10 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Dandruff Naturally

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Ways To Get Rid Of Dandruff Naturally

Dandruff is the excessive shedding of dead skin flakes from the scalp. This common condition, affecting over 50% of the world, can be treated effectively with many safe and natural remedies, some of them available right in your larder. A hair-and-scalp care routine with natural products such as honey, Indian gooseberry, aloe vera, and lemongrass can help you get rid of dandruff. Tea tree oil, neem, hibiscus and even garlic can also come to your rescue!

Don’t you just hate those white skin flakes peppering your crowning glory and sitting proud on your shoulders? Dandruff is quite a common scalp condition and if you’re struggling with it, you have 50% of the world’s population for company!1 Fortunately, several natural remedies, some available right in your kitchen, can help tackle these white flakes.

What Is Dandruff?

Dandruff is a common, persistent skin condition. Those unsightly skin flakes are a result of a mild case of seborrheic dermatitis, a condition that affects your scalp. What exactly causes seborrheic dermatitis is still unknown, but a few factors may be involved. Excess oil produced by oil glands in your scalp may play a role. High levels of hormones, such as is seen during puberty, can cause your oil glands to produce more oil.

A fungus known as Malassezia is also associated with dandruff. This fungus, found in oily parts of your skin and which feeds on organic oils, provokes a reaction that accelerates skin cells growth. This eventually results in more dead cells, which combine with skin oils and flake off as dandruff.2 Stress, problems with your immune system, or neurological conditions may also increase your chances of getting dandruff while eczema flare-ups and cold weather can make it worse.3

While anti-dandruff shampoos are usually prescribed to control the problem, many natural remedies can do the job just as well.

1. Onion

Yes, the humble onion can be quite a beauty and health aid. According to research, onion has antifungal properties and is effective against Malassezia. This common kitchen staple contains sulfur and several other nutrients which can work against pathogens, leaving you with a healthy scalp and hair.4 5

How To Use

Take a red onion, crush the bulb and squeeze out the juice. Alternatively, you could run the onion in a blender or grate it to extract juice. Apply the juice on your scalp. Leave it on for half an hour or so and rinse out using a mild shampoo. Do this once a week for two months to see a visible difference.6

2. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a very popular home remedy for hair and skin problems. It contains several amino acids, minerals like sodium, calcium, and magnesium, and other beneficial enzymes, vitamins, and polysaccharides. Aloe vera has antifungal, antibacterial, and cleansing properties. As your dandruff could be caused by fungi, applying aloe vera will help reduce the flakes.7

How To Use

It is best to use fresh aloe vera gel. Take a leaf, remove the sharp spines and split the leaf to get the gel inside. Rub this gel gently into your scalp. Keep it on for an hour and rinse off using a mild shampoo. Do this 2–3 times a week and you will see a reduction in your dandruff levels after a few applications.8

3. Garlic

Garlic, which belongs to the same family as onion, is also known for being antibiotic, antibacterial, and antifungal in nature. It works really well against Malassezia and can help you tackle dandruff.9

How To Use

Crush 5–6 cloves of garlic, add in some honey to make a paste, and apply it on your scalp. Keep it on for half an hour and wash off with a mild shampoo. If you have a sensitive scalp, dilute the paste with some water to bring down the pungency of garlic.10

4. Hibiscus

Hibiscus in yet another age-old home remedy for hair and scalp nourishment.11 One study looked at the effect of plant extracts on Malassezia, isolated from dandruff flakes on the scalp of affected people. It was found that hibiscus extracts were able to significantly reduce the growth of this fungus.12

How To Use

Take a few fresh hibiscus leaves, wash them well, and make a paste in your blender. Apply the paste to your scalp. Leave it on for at least half an hour and rinse off with a mild shampoo. Do this once a week to keep your hair dandruff-free. A bonus of using hibiscus leaves is that it will leave your hair soft and lustrous.13

5. Lemongrass

According to a study, applying a hair tonic with 10% lemongrass oil twice a day was able to significantly reduce dandruff in people with the condition.14 Its inhibitory effect against Malassezia is what makes it work so well at combating dandruff.15

How To Use

Mix some lemongrass essential oil with a carrier oil such as grapeseed oil. Give yourself a good head massage with this oil and leave it on for a minimum of one hour (or overnight if possible). Rinse it out with a mild shampoo.

