Off to a party tonight? Would you love to wear your little black dress? But as soon as you pick out a dress from the wardrobe you remember you cannot wear black! Why? Because you have dandruff! And those annoying flakes are a dead giveaway on a black dress!
Why is it that is despite making the best efforts, you still cannot get rid of dandruff? Maybe because you are not addressing the root cause of the problem! What is dandruff and why is it so hard to get rid of? Dandruff is a condition of the scalp that causes dead skin cells and is often accompanied by scaly or itchy skin. This condition sometimes snowballs into a bigger problem and dandruff spreads to the eyebrows and eyelashes. If it is not kept under tight rein, it can also affect your skin.
So, black dress or no black dress, dandruff is a problem which needs to be tackled at the very onset. The only good part of this skin condition is that you can eradicate it completely, just by following a few home remedies.
Reasons Why you Get Dandruff
We treat the symptoms but hardly pay heed to the causes. Now, if you find out the causes, treatment is a cake walk and the chances of it returning become far lesser. A few lifestyle changes and simple habits can help you get to the bottom of the problem. There are some simple everyday habits which can impact or aggravate our dandruff problem, here’s what they are:
- You are too stressed- We often do not understand that we are stressed until it becomes a chronic problem. Even if it is a little hard to believe, stress causes dandruff. Stress impacts your immune system and the result is a dandruff flare up. If the tension in the workplace, or at home is getting a bit much to handle, you might have to take steps to reduce it. Try yoga, meditation and pranayama. It works, do give it a try.
- Poor brushing technique- If you are one of those who feels too lazy to follow a few beauty rituals before hitting the sack, beware, you might face skin and hair issues, including dandruff. Regular brushing of hair helps get rid of the accumulated dead skin cells. Once you get rid of them, there are fewer chances of a dandruff occurrence. Brushing or combing twice a day activates the blood circulation in the scalp, which ensures that you have problem free healthy hair.
- Improper shampooing technique- We shampoo our hair but more often than not we do it with haste, not washing our hair well. It is important to shampoo every alternate day to get rid of the dirt and greasiness accumulating on the scalp, but it is also important that you use lots of water so that no residue is left on your hair. Chemical residues from the shampoo and conditioners often cause dandruff. So remember to wash your hair well, and also use a mild herbal shampoo which will cause minimum damage to your hair.
- Too many hair styling products- Don’t get us wrong here, we are not saying you should not use styling products, but some of these products which you end up using have loads of chemicals in them, causing your hair to turn dull, weak in the process, and you also end up with dandruff. Cut back on hair sprays, styling gels, and mousses when possible. These styling products can build up on your hair and scalp, and the residue is one of the chief reasons of oiliness. You need to be careful about the kind of products you are using, try to choose ones which have fewer chemicals and additives.
- Not eating right- Modern day lifestyle is the chief cause of inflammation, and inflammation leads to dandruff. Our diets today largely contain processed food, which has too much of salt and sugar. This causes a toxic build-up in the body and invites a host of other health problems. Stick to a largely unprocessed diet which includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and meat- a balanced diet, which will fulfill all your nutrient needs.
Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, vitamin B are the vitamins and minerals which you need to stock up on. Try to eat more healthy monounsaturated fatty acids or MUFAs, whenever possible. The ideal sources are avocados, nuts, olives, and safflower oil. Have more vitamin B-rich foods like oatmeal, rice, eggs, and bananas. It will keep your hair healthy, shiny and also dandruff-free.
- Dry skin dandruff- People with overly dry skin suffer from dry dandruff. It is exacerbated during the time of winter when the skin is at the mercy of the dry weather and cold winds. This is unlike oily dandruff as the flakes are smaller.
- Seborrheic Dermatitis – This is a skin condition where you will find a red itchy rash on your scalp. This inflammatory skin condition and can occur on your body as well. It looks pretty similar to eczema, psoriasis and so on.
What are the Other Causes of Dandruff ?
- The exact cause of dandruff is not known; but what is known for sure, is that it is not caused by poor hygiene. Dandruff, also known as scurf or Pityriasis simplex capsulitis, is a condition of the scalp where you notice flakes of skin on your scalp, accompanied by itching. This is a rather annoying condition as it is difficult to remove and also it can make its presence felt on your clothes. A black shirt or a dress becomes a bête noire, simply because the white dandruff is very apparent on black attire.
