Tiny, little flakes falling off your hair onto the shoulders can be pretty embarrassing, especially when you are at work or out partying with friends. Dandruff is one of the most common hair problems but it can prevent you from wearing some of your favorite black and blue clothes. It can also affect your self-esteem and pose a barrier to socializing. Most of us resort to an anti-dandruff shampoo as a solution to this problem. But is that enough? In order to get rid of dandruff, it is important to learn its causes and the right way to treat it.
For starters 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 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. If anti-dandruff shampoos are not helping in getting rid of dandruff, we suggest you turn to your kitchen.
There are plenty of dandruff home remedies that will help remove dandruff once and for all. We will tell you all about them but not before understanding the causes of dandruff.
- Causes of dandruff
- 1. Tea Tree Oil
- 2. Fenugreek seeds
- 3. Baking soda
- 4. Lemon Juice
- 5. Multani mitti
- 6. Olive oil
- 7. Neem juice
- 8. Orange peels
- 9. Egg yolk
- 10. Apple Cider Vinegar
- Hair washing habits for dandruff free hair
- FAQs on How to remove dandruff naturally
Causes of dandruff
1. Dry skin -
Dry skin is one of the most common causes of dandruff, it may get worse with weather changes. During colder months when your skin gets drier dandruff becomes more noticeable.
2. Oil and dirt buildup -
Accumulation of oil, dirt and products on the scalp can also cause dandruff. Not shampooing enough or shampooing too much, both can lead to dandruff. Therefore, it is necessary to keep your scalp clean but don't overdo it.
3. Allergy -
The skin on your scalp can get irritated due to an allergy from one of the ingredients in your hair care products. If you notice any sort of scalp irritation after using a product, it could be because of some sort of sensitivity.
4. Medical condition -
An underlying medical condition can also be a cause of dandruff. Seborrheic dandruff, eczema, psoriasis to name a few. It is best to seek expert help and get the problem addressed at its root.
5. Yeast overgrowth -
Scalp sensitivity can cause Malassezia to aggravate and lead to dandruff. Humid environments can make the problem worse, it is recommended to keep the scalp clean in summer and monsoon when Malassezia has more chance to thrive.
Now that we know what causes dandruff, let's take a look at some effective home remedies to get rid of dandruff.
1. Tea Tree Oil
The powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties in tea tree oil make it an effective remedy against dandruff. In the olden days, tea tree was used extensively for the treatment of acne and psoriasis, hence it has a lot of medicinal values. Tea tree infused shampoos work better than their commercial counterparts.
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.
How often: Repeat this method twice a week for the best results.
2. Fenugreek seeds
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 getting rid of dandruff. Additionally, nutrients such as protein, vitamin C, iron, potassium, nicotinic acid, and lecithin, deliver your hair with proper care and nourishment.
BB Pro Tip: In a bowl, soak about half a cup of fenugreek seeds overnight. The next morning grind this to a paste and apply it to your scalp and hair. Wash it off after 30 minutes using a mild shampoo and conditioner.
How often: Once every week for a few months.
3. Baking soda
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. Though your hair might get dried initially, within two weeks, your scalp will start producing natural oils to combat the dryness. 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.
How often: Not more than twice a week.
4. Lemon Juice
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 and are also extremely effective when it comes to controlling hair fall, making your hair look voluminous and strong.
BB Pro Tip: Mix lemon juice and curd in a mixing bowl and mix well. Apply the mixture to your hair and massage it into your scalp using your fingers. Leave the mixture on for about 10 minutes. Wash your hair as usual with shampoo and conditioner.
How often: Once every two weeks until you see noticeable changes.
5. Multani mitti
All of us know the benefits of fuller’s earth for achieving great skin, but did you know you can even use it to remove dandruff? Multani mitti absorbs oil, grease, and dirt from the scalp, all of which are major aggressors of dandruff. It also improves blood circulation to the scalp, thereby keeping it clean and dandruff-free.
BB Pro Tip: Mix multani mitti with enough water to form a smooth paste. Add a little bit of lemon juice to it and apply this mixture evenly to your scalp. Leave it on for about 20 minutes, after which you can wash it off with water.
