Dandruff
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Home Remedies for DandruffAs per an estimate, almost half of the world population suffers from dandruff. Though it may not be a dangerous health issue, the embarrassment it creates is well enough to destroy our self-confidence.

Out of frustration, many of us quickly adapt to the commercial anti-dandruff shampoos. Actually, anti-dandruff shampoos clear the dandruff flakes present on the scalp however they don’t treat the root cause. This why you will again experience dandruff within few days. And on top of that chemicals present in it can damage the scalp and hair.

Just like any other problem, if you are looking for long term relief from dandruff then you have to first identify the origin of the problem. Here are few causes that trigger dandruff…

1. Dry Scalp

It is considered as one of the most common causes of dandruff. Dandruff flakes caused due to this problem are usually smaller and less oily than that result from other conditions. Usually, the symptoms of dry skin exist on other parts of the body.

2. Seborrheic Dermatitis or Oily scalp

Trust me, oily skin is one of the frequent causes of dandruff. It usually looks like red, greasy skin covered with white or yellow flakes. This condition is also known as seborrheic dermatitis. It attacks the scalp and other areas with oil glands like eye-brows, sides of nose and back of the ears.

3. Skin Conditions

people suffering from eczema and psoriasis often have dandruff since these conditions have extremely dry skin.

4. Fungus Malassezia

Malassezia is present on the scalp of everyone. Due to some factors this fungus grows out of control and produces a by-product called oleic acid. This acid triggers the scalp to generate more dead skin cells leaving the scalp dry and itchy. Here are the factors that trigger fungus outgrowth…

  • Adolescence: During puberty, oil-secreting glands become active. The increase of oil-secretion leads to fungal growth and dandruff.
  • Lack of Hygiene: Skipping hair wash, hair brushing leads to a buildup of dead skin cells on the scalp which makes a good environment for fungal growth.
  • Poor diet: A food routine lacking in zinc, vitamin B and essential fatty acids can trigger excess sebum and dead skin cells growth on the scalp leading to fungus.
  • Stress: Increased stress levels can lead to hormonal changes in the body. This can lead to excess oil secretion giving rise to fungal growth.

5. Reaction to Certain Chemicals in Shampoos

Certain chemicals present in shampoos can allergic to the sensitive scalp which may aggravate excess shedding of dead skin cells.

Now that you have analyzed the root cause of the problem, you can treat it in the right way and get control over it. Below, we have mentioned treatments as per the problem.
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Treatment for Dandruff Caused by Dry Scalp

Dry scalp and skin is often caused due to dehydration in the body. Apart from that cold weather, using heat for hair styling, moisture-less air in the environment can often cause dry scalp. You can identify whether you have dandruff caused dry scalp or not by observing the flakes. The flakes are very small and not oily. For temporary relief, try the home remedies as specified, to treat the root cause and prevent dandruff from recurring follow the dietary solutions.

First, let’s have a look at Home Remedies for dandruff caused by Dry Scalp…

Below, we have mentioned 3 remedies out of which you can choose anyone and try it regularly.

1. Coconut Oil and Lemon Juice

Coconut oil is one of the Ayurvedic treatments for treating dandruff and itchy scalp. The deep moisturizing properties of coconut oil solves dry and itchy scalp problem. Lemon contains antimicrobial and exfoliating properties.

  • Combine 5 tablespoons of coconut oil and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
  • Apply the mixture on the scalp.
  • Leave the application for about 30 minutes.
  • Rinse your hair using a mild shampoo.
  • Repeat the process twice in a week to notice the results.

Note: Refrain from trying this process if you have cuts, wounds and open sores in the scalp.

2. Honey

It contains antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. The humectant properties of honey lock the moisture in the cells and provide relief from dryness and itching.

  • Take enough quantities of honey sufficient for your head.
  • Apply it on the scalp and gently massage for 5 minutes.
  • Leave the honey application for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse the hair normally with shampoo and warm water.
  • Repeat the process regularly until you achieve the results.

