Dandruff is a condition of the skin that mainly affects the scalp causing white flakes. The white flakes are the dead old skin cells that are pushed off (to be replaced by new ones). Though it is harmless, it may be hard to treat, embarrassing, and itchy. Some of the major causes of dandruff involve dry skin, seborrheic dermatitis, allergic reactions due to hair products and the growth of a yeast-like fungus that lives on the scalp. When skin condition involves inflammation and is more severe, it is known as Seborrhoeic dermatitis.
There are numerous medical treatments and special shampoos to treat and get rid of dandruff. However, people can also help reduce or eliminate dandruff at home following some of the most common natural remedies listed below.
Home Remedies/Natural Treatments that Work for Dandruff
- Use lemon juice: Massage your scalp with lemon juice and rinse it with water to rid your hair of dandruff. The acids in the juice help break down the dandruff-causing fungus and also leave you fresh.
- Hair mask of sour curd: Apply a mask of fermented curd to your hair & scalp. Allowing it to sit for an hour rinse it with a mild shampoo. The acidic quality of curd helps rid dandruff and provides shine & texture to the hair.
- Green tea treatment: The antioxidant & antimicrobial properties of Green tea and peppermint essential oil help promote scalp health. So, massaging this combo on your scalp for 5 minutes before washing & conditioning your hair will be beneficial.
- Aloe Vera gel goodness: Aloe vera gel may improve moisture retention in the skin and also reduce inflammation thus helping people with itchiness due to dandruff.
- Neem leaves: Apply a paste of neem leaves to the scalp and leave it for an hour before washing it off or simply soak some neem leaves in water & leave overnight. Strain the liquid and apply it to wash your hair. This will relieve itching as well as control the overgrowth of dandruff-causing fungus.
- Coconut & Tea tree oil massage: Add a few drops of tea tree oil to coconut oil & mix well before massaging it to your scalp. You can leave the application overnight or at least half an hour before washing it off. Coconut oil easily seeps in the scalp. The antimicrobial & anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil benefit removing the fungal growth. This combo moisturizes the scalp providing hydration & shine to your hair.
- Orange peel conditioning: Blend some orange peels with lemon juice to form a paste. Apply the paste to your scalp for half an hour finally rinsing it off. The acidic properties of orange peel reduce excess oil, condition your hair as well as take care of dandruff.
- Intake Omega 3s: Omega 3 fatty acids manage oil production & hydration. They furthermore reduce inflammation & relieve irritation as well as dandruff symptoms.
- Add probiotics to your diet: Probiotics enhance the immune system & help body fight against fungal infections causing dandruff.
- Try a Hot oil mask: Oil-based treatments balance some of the scalp’s excessive oil production. Applying oils to the scalp will draw oils from it(simple law of attraction) & remove them. You may try warming up coconut oil & massaging it on your scalp. It works wonders.
- Aspirin treatment: Mixing 2 powdered aspirin tablets in a bowl with your regular shampoo & using it to wash your hair may benefit as the Salicylates in aspirin exfoliate the scalp, prevent oil build-up and help treat dandruff.
- Apple Cider Vinegar fights itchiness: Take equal parts of vinegar & water and mix them well to use in place of your shampoo. Apple Cider Vinegar helps get rid of dandruff by killing the fungus responsible for it & provides relief from itchiness.
Naturopath Doctors also recommend massage therapy and practice of Ayurveda to cure this condition. Massaging your scalp before or after brushing your hair improves blood circulation and growth of hair.
The professional massage therapists press thumbs behind your ear and use fingertips to help scalp move over the bone structure of your head and direct blood movement. They know the exact points that will relax your mind as well as benefit your scalp. One must also be aware of the major causes of Dandruff to avoid further damage.
What causes Dandruff?
Dandruff is possibly the result of these factors:
- Seborrheic dermatitis/seborrhea or skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis
- Skin oil (sebum/sebaceous secretions)
- Dry and irritated skin
- The metabolic by-products of skin microorganisms (growth of bacteria and fungus particularly Malassezia that increases skin cell growth which dies and flakes off ) on the scalp
- Sensitivity to specific hair products
- Individual perceptivity and allergy sensitivity
- Diet plays its role, as a deficiency in vitamin B or zinc can lead to dandruff
- Hygiene does make a difference but the underlying mechanism involves excessive growth of skin cells
- Weather (hot and humid or cold and dry) might trigger or increase the severity
- Stress or illness may worsen dandruff
Symptoms – Itchy scalp, Flakiness, Red, greasy patches of skin with a tingly feeling are some of the major signs and symptoms of Dandruff.
Which oils are best to control dandruff?
Coconut oil, olive oil, and tea tree oil are among the best ones to fight dandruff. Their antibacterial, anti-fungal and moisturizing properties are not only effective against dandruff but are also very beneficial for hair health.
- Shampoo well & regularly to avoid the accumulation of dead cells & oil on the scalp as it may lead to dandruff.
- Apply conditioner carefully (away from the scalp) & wash it off thoroughly.
- Avoid stress as it weakens immunity decreasing the body’s ability to fight infections causing dandruff.
- Applying tea tree oil directly on the scalp can cause inflammation or rashes.
- Home Remedies are always one’s first preference but a doctor’s consultation is a must in case of underlying skin conditions such as eczema & psoriasis.