How to get rid of Dandruff: Tis the season to be jolly! Yes, it’s Christmas time again and who doesn’t love a white Christmas? However, whenever we think of a white Christmas, we believe of fluffy white snow, not dandruff that is also often associated with this weather. So let’s see the different ways we can remain dandruff free, not only for Christmas but throughout all the holidays the come with the new year!
What is dandruff?
Many people associate slight dryness of their scalp to dandruff, and that is a false statement. It is true that dandruff is associated with the image of hair covered with white flakes, but if it is only a few flakes then that means that your scalp is slightly dry. However, if there are a lot of flakes or your hair is too oily with redness at the follicles (usually caused by too much itching), then it can be a problem. If your scalp is very itchy, then that can be another symptom that you have dandruff. So let’s see how to get rid of dandruff and even if you do not have dandruff, then read on to understand how to prevent it.
How to get rid of Dandruff
First, in order to understand how to solve or prevent a problem, it is important to get to the root of it, and that involves knowing the cause of the problem. Dandruff has two major causes for its occurrence:
- Dry hair
- Oily hair
Yes, although dandruff his often highly associated with dry hair (because of the flakes of dry skin that show up), oily hair is also a major cause for it. This is because we have natural hair fungus which feeds on the oil in our scalp, and too much oil can lead to an overgrowth of this fungus which in turn causes dandruff. Other causes can:
- Seborrheic dermatitis (a skin condition that causes dryness of scalp leading to dandruff)
- Eczema (another dry skin condition)
- Malassezia (overgrowth of yeast-like fungus caused due to too much oil in skin)
- Overgrowth of pittosporum orbicular, a fungus that exists on our scalp but too much can lead to dandruff. (also due to oily skin)
- Not washing your hair enough
- Using too many hair products
- Not having enough MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) in your diet (like nuts, olives, avacados)
- Not having enough vitamin B in your died (oatmeal, bananas, eggs, rice)
- Too much stress
- No proper grooming of hair.
So what are the remedies for dandruff? There are not only many reasons for getting dandruff but far more ways to get rid of it and prevent it from ever coming back.
Some simple methods to try before going into using products to remove dandruff:
Drink lots of water – For some reason this seems to be a solution to every problem, and rightfully so. Our body needs a certain amount of water content in it to function. Water hydrates the body while acting as a detoxing agent, both reasons for which you might be having dandruff.
Having a proper diet that consists of MUFAs, vitamin b, and all other essential oils. This is another universal solution that will help not only your dandruff problem but probably give help on a lot of other issues you might be facing.
Taking about universal solutions here is another one: have a proper sleep cycle. Sleep is highly essential for our body to function, and improper sleep can lead to a whole world of problems including stress. And as we know stress is another cause for dandruff (although dandruff is the least of your problems with too much stress).
Get out in the sun. Surprisingly, the reason dandruff seems to thrive more during winter than summer is not because it’s cold, but because of the lack of sunlight. Sunlight kills bacteria, which is also why sun dried clothes seem fresher and healthier. So exposing your head out in sun for 20 – 30 minutes a day is also a way to prevent dandruff. However, do not overdo this as sunlight is needed in proper quantities, and overdosing on it can lead to severe health issues.
Shampoo ‘ready-made’ remedies
If all of the above are in proper order, then you might want to try some shampoos that aim to relieve your head of dandruff. As discussed, however, dandruff is caused by different problems. So here is a way you can pick the correct shampoo for your problem.
- If fungus and bacteria are the cause of your dandruff, then use the shampoo that contains zinc pyrithione.
- If fungus is the leading cause of dandruff, then try a shampoo with ketoconazole.
- Dandruff is basically when the skin cells die too fast, so you can use shampoos with coal tar and selenium sulfide which slow the overall growth of your cells and reduce the rate of which they die.
- Another compound to look for would be salicylic acid. This acid loosens the dry skin cells stuck to your skull, which when washed will then come out easily leaving only live skin cells left.