The Most Important Causes of Dandruff
- The innumerable shampoos and oils do not really help if you do not get to the bottom of things; that is, find out the underlying cause. The following can be a real eye-opener for you and help you prevent or control the rather irritating symptoms of dandruff.
- Yeast- People who are sensitive to yeast suffer from dandruff the most, so it must be true that yeast plays a big part in causing dandruff. This is one reason why people get dandruff during the winters and not so much during the summers, as the heat of the sun stops the yeast from proliferating. Also, when the skin becomes dry due to the harsh cold winds and overheated rooms, dandruff gets aggravated.
- Irritated oily skin- People who suffer from seborrheic dermatitis or oily skin are more prone to dandruff. This kind of condition not only affects the scalp, but also the eyebrows, nose, back of the ears and so on. This kind of condition is characterized by greasy skin along with yellow or white flakes.
- Certain skin problems- People who suffer from skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis have greater chances of suffering from dandruff than others.
- Not keeping your scalp clean- Many experts are of the opinion that not shampooing frequently can cause dandruff. The oil buildup and the dirt on your scalp are one way of triggering dandruff. The yeast and the fungi then feed on the accumulating dead skin cells.
- Stop overly using styling products- Some hair styling products like pomades, can exacerbate the dandruff problem. Cut back on this kind of styling products, which build up on your hair and scalp and cause oiliness.
- Watch your diet- Though the diet you follow may not directly trigger of a dandruff flare-up, some of foods high in saturated fats and Trans fats can activate the sebaceous oil glands, causing the problem of dandruff to worsen. This is why you should aim to include more MUFAs or mono saturated fatty acids into your diet to stave off dandruff.
- Malassezia- This is a fungus that lives on people’s scalp. Though it is harmless, it can get aggravated when it feeds on the oils our hair follicles secrete. The scalp then can become irritated and proliferate extra skin cells. These extra skin cells die and fall off; then they blend with the oil secreted from the hair and scalp and change into dandruff.
- Stress- If you are asking yourself how to get rid of dandruff, the answer to that question is to firstly eliminate stress. Stress can aggravate any kind of skin condition, and dandruff is no different.
- Some diseases or illnesses- Some people suffering from neurological diseases like Parkinson’s disease and so on tend to get affected by dandruff. People recovering from heart attacks and strokes also suffer from dandruff particularly because of their weak immune systems.
Home Remedies for Dandruff
Dandruff is not something you cannot cure; all you need to do is follow the right remedies of how to get rid of dandruff?. So without further ado, here are dandruff remedies that will totally do away with dandruff for good!
1. Yogurt- Sometimes yeast in our bodies causes inflammation. The best way to curb the yeast in our body is by increasing the growth of friendly bacteria. Yogurt is one of the best probiotics which increases friendly bacteria.
A cup of plain yogurt will do. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo. After that, apply the yogurt on your scalp and let it stay for 15 mins. Rinse your hair with herbal shampoofor a squeaky-clean scalp. You can do it twice or thrice a week for a month to get dandruff free hair.
2. Apple cider vinegar- Apple cider vinegar helps in curbing the proliferation of yeast. It helps maintain the PH balance of the scalp as well.
Take 8 to 10 tablespoons each of apple cider vinegar and water. Mix the apple cider vinegar and water in a bowl. Wash your hair and then as an after-treatment, rinse massage your hair with a mixture of vinegar and water. Let the mixture sit in your scalp for about 15 mins. After that, you can wash your hair.
3. Eggs- Eggs are a great source of biotin, and since biotin can treat dandruff effectively, this should be your go to DIY mask to control dandruff. Eggs also help make your hair healthier, so it’s a win-win situation.
Mix the yolks of the eggs in a bowl. Keep your hair dry, and then apply the yolks to the scalp. Make sure you cover your hair with a plastic bag as it can get a bit messy, and let it sit for an hour. Washing thoroughly after applying the mask can help you get rid of the smell associated with eggs. Wash your hair with lemon water or cold tea liquor to mitigate the odor and lend a shine to your hair.