3. Olive Oil

Olive oil moisturizes the dry scalp and prevents it from flaking. It exfoliates the stubborn flakes and encourages new & healthy scalp. This process is effective for treating dandruff during winters.

  • Warm up enough amounts of olive oil on indirect heat.
  • Massage the oil on the scalp and along the hair.
  • Wear a shower cap and leave the application overnight.
  • In the morning, rinse the hair normally with shampoo and water.
  • Repeat the process regularly to treat dandruff and dry scalp.

Dietary Solutions for Treating Dry Scalp causing Dandruff

1. Vitamin B-12:

As suggested by Penn State University experts, lack of vitamin B12 in the body can contribute to dandruff and hair loss. This vitamin helps to keep the scalp from becoming excessively dry and promotes moisture. This vitamin is mainly found in animal foods like poultry, dairy, and fish. However, if you are strictly vegetarian, vegan or allergic to dairy or seafood, then you have to take supplements to cover the deficiency. The right dosage of vitamin B12 is 500mcg per day.

Here are few supplements we recommend…
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2. Omega Fatty Acids:

People who eat diet poor in omega fatty acids are more prone to develop dandruff. Fatty acids, especially omega-3 and omega-6 are very important for keeping the scalp well hydrated and healthy. Consuming omega fatty acids will alleviate the dandruff problem. Foods rich in omega fatty acids include liver, yeast, fortified grains and eggs. Due to fertilizers used in farming or commercial poultry and dairy techniques, nutrition in foods has been reduced drastically. However, you can hold on to supplements for treating the deficiency and dandruff. The daily dosage of omega fatty acids is 1000 – 2000mg.

Here are few supplements we recommend…
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3. Drink Plenty of Water

Hydration is every important to maintain the scalp hydrated and healthy. Make sure you drink at least 4 – 5 liters of water in a day. You can consume it either in the form of herbal teas, juices or lemonade.

4. Foods to Avoid:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Deep fried foods
  • Processed foods
  • Excess sugar
  • Canned Foods
  • Too spicy foods

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Treatment for Dandruff Caused by Fungus and Oily Scalp

In both of these cases, excess oil and excess dead skin cells are the main culprits. The triggers for excess oil and dead skin cells can be caused due to many problems mentioned above. Usually, dandruff caused by these factors are large, oily and yellow or white flakes. The treatment to cure and prevent this includes home remedies for temporarily until you cure root cause and internal cure with foods.

First, let’s have a look at home remedies for dandruff caused by fungus and oily scalp

Below, we have mentioned 3 remedies out of which you can choose anyone and try it regularly.

1. Baking Soda

Baking soda is very effective in treating dandruff caused by seborrheic dermatitis. It balances the pH levels of the scalp which makes an inhospitable environment for bacterial growth. Being a mild exfoliant it removes the dead skin cells and excess oil buildup on the scalp.

  • Combine 2 tablespoons each of baking soda and water.
  • Wet your hair and scalp. Gently rub the baking soda mixture on the scalp.
  • After few minutes of massaging, leave the application for 5 minutes.
  • Rinse off normally with water and pat dry.
  • Repeat the process regularly.

Note: Do not use shampoo to wash your hair in this process. For more baking soda remedies for dandruff, click here…

2. Neem Leaves

Neem leaves also known as India Lilac, contains antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and exfoliating properties. It is one of the grandma’s remedies to treat dandruff, hair fall, itchy scalp, and dandruff pimples.

  • Into a saucepan, add 4 – 5 cups of water and handful of neem leaves.
  • Bring the mixture to boil and remove from the flame.
  • Cover and let it steep until it completely cools down.
  • Strain and apply the solution on the scalp and along the hair.
  • Rinse your hair normally with cold or warm water.
  • Repeat the process twice in a week.

Note: Alternatively, you can blend the neem leaves and apply the paste on the scalp. Leave it on for 30 minutes and rinse off with water.