All of the above are proven to work, but at the same time they are artificial chemicals. Do we ever leave with just that option in our blog? No way, we are not leaving till we explore all the ways, and that includes our natural home remedies section!
How to get rid of Dandruff
Natural home remedies
1. Essential oils
This is talking mostly about dandruff caused due to a dry scalp. Our scalp, or skin in general, needs some essential oils for it to be nourished and healthy. These oils should preferably be provided in our diet, but there are oils that can be applied to help with dandruff, such as:
- Tea tree oil – to use tea tree oil it is preferable to get shampoos with it included in it. To be more precise the shampoo should have 5% tea tree oil in it. However since this is the natural home remedies section, you can buy the tea tree oil separately and mix it in with any shampoo of your choice.
- Coconut oil – this oil should be directly massaged into your hair and washed after an hour of application. However, some don’t recommend this method when the dandruff is due to fungus based on oily skin. Even when using this method, it is agreed that the oil should only be applied for an hour or so and then washed out. Leaving it on for too long can cause the fungus based dandruff.
- Olive oil – application method similar to coconut oil, but this oil is preferred as it does not easily lead to the fungus based dandruff. Also, olive oil can be left on overnight.
- Almond oil, baby oil, lavender oil, cedarwood oil – All of these should be applied, massaged, and washed out. It is just a way of providing the essential oils you diet may not be providing.
Here is a recipe for a hair mask that contains essential oils.
- 8 drops of cedarwood oil
- 8 drops of rosemary oil
- 6 drops of tea tree oil
- 1 tspn of local honey
- 4 ounces of olive, almond, or coconut oil
- Mix all the above oils and massage into scalp.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes then wash it off, and if the dandruff is severe leave it on overnight.
- Try to have scalp covered after application.
- The above recipe is for 2-3 applications only.
Vinegar, or especially apple cider vinegar, is highly acidic and contains anti-bacterial properties. Mix it in a 1:1 ratio with water, pour it into a spray bottle and spray it all over the scalp. Wrap it in a towel and let it sit for 15 mins to an hour allowing the acidity to kill off all the bacteria. You can then wash out your hair, but make sure not to use shampoo till 12 – 18 hours after application. Do this twice a week, but a small warning: it smells… a lot! So do not use this method on a day you might have to go out.
3. Baking soda there are different methods to use baking soda. One of them is to use it directly by
There are different methods to use baking soda. One of them is to use it directly by putting a handful of into your hair while vigorously rubbing it in. Then you can directly wash it off but without shampoo. Baking soda dries your scalp, so this is useful for dandruff caused due to oily hair. Remember, initially your hair will seem too dry but this is normal, your natural oils will catch up and restore your scalp. Since you cannot use shampoo in this method, rosemary oil can be added to help with the smell. The oil also reduces how dry your scalp initially gets. If using plain baking soda really bothers you, add a teaspoon to your shampoo and lather and rinse normally. However using it plain is highly recommended.
There are pills or medication known as asprin available in local drugstores that are great to remove dandruff. Aspirin contains salicylic acid, one of the main ingredients that kills dandruff. To use it crush two tablets and add it to your regular shampoo. Rub this mixture into your hair and stay put for 1 to 2 minutes. Then wash it off with the regular shampoo that doesn’t have aspirin mixed into it. This should work like a shampoo that contains salicylic acid, if not better! If you don’t find aspirin in your local drug store then try and find pills that contain salicylic acid (and preferably other compounds) in similar composition as an aspirin pill.
5. Alcohol based mouthwash
Mouthwashes are meant to kill fungus in your teeth, so why not use them to kill fungus on your scalp as well? Cleaning your hair with mouthwash after shampooing and before conditioning your hair in known to kill dandruff-causing fungus. This method also protects hair from future fungus and dandruff.
