Do away with terror of those white flakes by learning all about them - the causes, the preventive methods and the natural cures. Plunge into our deep insights on all things dandruff and make your way towards a healthy and happy scalp.
Tiny, little flakes falling off your hair onto the shoulders can be pretty embarrassing, especially when you are on the go. Who wants their shoulders covered with flaky bits of their scalp? No one! But that’s dandruff for you; one of the most common hair problems that can cause continual itchiness and also prevent you from wearing some of your favourite dark T-shirts. So much so, a peeling scalp can also affect your self-esteem and also your keenness to go out and socialise!
And while some folks may notice and recommend a lengthy list of chemical solutions or ask you to resort to an anti-dandruff shampoo — nothing does the magic like home remedies! However, before we tell you about our favourite anti-dandruff recipes and mixes, let’s plunge into the basics.
What is dandruff?
Dandruff is caused by a fungus called malassezia. This fungus thrives in a humid environment, which is why dandruff becomes a bigger problem in summer and monsoon season when there's excessive sweating. There are also some people who experience dandruff particularly in winter, this is because the cold wind robs moisture from your hair and scalp, leaving it dry and flaky. This causes dryness and itchiness on the scalp, leading to the dead skin cells accumulating into visible flakes and eventually falling off your hair.
But if anti-dandruff shampoos are not helping in getting rid of the flakes, we suggest you turn to your kitchen. There are plenty of anti-dandruff home remedies that will help remove dandruff once and for all. We will tell you all about them but first let's shed some light on the causes of dandruff. Scroll down to comb through it all...
Causes of dandruff and flaky scalp
Pampering your locks with its go-to hair-food, aka shampoo will keep it nourished and hydrated. However, if you fall behind with washing your strands — it might result in dandruff; a product of a dry scalp! Which is why, we suggest treating your scalp to the best moisturising product in town, Dove Hair Therapy Dry Scalp Care Shampoo.
Enriched with niacinamide, this sulfate and parabens free shampoo is clinically proven to moisturise, nourish dry scalp and target dandruff. Follow up with Dove Hair Therapy Dry Scalp Care Conditioner and Dove Hair Therapy Dry Scalp Care Leave-on Solution to repair your hair deeply on cellular level.
Yes, we all want smooth hair that glistens under the sun, which is why we keep brushing the little twirls and tangles out! However, did you know this TLC move can also do more harm than good? Rubbing the scalp repeatedly with a comb can cause it to become flaky — after all, excessive force does lead to a reaction. In this case, dandruff!
That pesky dandruff is very often related to a yeast infection on the scalp. Yeast is linked to fungal organisms, which is why anti-dandruff shampoos contain antifungal agents. However, if your dandruff is persistent, it is usually a sign of yeast-overgrowth elsewhere in the body, particularly the gastrointestinal tract.
Irritated and oily skin
An accumulation of oil, dirt and products on the scalp can also cause dandruff. Not shampooing enough or shampooing too much, both can also lead to dandruff. So it’s necessary to keep your scalp clean, but don't overdo it.
Yes, it’s a lesser-known fact but what makes it to your plate can also impact your dandruff situation. How? Dandruff is often attributed to the candida yeast, and sugary foods promote the overgrowth of this yeast. Moreover, sugar also depletes the body of vitamin B, which is an essential component of an anti-dandruff diet. So, to help get rid of your stubborn flakes, reduce your sugar intake and avoid processed foods high in sugar that are way too sweet!
Bad reaction to products
Of course we all want to try the fancy products, such as mists, scalp creams and sparkly shampoos — but hold up! These pretty packets may only look good on the shelf but do your scalp and hair no good. To avoid these issues, opt for products that are medically crafted for your scalp or consult a trichologist. After all, knowing what your scalp needs means you know how to properly care for it.
Considering these white flakes can pop up owing to a plethora of reasons, here are the natural showstoppers you can reach for to keep that flaky scalp at bay!
What are the natural ingredients to get rid of dandruff?
Don’t panic, it’s organic
Tea tree oil
Along with its catchy name the powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties in tea tree oil make it an effective remedy against dandruff.
