Do you shy away from wearing your beautiful black dress because of dandruff? But no matter how hard you try, you can’t hide dandruff.
Those tiny white flakes of skin between your hair strands might be harmless, but they can ruin your self-confidence. Dandruff is a medical condition characterized by an itchy scalp and can be pretty uncomfortable and embarrassing to deal with. But the good news is – with proper care, it’s possible to get rid of dandruff completely.
The problem of dandruff and itchy scalp is quite common, and it affects around 1 to 3% of adults and 42% of infants worldwide . There are several over-the-counter hair care products that you can use to solve your dandruff problem.
However, some home remedies are known to be quite effective as well, so today, we’ll discuss some natural home remedies for dandruff and itchy scalp. Let’s dig in!
What Are The Common Reasons Behind Dandruff?
While natural home remedies and hair care products can be effective in getting rid of dandruff, it’s best to know the factors that cause it. Below, we’ve discussed some common reasons that can trigger a severe dandruff condition and an itchy scalp.
1. Seborrheic Dermatitis
The sebaceous glands on your scalp secrete oils to keep the scalp from drying. But, over secretion of these oils results in the growth of the fungus Malassezia, which feeds on natural oils. It is a type of yeast that causes rashes, dandruff, and itchy scalps.
You can easily remedy this situation by maintaining good scalp health and regularly washing your hair. Using a strong anti-dandruff shampoo can remove the extra oil from your scalp and reduce the growth of this fungus.
2. Dry Skin
If you have dry hair, it means that your scalp lacks moisture and tends to dry up quickly. A dry scalp can cause skin irritation and is more prone to have dead skin cells, which makes stubborn dandruff and itchy scalp quite common.
You can use hair oils and conditioners to keep your scalp hydrated and moisturized. In that way, you can prevent the skin from drying up and causing dandruff and persistent itchiness.
3. Bad Scalp Hygiene
Remember those kindergarten days when our moms used to wash our hair twice or thrice a week? We might not have realized it back then, but maintaining good scalp hygiene is fundamental in getting rid of dandruff.
If you are missing out on washing your hair for days or not cleaning it properly, it might be impossible to treat dandruff or itchy scalp.
4. Heat And Pollution
When it comes to maintaining healthy scalp hygiene, dandruff, heat and pollution are your worst enemies. Excessive heat contributes to profuse sweating and oil secretion, increasing the activity of Malassezia.
Similarly, pollution makes your scalp super-oily, leading to red patches and rashes on the scalp, which results in excessive hair loss due to too much dandruff.
5. Unhealthy Diet
Even though the direct relationship between diet and dandruff isn’t very clear, maintaining a healthy diet can significantly improve your scalp health. Modifying your dietary intake can help control yeast growth, which might be effective in dandruff treatment.
It’s best to steer clear of red meat, white flour, and gluten-containing foods if you want to win this battle against dandruff. Also, avoiding high-calorie foods, like fried or processed foods and sugary beverages is a good way to control dandruff.
Medically speaking, dandruff is nothing but a bad case of dermatitis featuring itchy scalp skin. Therefore mental stress will never work in your favor while solving the dandruff problem. High-stress levels can worsen the symptoms of itchy and dry skin, intensifying dandruff.
Moreover, stress can impact your diet and immune system, which might make your body susceptible to fungal infections that can trigger the occurrence of dandruff. According to a study, among 166 people suffering from seborrhoeic dermatitis, 28% agreed that stress worsened their dermatitis symptoms, like dandruff and itchy scalp . So, keep calm and control your stress levels to fight against dandruff.
Certain diseases like psoriasis, eczema, and Parkinson’s can cause severe skin conditions, such as dandruff, skin inflammation, irritable scalp, and itchy skin.
What Products Can Be Effective Against Dandruff?
If you have a severe case of dandruff and are looking for instant relief, some excellent over-the-counter hair care products might do the trick. You can try anti-dandruff shampoos containing zinc pyrithione that come with antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. Also, there are conditioners with ketoconazole to help you fight off fungus and reduce dandruff.
You can try out hair serums containing selenium sulfide and coal tar that slow down the formation of dead skin cells and keep dandruff in check. Furthermore, deep conditioning creams have salicylic acid to loosen white flakes of dead skin from your hair strands so that you can wash them away easily.
It’s always a good idea to consult a professional dermatologist before trying out medicated shampoos or other hair care products. A dermatologist can offer you the proper guidance regarding how to deal with your dandruff problem. But, if you are still not sure whether to trust these commercial hair care products, we have some natural home remedies coming right up!
Some Natural Remedies To Treat Dandruff And Itchy Scalp
We move on to our carefully curated list of some natural remedies that can offer you effective and quick relief from dandruff and irritable scalp without damaging your hair. Use these remedies two to three times a week to get the best results, so let’s take a look!
1. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is quite acidic and has excellent antiseptic properties to enhance scalp hygiene. It can help reduce any rashes on your scalp and keep oil build-up in check. The acidic and antiseptic nature of lemon juice works quite well in killing fungi that cause dandruff and itchy scalp.
Furthermore, the pH of your scalp is a primary reason for dandruff. And oversecretion of natural oils from the sebum glands can throw off the whole pH balance, resulting in a severe dandruff breakout.
But no need to worry because it’s nothing that some lemon juice can’t fix. The acidity of the lemon juice helps in balancing the natural pH of the scalp to make it less itchy and reduce oil production.
Grab a whole lemon from your pantry and juice it up using a little water. Apply the lemon juice to your scalp and massage thoroughly before leaving it on your scalp for three to five minutes to let it do its work. Finally, rinse it thoroughly and shampoo your hair.
2. Coconut Oil
Known for its bucket load of health benefits, coconut oil is a great remedy for dandruff, as it helps to hydrate and moisturize your scalp to keep it from drying. Coconut oil is also known to reduce the symptoms of eczema and atopic dermatitis that can trigger dandruff.
It has antifungal properties that help control the growth of bacteria and fungi on your scalp to prevent dandruff. Its moisturizing quality even offers excellent relief from flakiness and itchiness, and to avoid dandruff, you can massage warm coconut oil on your scalp twice or thrice a week.
Take one teaspoon of coconut oil and warm it up before applying it to the scalp. Massage your scalp thoroughly with coconut oil to improve blood circulation. You can leave it overnight or for 20 minutes and then wash it off using any mild shampoo.
3. White Vinegar
It may sound weird, but white vinegar isn’t all about removing stains, as it works quite well in reducing the flakiness of your scalp when rinsing the hair.
The primary component of white vinegar is acetic acid which kills bacteria and fungi responsible for dry scalp and dandruff. It’s also quite effective in relieving excessive itching caused due to dandruff.
Mix half a cup of vinegar with two cups of water and apply this mixture to your hair after shampooing. In this way, you can use white vinegar as a rinse or create a blend of two parts white vinegar, three parts water, and one part olive oil. Rub this on and let the blend rest for 10 to 30 minutes on the scalp before you rinse it off your hair using any normal shampoo.
You must be thinking – how can mouthwash possibly help you to get rid of dandruff? Well, it may sound a little unorthodox, but every mouthwash can treat dandruff quite effectively. You can try the Listerine mouthwash because it is known to offer the best results.
The reason behind using mouthwash to fight dandruff is its antiseptic and antifungal properties. It also contains alcohol, which makes it so much easier to prevent fungal growth on your scalp to relieve itching and reduce dandruff symptoms.
You can mix one part of mouthwash and two parts of water and put it in a spray bottle to apply to your scalp as a pre-shower treatment. Let it rest for around 20 minutes, and then rinse it off with shampoo.
On the other hand, you can apply an alcohol-based mouthwash to your hair after shampoo as a natural remedy for dandruff. Simply rinse your hair with the mouthwash after shampooing, and you’ll be good to go.
Aspirin acts as an excellent exfoliate as it contains salicylic acid and can remove dead skin cells from your scalp to get rid of dandruff. Even many medicated shampoos come with salicylic acid to help you remove dandruff quickly.
You can crush two aspirin tablets and mix them with your shampoo before using the concoction to wash your hair and rinse it thoroughly. Remember to rinse your scalp and hair with normal shampoo afterward to wash off any residue of aspirin.
Moreover, the combination of aspirin and vinegar can be quite effective against dandruff. Crush and mix three tablets of aspirin with one tablespoon of vinegar. Now, apply the mixture to your scalp to massage it and leave it on for around 30 minutes before washing it off with shampoo.
Garlic might be smelly, but it’s excellent in eliminating any bacterial growth that can cause dandruff. Take an entire clove of garlic and crush it to chop it up, and make a paste. Apply a thick paste of garlic to your scalp and leave it on for a few minutes.
Rinse it off your hair with shampoo as usual or you can easily mask the garlic odor by adding a tablespoon of ginger and honey to the crushed garlic paste.
7. Olive Oil
One of the oldest remedies to treat dandruff and dry scalp is to use olive oil. It helps to hydrate your hair follicles and the scalp skin to promote hair growth and fight dandruff. Plus, it gives a natural luster to your hair and reduces hair fall.
You can use it as a leave-in conditioner after taking a shower. Apply a few drops of the oil to your wet hair and massage your scalp slowly and thoroughly.
Or, you can use olive oil for deep conditioning by massaging your scalp with 10 to 12 drops of oil. After massaging, wear a shower cap and let the oil do its job overnight. Then, rinse off the oil and shampoo your hair the following morning as usual.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
When we talk about home remedies to get rid of dry scalp and dandruff, using apple cider vinegar is said to be one of the best natural treatments. It can be a reliable dandruff remedy because its acidic nature helps to maintain the pH balance of your scalp, making it inhospitable for fungal growth .