4. Lemon juice with Coconut Oil- If the PH balance of your hair is spoilt; you will definitely suffer from dandruff. Lemon juice restores the PH balance of the scalp and stops the growth of yeast. Coconut oil is antifungal and antibacterial, especially the cold-pressed variety. It helps in strengthening the roots of the hair. Combined together, it makes for a potent mixture.
Mix one part lemon juice with five parts coconut oil. Apply the mixture gently on your scalp and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Wash using a mild shampoo.
5. Garlic- Garlic has almost reached superfood status, it keeps at bay a number of diseases, and can also reduce dandruff as it has anti-fungal properties.
Crush one or two garlic cloves till gets powdered; and blend with the honey till you form a smooth paste. Gently massage this paste onto your scalp, let your it soak in the goodness of the garlic and then wash off with a mild shampoo.
6. Aloe vera- Aloe vera contains anti-bacterial and anti- fungal properties. Get fresh aloe for maximum benefits. It also contains an enzyme called proteolytic enzyme, which has the property of breaking down protein like dead skin cells. As the dead skin cells are removed with the help of aloe, the chances of eradicating dandruff are that much higher.
Cut fresh aloe and extract its gel. Apply it on your scalp. Then wash it off with a mild shampoo. It’s an easy and very effective remedy to try.
7. Baking Soda and Lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar- Another effective blend of potent ingredients. It works because baking soda kills the fungi responsible for increasing dandruff.
Mix the ingredients i.e. baking soda, lemon and apple cider vinegar in a bowl and apply the mixture on your scalp. Let the mixture sit on your scalp for about 10 minutes; don’t keep it for too long as it can start itching. Wash your hair with lots of water. You can also use apple cider vinegar as an after rinse.
8. Fenugreek Seeds- The herb fenugreek has antifungal properties that can help control dandruff to a great extent. It not only weeds out dandruff but also stops hair fall and lends body and bounce to your hair. It’s a must have remedy for your hair health.
Soak two to three tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in water overnight. In the morning, grind them into a fine paste. Add two tablespoons of yogurt for best results. Apply the paste all over your scalp and let it stay there for a few hours. Wash off and shampoo your hair. Follow this routine twice or thrice a week for best results.
9. Neem leaves- Another great ingredient which has potent anti-fungal properties. It stops itching and can stop dandruff right in its tracks. It is easily available and is an inexpensive way to treat dandruff.
Add two handfuls of neem leaves to 4 or 5 cups of scalding hot water. Let it stand overnight. The next morning, strain the liquid and use it as a hair rinse. The alternative method of using neem leaves is making a thick paste and applying the same on your scalp. Let it stay for an hour and wash off with a mild shampoo.
10. Tea tree oil- Tea tree oil has been used from time immemorial for its medicinal properties. It has fungicidal qualities which help combat dandruff effectively.
Pour a generous one tablespoon of tea tree oil into 1 cup of warm water in a squirt bottle. Shake well. After washing your hair with shampoo, spray the mixture all over your scalp, massage, and let it sit for a couple of minutes. You can squeeze the excess water out, but do not wash it away.
More Home Remedies to Get Rid of Dandruff
How to get rid of dandruff? You can get rid of the annoying symptoms of dandruff with these home remedies. They are easy to procure and don’t have any side-effects. These are all potent remedies, and if you follow them persistently, you will certainly get effective results.
1. Olive oil- Olive oil is full of antioxidants that help keep your scalp in great condition. The fact that it contains a number of essential nutrients like vitamins A and E, which slash the collective damage done by hair care products and the environment makes it even better. Additionally, it also contains antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that fight against the perennial hair problem, dandruff.
Here is what you need to do, take an adequate amount of olive oil and apply it liberally on the scalp. Massage it gently, and remember that you should do it with your fingertips for few minutes, and then cover your hair with a warm towel. Leave it on your scalp for the night and then wash it off with a gentle shampoo the very next morning. Follow this treatment at least for a week to get healthy problem-free hair.