3. Salt

The abrasive crystal of salt acts as natural exfoliator which removes excess oil and dead skin cells accumulated on the scalp. For people with a dry and itchy scalp, this process is a pleasant treatment.

  • Take 3- 4 tablespoons of salt enough for your scalp.
  • Slightly dampen your scalp and gently massage the salt on it.
  • After few minutes of massaging, immediately rinse with normal water.
  • Repeat the process regularly to ward off dandruff.

4. Curd

Curd or yogurt is rich in proteins, lactic acid and vitamin B5 which help to moisturize the hair and hair. It also contains antifungal agents which deal with fungus causing dandruff and provide relief from irritation and itchiness.

  • Take enough amounts of curd in a bowl (preferably sour ones).
  • Gently massage it on the scalp and along the hair.
  • Leave the application for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse with shampoo and water.
  • Repeat the process regularly to treat even the most horrible dandruff.

Note: For more effective results, you can add pepper powder, lemon juice, besan, or aloe vera into curd.

5. Aloe Vera

The soothing, hydrating and moisturizing properties of aloe vera provide relief from itching, dryness and other symptoms of dandruff. It contains anti-fungal properties which deal with fungus and yeast on the scalp. This process is effective for treating Seborrheic Dermatitis and also for dandruff in toddlers and children.

  • Extract gel from an aloe vera leaf.
  • Apply it thoroughly on the scalp and along the hair.
  • Leave it on for few minutes.
  • Rinse with mild shampoo and water.
  • Follow this process at least once in alternative days to get rid of dandruff.

Dietary Solutions for Treating Oily Scalp causing Dandruff

1. Zinc

Some clinical trials have shown that zinc is effective in controlling dandruff. So, include foods rich in zinc so cover up the deficiency and control dandruff. The daily dosage of zinc includes 30mg per day has shown positive results. Foods rich in zinc include – spinach, shrimp, kidney beans, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, oysters and watermelon seeds. However, due to fertilizers used in farming, the nutrients content in foods has decreased. So, we recommend taking zinc in supplement form.

The description of zinc amount behind the supplement is actually confusing. For example, zinc picolinate supplement may state 50mg but it actually contains 10mg of elemental zinc. This is called chelated form. So before taking them, make sure to know the chelated and elemental amounts.
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2. Vitamin B6

Researches on dandruff state that people suffering from dandruff have low vitamin B6 level in the blood. Vitamin B6 deficiency makes the scalp dry and flaky. Including B6 in daily food routine can control the flaking to a maximum extent. Foods rich in vitamin B6 include fish, organ meat and starchy vegetables. But due to GMO seeds and other farming techniques, the natural nutrition of foods has gone down drastically. For proper nutritional supply to the body, we recommend taking vitamin B6 supplements.

The daily dosage of vitamin B6 is 25mg to 50mg per day. As our body can flush out the excess amounts through stool and urine, even if you consume excess it is not going to harm your body. Here is what we recommend for vitamin B6…
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3. Probiotics

Consuming good bacteria has also shown a decrease in dandruff, itchiness, and greasiness. As per WebMD, the good bacteria reduce yeast inside the body, reduce inflammation which also aims the yeast on the skin. Increasing probiotic intake can reduce dandruff by 70%. Include probiotics in your daily diet to improve your gut health and reduce dandruff. Probiotic foods include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso soup and other. However, you can boost probiotic effectiveness by taking a probiotic supplement along with them.

Here’s what we recommend
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4. Foods to Avoid

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Deep fried foods
  • Processed foods
  • High glycemic foods
  • Canned Foods
  • Too spicy foods
  • Excess sugar
  • Cheese
  • Bakery foods

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Treatment for Dandruff Caused by Skin Conditions

Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis are also one of the reasons for dandruff. As these are auto-immune diseases, there is no cure to treat them. However, you control them to maximum extent which controls dandruff as well. This treatment includes home remedies (which provide temporary relief from dandruff and both the skin conditions) + dietary solutions.