How often: Once a week, do not leave the mask on for too long as it can get difficult to remove.
6. Olive oil
All of us know about the moisturizing properties of olive oil, and this is what makes it an effective remedy to remove dandruff. Olive oil moisturises the dry patches on the scalp, thereby preventing your scalp from flaking. A little amount of olive oil can help loosen those stubborn dandruff flakes. They will eventually fall off your scalp, leaving it healthy and rejuvenated.
BB Pro Tip: Apply olive oil to your scalp and massage it thoroughly. Do this about 10 minutes before you wash your hair. Post that, you can wash your hair normally with shampoo.
How often: You can follow this ritual before every hair washes to see faster results.
7. Neem juice
Used extensively in both skin and hair care, neem consists of anti-bacterial properties that make it a good cure for dandruff caused due to dirty scalp. Neem juice can help detoxify your scalp, unclog the roots and rid any dirt buildup, and help 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.
How often: Repeat this home remedy for dandruff not more than once every two weeks.
8. Orange peels
Rich in calcium, magnesium, vitamin A and exfoliating fibres, orange peels are known to be an effective and refreshing cure for dandruff. This citrusy fruit also enhances the overall health of the scalp as vitamin C is already a popular ingredient used for fighting free radical damage in your scalp.
BB pro tip: To prepare your orange peels for hair, drench it with lemon juice first and then grind until it turns into a paste. Apply the paste on your scalp and leave for 30 minutes. Once dry, wash off with an anti-dandruff shampoo for best results.
How often: Follow this dandruff remedy once every two weeks.
9. Egg yolk
Due to their high protein content, eggs have been used as hair masks for ages. But did you know the egg yolk is rich in biotin as well? Yes! This major vitamin is excellent at dealing with dandruff and also aids in healthy hair growth.
BB pro tip: Make sure your hair is completely dry before applying the yolk. Whisk the yolk into a thinner texture and apply all ave your hair. Cover your hair with a shower cap to make sure the smell doesn't go everywhere. once dry, wash your hair with a gentle shampoo; you might have to rinse and repeat in order to get the odour out.
How often: This method can be followed once every week for best results.
10. 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 reducing 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.
How often: This can be followed every time you shampoo your hair.
Hair washing habits for dandruff free hair
One of the major reasons for dandruff has been attributed to improper hair washing habits. As such, apart from indulging in home remedies, make sure you are following these hair habits for a healthy and flake-free scalp:
- Avoid washing your hair too often or too less.
- Stick to washing your hair three times a week and if you suffer from an oily scalp, use a dry shampoo to freshen your hair up in-between washes.
- Pick a formula for a shampoo and conditioner based on what suits your hair type instead of just blindly following trends.
- Make sure to stay away from nasty ingredients like sulphates and only pick all-natural combinations if your scalp can take it.
- Massage your scalp with shampoo in order to clean it properly. Instead of taking a lot of product in one go, rinse and repeat with a lesser amount of shampoo each time.
- Concentrated formulas can damage strip your scalp of its natural oils and cause dandruff.
FAQs on How to remove dandruff naturally
1) How exactly does dandruff affect your scalp and hair health?
A. While there are no direct co-relations between dandruff ruining your scalp health, it usually points to something that's lacking in your scalp care. Dandruff can show up on hair strands and make them look bad. It can also cause itching and redness in your scalp, which is worse during summers. It can also lower your confidence to wear parted hairstyles in fear of the flakes being seen by others.
2) Does hot water cause dandruff?
A. Yes, hot water can indirectly contribute to dandruff issues on your scalp. If the water temperature is too high, it will dry out your scalp, removes nourishing oils from the roots and causes brittleness in the hair strands. Use lukewarm to cold water to wash your hair in order to keep them in their best health.
3) Should you use conditioner if you have dandruff?
A. Yes, dandruff-ridden scalp or not, a conditioner should never be skipped from your haircare routine. Make sure you are not actually applying any product on your scalp but sticking to mid-length to the roots in order to avoid making the problem worse.