Plus, it helps to clean your hair follicles and clogged pores, improving the skin condition of your scalp. Apple cider vinegar facilitates the shedding of dead skin to treat dandruff and prevent scaly skin. In fact, it’s known to work better than many anti-dandruff shampoos.
Mix a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar with a quarter cup of water and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Apply it to your scalp and use a clean towel to wrap your head, and wait for about an hour before washing your hair normally.
9. Baking Soda
Baking soda works like magic as a natural dandruff remedy because it absorbs the excess oil from your scalp, preventing the growth of fungi. It helps to balance the pH levels of your scalp, making it inhospitable for dandruff-causing fungus.
Baking soda also acts as an excellent exfoliator to get rid of dead skin cells and treat the itchiness of your scalp. It might take your hair a few weeks to adapt, but your scalp will again start producing the natural oils after a while. In this way, you’ll have softer hair that’s free of those tiny white flakes of dandruff.
Apply a handful of baking soda to wet hair and rub it on your scalp. Leave it for two to three minutes, and then rinse it off using warm water. But remember not to apply any shampoo after rinsing the baking soda.
Yogurt is a tried-and-tested home remedy to treat dandruff and has been an instant go-to for hundreds of people suffering from dry scalp and dandruff. It acts as an excellent deep conditioner that nourishes your scalp and hydrates it.
Also, its acidic quality helps in maintaining the natural pH balance of the scalp. Take some plain yogurt and massage it on your scalp, and leave it for 15 minutes before rinsing it off using a mild shampoo.
11. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is one of the best remedies owing to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate the symptoms of dry scalp and dandruff. Essential oils, like almond oil or jojoba oil, are known to fight against some strains of fungi that cause dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis .
They can also help improve itchiness and greasy patches on your scalp to prevent the occurrence of dandruff. Essential oils have certain antifungal and antiseptic properties that promote wound healing and treat lesions caused due to fungal overgrowth on your scalp.
You can add a few drops of any essential oil to the water and apply the mixture to massage your scalp thoroughly. Leave it for 30 minutes and rinse it off with lukewarm water. Alternatively, you can mix a few drops of the chosen tea tree oil with your shampoo and use it to wash your hair normally.
12. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera gel is known to act as a natural cooling agent to soothe the itchiness of your inflamed scalp and fight recurring dandruff. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, aloe vera is known to work quite well against dandruff . It also helps in promoting hair growth and reducing premature hair loss.
Take a leaf of aloe vera and gently scrape off the gel inside the leaf to apply it to your scalp. Massage the scalp with the aloe vera gel gently for a few minutes and leave it for around half an hour. Then, rinse off your hair with lukewarm water to wash away all the aloe gel from your scalp and hair.
13. Neem Leaves
We all know that neem leaves are widely used for topical medications because of their medicinal properties, and they are quite potent in treating dandruff and inflamed scalp. In fact, neem leaves greatly relieve the itchiness and redness of your scalp caused by excessive dandruff. They have antibacterial and antifungal properties to keep dandruff in check.
You can easily make a paste of neem leaves at your home as an effective remedy to fight dandruff. Take some fresh neem leaves and crush them thoroughly using a food mixer. Add one tablespoon of honey to crushed neem leaves to prepare a thick paste. Now, apply the neem paste on your scalp like a hair mask and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
This thick neem paste will help to deeply nourish the scalp and improve its health. You can also boil some neem leaves and keep the mixture in a spray bottle to apply it to the scalp before washing your hair using cold water. In this way, you can keep your scalp hydrated to reduce dandruff.
14. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds can act as an excellent natural remedy to fight dandruff because of their high protein content. They help to reduce hair fall by deeply nourishing your hair and come with several organic supplements to prevent dry scalp .
Other than this, they help to repair hair follicles and promote hair growth. You can prepare a fenugreek hair mask and apply it to the scalp to treat dandruff. Soak some fenugreek seeds overnight and grind them to make a paste, even adding one egg yolk to the fenugreek paste to mix it well.
Massage your scalp with the paste and leave it for 30 minutes before washing your hair with shampoo.
We come to the end of our carefully curated list of natural home remedies that can help you win the dandruff battle. You can get most of these ingredients in the kitchen pantry and won’t need to waste hundreds of dollars on expensive hair care products to solve your dandruff problem.
However, these home remedies might take some time to show effective results, so it’s best to apply them continuously if you want to see visible changes. You can even consult a healthcare professional and try out medicated hair care products if you are suffering from a severe case of dry scalp and dandruff.
And on that note, we bid you farewell. Take care, and we’ll see you next time!