Home Remedies for Dandruff Caused by Psoriasis and Eczema

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is perfect for dandruff removal as it contains antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It also balances the pH levels of the scalp. This process is also suitable for people suffering from dandruff due to psoriasis.

  • Combine 1/4 cup each of apple cider vinegar and water.
  • Pour the solution into a spray bottle.
  • Wash your hair normally with shampoo and water.
  • Now, spray the solution on the scalp and leave it on for 5 minutes.
  • Gently rinse with water and pat dry.
  • Repeat the process twice per week to achieve the results.

Note: You can use white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar. The acetic acid present in white vinegar deals with fungal growth and provides relief from itching.

2. Olive Oil

Olive oil moisturizes the dry scalp and prevents it from flaking. It exfoliates the stubborn flakes and encourages new & healthy scalp. This process is effective for treating dandruff caused due to psoriasis or eczema.

  • Warm up enough amounts of olive oil on indirect heat.
  • Massage the oil on the scalp and along the hair.
  • Wear a shower cap and leave the application overnight.
  • In the morning, rinse the hair normally with shampoo and water.
  • Repeat the process regularly to treat dandruff and dry scalp.

3. Essential Oils

Essential oils are one of the best ways to treat dandruff as they contain rejuvenating, anti-inflammatory and skin healing properties. Essential oils that are effective for treating dandruff include tea tree oil, rosemary oil, neem oil, jojoba oil, oregano oil, and cedarwood oil.

  • Combine 10 drops of any essential oil and 1 teaspoon of carrier oil (almond oil, coconut oil, olive oil or castor oil).
  • Gently massage the mixture onto the scalp.
  • Leave the application for 30 minutes.
  • Wash the hair normally with shampoo and water.
  • Repeat the process regularly with shampoo and water.

Note: You can try any essential oil as per your wish but make sure to patch test before using it.

Dietary Solutions for Treating Psoriasis and Eczema causing Dandruff

1. Vitamin D3

Vitamin D improves your immune system which prevents the cell from misfiring and rising to the surface. As per the 2013 review in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment, vitamin D has been very successful in controlling the psoriasis flare-ups. This gradually decreases dandruff caused by these two auto-immune diseases. Food sources of vitamin D are sun, fortifies foods, salmon, caviar, raw milk, and others. The daily dosage of 5000IU per day. If you want to take supplements for covering up the deficiency here’s what we recommend.
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2. Omega Fatty Acids

People who eat diet poor in omega fatty acids are more prone to develop dandruff. Fatty acids, especially omega-3 and omega-6 are very important for keeping the scalp well hydrated and healthy. Consuming omega fatty acids will alleviate the dandruff problem. Foods rich in omega fatty acids include liver, yeast, fortified grains and eggs. Due to fertilizers used in farming or commercial poultry and dairy techniques, nutrition in foods has been reduced drastically. However, you can hold on to supplements for treating the deficiency and dandruff. The daily dosage of omega fatty acids is 1000 – 2000mg.

Here are few supplements we recommend…
[table id=10 /]

 3. Foods to Avoid

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Deep fried foods
  • Processed foods
  • High glycemic foods
  • Canned Foods
  • Too spicy foods
  • Excess sugar
  • Cheese
  • Bakery foods

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Treatment for Dandruff caused due to Allergic Reactions

Usually, certain foods or chemicals present in hair care can be the reason for dandruff and hair loss. For this, you can do the following…

  • Change the shampoo, hair styling products, conditions and observe for a month if there is any change.
  • Check if the shampoo that you are using at present contains any harsh chemicals like paraben, SLS, or any other.

Apart from that here are the home remedies to clear dandruff…

1. Fenugreek

Fenugreek seeds are rich in essential elements like nicotinic, acid & protein, niacin, potassium, Vitamin C, Amino acids & diosgenin which helps to prevent dandruff and hair loss.