2. Aspirin- If you want to avoid the medicated shampoos and want to stick to a strictly home care regime, aspirins should be your go-to remedy. The reason why aspirin is particularly effective in eliminating dandruff is because it contains a fair amount of salicylate, which is an active ingredient in most dandruff shampoos that has salicylic acid as its chief component. This should prove to be a very good substitute to medicated shampoos.
Get yourself two tablets of aspirin. Crush them to make a fine powder and then blend this powder with your shampoo. Lather your hair with this blend. Let it sit for a minute or two and then wash it off with water. Use a mild shampoo to remove any traces of the powder.
3. Listerine mouthwash- Listerine mouthwash is one of the most intriguing beauty hacks we have ever stumbled upon! What’s more, it has the backing of most beauty bloggers. Now, when it is so popular it must have something going for it, right? It is the ingredients in Listerine that piqued our interest, it contains menthol, eucalyptol, methyl salicylate, and thymol; all of which have antifungal properties. Reason enough for us to try it.
Here is what you need to do, Mix ½ a cup of Listerine with 1/2 cup of water and apply to clean hair, make sure you pour it as close to the scalp as possible. Use your fingers to rub it, leave it for about 5 minutes, then rinse off thoroughly.
4. Orange peel pack- If you love oranges, you will be surprised to know that not only the fruit but the fruit peel too contains tons of nutrients. It is full of vitamin C and keeps hair super healthy. But it is not only about that, the peels are rich in antioxidants and help keep your scalp infection free.
Here is what you should do. Take a ½ cup of orange peel pieces, 1 cup of yogurt and blend them thoroughly to make a thick paste. Apply the paste on your hair and scalp by using your fingertips. Let the pack stay it for 2 hours. Rinse your hair with warm water and conditioner. Just following this remedy for two weeks can provide incredible results.
5. Baking Soda- Now, this is another great remedy that works big time in eliminating dandruff. It is a kitchen staple so a pretty handy remedy. Why does it work? It works for the simple reason that its cleansing properties not only draw the excessive oil from the scalp but also maintain the pH balance of the scalp, thus prohibiting the growth of all kinds of infections. It keeps the scalp squeaky clean by clearing off the impurities and dead skin cells.
Here is what you can do. Mix the baking soda with rosewater to make a paste. Then apply the paste on the scalp and massage the scalp gently in circular motions for a good 2 minutes. Rinse your hair with cool water. Do not forget to follow the method twice in a week till you get visible results.
6. Cedar wood oil- Tired of using anti-dandruff shampoos which never work, despite the tall claims they make in their commercials? Switch to cedar wood oil. Cedar wood oil contains the largest amount of sesquiterpenes. They are a hydrocarbon group that is an intrinsic part of essential oils and identical to hemoglobin in our blood. Similar to hemoglobin, it helps oxygenate at the cellular level, which in turn helps release the toxins. These properties of the oil help increase the circulation of the scalp. This solution has been there for ages to eliminate dandruff and hair loss. Also, cedar wood essential oil is anti-fungal, which can help get rid of dandruff triggered off by fungal infections.
Here is what you need to do, blend together 6 drops cedar wood essential oil, 6 drops rosemary essential oil and 50 ml olive oil. Massage the concoction into the scalp. Leave to soak overnight. Rinse thoroughly the next day with a mild shampoo.
7. Egg Yolks- If you have an itchy scalp and dandruff, the best way to get rid of this problem is by using egg yolks. The amino acids content of egg yolks is what works in its favor. It strengthens your hair and rejuvenates hair health, besides eliminating dandruff.Here is what you need to do, collect the yolks of two eggs and beat them well. Blend in the juice extracted from one small lemon. Apply this mixture onto your scalp and let it stay for five minutes and then wash off with plain water and a mild shampoo.
8. Egg oil- Some people are really put off by the strong smell of eggs. But they can still reap the benefits of eggs if they use egg oil. Packed with protein and amino acid content, it is the best way to get rid of dandruff minus the overwhelming smell and mess.
Massage egg oil into your hair for 10 minutes and let it stay there for the night. Then, shampoo off the next morning using a mild herbal shampoo. Follow this treatment for 12 weeks to see astonishing results.
