What usually causes dandruff on your hair is a dry scalp or a skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis. Eczema and psoriasis are also not excluded from the probable causes, as well as an overgrowth of a fungus called malassezia.
How to get rid of Dandruff
There are many remedies in the drugstores for dandruff like shampoos that contain zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole, coal tar, and selenium sulfide. Some of these attack bacteria and fungus, other slow down the growth of the skin cells on your scalp, and some even loosen the flakes so they can be washed easier.
However, these substances are very strong for your scalp. What you can do to protect it is using some natural dandruff removers.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Although it may seem like not a good idea, apple cider vinegar actually has great effects on your scalp. Dandruff appears as a result of skin cells maturing and dying too fast, so they build up and cause irritation. The vinegar will eliminate all the dead skin that causes dandruff to appear and it will not clog up your pores and cause more dandruff.
Vinegar also has anti-fungal properties that clean the fungus that can cause dandruff. Using it will make your hair smell like vinegar until you shower it again, so you decide whether you need to be somewhere important before applying it. However, when you wash your hair the smell will be gone.
Just take half a cup of ACV and half a cup of warm water. Mix them together and pour the mixture on your hair. Start massaging your scalp gently for several minutes and rinse it very good but only with water.
To take the smell off you need to wait for 8 to 12 hours before you wash your hair with a shampoo so the treatment will have an effect. It is best if you repeat this once a week or once every two weeks so you can see the results after some time.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda can be used as a natural remedy for many purposes including getting rid of the dandruff. It acts as an exfoliation treatment for your skin so it gets rid of the excess dead skin cells. It kills fungus and its tiny particles are excellent for removing the dandruff flakes.
To use it for your hair mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water. It would be great if you put the mixture in a clean shampoo bottle and shake it up really good. Apply a lot of it on the scalp. Do not wash your hair with shampoo afterward, since this is your shampoo.
And don’t worry, it does not smell like the apple cider vinegar. Your may feel your hair dry at first, however, the scalp has natural oils that will soon activate and they will balance your skin’s moisture.
However, if you cannot do it without a shampoo add 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a handful of shampoo and wash your hair with it. Yet, it is best if you just use the soda. You can add some rosemary oil so it will have a pleasant smell.
3. Olive Oil
To clean your dandruff with olive oil you have to apply 10 drops of it on your scalp by massaging your scalp. Put a shower cap and leave it stay overnight. In the morning wash it by following your regular shampoo routine.
It would also be great if the shampoo you are using contains olive oil. In that way the dandruff will be gone faster. Olive oil acts as an effective natural moisturizer, so it is great for dry scalp.
You can also heat some olive oil until it is slightly warm and massage it onto your scalp with a towel. Leave it for 20-30 minutes and wash it off with a shampoo. If you repeat this few times a week, you will get rid of those white flakes in your hair.
Mix lemon juice with coconut oil in a 1:5 ratio. Pour the mixture on your scalp and leave it stay there for about half an hour before you wash it. Make sure you use mild shampoo for washing your hair afterwards.
The reason the lemon is so effective is because of its acidity which helps in balancing the pH of your scalp. That keeps your dandruff away from your hair. Lemon juice is also an excellent anti-fungal agent and natural bleach due to its acidity.
However, it does not have that bleaching effect on the hair. Coconut oil has anti-fungal properties that are beneficial for removing dandruff. It also acts as a moisturizer so for your dry scalp and relieves the itching on your scalp.
Another way you can use lemon is by massaging your scalp with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and rinsing it with water. Afterwards, take 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and add it into 1 cup of water. Rinse your hair with this mixture one more time. Your dandruff will disappear if you repeat doing this every day.
5. Tea Tree Oil
This natural ingredient has strong antifungal properties that kill off fungus that cause dandruff. To get rid of your white flakes add a few drops of tea tree oil in your shampoo when you wash your hair. It should be one drop of tea tree oil per one ounce of shampoo.
Also you can mix tea tree oil with olive oil and coconut oil. Put this mixture on your hair and leave it stay for at least half an hour. It is even better if you leave it overnight. Afterwards wash your hair with a shampoo. Repeat this once or twice a week and soon your dandruff problem will be gone.
Fenugreek is an Indian spice that comes from the Fenugreek plant and the seeds from this plant are very beneficial for dandruff. They are rich in protein and amino acids which make your hair grow healthy and prevent dandruff in the process. Fenugreek contains a natural emollient called lecithin, which actually gives strength to the hair, makes it soft and smooth.
To use it as an anti-dandruff treatment, use 2 tablespoons of Fenugreek seeds and a bowl of water. Soak the seeds in the water and let them stay overnight. The next morning take a grinder and make a paste out of the seeds.
Apply this paste to your scalp and leave it for 30 to 45 minutes to act. Wash your head with mild shampoo or you can just use water and your dandruff will be gone.
7. Yogurt and Pepper
Combine 2 teaspoons of black pepper and 1 teaspoon of yogurt. Take the mixture and massage your scalp with it. Do it really good so that the mixture will go deep into the scalp, and leave it for an hour or so before you wash your hair.
The black pepper helps in pulling the loose dandruff off your hair and it has antifungal properties, and the yogurt is great for reducing the flakiness, so your skin peels off less.
8. Indian Lilac
This herb has antifungal and antibacterial properties that are great for treating dandruff and many other hair problems that are caused by the scalp like itching, acne, and hair fall.
What you need to do is boil some neem leaves into four cups of water. Take the mixture of the heat, let it cool down and strain it. Rinse your hair with it two to three times a week, depending on how serious the problem is.
Extra tips: If you do not feel like using any of these natural dandruff removers, try switching your shampoo at least once a month. You might wash your hair with anti-dandruff shampoo, but if it appears again after some time, use a different one.
Also, make sure you lather twice, and the second time let the shampoo stay on your hair for 5 minutes. Then rinse it. And lastly, shampoo more, contrary to the opinion that that causes more dandruff. The scrubbing will actually help you get rid of the itchy layer.
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