  • Soak 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  • In the morning, blend them into a fine paste.
  • Apply the paste thoroughly on the scalp.
  • Leave it on for 30 minutes and rinse off with water.
  • Repeat the process regularly to get relief from dandruff.

Note: You can blend fenugreek leaves with apple cider vinegar and use it to treat dandruff. Or else mix fenugreek seeds powder with coconut oil and use it to treat dandruff.

2. Eggs

The biotin, protein and vitamins present in eggs make a perfect dandruff remedy that really works. Apart from that, they also condition your hair and make it healthier.

  • Whisk 2 eggs properly until frothy.
  • Apply the egg mixture on the scalp.
  • Leave the application for an hour.
  • Rinse the hair normally.
  • Repeat the process 2 times in a week.

3. Listerine

Listerine contains anti-fungal properties which deal with fungus causing dandruff. Apart from that it also exfoliates the dead skin cells and oil buildup in the hair follicles.

  • Combine equal amounts of listerine and water.
  • Pour the solution into a spray bottle.
  • Spray it on the scalp and hair.
  • Leave the application for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse normally with shampoo and water.
  • Repeat the process 2 times in a week regularly.

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How to Choose Anti-Dandruff Shampoo?

There are so many fake products present in the market. It is quite difficult to choose the right one which can clear dandruff without harming the scalp and hair. The anti-dandruff shampoo should contain active ingredients that are helpful in washing away the flakes. Here is a list of active ingredients you have to look for. The shampoo should contain at least one of the below…

  1. Coal Tar: This ingredient slows down the natural process of skin cells on the scalp from dying and sloughing off.
  2. Salicylic Acid: This ingredient is helpful in scrubbing of the dandruff flakes however, it can dry out the scalp and cause even more flaking. People with dry scalp should avoid shampoo having this ingredient.
  3. Selenium Sulfide: This ingredient is helpful in slowing rate of dead cell production and also reduce the amounts of Malassezia fungi which may cause irritation and dandruff.
  4. Zinc Pyrithione: It is an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial ingredient which reduces the fungus population on the scalp which may be the source of seborrheic dermatitis.
  5. Tea Tree Oil: This ingredient contains anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic and antibiotic properties which reduce the amount of fungi causing seborrheic dermatitis.
  6. Ketoconazole: It is one of the broad spectrum anti-fungal medication which is successful when most of the other dandruff treatments fail. This ingredient is available in both over the counter and prescription shampoos.

Here are our top picks for anti-dandruff shampoos….
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General Tips and Precautions:

  • Rinse your hair once in alternate days to exfoliate the scalp and maintain it clean.
  • Brush your hair daily to encourage the shedding of dead skin cells without building up on the scalp.
  • Massage your hair with oil as it improves blood circulation & prevents dandruff.
  • Take proper care of your hair during the winter season as the scalp gets dry and easily gets prone to dandruff.
  • Make sure to rinse your hair off thoroughly after applying shampoo & conditioner. Let over residue of shampoos or conditioners can harm the scalp.
  • Reduce the stress levels as it is the best remedy for many problems including dandruff. To reduce stress, do meditation and breathing exercises.
  • Apply sesame oil/carrier oil to your hair & leave it for overnight & wash it off with warm water in the next day morning.
  • Cover your hair while swimming as chorine water can make the skin more prone to dandruff.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep the scalp hydrated and healthy.
  • Avoid taking hot water bath as heat can make the scalp excessively dry.
  • If anti-dandruff shampoos are not showing any improvements then try tar shampoos, which is a proven remedy for dandruff as it decreases the cell turnover very effectively and reduces the growth of dandruff. But make sure to patch test it.
  • You can also try other home remedies to treat dandruff such as ginger.
  • Avoid scratching the scalp with your fingernails as it will injure the scalp.
  • If medicated shampoos are causing itching, then try mild shampoos instead of them.

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We hope the information provided in this article was helpful for you. If you have any other concerns or suggestions regarding the article, write to us in the comment section below. And don’t forget to share your experiences as it may help others…

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