BB Pro Tip: Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with your regular shampoo. Rub this mixture into your scalp, leave it on for about 5 minutes and wash off with cold water. Repeat this method twice a week for the best results.
Speaking of home remedies for dandruff, Fenugreek seeds are a savior. They are an amazing source of antibacterial and antifungal properties, which makes them really effective at doing away with the flakes. Additionally, nutrients such as protein, vitamin C, iron, potassium, nicotinic acid, and lecithin, can treat your hair with proper care and nourishment.
BB Pro Tip: Taking a bowl, soak about half a cup of fenugreek seeds overnight. The next morning grind this into a paste and apply it to your scalp and hair. Wash it off after 30 minutes using a mild shampoo and conditioner. Repeat this once every week for a few months.
Baking soda works as a mild exfoliant, thus helping you get rid of dead skin cells on the scalp. It also reduces excess oil on the scalp, making it feel fresh. Baking soda is also known to reduce the overactive fungi that can cause dandruff.
BB Pro Tip: Wet your hair and rub the baking soda into your hair and scalp. Leave it on for a minute, and then wash your hair thoroughly with water. You could also mix it with your shampoo and use it to wash your hair. Avoid this using this treatment too frequently, stick to no more than twice a week.
Lemon juice is an effective remedy that has been proven to remove dandruff naturally. As it is a rich source of citric acid, it fights dandruff from the roots of the hair follicles. The antimicrobial properties eliminate the fungus causing this dandruff!
BB Pro Tip: Mix lemon juice and curd in a bowl. Apply the mixture to your hair and massage it into your scalp using your fingers. Leave the mixture on for about 10 minutes before washing your hair as usual with shampoo and conditioner. Do this once every two weeks until you see noticeable changes.
Used extensively in both skin and hair care, neem consists of anti-bacterial properties that make it a good cure for dandruff due to a dirty scalp. Neem juice can help detoxify your scalp, unclogging the roots and getting rid of any dirt buildup, while helping to control excess oil production responsible for flakiness.
BB pro tip: Take a clean mortar and pestle and crush some neem leaves into a thick paste. Apply the paste evenly on your scalp and hair strands, let dry for at least 10 minutes. Once dry, wash off the hair mask with cold water. Repeat this home remedy for dandruff not more than once every two weeks.
Apple cider vinegar
When it comes to removing dandruff at home this one is your best bet! Apple cider vinegar is chock full of antifungal and antibacterial properties that are amazing at maintaining the health of your scalp. The vinegar eliminates any dandruff-causing fungi and effectively curbs the problem. Sometimes a pH imbalance is the root of a dandruff problem. ACV tackles this by balancing the pH of your scalp. The anti-inflammatory properties of ACV soothe scalp irritation and inflammation, thereby curbing the itchiness caused by dandruff.
BB Pro Tip: Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a bowl. Wash your hair as usual, and then pour the vinegar-water mixture onto your hair and scrub it into your scalp. Leave it on for about 15 minutes, and then wash it off with water. This can be followed every time you shampoo your hair.
Now that we’ve taken you through the exhaustive domain of all things natural and beneficial for your dandruff concerns — here’s how you curb them by washing your locks right! Yes, we’re about to show you how your little habits can impact the larger dandruff picture.
Hair washing habits for dandruff free hair
Wash your hair often
Yes, we know you may be busy with the hustle, shuffling from place to place and handling a variety of tasks – but in the midst of that, don’t ignore the oh-so integral hair wash day!
While it may seem like a luxury to lather your mane with shampoo and cover it with conditioner, it is also a necessity. Keep your locks hydrated and your scalp nourished by washing both often — if not, your scalp’s skin can turn flaky and shed in the form of dandruff!
P.S.: This also causes itchiness!
Try products that are specially aimed at dandruff
While you may choose to indulge in washing your locks regularly, ensure you’re combating the snowflakes with the right ammunition. Only anti-dandruff shampoos will treat the dandruff the right way; quicker and better.
How to wash your hair with dandruff?