If you have access to fresh lemongrass then you can make a weak tea with a handful of leaves in a large pot of water. Let the tea cool down and use it as the last rinse. While taking care of your dandruff issues, this tea will also leave your hair smelling great!

6. Flaxseeds

Flax seeds contain Omega-3 fatty acids which nourish your scalp.16 And a deficiency in fatty acids like omega 3 can cause not only dandruff but other issues like excessive thirst, dry or rough skin, problems with vision and attention etc. So make sure you make flax seeds a part of your diet to keep your scalp healthy.17

How To Use

Flax seeds have a distinctly nutty flavor and make a good addition to soups and salads. Make sure you have plenty of fluids with them since they’re high in fiber and may cause problems with bowel movement.18 19

7. Honey

Honey, a supersaturated solution that contains fructose, glucose, several amino acids, vitamins, enzymes, proteins, and minerals, is a true gift from nature. While soothing your scalp and conditioning your hair, it will also regulate pH and prevent infections such as dandruff caused by pathogens20 Honey’s antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties help fight even stubborn cases of seborrheic dermatitis. One study found that people with dandruff who applied 90% honey diluted with warm water for 3 hours every other day experienced significant benefits. Both scaling and itching were resolved in a week. Applying honey weekly even prevented dandruff from coming back.21

How To Use

Take some honey, preferably raw organic honey, and dilute it with some water. A solution that has 80–90% honey plus 10–20% water would be perfect. Massage the mixture into your scalp for a few minutes. Leave it on for a couple of hours or at least 30 minutes. Rinse it out first with warm water and then use a mild shampoo if needed.

8. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an organic oil with strong antifungal properties. It has also been found to eliminate the fungus Malassezia.22

How To Use

Massage a few drops of diluted tea tree oil into your scalp and leave it on overnight. Rinse it off the next day with a mild shampoo. Try to include a weekly tea tree oil massage into your beauty regimen to keep dandruff at bay.

[/pullquote]Say no to organic oils if you have dandruff! Some organic oils like olive oil, almond oil, and coconut oil feed the growth of Malassezia, the fungus associated with dandruff. So don’t treat yourself to a head massage with these if you have dandruff.23[/pullquote]

9. Neem

Neem has been used since ancient times in India to cure various ailments. Neem’s broad spectrum antimicrobial properties make it very effective in keeping dandruff at bay.24

How To Use

Take a handful of neem leaves in water and let the mixture boil till the water turns mildly green. Cool down and then filter the mixture. After washing your hair, use the filtered neem water for the last rinse. You can do this every time you wash your hair.

Another way involves grinding a handful of neem leaves into a fine paste in your blender and applying the paste to your scalp. Leave it in for an hour or so and wash it out with warm water and a mild shampoo.

10. Indian Gooseberry

The antimicrobial nature of the Indian gooseberry against Malassezia makes it an effective remedy for dandruff. This is also why it is used as an ingredient in several commercially available hair and scalp care products.25

How To Use

Take 2–3 fresh amla fruits, grate them, and squeeze out the juice. Add this to an equal quantity of grapeseed oil and mix well. Massage this mixture into your scalp and leave it in for at least an hour. Later, wash your hair out with a mild shampoo. Do this once a month to keep dandruff at bay. You can also use amla powder, diluting it with water to make a paste.

Dandruff can be kept under control with a regular hair care routine and natural products that suit your hair and scalp. However, if you do not see any improvement in a couple of weeks of using home remedies, do approach a medical practitioner for treatment.