9. Ginger- Ginger is a spice used since ages to treat various maladies. It is a natural antiseptic that helps eradicate the fungi that cause dandruff. Ginger stops the growth of yeast and hence inhibits the symptoms that come with dandruff; namely itchy flakes, and it also reduces inflammation of the scalp, hence preventing dandruff.
Here is what you can do, mix 1 part of the ginger oil with 2 parts olive oil. Use your fingertips to gently massage this mixture into your scalp. Let it stay on your scalp for the night and wash off the next morning with a mild shampoo. Do this twice a week till you get results!
10. Henna- Henna is not only a natural alternative coloring agent but also a great way to get rid of a bacterial infection. It helps reduce the oiliness of your scalp and keeps your hair scrupulously clean.
Mix 4 tablespoons of fine henna powder with the juice of a lime and add curd to the mixture. Blend well to avoid the lumps. Make a smooth paste and take care that it does not drip. Apply this mixture on the hair carefully, covering your roots to tips. Keep the pack on for at least 30 minutes and rinse off with a mild herbal shampoo. If you have dry hair, make sure you use a conditioner afterward.
11. Castor oil- Castor oil has ricinoleic acid, which has anti- microbial properties, the very component which helps kill bacteria causing dandruff. The ricin present in the oil also has great germicidal and fungicidal properties. These two constituents help protect the scalp from all kinds of scalp infections. Castor oil is also loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, which help moisturize the scalp and keep dandruff at bay.
Warm the oil and massage your scalp with castor oil, it helps improve blood circulation to reduce dandruff. You can keep your castor oil on overnight for best results wash it off the next day with a mild herbal shampoo.
12. Neem oil- Neem oil is highly effective in getting rid of dandruff. This oil makes your scalp smooth. You can cure your itchy scalp due to dandruff by the application of neem oil. Its antibacterial and antifungal properties help eliminate dandruff.
Mix one cap of neem oil and a tablespoon of olive oil. Apply it on your scalp and shampoo after a good 20 minutes. This will not only help get rid of dandruff but also act as a good conditioner to soften your hair considerably.
13. Lavender oil- Lavender essential oil is one of the most popular oils. It has numerous benefits which help get rid of dandruff.
Even though lavender oil is mild, you still need to blend it with a carrier oil before applying it to your scalp.
After diluting the lavender oil, massage it gently into your scalp, cover your head with a warm towel and keep it there for at least 30 minutes before washing it out with water or a mild shampoo. Repeat it daily till you get results.
14. Rosemary oil- Rosemary essential oil is considered to be one of the most effective essential oils for eliminating dandruff. It contains antibacterial and antifungal compounds which can maintain the pH balance of the scalp and stave off dandruff.
Here is what you can do, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your regular shampoo or massage it into your scalp gently with your fingertips. One method to follow is to dilute a few drops of rosemary oil with virgin cold-pressed coconut oil and massage it into your scalp. Keep it for the night and wash off with a mild herbal shampoo the next day.
15. Omega- 3 fatty acids-There are specific types of fats really effective for anybody combating Omega-3 fatty acids are essential oils that the body requires in order to run smoothly. It helps regulate the bodily conditions, which would include the skin and hair.
Include these omega-3 fatty acid rich foods in your diets, such as certain types of fish and nuts. Some people supplement their diet with omega-3 fatty acids by the use of flax seed oil.
16. Drinking water- You can reduce dandruff just by staying hydrated. In fact, it is the key to eliminating dandruff. The first step to curing dandruff is seldom given any importance. Dandruff is dry itchy skin, and one very obvious cause of dry skin is dehydration. This can be caused by skimping on your intake of water, or by ingesting too many diuretics such as caffeine or alcohol. Drinking copious amounts of water is one way of preventing a dry scalp and avoiding dandruff.
17. Relaxing more- Skin irritations are often caused by stress and offshoots of stress like depression and so on. Try to eliminate stress from your life by trying out yoga, taking walks, massage therapy, and various similar techniques. Busting that stress is thus a great way of getting rid of dandruff.
18. Baby oil- Baby oil is another great remedy for dandruff. Its high mineral content helps keep your scalp well-nourished and hence prevent it from getting too dry.