Technique and tips are everything, make notes!
* When you figure out which anti-dandruff shampoo works best for you, then lather twice and let the lather sit for 3-5 minutes.
* If you still do not use a conditioner, then it is recommended that you start using one ASAP! After washing your hair with an anti-dandruff shampoo, always condition your hair. It will protect your hair against dryness, thus reducing flakes.
Lastly, try not to scratch your head if your scalp itches. Yes, we know this is easier said than done, but you know that you won't end the flaking by doing so. Instead, the itching may cause bleeding, making the problem worse. If you have long, sharp nails, scratching can even cause open scalp wounds that can lead to infections. So, if you want to get rid of a flaky scalp faster, then follow these tips diligently.
Cleansing and exfoliating your scalp
Dandruff is one of the leading signs of a dry scalp and to treat it, nothing works its magic like oil. Learn what essential oils work best against dandruff.
Try a moisturising hair mask
Hair masks can help eliminate dandruff while nourishing and conditioning your hair. They address the root cause of your scalp flaking, itchiness, inflammation, and dandruff. Try Love Beauty and Planet Argan Oil & Lavender, Paraben Free Smooth And Serene Hair Mask infused with 100% organic coconut oil and Moroccan argan oil to tame frizz and nourish your strands for smooth, gorgeous hair.
To plunge to this tempting domain, you can either get #DIYing with some easily accessible ingredients or get your hands on the unfailing; Dove’s Intense Damage Repair Hair Mask. Made with moisturising cream and keratin actives, this mask unveils its true potential when left on the locks for 15 minutes. So, the next time you feel the itch, just treat it the Dove way!
Reducing dandruff with lifestyle changes
However, while a single wash takes you a step closer to a dandruff-free tomorrow, it doesn’t really promise a no dandruff tomorrow. In fact, what will keep flakes away are mindful and thoughtful everyday decisions.
Avoid sharing combs and brushes
We all do forget our hair care products at times and then need to ask a friend for theirs — and while this is fine at times, refrain from sharing your combs and brushes regularly as that can hamper the quality of your locks. How? When you comb through your hair, the teeth of your comb may carry the dirt and oils from someone else’s mane. This transfer can cause issues and infections — one of them being, dandruff!
Make sure to rest
When you haven’t taken a step back and are continually on the go, your stress levels are bound to shoot up and this can create an imbalance in the normal functioning of the body and immune system — thus, increasing stress can also increase your risk of getting dandruff. So much so, a spike in tension can make existing dandruff worse or it can trigger the condition of dandruff. So, taking some chill time is the best way to prevent it.
Cover your head while travelling
While moving through time zones, most of us want to look like our most stylish selves — I mean, that’s why airport looks are a thing! But while your lounge set might soak up all those IG comments and likes, your scalp without a cover is getting exposed to all those germs! Which can soon be a breeding group for infectious dandruff, plus the change in temperature can also trigger the flakes. After all, the cold and the harsh weather strips away all the moisture from your hair, drying itout and increasing the risk of dandruff.
When to see a doctor?
The above home remedies and preventions for dandruff should offer relief from the problem. But if dandruff remains persistent or gets worse, it's time to visit a dermatologist. If your scalp is constantly itchy, inflamed or red, we recommend skipping these at-home treatments and visiting a dermatologist as soon as possible!
FAQs on How to Remove Dandruff Naturally
Does dandruff lead to hair loss?
Dandruff itself does not cause hair loss. However, severe dandruff can cause a person to scratch their scalp so hard that they injure it. Repeated inflammation in the hair follicles can cause damage and scarring, slowing or stopping hair growth. This can cause weak or thinning hair.
Is dandruff related to gut health?
Yes, dandruff is persistent, it is usually a sign of yeast-overgrowth elsewhere in the body, particularly the gastrointestinal tract. Hence, your belief that the root of your problem is in your digestive tract and diet is right!
Now you know how to prevent and treat dandruff, with the right products and lifestyle tips, share what works best for you in the comments below.
Written by Anushka Shah on Jul 04, 2022