Isvaiyah has been a licensed pharmacist at Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia) for nine years. She earned her M.Sc. from the same university.
Dandruff Is Very Common
Many people suffer from dandruff to at least some extent. It is a very common skin condition that can be quite persistent, and always seems to be worse when you wear that dark jacket to an important meeting. It is important to understand the causes of dandruff in order to combat it. This article will cover what causes dandruff—and how to get rid of it for good using home remedies.
What Causes Dandruff?
Dandruff does not have a single major cause, and in some cases no clear underlying condition is found. The following conditions can give rise to dandruff:
- Seborrheic Dermatitis: This condition can give reddish spots and rashes on the face and body. When it occurs on the scalp, it gives rise to dandruff. It’s associated with the excess proliferation of skin yeasts (Malassezia species), but further research is needed into the exact underlying causes. Seborrheic dermatitis is the major cause of dandruff.
- Psoriasis: This condition is caused by over-proliferation of skin cells. When it occurs on the scalp it gives rise to dandruff. Home remedies for dandruff tend not to work against this type of dandruff. Specially formulated coal tar shampoos are often effective.
- Atopic Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis): This condition can give rise to dandruff if it occurs on the scalp.
Simply shampooing with ordinary shampoo won’t cure your dandruff problem. In fact, shampooing too often can make matters worse by removing the natural oils on your scalp to a greater extent than is needed.
It’s best to shampoo only every other day. Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Along with these suggestions, try the following home remedies:
Home Remedies for Dandruff
Gently rub virgin coconut oil into the scalp.
Be sure to pick virgin coconut oil (VCO) for the best result.
Tea tree oil
Add 1 part tree tea oil to 20 parts shampoo.
Allergies to tea tree oil can occur, so do a small test first on your skin.
Gently massage jojoba oil into your scalp.
Allergic reactions from this oil are rare.
Add a few drops to your normal shampoo
Allergies to rosemary oil can occur, so do a small test first on your skin.
Gently massage the scalp with diluted lemon juice.
Allergic reactions from the juice are rare.
Massage diluted neem oil gently into the scalp.
Allergies to neem oil can occur, so do a small test first on your skin.
Coconut oil is a great remedy for removing dandruff. Use the following procedure:
- First wash your hair (don’t use a conditioner).
- Allow it to thoroughly dry.
- Gently rub the coconut oil into your scalp.
- Leave the oil on your scalp for at least 30 minutes.
- Rinse it out with water.
Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is the best type to use since it undergoes less processing than other types. Coconut oil has natural antifungal properties, so tends to inhibit the yeasts that cause dandruff. This oil also helps with atopic eczema, so can be useful if the dandruff is due to that condition.
Tea Tree Oil
The tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is an Australian tree. It is not related to the bush that gives the beverage tea (Camellia sinensis). Tea tree oil has powerful antifungal properties, making it a handy home remedy for removing your dandruff problems.
A scientific study published in 2002 showed that shampoo containing 5% tea tree oil was more effective than the shampoo alone in combating dandruff.
Tea tree oil is commercially available from a number of suppliers.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil can be easily used in a number of ways.
- You can simply add a little oil to your normal daily shampoo. Use roughly 1 part of tree tea oil to 20 parts of shampoo. Mix in well.
- Tea tree oil shampoos can also be purchased if you don’t want to have to mix the oil yourself.
- Alternatively, add a little tea tree oil to coconut oil and then gently rub it into the scalp. That way you get the best of both treatments. Leave the oil on the scalp for at 30 minutes, and then rinse it out with water.
Allergy warning: Allergies to tea tree oil can occur. Test a small amount of diluted oil on your skin, and wait a day for any reaction, before using it on your scalp.
Jojoba oil comes from the seeds of the jojoba shrub or Simmondsia chinensis, which is found in some southern states and Mexico. Simply use this oil in a similar manner to coconut oil. First wash and dry your hair (don’t use a conditioner). Gently massage the oil into your scalp. Leave for at least half an hour before rinsing out with water.
Jojoba oil helps reduce the symptoms of atopic eczema, so is a useful remedy if the dandruff is due to this condition.
Good quality jojoba oil can be purchased in bulk, making it an inexpensive at-home remedy for dandruff and related skin conditions.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a well-known Mediterranean herb that has long been associated with hair care. It has potent antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Rosemary shampoos are commercially available (although some brands contain very little actual rosemary). You can buy rosemary essential oil and then add a few drops to a portion of your normal shampoo before use. Mix in well.
Allergy warning: A few people have an allergic reaction to rosemary oil. Test a small amount of diluted (with olive oil) rosemary oil on your skin, leaving it for a day, before using the oil on your scalp.
Remove Dandruff Permanently with Lemon Juice
The acidic lemon juice tends to inhibit the yeast on your scalp. If you consider using it for removing your dandruff, use the following procedure:
- Squeeze a couple of lemons to get the fresh juice.
- Dilute the juice with an equal amount of water.
- Gently massage the scalp with the diluted juice.
- Leave the juice on your scalp for about 10 minutes.
- Shampoo as normal.
An alternative method is to add the lemon juice into unsweetened plain yogurt, then gently massage the yogurt into the scalp. Wait for about half an hour, then wash your hair with shampoo as normal.
Neem oil is another useful home remedy for removing dandruff. The oil comes from the neem tree (Azadirachta indica), which is also known as the Indian lilac.
Neem oil is best used diluted, since the pure oil can damage your scalp.
How to Use Neem Oil
- Mix 1 part neem oil to 5 parts olive oil or coconut oil.
- Wash your hair with clean water, then let it dry.
- Massage the diluted neem oil gently into the scalp.
- Leave for about 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse it out with water.
Alternatively, neem tree oil can also be added to your normal shampoo. Use about 1 part neem oil to 20 parts of shampoo. Mix well before use.
Allergy warning: Allergies to neem oil can occur. To avoid them, test a small amount of diluted oil on your skin, and wait a day for any reaction, before using it on your scalp.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2016 Isvaiyah