6 Remedies for Dandruff
Dandruff is one of the most common dermatological conditions in the world. According to some research, up to 50% of the population suffers from it. There’s no totally effective treatment for dandruff when it comes to counteracting it. This is why many people turn to dandruff remedies to relieve itching and the presence of flakes.
Although it is true that many of them have not been supported by science, in practice thousands of people claim that they are effective in eliminating the problem. The natural remedies for dandruff that we have chosen are backed by some studies that show their possible effectiveness. Feel free to use them if you don’t know what to do to get rid of the problem.
The best remedies for dandruff
The first thing you should know is that dandruff occurs when the skin is shed excessively from the scalp. Although you may not realize it, every minute you lose thousands and thousands of dead cells that are replaced by newer ones. In people with dandruff, this process is much more intense due to a combination of factors.
A predisposition to oily hair, sun exposure, use of the wrong hair products, and stress are just some of the things that can cause your dandruff production to increase. If you have tried several treatments without success, we suggest the following remedies to eliminate dandruff.
1. Anti-dandruff shampoo
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), anti-dandruff shampoo is the main treatment for removing dandruff. You may have used them in the past without much success, but keep in mind that their effectiveness is mediated by three factors:
- How often you wash your hair
- The manufacturer’s instructions
- The brand you have chosen for the treatment
If you pay attention to these elements, you can reduce the amount of dandruff in a couple of weeks. In general, it’s recommended to use anti-dandruff shampoo twice a week. If you have very greasy hair, you can alternate its use with a normal shampoo on the days when it’s your turn to use this type.
It is very important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as in this way you take advantage of the active compound in an appropriate way. For example, some suggest leaving the shampoo on the scalp for an average of 5 minutes. Others recommend not using it directly on it and opting instead for its application on the hair. If you don’t follow the suggestions, you won’t be able to benefit from the product.
Lastly, remember that there are hundreds of different brands on the market. No two anti-dandruff shampoos are the same, in principle due to the type or proportion of the active compound. Zinc, coal tar, sulfur, salicylic acid, and selenium shampoos are just a few of the most popular. If you don’t get results with one, then try another.
According to the researchers, the use of dandruff shampoos is safe and effective. In addition, they can offer you benefits in the aesthetic aspect of the hair, such as its silkiness and shine. Before trying other dandruff remedies, we urge you to use this method first.
2. Baking soda
Baking soda is one of those ingredients that you can never miss when it comes to home remedies. Although there are no studies that have investigated its properties for the treatment of dandruff, we do find others that may make us suspect that its application may be recommended.
For example, a study published in Mycopathologia in 2013 stipulates that sodium bicarbonate has antifungal properties against superficial infections. Let us remember, in this sense, that some fungi such as Pityrosporum ovale can cause dandruff.
Other research published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment in 2005 found that the use of baking soda baths reported relief from itching, inflammation, and skin irritation in psoriasis patients. Like fungi, this condition can also lead to dandruff.
In summary, the use of this ingredient can bring you benefits if you use it in moderation. All this because its pH is a bit high, so it can cause skin irritation if you use it excessively. Dab a little on your hair, let it work for a minute or two, and then proceed to rinse. Assess the results after a couple of weeks.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another irreplaceable ingredient when it comes to natural or home treatments. A study published in Microbiological Research in 2003 found that acetic acid, the main compound in vinegar, effectively inhibits the growth of some types of fungi.
These antifungal properties are supported through research published in 2015 in the Journal of Prosthodontincs. It is for this reason that the evidence certifies the use of apple cider vinegar combined with lemon juice to get rid of the dandruff produced by the Malassezia furfur fungus.
As in the previous case, we recommend trying a small dose of this ingredient to avoid possible negative consequences on your hair (loss of shine, silkiness and others). In this case, you must let the vinegar act for 15 minutes while you massage with the tips of your fingers. Then rinse your scalp trying not to leave any trace of it.
4. Eucalyptus oil
Those who claim the use of remedies to eliminate dandruff always recommend the use of eucalyptus oil. A study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease in 2012 found that oil extracted from Eucalyptus globules and Coleus amboinicus plants is effective in counteracting dandruff formation.
For this reason, it’s a safe, effective and scientifically-backed option for you to get rid of dandruff flakes on your scalp. Apply it to your damp hair and leave it on for a couple of minutes. If you find that it is drying your skin, you can try diluting it in a more neutral oil to lower its pH (such as almond oil).
5. Coconut oil
We often see that coconut is one of the most widely used ingredients in cosmetic products. Its properties on the skin are indisputable, but how beneficial is it when including it among the remedies to eliminate dandruff? According to the evidence, its application can be very beneficial.
