What causes dandruff? Dandruff, also called scurf or Pityriasis simplex capillitii, is the bane of some people’s lives; those pesky white flakes that appear on your shoulders and make wearing black simply out of the question.
Skin cells die and are replaced naturally all the time, but, when that process of skin renewal is speeded up, that’s when the dead skin cells become more prevalent and noticeable in the form of dandruff. Science knows what is happening, when you have dandruff, but the cause is a little less clear. There are, in fact, many things linked to dandruff: from stress to serious illnesses, such as AIDS and Parkinson’s disease. Not that you should be taking dandruff as a sign that you might have a serious disease, but it has just been noted that dandruff is more common in people with these illnesses.
Some of the more common causes of dandruff are:
Washing your hair too rarely or too often
Some forms of dermatitis
Excessively oily skin or very dry skin
A weakened immune system
Overuse of product on your hair
As you can see, it’s difficult to tie down what might be causing your dandruff but, thankfully, dandruff is quite easy to treat. There are plenty of pharmaceutical shampoos available for the treatment of dandruff and there are also many natural home solutions too. You can also help reduce the occurrence of dandruff by watching what you eat and drink, as diet is also thought to be a contributing factor.
If dandruff is a problem for you, then we’ve explored 25 of the best ways to treat dandruff and to keep it away, so read on, and you might find some ideas that you haven’t tried yet:
1. Brush your hair regularly
The first, and very simple, way to reduce your chances of developing dandruff is to brush your hair more often. If you don’t brush your hair, then the dry flakes of skin will build up in your hair and brushing aids the process of shedding the dead skin cells.
2. Lime wash
Another good home remedy on how to get rid of dandruff naturally is to use lime or lemon wash. Boil the peels of five limes (or lemons) in water and then, allow the solution to cool. Use the solution as a rinse after each shampoo and, if you keep on using this treatment, twice a week, you should start to see a reduction in your dandruff.
3. Ginger and cucumber hair mask
This home remedy is a little messier! Grind together some fresh cucumber and a little ginger into a smooth paste and then massage into your scalp and leave it on for half an hour before washing out again. Or, if you can bear it, leave it on all night and wash off in the morning!
4. Olive oil
One of our favourite beauty ingredients, olive oil, also gets a mention here. Gently warm some olive oil in a pan, not too hot though, and then, massage it into your hair and scalp, leave on for, at least, a couple of hours or overnight before washing off. This treatment is especially effective, if you have dandruff, combined with generally dry skin as well.
5. Add baking soda to your normal shampoo
You can create your own dandruff fighting shampoo by simply adding a teaspoon of baking soda to your regular hair wash. Baking soda will give your hair and scalp a good, deep down clean and you will be surprised at how effective such a simple remedy can be.
6. Garlic and Aloe Vera
Garlic is also said to be a good natural cure for dandruff. Mix a couple of garlic cloves with 5 tablespoons of Aloe Vera gel (preferably freshly made, but beware of spikes) into a paste, massage it into your scalp and leave it for half an hour, before washing out with a gentle, scented shampoo. It is the antibacterial and antifungal properties of garlic and nourishing properties of Aloe Vera that will help here; it is especially helpful, if your dandruff is being caused by a skin infection.
7. Black pepper powder and yogurt
Mix together one teaspoon of black pepper powder with a cup of natural, plain yogurt and massage it into your hair and scalp, and leave on for approximately half an hour. The yoghurt will smooth and nourish your scalp, while the pepper will fight any fungal infections.
8. Apple juice
Another good tip on how to get rid of dandruff naturally is to use apple juice. Fresh apple juice is a great way to remove the accumulation of dead skin cells from your scalp. Just juice one or two apples and rinse your hair with the juice, then leave it on your hair for about ten minutes before rinsing out again with warm water.
9. Simply Aloe Vera juice
You can find that Aloe Vera is listed as an ingredient in many commercially available dandruff shampoos. Aloe vera is soothing and it also has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Massage some Aloe vera juice or gel into your scalp and leave it for ten minutes before washing out with a gentle shampoo, and it will help to control your dandruff.
10. Neem Leaves
The Azadirachta indica tree, also known as neem, has some amazing properties and it can be used to treat all kinds of scalp conditions, including dandruff. Boil some neem leaves in water and then mix them into a paste (using your blender) and apply to your scalp. The wonderful antibiotic, antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties of the leaves will get to work in about thirty minutes and then, you can wash it out again.
11. Fenugreek seed
A slightly longer term, but longer lasting treatment for dandruff is Fenugreek Seed. You will need to soak the seeds in water, preferably overnight, to make them soft and then, you can crush them up into a paste, which you can apply to your hair. Again, you then apply the paste to your hair and leave it on for around twenty minutes, before washing out.
12. Apple cider vinegar
Vinegar has long been recommended as a good treatment for dandruff. It contains active enzymes that help to fight the causes of an itchy scalp and flaky skin. You can massage apple cider vinegar directly into your scalp, or if you prefer use a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water as a rinse. Then wash out again and you will still gain the benefits, without the lingering smell!
13. Tea Tree oil and sweet almond oil
Tea tree oil has amazing and powerful anti-fungal properties that will help to fight any fungal infection and, if you mix four drops of Tea Tree oil with two tablespoons of sweet almond oil you will get the benefit of the moisturising effect of the sweet almond oil, combined with the anti-fungal effect of the Tea Tree oil. Just massage this mix into your scalp, let it sit for twenty minutes, and then, as you usually do, shampoo and condition.
14. Thyme rinse
Another great tip on how to get rid of dandruff naturally is rinsing your hair with a solution made by adding five heaped teaspoons of dried Thyme to hot water and leaving to infuse for a while. In this case, strain the solution first, let it cool down, and then rinse your hair in the solution and allow it to dry naturally.
15. Make your own homemade dandruff shampoo using aspirin
You know that aspirin is good for headaches, but did you know that it makes a pretty good dandruff shampoo too? Just crush and dissolve a couple of aspirin tablets into your regular shampoo and you will turn it into an effective, homemade dandruff shampoo.
16. Get some sunlight
No one knows for sure why, but lack of exposure to sunlight can cause dandruff. There is a simple solution then, if you spend too long indoors, then get outside and enjoy the sun. Apparently, just 15 minutes sunlight can make all the difference!
17. How to get rid of dandruff naturally? Eat a healthy diet!
It had to be here, didn’t it? Yes, your diet can have a big effect on the health of your scalp and your hair. Be sure to eat plenty of leafy green vegetables, oily fish and protein rich foods, if you want to keep that dandruff away.
18. Always lather, rinse and repeat
For shampoo to really have an effect, you need to follow the instructions. Always lather, rinse and repeat. It’s the only way that you are going to get those flakes of dead skin free from your scalp.
19. Rose water
Not only rose water smells amazing, but it also has been found to be very effective treatment for dandruff, thanks to it’s healing, nourishing and moisturizing properties. Just massage rose water into your hair and scalp, let it sit for about twenty minutes and then, wash off.
20. Simple table salt
This is probably the simplest home remedy for dandruff that there is. Just rub some table salt into your scalp, while your hair is damp, and it will gently exfoliate your scalp, improve the blood supply and help to remove the dry and flaky skin.
Caution: Make sure you are not allergic to the ingredients of these homemade dandruff treatments before trying them. If you have a severe case of dandruff, please, ask your doctor for a professional advice.
How to get rid of dandruff naturally? Do you have some other tips to share?
Stay beautiful and happy!