6. Fenugreek seeds
These seeds are rich in protein and amino acids which help the hair stay healthy and strong (which includes getting rid of dandruff). Another plus point is these seeds are easily available in kitchens as they are an important part of any Indian cuisine. Soak the seeds in 1-2 cups of water and leave them overnight. Morning just grind it into a paste and apply it like a mask on your scalp. Wash it with a mild shampoo or plain water after 30 – 45 mins and you are good to go! Don’t forget to include it in your diet if that is not already the case, as that is another great way to take care of your hair as it not only helps with dandruff but contains lecithin concentration which makes hair stronger, smoother, and softer.
7. Neem leaves
Similar to fenugreek seeds grind the leaves and apply it as a paste. There is no need to soak them overnight, however. Neem strengthens roots of the hair and gets rid of dandruff.
8. Lemon juice
This is actually a pretty popular way to get rid of dandruff. The acidity of the lemon balances the pH level of your scalp helping it get rid of dandruff. Using it directly is known to be too acidic causing hair to be brittle, so it is recommended to mix 1 tsp of lemon juice with a cup of water. To help even more with the acidity, sometimes it is mixed into curd, but we will get to that in another point. As for this one keep applying regularly till dandruff disappears.
9. Aloe vera
Ah, another remedy that seems to be a synonym to skin care. Aloe vera is known for its skin healing properties which is great for your scalp as well. Just take an aloe vera leaf and rub its serum onto the entire scalp. Wait for an hour or so and then wash it off.
Garlic contains antimicrobial properties which attack the bacteria. However it is extremely smelly, so to get rid of the smell it is recommended that you use it with honey.
11. Plain yogurt
Curd is known to moisturize hair and keep it healthy, but this also gets rid of the dandruff. To help, a bit of lemon juice is mixed into curd as mentioned in a previous point. Pepper is another option, adding it to curd provides anti-fungal properties. Apply it as a mask, leave it on for an hour, and wash it off.
12. Henna or mehendi
Henna is an Indian herb, and is available in the market in a crushed powder form. It is known to make hair healthier, softer, silkier, and dandruff free. Mix this with curd, black tea, and lemon juice and set it aside for a minimum of 8 hours. Apply it all over the hair, not just as a mask, and leave it in for 2 hours. It is highly preferred that you wash it out with only water, then wait a day to use shampoo. Also a warning to all those who have light colored hair. henna leaves a heavy red stain on your hair and scalp. This is why it isn’t recommended for those with a light colored hair.
13. Multani ‘Mitti’
A type of ‘mitti’ or soil in other words found in nature that has amazing skincare properties. Apply it as a pack onto your scalp and wash it out after an hour or so to get rid of dandruff.
14. Orange hair pack or other natural hair packs
Hair packs are found in stores with natural ingredients. These are also great for hair and to get rid of dandruff. (ex. basil leaves with amla, tulsi pack, etc.)
Consuming or applying probiotic substances helps cure dandruff.
Egg has a lot of protein content, and our hair requires this protein. It also helps moisturize the hair and keep its roots strong. Naturally, a substance that helps keep hair healthy and strong will get rid of dandruff.
This one might be a bit surprising, but let me tell you it isn’t the protein content or moisturizing capability that gets salt onto our list. Rather it’s the texture or how abrasive salt is that helps with dandruff. Salt rubs at the scalp, freeing all the dandruff that is stuck to your scalp. Once free, washing it with shampoo should wash out all the dandruff.
Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties which help the scalp reduce itching. The less you itch, the less the dry scalp peels, so the dandruff levels reduce.
20. Tomato juice
Tomato juice helps balance the pH levels of our scalp, leaving it dandruff free.
That is all I have to say about dandruff and these are known to be effective ways to get rid of it. Not only individually, but mixing them in certain methods also cures multiple hair problems. So try all the possibilities and let your experience out onto the world! However, that’s it for this article, so check out the other health topics for even more ways to stay fit and healthy.
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