Do you suffer from itchy, red and flaky scalp? See simple and natural ways to get rid of dandruff forever.
Dandruff affects up to 60% of the world’s population, and scalp itching, redness and flaking are the main symptoms of this condition.
Dandruff occurs when a type of fungus called Malassezia begins to develop on the scalp. However, this results in damage to the scalp and causes severe dryness. Also, there is another type of dandruff where the scalp starts to produce more oil and as a result the dandruff looks greasy and stuck to the hair.
Here are some of the main causes of dandruff:
- seborrheic dermatitis
- sensitivity to hair products
- stress and other mental difficulties
- certain types of fungi that live on the scalp
- irregular hair washing
Although there are many over-the-counter products for the treatment of dandruff, they often contain chemicals and can act aggressively on the skin, and the problem sometimes returns after a while, and even worsens the condition.
In this case, the use of natural remedies can only be effective for your scalp.
So, if you’re tired of spending tons of money on shampoos and other products that don’t work fast enough or at all, try these natural and easy ways to get rid of that pesky dandruff for good.
The best ways to get rid of dandruff naturally
1. Coconut oil
Known for its multiple health benefits, coconut oil is often used as a natural anti-dandruff solution, and can improve skin hydration and prevent dryness.
Coconut oil is just as effective as mineral oil in improving skin hydration and can help treat eczema, a skin condition that can contribute to dandruff.
One study compared the effects of coconut oil and mineral oil on atopic dermatitis, a type of eczema characterized by itching and inflammation. Applying coconut oil to the skin for eight weeks reduced symptoms by 68%, compared to just 38% in the mineral oil group.
Coconut oil and its compounds have also shown antimicrobial properties in some trials, although effects on the specific strain of fungus that causes dandruff have not yet been tested.
2. Tea tree essential oil
Historically, tea tree oil has been used to treat conditions ranging from acne to psoriasis. It has also been proven to have powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help relieve dandruff symptoms.
In fact, according to one review, tea tree oil effectively fights a specific strain of fungus that can cause both seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.
Note that tea tree oil can cause irritation in people with sensitive skin. It is best to dilute by adding a few drops to a base such as coconut oil before applying directly to the skin.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is associated with various health benefits. These include improving insulin sensitivity and increasing weight loss.
Apple cider vinegar is also often used as a natural remedy for dandruff.
It is believed that the acidity of vinegar balances the pH of the skin and helps to encourage the removal of dead skin cells from the scalp, and that its compounds can prevent the growth of certain types of fungi and thus fight dandruff.
If you want to try apple cider vinegar, add a few tablespoons to your shampoo or combine it with other essential oils and spray directly on your hair.
4. Use Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a type of succulent that is often added to skin creams, cosmetics and lotions. Aloe vera when applied to the skin is believed to help treat skin conditions such as burns, psoriasis and herpes.
It can also be a useful anti-dandruff solution. According to one review, aloe vera’s antibacterial and antifungal properties may protect against dandruff.
Similarly, research has shown that Aloe vera is effective against several types of fungi and can help control fungal infections that cause hair loss from the scalp.
Studies have also found that Aloe vera can reduce inflammation, which can relieve symptoms.
5. Eat more probiotics
Probiotics are a type of beneficial bacteria that are good for your health. There are many potential probiotic benefits, including protection against allergies, lower cholesterol and increased weight loss.
Probiotics can also help boost immune function, which could help the body fight fungal infections that cause dandruff.
In fact, one study found that taking probiotics for 56 days significantly reduced the amount of dandruff in 60 people. Probiotics have also been shown to help reduce symptoms of skin diseases such as eczema and dermatitis, especially in infants and children.
Probiotics are available in supplement form for quick and convenient dosing. They can also be found in many types of fermented foods, such as kombucha, kimchi, tempeh or sauerkraut.
6. Reduce your stress level
Stress is believed to affect many aspects of health and well-being. It can affect everything from chronic conditions to mental health.
Although stress itself does not cause dandruff, it can worsen symptoms such as dryness and itching.
Long-term maintenance of a high level of stress can suppress the activity of the immune system. A weakened immune system can reduce your body’s ability to fight off some yeast infections and skin conditions that contribute to dandruff.
In fact, one study of 82 people with seborrheic dermatitis, one of the most common causes of dandruff, found that most episodes of dermatitis were preceded by a stressful life event.
To keep your stress levels under control, try a stress-reducing diet and some stress-reducing techniques, such as transcendental meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or aromatherapy.
7. Try Aspirin
Salicylic acid is one of the primary compounds found in aspirin and is responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition to being found in aspirin, salicylic acid is also found in many anti-dandruff shampoos. Salicylic acid works by helping to loosen scaly skin and loosen flakes so they can be removed.
In one study, 19 people with dandruff used two shampoos that contained either pirocton olamine combined with salicylic acid or zinc pyrithione.
Both shampoos were able to reduce dandruff after four weeks, but the shampoo containing salicylic acid was more effective in reducing flaking.
Another study found that a shampoo containing salicylic acid was as effective as a prescription medication in treating seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.
For a simple dandruff remedy, try crushing two aspirin tablets and adding the powder to your shampoo before washing your hair.
8. Increase your Omega-3 intake
Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in the body. They not only make up the cell membranes that surround your cells, but are also crucial to the function of your heart, immune system and lungs.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also vital for skin health. They help manage oil production and hydration, promote wound healing and prevent premature aging.
A lack of omega-3 fatty acids can cause a range of symptoms, including dry hair, dry skin and even dandruff. Omega-3 fatty acids can also reduce inflammation, which can help relieve symptoms of irritation and dandruff.
Fatty fish such as salmon, trout and mackerel are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. You can also take a fish oil supplement or increase your intake of other omega-3 rich foods such as flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts.
9. Use baking soda
Found in kitchen pantries around the world, baking soda is a quick, convenient, and readily available tool to help treat dandruff.
It is believed to act as a gentle exfoliator to remove dead skin cells and reduce flaking and itching.
Baking soda also has anti-fungal properties that may be helpful in treating dandruff.
One test-tube study measured the antifungal effect of baking soda on some of the most common strains of fungus that cause skin infections. Impressively, baking soda was able to completely inhibit fungal growth in 79% of samples after seven days.
Another study looked at the effects of baking soda on 31 people with psoriasis. Baking soda treatment was found to significantly reduce both itching and irritation after just three weeks.
Treatment guidelines for other conditions such as atopic dermatitis also note that baking soda baths can help relieve itching.
For best results, try applying baking soda directly to wet hair and massaging it into the scalp. Leave it on for a minute or two, then continue to shampoo your hair as usual.
Get rid of dandruff forever with these natural remedies
Although dandruff can be a frustrating problem, there are plenty of natural remedies available that can reduce symptoms permanently and provide relief.
The next time you start noticing flakes, try a few of these natural remedies.
Use these medications alone or pair them with over-the-counter products such as anti-dandruff shampoos to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.