“How to get rid of dandruff naturally?” This is one of the most common queries we get from our readers. And this implies how widespread dandruff is. These pesky, flaky, white stuff found on the scalp affects people of all age groups, but is common among teens, when the body undergoes several changes.
Unfortunately, this stubborn problem just refuses to go away until you take some extreme measures. And no, we’re not talking about over the counter or even medicated shampoos, which make tall claims, but deliver nothing. So what are those measures? Well, a lot of them are lying in your kitchen itself! Yes, we’re talking about the natural remedies to get rid of dandruff. Natural remedies have been proven to help get rid of dandruff in ways more than you can think and we’ll discuss the same in the article. So stay tuned if you want to know the tips and home remedies to get rid of dandruff naturally. This is the ultimate guide that will help you get rid of dandruff in no time.
What Is Dandruff?
Dandruff, a skin disorder affecting more than 50% of the total population of the world is linked with the excess growth of the lipophilic yeast of Malassezia genus. This leads to excessive shedding of the dead skin flakes from the scalp. Along with the shedding, there can also be some itching. However, redness or scabbing isn’t normal and could suggest some underlying condition.
Causes Of Dandruff:
As mentioned above, dandruff is caused due to the build-up of dead skin cells in the scalp, which is further aggravated by a yeast-like organism. The other possible causes of dandruff include:
- Seborrheic Dermatitis:
If you’re under the impression that dandruff affects only those people who suffer from dry scalp, then you’re wrong. Dandruff takes place when there’s an overreaction to yeast, which leads to an overproduction of the oil. This causes irritation, which creates oily and waxy flakes. And this condition is most prevalent in people with oily skin. In the case of seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff can occur on the eyebrows, on the ears and sides of the nose as well. Along with these, armpits, groin area and breastbone can also be affected.
- Dry Skin:
Apart from seborrheic dermatitis, dry skin is also another cause of dandruff. The symptoms and signs of dry skin are visible on arms and legs as well, along with scalp.
- Psoriasis And Eczema:
Health conditions like eczema and psoriasis can also lead to flaky scalp and dandruff.
Technically speaking, stress does not cause dandruff, but it creates a condition, which makes the flaking worse.
- Excess Usage Of Over The Counter Products:
The protein enriched shampoos and conditioners advertised by big brands do nothing for your hair except making it more prone to dandruff. These shampoos are loaded with silicone, an ingredient that has caused trouble to many.
Several dermatologists, including Dr. Kassouf, opine that age makes dandruff and flaking worse. As we get older, the skin loses moisture and dries out more easily as it did in our youth. This could be one of the reasons behind dandruff in old age. Apart from that, seasonal changes can also lead to dandruff. Dandruff is generally experienced more during fall and winter than spring and summer.
Symptoms Of Dandruff:
The common symptom of dandruff is the formation of flaky skin, which sheds on its own. Apart from that, the other symptoms of dandruff include:
- Itchy scalp
- Hair fall
- Dull and dry hair
- Acne or pimples, especially on the forehead
- Irritable bowel syndrome or constipation
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Dandruff Naturally:
A study by Indian Journal of Dermatology 1 has found that dandruff is a non-inflammatory disease and can be treated with natural remedies. In fact, herbal remedies are considered as effective as the over the counter products or synthetic products in controlling dandruff. Hence, we’ve jotted down some useful home remedies to help you get rid of dandruff naturally.
- Tea Tree Oil:
The beneficial effects of tea tree oil in the world of beauty sometimes astounds us. Apart from treating bacterial vaginosis, and black gums, tea tree oil can even help you get rid of dandruff naturally. That’s because it contains antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, which can treat infections and reduce inflammation. As a natural astringent, tea tree oil helps to unclog the pores, thereby getting rid of dandruff. All you have to do is rub a few drops of tea tree oil on the scalp, not the hair.
Alternatively, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil in your shampoo and wash your hair with it. Your dandruff will vanish in a matter of few weeks.
- Apple Cider Vinegar:
Just a simple remedy like rinsing the hair with a solution of apple cider vinegar and water can help you get rid of dandruff by changing the pH value of the skin, diminishing skin irritation, killing the fungus, and rebalancing the flora. In fact, apple cider vinegar is said to provide instant relief from itchiness, which accompanies dandruff.
Prepare a solution by combining equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water and massage your scalp with it. Leave it for a few minutes and then wash it off. You have to follow this method for at least a week to see results. Please discontinue using it you experience any irritation.
- Coconut Oil:
Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids, such as capric acid and lauric acid, which have potent antifungal, antimicrobial and antiviral properties. All these properties combined can target and kill all the viruses, fungus or bacteria that may exist in the scalp. Just massage your hair with coconut oil twice a well, leave it overnight and then wash it off in the morning. You’ll hopefully see positive results within a week.
- Lemongrass Oil:
As per a study conducted on people aged between 20 to 60, lemongrass essential oil could reduce dandruff significantly within just seven days of use 2. That again, is possible because of the anti-fungal and antibacterial properties of this oil, which fight fungus and yeast, thereby helping you get rid of dandruff.
For best results, combine two drops each of lemongrass oil, oregano oil, lavender oil with 4 to 6 ounces of water and drink it once every day. But ensure that the oils you use are 100% pure and organic.
Alternatively, you can mix a few drops of lemongrass oil with any carrier oil of your choice and massage your scalp with it twice a week. You’ll see a marked difference.
