Dandruff is a scalp problem caused by an overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia. Malassezia lives in the scalp and uses the oil secreted by the hair follicles as nutrition. It is not yet known why Malassezia suddenly begins to multiply, but when it does, it causes irritation that significantly accelerates removing dead skin cells. It is a widespread problem, but that doesn’t make it less of a nuisance.
Many dead skin cells accumulate, and together with the fat in the scalp, they turn into dandruffs. This can often be easily seen with the naked eye. It usually starts to become very itchy after a while. The industry has come up with many chemical anti-dandruff shampoos in response to this. These usually contain SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), which irritates an aggressive scalp. Fortunately, there are a few home remedies that can solve the problem of dandruff.
1) Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil, with its antifungal and antiseptic properties, is an oil that has been proven to improve dandruff. Anti-dandruff shampoos containing tea tree oil are also available, but the essential oil is more effective (and usually less expensive).
Massage the tea tree oil into your scalp (make sure to apply it to your scalp, not just your hair) and leave it on for about 30 minutes. Then wash it with shampoo. If you do this frequently, you will notice a decrease in dandruff as well as the itching that accompanies it. Applying pure tea tree oil directly to the skin may not be advisable. If you have sensitive skin, diluting it with oil is recommended.
Thyme also has anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. However, the difference is that it is a herb, not an oil. To use thyme to treat dandruff, mix 4 tablespoons of dried thyme with 2 cups of water, boil it for 10-15 minutes, strain and let it cool. Then massage the mixture into the scalp and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing the hair well.
The acid in lemon restores the pH balance of the scalp. There are two ways to treat dandruff using lemons. Boil the peel of 3-4 lemons in hot water or use the juice. Let it cool down and apply it to your scalp, then leave it for a while before rinsing it off.
Both regular white vinegar and apple cider vinegar can be used to treat dandruff. Vinegar, like lemon, is acidic in nature and restores the pH balance of the scalp. Apple cider vinegar, in particular, has cleansing properties that unclog pores and hair follicles. Vinegar can be used in many ways.
You can apply vinegar (slightly diluted) directly to your scalp, wrap it in a towel and leave it there for several hours, preferably overnight. The following day, rinse your hair.
- Mix vinegar with water and use it to wash your hair.
- Mix equal amounts of vinegar and water and add 15-20 drops of tea tree oil. Massage the mixture into your scalp, leave it on for a few minutes, and then rinse. Repeat this process three or four times a week until the dandruff is gone.
5) Baking Soda
Also known as baking powder, baking soda removes excess sebum secreted by the scalp. It cleanses the scalp of oil and reduces the amount of oil in the hair that feeds yeast-like bacteria like Malassezia. Baking soda also restores the pH balance of the scalp. You can mix a small amount of the powder with water and massage it into your scalp. Let it absorb for a while, and then rinse it off. It is important not to wash your hair with shampoo after rinsing.
Rosemary is effective against dandruff because it fights fungi and bacteria. Plus, it smells amazing. So, not only does it take care of dandruff, but it can also make your hair smell great. To do this, simply boil a teaspoon of rosemary in a cup of water, let it sit for a few minutes, strain it, and use it to rinse your hair daily until the dandruff is gone.
Do you have any other home remedies for dandruff? Share it with us in the comments below!