References   [ + ]

1.Sommer, Bettina, David P. Overy, and Russell G. Kerr. “Identification and characterization of lipases from Malassezia restricta, a causative agent of dandruff.” FEMS yeast research 15, no. 7 (2015).
2.Dandruff – does your head feel itchy?. Women’s and Children’s Health Network.
3.What Is Dandruff?. The Nemours Foundation.
4.Tabassum, Nahida, and Mariya Hamdani. “Plants used to treat skin diseases.” Pharmacognosy reviews 8, no. 15 (2014): 52.
5, 9.Shams-Ghahfarokhi, Masoomeh, Mohammad-Reza Shokoohamiri, Nasrin Amirrajab, Behnaz Moghadasi, Ali Ghajari, Farideh Zeini, Golnar Sadeghi, and Mehdi Razzaghi-Abyaneh. “In vitro antifungal activities of Allium cepa, Allium sativum and ketoconazole against some pathogenic yeasts and dermatophytes.” Fitoterapia 77, no. 4 (2006): 321-323.
6, 8.Mitaliya, K. D., D. C. Bhatt, N. K. Patel, and S. K. Dodia. “Herbal remedies used for hair disorders by tribals and rural folk in Gujarat.” (2003).
7.Qadir, M. Imran. “Medicinal and cosmetological importance of Aloe vera.” Int J Nat Ther 2 (2009): 21-26.
10.Petrovska, Biljana Bauer, and Svetlana Cekovska. “Extracts from the history and medical properties of garlic.” Pharmacognosy reviews 4, no. 7 (2010): 106.
11, 13.Rao, NS Balaji, D. Rajasekhar, and D. Chengal Raju. “Folklore remedies for dandruff from Tirumala hills of Andhra Pradesh.” Ancient science of life 15, no. 4 (1996): 296.
12.Patil, Ulhas K., Kalyani Muskan, and Narendra Mokashe. “In Vitro Comparison of the Inhibitory Effects of Various Plant Extracts on the Growth of Malassezia furfur.” Inventi Impact: Cosmeceuticals (2010).
14. Chaisripipat, Wannee, Nattaya Lourith, and Mayuree Kanlayavattanakul. “Anti-dandruff Hair Tonic Containing Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) Oil.” Complementary Medicine Research 22, no. 4 (2015): 226-229.
15.Wuthi-udomlert, Mansuang, Ployphand Chotipatoomwan, Sasikan Panyadee, and Wandee Gritsanapan. “Inhibitory effect of formulated lemongrass shampoo on malassezia furfur: a yeast associated with dandruff.” Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health 42, no. 2 (2011): 363.
16.Patel, Seema J., Komal B. Harihar, and Vanditha MG Sagar Hugar. “Evaluation of Anti-Acne and Anti-Dandruff Activity of Seed Protein Extracts.”
17.Richardson, A. “Fatty acids in dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and the autistic spectrum.” Nutr Pract 3, no. 3 (2001): 18-24.
18.Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil. National Institutes of Health.
19.Rudin, Donald O. Omega 3 oils. Penguin, 1996.
20.Burlando, Bruno, and Laura Cornara. “Honey in dermatology and skin care: a review.” Journal of cosmetic dermatology 12, no. 4 (2013): 306-313.
21.Al-Waili, N. S. “Therapeutic and prophylactic effects of crude honey on chronic seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.” European journal of medical research 6, no. 7 (2001): 306-308.
22.Satchell, Andrew C., Anne Saurajen, Craig Bell, and Ross StC Barnetson. “Treatment of dandruff with 5% tea tree oil shampoo.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 47, no. 6 (2002): 852-855.
23.Andleigh, H. S. “A note on the growth of Malassezia furfur.” Mycopathologia 9, no. 1 (1958): 20-22.
24.Sharma, Shalini, U. M. Upadhyay, Siddhi U. Upadhyay, Tanvi Patel, and Pratiksha Trivedi. “Herbal Armamentarium for the culprit dandruff.” International Journal of Phytopharmacy Research4, no. 1 (2013): 23-28.
25.Hemamalini, V., V. Deepa, G. Shanthi, and S. Rajarajan. “EVALUATION OF ANTIMYCOTIC ACTIVITY OF PHYLLANTHUS EMBLICA LINN. ON TWO ISOLATES (MALASSEZIA FURFUR AND MALASSEZIA OBTUSA) FROM DANDRUFF AND PITYRIASIS VERSICOLOR.” International Journal of Biological & Pharmaceutical Research 5, no. 9 (2014): 763-767.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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