Dandruff is a common scalp condition in which small pieces of dry skin flake off of the scalp. If you have dark hair or you’re wearing dark colors, you may notice the flakes in your hair or on your shoulders.
Dandruff may be the result of a dry scalp, or a skin condition called seborrhea dermatitis. It could also be caused by eczema, psoriasis, or, very commonly, an overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus called malassezia. Remedies might include shampoos with zinc pyrithione, which targets fungus and bacteria; ketoconazole, which also fights fungus; coal tar and selenium sulfide, which slow the growth and die-off of skin cells on your scalp; and salicylic acid, which loosens flakes so they can be washed away. For natural treatments, read on.
Aspirin contains the same active ingredient (salicylic acid) as many medicated dandruff shampoos. Keep flaking in check by crushing two aspirins to a fine powder and adding it to the normal amount of shampoo you use each time you wash your hair. Leave the mixture on your hair for 1-2 minutes, then rinse well and wash again with plain shampoo.
2. Tea tree oil
A recent study showed that shampoos with 5% tea tree oil significantly improves the severity of dandruff. You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to your favorite shampoo as you wash normally.
3. Baking soda
Your kitchen holds the secret to you having an itch-free, flake-free scalp. Wet your hair and then rub a handful of baking soda vigorously into your scalp. Skip the shampoo and go right to rinsing. Baking soda reduces overactive fungi that can cause dandruff. Your hair may get dried out at first, but after a few weeks, your scalp will start producing natural oils, leaving your hair softer and free of flakes.
4. Apple cider vinegar
The acidity of apple cider vinegar changes the pH of your scalp, making it harder for yeast to grow. Mix a quarter cup apple cider vinegar with a quarter cup water in a spray bottle and spritz on your scalp. Wrap your head in a towel and let sit for 15 minutes to an hour, then wash your hair as usual. Do this twice a week.
To treat a bad case of dandruff, wash your hair with your regular shampoo, then rinse with an alcohol-based mouthwash. Follow with your regular conditioner. Mouthwash’s anti-fungal properties help prevent dandruff-causing yeast from growing.
6. Coconut oil
This is man’s best friend. This is one of the most versatile beauty products ever. It also works for dandruff. Before showering, massage 3-5 tablespoons of coconut oil into your scalp and let sit for about an hour. Shampoo normally. You can also look for a shampoo that already contains coconut oil.
Dandruff relief may be no farther away than your refrigerator. Lemon’s acidity helps balance the pH of your scalp, which helps keeps dandruff at bay. Just massage 2 tablespoons lemon juice into your scalp and rinse with water. Then stir 1 teaspoon lemon juice into 1 cup water and rinse your hair with it. Repeat this daily until your dandruff disappears.
The abrasiveness of salt works great for scrubbing out dandruff flakes before you shampoo. Grab a saltshaker and shake some salt onto your dry scalp. Then work it through your hair, giving your scalp a massage. You’ll find you’ve worked out the dry, flaky skin and are ready for a shampoo.
9. Aloe vera
The cooling effects of aloe vera will soothe the itch. Stop yourself from scratching by massaging aloe vera into your scalp before shampooing.
Garlic’s antimicrobial properties are perfect for eliminating dandruff causing bacteria. Crush garlic and rub it into your scalp. To avoid that potent smell, mix the crushed garlic c with honey and massaging into the scalp before washing as usual.
11. Olive oil
An overnight olive oil is a folk remedy for dandruff. Massage about 10 drops into your scalp and cover with a shower cap overnight. Follow your regular shampoo routine in the morning. For a quicker cure, look for a shampoo that contains olive oil.