- Aloe Vera Gel:
Aloe vera is renowned for soothing and healing irritated skin. Even Michele Green, the New York dermatologist opines that aloe vera can soothe itchy and scaly skin in people suffering from seborrheic dermatitis. Scoop aloe vera gel from the plant and apply it on the scalp before bathing. You should leave the aloe vera gel for at least half an hour.
- Olive Oil:
If not permanently, olive oil can treat dandruff at least temporarily by removing the dandruff flakes. All you need to do is apply organic olive oil on the itchy and flaky patches of the scalp. Leave it for at least an hour and then brush or comb your hair to smooth it out. To make this method even more efficient add a few drops of essential oil to it, like tea tree oil or lemon grass oil. Do not apply too much olive oil as it can make the hair oily.
Essential oils, in general, are excellent in controlling dandruff due to their antibacterial properties. Hence, a rosemary oil hair mask can help you get rid of dandruff in no time. Make an anti-dandruff hair mask combining eight drops of rosemary oil, eight drops of cedar wood oil, six drops of tea tree oil, one teaspoon of honey and 4 ounces of almond oil. Mix the ingredients well and massage into the scalp. Leave for 20 minutes or overnight and then wash it off.
- Need And Olive Oil:
Neem leaves and its extracts have potent antifungal properties, which can help in the treatment of dandruff. It also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which can help you to get rid of dandruff.
Take a few sprigs of dried Neem leaves and crush to form powder. Mix four tablespoons of olive oil to it and apply the paste to the scalp. Leave it for half an hour and then wash it off. Alternatively, boil a few neem leaves until the water reduces. Make a paste out of it and apply the paste on the scalp. Leave it for 20 minutes and wash it off.
Aspirin isn’t technically a kitchen ingredient, but it can help you get rid of dandruff in no time. It contains salicylates, which exfoliate the scalp and treat dandruff. Just crush 2 Aspirin tablets, add the powder to a small amount of your shampoo and wash your hair as usual.
- Baking Soda And Lemon:
Baking soda, the humble ingredient found in every kitchen treats dandruff by reducing the overactive fungi responsible for this condition. Make a paste by combining three tablespoons fresh lemon juice, three tablespoons baking soda and a bowl of apple cider vinegar. Apply the paste on your scalp, leave it for 15 minutes or until the scalp starts feeling itchy. Wash it off with water. You can even follow it with the apple cider vinegar rinse.
Tips To Avoid or Prevent Dandruff:
Apart from the above-mentioned home remedies, you also need to follow some tips and make some lifestyle changes to get rid of dandruff naturally. Below mentioned are few tips that can help you get rid of dandruff fast and permanently.
- Brush Your Hair Properly:
Invest in a good quality hair brush or a wide toothed comb and brush your hair twice a day to get rid of the dead skin cells. A regular brushing will improve blood circulation and air supply to the scalp, thereby improving hair growth.
- Stop Using Excessive Hair Products:
We all love pampering our hair in the salon with the blow dryer, curling irons, and straighteners. But do you realize how much harm these products and tools can cause to your hair? The hair masks, serums, and potions are loaded with chemicals, which won’t just cause dandruff, but will even lead to hair fall in the long run. And the heating tools can cause irreparable damage. So stop taking trips to the salon and start beautifying your hair at home. Several natural ingredients can help you get silky, smooth mane in no time.
- Nourish Yourself Inside Out:
Have you even seen country people suffering from hair issues like dandruff? No, right? Because they follow a healthy diet, not a diet loaded with refined sugar, processed foods, fried and oily foods, which cause inflammation, leading to dandruff and flaking. So if you want to get rid of dandruff permanently, you should walk on their path by chucking out processed and junk foods and include fresh fruits, veggies, and high protein foods. Green leafy veggies are highly recommended because they contain several hair friendly nutrients like vitamin B, zinc and antioxidants. You can get your daily dose of omega 3 fatty acids by eating a handful of nuts every day.
- Keep Stress At Bay:
You have no idea how adversely stress can impact your body. In fact, most of the skin irritants often take place due to stress, depression, and anxiety. So if you’re seeing a sudden breakout or change in the texture of the skin or hair, eliminate stress from your life. So as much as possible, keep stress at bay by doing meditation and yoga and listening to music.
- Shampoo Your Hair Regularly:
Yes, an excess of shampooing is bad as it strips natural oils of the scalp, but not shampooing often can build up dead skin cells on the scalp, leading to dandruff. So if you want to get rid of dandruff permanently, wash your hair at least thrice a day, preferably with a herbal shampoo. Medicated shampoos are good if you’re suffering from dandruff, not on a daily basis. Once a week conditioning is also recommended. Just ensure that you apply the conditioner at least half an inch from the scalp. And don’t forget to wash off the conditioner completely.
- Drink Plenty Of Water:
Lack of water or hydration is one of the main reasons for dry skin. So it’s essential to keep your body hydrated if you want to prevent dandruff and improve your overall health and skin.
If your dandruff refuses to leave even after following all these remedies, we’d suggest you make an appointment with the dermatologist. There could be some underlying health condition, which only a doctor can determine after diagnosing. We’re not trying to scare you, but flaky scalp can also be a symptom of skin cancer, especially in older people. So if the scalp starts soring, doesn’t heal and starts oozing out blood, then you must immediately see a doctor or dermatologist.
And whatever treatment you undergo for getting rid of dandruff, do not forego the tips we’ve mentioned above to get rid of dandruff. There are extremely vital and will only help you in the long run.
Have you tried any of these home remedies to get rid of dandruff naturally? Which of these remedies do you vouch for getting rid of dandruff naturally? Let us know by commenting below.