Let’s start by mentioning a study published in the Ancient Science of Life magazine in 2017 that supports the use of coconut hair oil to reduce hair loss and dandruff. These properties have recently been confirmed in research published in 2021 in the journal Scientific Reports.
But this is not all. Coconut oil is also effective in counteracting different skin conditions. For example, studies and research certify its use when treating xerosis (dry skin) and atopic dermatitis. Our conclusion? It is a safe, affordable and very effective option for removing dandruff.
You can apply it in the same way as the previous options: with wet hair and gently massaging with the tips of your fingers. Regulate the amount of oil you use according to the results you get as the days go by.
6. Aloe vera
We end our list of the best dandruff remedies with a classic: aloe vera. Interestingly, despite the popularity of this plant, there’s little scientific evidence about its properties as a treatment for dandruff. Even so, we can cite several interesting studies in this regard.
For example, research published in the Journal of North Khorasan University of Medical Sciences in 2013 indicates that aloe vera gel is effective in inhibiting the growth of the Malassezia furfur fungus. There is also evidence of its anti-inflammatory properties, which could be used to alleviate the aftermath of itching and dandruff irritation.
To take advantage of its benefits, you just have to rub the aloe vera gel directly on your scalp. If you wish, you can also do it on all your hair. Keep in mind that although it can give you shine, the gel can make your hair less malleable for the first few hours after rinsing.
Tips to prevent dandruff
Apart from applying the remedies to eliminate dandruff that we have shown you, you can also follow a series of tips that will reduce the chances that you will suffer from intense flaking episodes again. Take note of these and apply them to your routine:
- Prevent your hair from accumulating oil. For this, you can establish a daily washing routine or skip a day between each wash.
- When you comb your hair, do it from the scalp to the ends. This prevents fat from accumulating near the follicles.
- Avoid continuous direct sun exposure.
- Dry your hair after washing it. Preferably, use a hairdryer.
- Eat a balanced diet and exercise often.
- Avoid stressful situations in your routine.
- Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
- Respect your hours of rest at night.
The sum of these recommendations in the company of natural remedies to treat dandruff will help you to overcome the episodes permanently. If you don’t get improvement after a couple of weeks, don’t hesitate to consult a specialist.It might interest you...
- Agero AL, Verallo-Rowell VM. A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis. Dermatitis. 2004 Sep;15(3):109-16.
- Draelos ZD, Kenneally DC, Hodges LT, Billhimer W, Copas M, Margraf C. A comparison of hair quality and cosmetic acceptance following the use of two anti-dandruff shampoos. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2005 Dec;10(3):201-4.
- Elewski BE. Clinical diagnosis of common scalp disorders. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2005 Dec;10(3):190-3.
- Evangelista MT, Abad-Casintahan F, Lopez-Villafuerte L. The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial. Int J Dermatol. 2014 Jan;53(1):100-8.
- Kang HC, Park YH, Go SJ. Growth inhibition of a phytopathogenic fungus, Colletotrichum species by acetic acid. Microbiol Res. 2003;158(4):321-6.
- Kura, M. M., Gupta, A., Srivastava, R., & Luthra, S. K. A randomized double blind controlled study evaluating efficacy & Safety of vatika enriched coconut hair oil on hair health in women with hair fall and dandruff. Ancient Science of Life. 2017; 37(1): 45.
- Mota AC, de Castro RD, de Araújo Oliveira J, de Oliveira Lima E. Antifungal Activity of Apple Cider Vinegar on Candida Species Involved in Denture Stomatitis. J Prosthodont. 2015 Jun;24(4):296-302.
- Saxena R, Mittal P, Clavaud C, Dhakan DB, Roy N, Breton L, Misra N, Sharma VK. Longitudinal study of the scalp microbiome suggests coconut oil to enrich healthy scalp commensals. Sci Rep. 2021 Mar 31;11(1):7220.
- Selvakumar, P. Studies on the antidandruff activity of the essential oil of Coleus amboinicus and Eucalyptus globulus. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease. 2012; 2: S715-S719.
- Sharif, M. Inhibitory effect of tea tree oil and aloe vera leaf gel shampoo on Malassezia Furfur. Journal of North Khorasan University of Medical Sciences. 2013; 4(5): 7-10.
- Vázquez B, Avila G, Segura D, Escalante B. Antiinflammatory activity of extracts from Aloe vera gel. J Ethnopharmacol. 1996 Dec;55(1):69-75.
- Verdolini R, Bugatti L, Filosa G, Mannello B, Lawlor F, Cerio RR. Old fashioned sodium bicarbonate baths for the treatment of psoriasis in the era of futuristic biologics: an old ally to be rescued. J Dermatolog Treat. 2005 Feb;16(1):26-30.