloughing off dead cells. You are also probably keeping in dirt, dead cells and bacteria much longer leaving them to linger on your skin. This is probably why people with sensitive or acne prone skin suffer greater breakouts when using silicone containing products (which is almost all synthetic skincare products).

We are still not sure about the toxicity of commonly used silicones like dimethicone. Environment Canada have put this ingredient on their toxics watchlist – what we do know is that in the very least it could be a persistent (lingers on for a very long time), bio-accumulative (stays and builds up within the bodies of fishes and organisms that eat it) environmental toxin.

Here are some possible silicone agents you could find in your shampoo / conditioner: Methicone, Phenyl trimethicone, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Dimethiconol, Dimethicone copolyol.

 

blog post graphic sept 4

This isn’t over – far from it. Look out for our next post on Monday for more straight dope on what goes into your synthetic shampoo.

A happy hair month to you!

This article is a part of Krya’s series on healthy and happy hair, which we are writing all this September. Through the Krya healthy hair series, we hope to inform, educate and inspire you to restore your hair to its natural state of great health. Synthetic shampoos and hair products contain a huge host of suspect industrial chemicals that are not just toxic for us to use, but are polluting and toxic to the planet as well. The natural world is full of safe, environmentally sustainable, cruelty free options to care for your hair, and our series will try to present atleast a small part of this exciting world to you. 

 Consumers love our all natural, synthetic free, gentle hair washes- explore more here.

If you would like to explore our series further, here’s what We’ve written about hair health before this piece:

  1. What’s the deal with SLS and SLES – and why it shouldn’t come anywhere near you or your hair
  2. What is your hair supposed to be? A trial? A challenge? Or simply, your best friend
  3. Is beauty external? We think not
  4. What should you be looking for on that product label?  
  5. What are the 5 beauty mistakes you are probably committing right now on your hair

 

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