10 Home Remedies for Dandruff
Dandruff is annoying, embarrassing and often catches us off-guard. It’s perceived by many people to be a result of bad hygiene, but that is usually not the case. Dandruff is a common condition that can be difficult to treat, is rarely related to hygiene but regular washing can help remove the skin flakes that cause dandruff. Dandruff is characterized by white or grey flakes of skin coming off of the scalp, and can often be spotted on the person’s hairbrush or clothes. The exact causes of dandruff aren’t known but there are several factors which increase the risk of having it1:
* Irritated and oily skin
* Not shampooing enough
* Not brushing your hair enough
* Hot and dry climate
* Using the wrong shampoo (some people are more sensitive to certain shampoos and need to try something more alkaline or acidic pH)
* Not eating enough zinc and vitamin B rich foods
* Stress (can worsen any skin condition or even cause some)
* Allergic reaction to air pollutants
It can take some time to nip dandruff in the bud, the quicker you get to work the quicker it’ll go away. Here are 10 home remedies for dandruff:
#1 – Tea Tree Oil Tea tree oil has been used as a treatment for a myriad of ailments for centuries. It has some amazing natural anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, and also may help get rid of your dandruff2. There was a medical study back in 2002 in which 126 people participated, some were given shampoo with 5% tea tree oil and the others a regular shampoo/placebo. It was found that the people using tea tree oil in their shampoo had a 41% improvement in dandruff symptoms and saw an improvement in scalp greasiness and reduced itchiness.
#2 – Lemongrass Oil Lemongrass is another centuries-old treatment, usually reserved for treating stress, low blood pressure and digestive issues. But like most natural remedies, their uses can be plentiful. Like tea tree oil, lemongrass has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce symptoms of dandruff.
According to a study published in 2015, hair tonics which were 10% lemongrass in volume reduced dandruff by 81%. Lemongrass oil is strong stuff, so it’s important to note that it may cause irritation or an allergic reaction if applied directly to the skin. Lemongrass oil can be diluted with a little water or mixed in with your regular shampoo.
#3 – Omega 3 Fatty Acids A deficiency in this fatty acid can result in dandruff, weak nails and dry skin. Omega 3’s also support your heart and brain health, so it’s a good idea to eat foods rich in this substance. Foods rich in Omega 3’s are5:
* Cod liver oil
* Flax seeds
* Chia seeds
Omega 3’s also improve your skin’s management of oil production, improve hydration, reduce signs of ageing and help regulate inflammation.
#4 – Zinc Zinc is easily found in many foods and is a great support for your body’s immune system and cell growth. According to the National Institute of Health, more severe zinc deficiencies are associated with hair loss and skin lesions6. This is the reason that most dandruff shampoos contain zinc pyrithione, it prevents the growth of fungus and helps remove excess skin cells from the scalp.
Foods rich in zinc are:
* Legumes (chickpeas, lentils and beans)
* Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower)
* Whole grains
Zinc can also be found as a supplement.
#5 – Aloe Vera Gel Aloe is another centuries-old treatment, usually used for skin conditions. It contains several amino acids and anti-oxidants that may help you get rid of your dandruff. Aloe can help improve moisture retention in your skin, reduce inflammation and in turn help reduce or eliminate dandruff. You can use aloe directly from the plant, of if you can’t find it in your area then you can buy it in gel form.
#6 – Coconut Oil Coconut oil helps improve the hydration of your skin, helps stop dryness and according to a study done in 2004, it was found to be effective in stopping dandruff. Applying coconut oil to your hair daily for eight weeks can help reduce your dandruff by 68% on its own. So get some extra virgin coconut oil, rub it into your hair for 30 minutes, 7 days per week, before shampooing.
#7 – Reduce Stress Stress is known to help cause or worsen several skin conditions and one of those is dandruff. Stress itself may not be responsible but it may worsen symptoms of dryness and itching. Having high levels of stress for long periods of time will also weaken your immune system and make it more likely for you to develop different ailments and conditions. Getting rid of or reducing stress is easier said than done, but it’s a good idea to give the following things a try if you want to get your stress levels down:
* Relax your muscles, get a massage
* Make time for things which bring you joy
* Don’t keep your problems to yourself, find someone to talk to about them
* Eat a healthy diet
#8 – Apple Cider Vinegar Apple cider vinegar has become quite famous as a superfood recently. It’s associated with a myriad of health benefits, and one of these benefits is helping get rid of dandruff. The acidity in apple cider vinegar helps improve the shedding of dead skin cells from your scalp and it can also help balance the pH of your skin which will reduce the growth of fungus, which will help fight dandruff. It’s important to note that there are no studies to back up these claims, but there are decades of anecdotal evidence in natural medicine.
#9 – Gut Health and Probiotics According to most medical professionals, gut health is one of the most important factors when it comes to fighting ailments, illnesses and disease. Gut health is responsible for your overall well-being and it’s something that you need to take care of if you want to be healthy.
Having a healthy gut is also one of the most important factors in having a strong immune system, a strong immune system which fights against fungal infections that can cause dandruff.
Some great probiotic foods are:
Probiotics can also be found in supplement form, but it’s always a better idea to get them naturally if possible. If your gut health is really de-regulated, supplementing probiotics might be a good idea. Probiotic supplements can be found in every pharmacy.
#10 – Stop Wearing Hats If at all possible, avoid wearing a hat and let your head breathe. When you wear a hat you heat up your head and trap moisture in the form of sweat. This provides an ideal environment for the fungus that creates dandruff to form. If you already suffer from dandruff, wearing a hat can make it worse9, So if you want to get rid of your dandruff there are many natural and healthy options to help you do that.
Avoiding chemical shampoos or pharmaceuticals is a great idea if at all possible. It’s important to note that if you have a severe flare-up of dandruff it’s probably a good idea see your dermatologist. Natural cures may take a little longer to work, but they’re also a great prophylactic.
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Dandruff References and Dandruff Information
* Australian Bodycare: https://australian-bodycare.com/uk/what-causes-dandruff/
* Healthline Magazine: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ways-to-treat-dandruff#1
* Pub Med – Medical Study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12451368/
* Karger – Medical Study: https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/432407
* Healthline Magazine: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-omega-3-rich-foods
* National Institute of Health: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/
* Pub Med – Scientific Study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15724344/
* Healthline Magazine: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ways-to-treat-dandruff#7
* Head and Shoulders: https://www.headandshoulders.co.uk/en-gb/scalp/dandruff/causes/