Baby oil can be massaged liberally on the scalp. Wound a warm towel around the head after the application of oil. Let it stay overnight. The next day, rinse off your hair by using an herbal shampoo.
19. Fullers Earth- People have used fuller’s earth for ages together to treat dandruff. It absorbs oil, dirt, and impurities instrumental in causing dandruff. It also improves blood circulation in the scalp, which is what keeps the scalp clean and dandruff free.
Here is what you can do, make a hair pack with equal amounts of orange peel powder and fuller’s earth. Apply it generously on your scalp and hair. Leave it on for 20 minutes or so, and then wash off with a mild shampoo. Follow this home remedy once or twice a week to reduce dandruff considerably.
FAQ’s about dandruff
If there are still some doubts lurking in your mind, take a look at these frequently asked questions and find some answers to your own questions.
- Can frequent baths eliminate dandruff?
No, not really. Frequent head baths can only control dandruff as you tend to give your head a massage during a bath, which disturbs the natural habitat of dandruff and hence control it. But this certainly cannot eliminate dandruff.
- Is dandruff contagious?
Yes, dandruff is a fungal infection and will spread by sharing a comb, pillow cover, towel and so on.
- Do only people with dry skin have dandruff?
No, it can affect people with oily skin too.
- Are hair products good for dandruff?
No, too much usage of hair products can aggravate dandruff. So, it is advisable to avoid styling products, like gels, mousses and so on.
- What can I do to prevent dandruff?
A well-balanced diet is absolutely essential to maintain a clean scalp and avoid dandruff. You can also make some lifestyle modifications to avoid dandruff and maintain a clean healthy scalp. Here are a few dietary changes you can make to curb dandruff:
- Eat more green leafy vegetables, nuts, fresh fruits, and pulses.
- Eggs are a must-have in your diet largely because of the nutrients like proteins, zinc, iron, vitamin B12, and a healthy amount of omega-6 fatty acids.
- Eat a protein rich diet.
- Don’t forget to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water.
- Avoid rich and spicy foods which aggravate dandruff.
- How can I prevent hair fall when I have dandruff?
One way of avoiding hair fall is to get to the root cause of hair shedding, that is dandruff. Make sure you follow our remedies, follow a well-balanced nutritious diet to prevent and cure dandruff and stall excessive hair fall.
- Can I have dandruff in the summer too?
Yes, winter is the time your dandruff situation gets worse because of dry seasonal conditions, but some people also suffer from dandruff in the summer, especially when their scalp is oily.
- How can I get rid of the itchy dandruff?
Use some lemon juice to get rid of the itchiness; apply lemon juice on your scalp and leave on for 20 to 25 minutes before rinsing off. Also, avoid scratching your head or picking at the scalp.
- How often should I wash my hair?
Wash your hair every alternate day to keep your scalp clean and prevent dandruff.
- Which dandruff shampoo should I use?
You can use medicated shampoos suitable for your hair type. If you have dry hair, select one for your hair type and so on. Also, if you have severe dandruff, choose potent shampoos which help eliminate dandruff.
How to remove dandruff? The answer to this question is rather simple, just eat right and follow the effective home remedies listed above. You will not only get rid of dandruff but also flaunt a thick, shiny and bouncy mane!
Dandruff is a recurring problem for most of us today, but you can beat dandruff by following some simple rules. You do not always have to visit a doctor or pop expensive pills to wipe out dandruff. Just be kinder to your hair, try and seek natural means to clean and condition your hair.
Also, eat right and exercise. Yes, following a healthy lifestyle can sort out most health, skin, and hair problems and it includes getting rid of dandruff once and for all. The home remedies mentioned here are some of the easiest DIY remedies which you can do, without having to spend long hours on yourself. So, squeeze out some time for yourself from your busy schedule and pamper your hair, as the severity of the condition can gradually worsen and you may end up losing clumps of hair.
Your tresses are really special, and you truly understand the importance of your crowning glory when they are no longer there to flaunt. Search for the right ingredients from your kitchen shelf or nearby grocers and use them for a great result. So, the next time you take out your favorite black dress, make sure you wear it without a care in the world.