Have you ever watched a commercial where a dark-haired man or woman is afraid of wearing a black top for fear of revealing his or her dandruff? This commercial usually advertised for a specific type of anti-dandruff shampoo and while the product may have worked, it more than likely had a slew of toxic ingredients. That said, no one wants dandruff. Dandruff can be caused by a dry scalp or be related to eczema, psoriasis, or several other skin conditions. No matter the cause, here are a few natural suggestions on dealing with dandruff, once and for all.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has many uses in holistic medicine, including as both an antibacterial and antifungal agent. Simply add a few drops of tea tree essential oil to your shampoo or conditioner to reap the benefits. The tea tree works to combat the fungal overgrowth, usually at the root of the cause, which in turn stops the overproduction of skin cells, as Natural Living Ideas explains. This study looked at the efficacy of tea tree oil in shampoo and found results even when the product contained just 5% tea tree oil. To further boost the likelihood of tea tree oil being a success, look for several all-natural and organic shampoo and conditioner products with tea tree oil already included.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
What can’t apple cider vinegar do? From settling an upset stomach to lulling one to sleep, apple cider vinegar works a variety of wonders, including fixing dandruff. Helpful in its ability to change the pH of one’s scalp, simply shampoo and condition as normally, but finish rinsing with a diluted mixture of apple cider vinegar. Another option is using this as a spray: mix one part apple cider vinegar to four parts water, and then spray scalp, focusing on particularly problematic areas. After 20 minutes, rinse as normal. The best part of this trick is the cost: apple cider vinegar can be found for less than $3-4 at most grocery stores.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is another remedy that works to change the pH of your scalp, making it unfavorable for fungal or bacteria growth. You can choose to shampoo and condition as normal, or take a no-poo shower and opt for strictly baking soda instead: take a palmful of baking soda and gently massage through to scalp, focusing on affected areas. Try to let this mixture sit for 3-5 minutes, then rinse as normal, as Reader Digests suggests. Again, baking soda is an easily available and economical solution to the dandruff conundrum.
4. Raw Honey
Raw honey is a household good that, yet again, has a host of benefits. Besides treating colds, coughs, and burns, raw honey can also be used to treat dandruff. A natural humectant, honey helps hold in moisture, creating adverse conditions for dandruff to be produced. As Heather of Mommypotamus explains, slightly dilute raw honey with water to create a consistency that can be massaged into your scalp. Gently work honey into the roots of your hair, focusing on dandruff “hot spots.” Wrap with a towel or shower cap and let sit for up to 3 hours to reap maximum benefits. Then, simply rinse with warm water. Keep in mind that several of these natural treatments can be used together; for example, use this raw honey wrap, then follow it up with an apple cider vinegar rinse. This 2001 study concluded that raw honey (called “crude honey” in the study) substantially reduced the itching, scaling, and lesions that patients had experienced.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is another at-home staple that, like raw honey and tea tree oil, is also an antifungal. Additionally, coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids that help to lock in moisture and prevent further drying-out. Coconut oil can make your hair look quite greasy if you use large amounts, so start with a very small amount and apply as needed. Another option is to use it as a hair mask, sleep with it on overnight, then shampoo and condition as normal.
6. Your Diet
While not all dandruff occurs due to lifestyle choices, taking a look at one’s diet can be of major help. Taking a high-quality probiotic can actually be beneficial in balancing the bacteria in the body, as can ingesting probiotic foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, and kefir. Ensure that you’re also eating plenty of prebiotics, like Jerusalem artichoke, to better feed your healthful colony.
Do you know any natural remedies for curing dandruff that aren’t listed here? Please share!