If you are suffering from a dry scalp with pesky white flakes, know that you are not alone. Dandruff has plagued us all, without discrimination of gender or race. Even though it’s defined as a common scalp disorder, known as seborrheic dermatitis, it’s embarrassing, irritating, worrying, and totally messes up your look. So, keep reading to discover 10 natural remedies for dandruff and itchy scalp.
Dandruff shows up on your scalp, hairline, and shoulders, making it very evident when you wear dark clothes. It causes a layer of dry skin flakes on your scalp, causing you to itch, which causes more flakes to appear.
Dandruff can be a result of a number of reasons:
- Dry, irritated skin
- Irritated, oily skin
- Insufficient blood supply to the scalp
- Bacteria growth on the scalp
- Inflammatory skin conditions
- Deficiency of vitamin B6
- An overgrowth of a fungus called Malassezia that’s growth thrives on oils secreted by the glands in the scalp
There are many products that promise instant relief from dandruff, including:
- Shampoos that contain zinc pyrithione
- Conditioners that contain fungus fighting ketoconazole
- Hair serums with coal tar and selenium sulfide help slow down the growth of skin cells
- Deep conditioning creams with salicylic acid loosen the white scalp flakes so they can be washed away easily.
If you have tried the numerous products available on the market, whether on your own or recommended to you by a dermatologist, and found no relief, then why not try some natural methods with ingredients you may already have in your own kitchen?
10 Natural Remedies For Dandruff
Here are 10 home remedies for dandruff that are sure to bring you quick and effective relief. For real results, massage them into your scalp to improve circulation, and repeat these treatments 2-3 times per week.
1. Lemon Juice
We all know lemon juice is acidic and has antiseptic properties – both help to relieve the itching of your scalp, as well as eliminate the fungi that cause dandruff to appear in the first place.
However, did you also know that it has the ability to balance your scalp’s natural pH level? It makes it less oily and itchy.
- Massage your scalp with the juice of a whole lemon with a little bit of water.
- Leave on your scalp for 3-5 minutes.
- Rinse and shampoo your hair.
2. Coconut Oil
Considered one of the best natural beauty products ever, you cannot go wrong with coconut oil. It is famous for its antifungal properties to help reduce fungi and bacteria, which are the main culprits of dandruff.
As an added bonus, it is a great hydrator that will leave your hair shiny and soft and your scalp moisturized, which means great relief from itchiness and flakiness.
- Take one 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, warm it up, and massage it onto your scalp.
- Leave it for 20 minutes, or overnight – it’s up to you.
- Then rinse normally with a mild shampoo
Head massages or herbal hair oil applications overnight are beneficial.
3. White Vinegar
When used as a rinse for your hair, white vinegar reduces the flakiness that appears on your scalp. One of its properties is acetic acid which eats away at the fungi and bacteria, the main cause of a dry scalp, which leads to dandruff. White vinegar also helps relieve the itching caused by dandruff.
- Mix ½ cup of vinegar with 2 cups of water and use this mixture as a rinse after shampooing.
- Rub your scalp with a blend of 2 parts white vinegar, 1 part olive oil and 3 parts water. Leave it on your scalp for 10-30 minutes, then rinse it off and shampoo your hair as you normally would.
It may be hard to believe but most brands of mouthwash are great at treating dandruff. The best one to try is the yellow Listerine™. You’re probably wondering, ‘Can my mouthwash really get rid of my dandruff?’
Well, the trick is that there’s antiseptic in the mouthwash that kills off the fungi that are the cause of dandruff. Its antifungal properties, along with its alcohol content, help it prevent yeast from growing, thereby eliminating dandruff altogether.
- Mix 1 part mouthwash with 2 parts water. Put it in a spray bottle and spray the mixture onto your scalp as a pre-shower treatment.
- Leave it in for 20 minutes, then rinse and shampoo as you normally would.
- Wash your hair with your regular shampoo then rinse it with an alcohol-based mouthwash.
- If you like, you can use a conditioner afterward.
Since aspirin contains salicylic acid, this makes it a great exfoliator. In fact, many medicated dandruff shampoos contain salicylic acid.
- Crush two aspirin tablets; mix them into your shampoo.
- Wash your hair with the concoction, rinse.
- You can give your scalp another rinse with your shampoo to completely remove any residue from your hair.
Another method to try:
- Crush 3 aspirin tablets and dissolve them into one tablespoon of vinegar.
- Then massage the mixture into your scalp and wait for 30 minutes before washing your hair as you would normally.
Garlic eliminates the bacteria that cause dandruff to appear on your scalp. If you’re worried about your hair smelling garlicky, you can add a tablespoon of honey and ginger to mask the odor.
- Crush and chop up an entire clove of garlic.
- Massage it into your scalp and leave for a few minutes.
- Rinse and shampoo as usual.
7. Olive Oil
One of the oldest and best well-known treatments for dry scalp is olive oil. It hydrates your scalp and hair follicles, giving your hair a natural shine and boost.
- As a leave-in conditioner: right after you get out of the shower, apply just two drops, and massage them into your scalp.
- As a deep conditioner, massage 10-12 drops of olive oil onto your scalp, cover your head with a shower cap, and leave overnight. Shampoo your hair as normal in the morning.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
The reason why apple cider vinegar is such a reliable treatment for dandruff is that its acidity changes the pH of your scalp, making it more difficult for the fungi to grow. It also cleans clogged pores and hair follicles, giving your scalp the ability to breathe.
- Mix ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar with ¼-cup water in a spray bottle
- Spritz on your scalp, and then wrap your head in a towel
- Wait for 15 – 60 minutes before washing your hair as usual
9. Baking Soda
Baking soda has become the superhero of households everywhere. It works magic wherever it’s used and using it on your scalp to treat dandruff is no exception.
This is because baking soda decreases the overactive fungi causing dandruff in the first place by absorbing the excess oil which the fungi feed on. In other words, it helps re-balance pH levels on the scalp.
It is also a gentle exfoliator that helps remove dead skin cells without irritating the scalp. You may notice your hair becoming dry at first, but after a few weeks, your scalp will start to adapt and produce its natural oils once again. This will leave your hair softer and free of pesky flakes.
- After wetting your hair, rub your scalp with a handful of baking soda.
- Wait 2-3 minutes, and then rinse with warm water. Do not shampoo your hair after rinsing.
Yogurt is, without a doubt, one of the best home remedies for dandruff there is. The reason is that it is an amazing deep conditioner that does wonders for your scalp as it nourishes, conditions, and balances the pH level of your scalp.
- Massage plain yogurt onto your scalp.
- Leave for about 15 minutes before rinsing with a mild shampoo.