A non-contagious condition affecting people from all age groups, dandruff is characterized by dry white or gray flakes of dead skin appearing on the scalp and hair. It may also occur on the eyebrows, mustache, and beard areas in severe cases. The affected region may become itchy as a result of excessive flaking of the skin. Mild to moderate cases may be managed at home with safe herbal remedies.
How to get rid of dandruff
Natural remedies to remove dandruff
Lemon juice: Add a few teaspoons of lemon juice to some water and apply over the scalp. After 5 minutes, wash it off and shampoo the hair. This remedy also works for dandruff on the eyebrows and mustache.
You may make a hair pack with the juice of half lemon and add it to 1/4 cup of plain yogurt. Use the mixture to massage the scalp and leave it for 20 minutes. Rinse the area before shampooing the hair. This yogurt remedy works well with honey instead of lemon juice as well to get rid of dandruff fast.
Coconut oil: Take 3-5 tablespoons of coconut oil and apply all over the scalp. Leave it on for an hour and wash off using a shampoo.
Massage the itchy scalp thoroughly with coconut oil and lemon juice mixed in equal amounts for a while. After 20 minutes, rinse your hair. Repeating the method twice or thrice a week will give effective results.
Olive oil: Take 10 drops of olive oil and rub it gently all over the scalp. Use a shower cap to cover the scalp before going to bed. Wash your hair with shampoo in the morning.
Rub warm olive oil on the scalp and cover it with a warm towel. Leave it for 45 minutes or overnight. Use a shampoo to rinse it off. The method should be followed few times a week to treat the dandruff-affected scalp.
Tea tree oil: Add a few drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo and wash your hair with it as you normally do.
You may also add few drops of tea tree oil to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil and use it to massage the affected scalp. Wash it off either after 30 minutes or you may also keep it overnight.
For eyebrow dandruff, apply tea tree oil over the affected regions regularly after bathing, rubbing it off with a wet towel after few minutes. However, make sure to dilute the oil with water to avoid skin irritation.
Neem: Take few neem leaves and boil them in 4 cups of water. Allow the mixture to cool and strain it. Use the infusion to wash the scalp and eyebrows twice or thrice a week. You may also boil neem leaves in mustard oil or coconut oil and apply it over the affected areas.
Massaging with the juice of neem leaves is equally beneficial for getting rid of dandruff for good.
Fenugreek seeds: Besides having antifungal properties, the soothing effects of the seeds of fenugreek provide relief from itching. Crush 2 to 3 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds soaked in water overnight to prepare a paste. Apply it on the scalp as well as eyebrows and rinse it off after 1 hour. You may also add a few teaspoons of plain yogurt to the paste, massage the scalp with it and let it dry before washing off with a shampoo. It is one of the best ways to get rid of dandruff.
Garlic: Applying crushed garlic over the scalp is a potent remedy for managing dandruff. Since garlic has a pungent odor, you can mix it with honey before use.
Aloe vera: Cut an aloe vera leaf and extract the gel. Apply it on a daily basis on the scalp and eyebrows before a bath.
Mint juice: Crush few mint leaves to take out the juice for applying it on the affected scalp.
Basil juice: Grind a few basil leaves and extract the juice. Massage it on the scalp daily to get rid of dandruff. Adding few drops of olive oil to the basil juice increases the effectiveness of the remedy.
Indian gooseberry (Amla): Slice a whole Indian gooseberry into pieces and boil them in water. Use the infusion every day to wash the hair. You can also apply amla juice on the scalp daily before going to bed.
Boil some Indian gooseberry powder in coconut oil and massage the affected scalp with it.
Henna: Prepare a hair pack by soaking henna powder in hot tea liquor. You can also add Indian gooseberry powder, yogurt, or lemon juice in it. Apply the pack all over the scalp and let it dry for 1 to 1½ hour. Wash the hair with a shampoo.
Almond oil: Application of warm almond oil on the dandruff-affected eyebrows and beard before sleeping is a good remedy for stopping flaking of skin.
Massaging the eyebrow, mustache and beard areas with egg oil or emu oil may also help in getting rid of dandruff on the face.
Other ways to treat dandruff at home
Baking soda: The exfoliating properties of baking soda help in eliminating the dead skin cells from the scalp. An easy remedy would be to massage the affected scalp with a handful of baking soda after wetting your hair. Wash the hair thoroughly with warm water after few minutes. Follow the remedy twice or thrice a week until you see improvement.
Apple cider vinegar: Its ability to maintain the pH balance of the scalp aid in preventing the growth of yeast responsible for causing flaking of the skin. Combine 1/4th cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/4th cup of water in a spray bottle and apply it on the scalp. Wrap a towel around the head and leave it for 15 minutes to 1 hour before rinsing off.
You may also add 2-3 teaspoons of tea tree oil and massage the scalp with the mixture. Both these remedies can be used for clearing eyebrow dandruff.
White vinegar: Its acetic acid helps in curbing the growth of fungi providing relief from itching. Prepare a mixture of 1 ½ cup of white vinegar and 2 cups of water. After shampooing your hair, rinse the hair with it. Also, use the mixture to wash the eyebrows affected with dandruff.
Combine 2 parts of white vinegar with 1 part of olive oil and 3 parts of water. Rinse off after 10 minutes and then shampoo the hair.
Mouthwash: After applying a regular shampoo, wash the hair with a mouthwash (alcohol-based) before conditioning. It is believed that the antifungal properties of mouthwash curb the growth of yeast on the scalp, and thus cure a bad case of dandruff.
Table salt: Sprinkle some table salt over the affected scalp and eyebrows, and gently massage before applying a shampoo for relieving itchiness and dryness.
Aspirin: An easy remedy for removing dandruff, aspirin contains salicylic acid that aid in exfoliation of the scalp. Take 2 aspirin tablets and crush them to make a fine powder. Mix it with a drop of any regular shampoo and apply on the affected scalp. After a few minutes, rinse it off, and shampoo the hair as usual.
Mix 3 crushed aspirin tablets with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and apply the mixture all over the scalp. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then wash the hair.
Shampooing the hair regularly: Use of an anti-dandruff shampoo containing coal tar, selenium sulfide, salicylic acid, ketoconazole, or zinc pyrithione can improve the condition of the scalp. Wash your hair and massage the scalp properly with the shampoo. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes before rinsing off with water. Regular shampooing and conditioning could be a good way for managing dandruff permanently.
Baby shampoos also work well for beard dandruff besides anti-dandruff shampoos.
Note: Try switching shampoos as prolonged use of one type of shampoo can reduce its potency to fight dandruff
How to prevent recurrence of dandruff
- Shampoo your hair regularly to resist oil and dirt buildup on the scalp.
- Avoid the use of moisturizing hair and cosmetic products as they may cause the dandruff-prone areas to become greasy and oily.
- Follow a healthy diet comprising of anti-inflammatory foods such as fish, fruits, and vegetables in addition to having vitamin, omega-3 fatty acid, probiotic, or mineral supplements.
- Minimize stress by carrying out some relaxation activities.
If you have an extreme case of dandruff and not getting any satisfactory results from using the home remedies, then consult a specialist as the condition may turn chronic due to delayed treatment.