How To Get Rid Of Dandruff Naturally

Dandruff is a common, chronic skin condition that is characterized by a flaky scalp. There are a lot of medical and commercially available products that can help treat mild dandruff. However, serious cases of dandruff need specialized medicated shampoos or prescription drugs to treat an underlying skin disorder.

In most cases, dandruff can be controlled. But before starting treatment, you must be aware of what causes dandruff. In this post, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and natural treatment methods to manage dandruff.

What Causes Dandruff?

Dandruff is a commonly observed skin condition of the scalp. Here are a few of the causes of dandruff:

  • Oily Skin Or Seborrheic Dermatitis

This is one of the more common causes of dandruff. It is characterized by an inflammation of the skin, i.e., redness of the skin, covered with flakes or scales (1). This condition usually affects areas rich in oil glands. In some cases, it may be caused by a proliferation of Malassezia. Dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis may also be a result of a vitamin-deficient (vitamins B6 and B12) diet.

  • Malassezia

Malassezia is a species of yeast-like fungus that can cause infection and skin inflammation (2). This can make skin cells dry and flaky, thereby increasing the appearance of dandruff.

  • Dry Skin

This is the most obvious cause of dandruff. Dry skin causes flakes to form that eventually become dandruff (3). Typically, these flakes are smaller and less oily than those caused by other ways.

Dandruff can also be an indication of an underlying skin condition. In such cases, you must go for immediate treatment. Let us discuss the signs of dandruff.

Signs Of Dandruff

Dandruff can manifest itself in different forms. Typically, dandruff appears as dry flakes on your scalp and forehead. These flakes can occur on your eyebrows and the beard and mustache of men.

Dandruff can make your scalp itchy and give your skin a scaly and crusty appearance. In infants, this condition takes form as ‘cradle cap,’ which is the appearance of a dry and crusty scalp and forehead (4).

In the next section, we will discuss the medical treatment options for dandruff.

Medical Treatment Of Dandruff

There are a lot of commercially available medical options that can help treat dandruff. There are broadly three categories of such products that can be used to treat flaky skin. These include:

  1. Antifungal Agents: These agents help eliminate any fungal infection on your scalp or forehead that gives rise to dandruff or flaky skin. Typically, antifungal agents contain zinc pyrithione and selenium sulfide, which can help eliminate fungal infection proliferated by Malassezia furfur yeast (5).
  2. Flake-removing Agents: These agents exhibit keratolytic activity through which corneocytes (clumps of flaky skin) are loosened and washed away (6). Agents like salicylic acid and sulfur may be used for this purpose.
  3. Anti-inflammatory Agents: Topical steroids that are available on prescription, like corticosteroids (such as desonide hydrogel 0.05%) can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the infection causing seborrheic dermatitis and help reduce the flaky appearance of the skin (7).

If you notice these signs, it is time to start treatment. While medical treatments can help, home remedies can offer additional relief.

Natural Ways To Minimize Dandruff

1. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil h antifungal properties (8). It can be used topically on your skin or scalp to mitigate any fungal infection that leads to flaky skin and dandruff.

You Will Need
  • 2-3 drops of tea tree oil
  • 2-3 drops of sweet almond or jojoba oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with sweet almond or jojoba oil.
  2. Dab a few drops of this mixture on a cotton pad and apply it to the scalp.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat 3-4 times a week.

Note: Tea tree oil can cause skin irritation in some people. Hence, do a patch test. Avoid this remedy if you are allergic to it.

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil may combat fungal infections that can cause Malassezia (9). This, in turn, may reduce the occurrence of dandruff and flaky skin.

You Will Need

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Massage the coconut oil into your scalp.
  2. Leave it on for about an hour before you wash it off with a mild shampoo.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this 2 times a week.

3. Onion Juice

Research has shown that onions are rich in phytochemical compounds that can help combat dandruff. Their topical application can help eliminate the flaking of skin and reduce the occurrence of dandruff (10).

You Will Need
  • ½ onion
What You Have To Do
  1. Blend an onion to extract its juice.
  2. Strain it and apply generously to your scalp.
  3. Leave it on for an hour and wash it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You can apply this juice to your scalp 2 times a week.

4. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a rich source of bioactive compounds that can be used to treat skin disorders. Extracts of aloe vera exhibit antifungal and antimicrobial properties that can help fight any fungal infection, including that causing dandruff (11).

You Will Need

Aloe vera gel

What You Have To Do
  1. Massage some aloe vera gel into your scalp.
  2. Massage in circular motions, ensuring the gel is absorbed into the scalp.
  3. Wash off after 1 hour.
How Often You Should Do This

You can apply the gel at least 2 times a week.

5. Probiotics

Probiotic foods, such as yogurt, contain Lactobacillus paracasei that can help reduce dandruff (12). Research shows that Lactobacillus paracasei can help restore the normal balance of your scalp’s microbiome, thereby eliminating dandruff.

You Will Need

1 cup of probiotic yogurt

What You Have To Do

Consume a cup of probiotic yogurt.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this every day.

6. Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass oil is rich in bioactive compounds that exhibit antifungal properties (13). This property can help combat Malassezia furfur, a type of yeast that can cause dandruff.

You Will Need

2-3 drops of lemongrass oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Add a few drops of lemongrass oil to your shampoo and massage generously into your scalp.
  2. Wash off thoroughly with plain water.
How Often You Should Do This

Wash your hair with lemongrass oil 2 times a week.

Note: The topical application of lemongrass oil can cause an allergic reaction in some people. You should do a patch test on your skin before trying this remedy.

7. Eucalyptus Oil

A scalp that has low levels of ceramide may be susceptible to dandruff. Eucalyptus oil is rich in bioactive compounds that can increase the ceramide content of your scalp, thereby reducing dandruff (14).

You Will Need
  • 2-3 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 2-3 drops of coconut oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix a few drops of eucalyptus oil with coconut oil.
  2. Apply this mixture to your scalp and leave it on for 30-45 minutes.
  3. Wash off thoroughly with plain water.
How Often You Should Do This

You can follow this remedy 2-3 times a week.

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