Home Remedies to Remove Dandruff | 9 Ways to Get Rid of It


  • Dandruff is a common skin disorder affecting any sex, gender, and ethnicity.
  • Dandruff is the non-inflammatory counterpart of seborrhoeic dermatitis.
  • A person with dandruff has an itchy and scaly scalp and often, visible skin flakes.
  • The primary causes of dandruff are fungi, sunlight exposure, and scalp irritation.
  • There are natural home remedies to remove dandruff.

Definition of Dandruff

The term dandruff comes from Anglo-Saxon, meaning ”dirty”. According to the International Journal of Trichology, dandruff (Pityriasis capitis) is a non-inflammatory scalp disorder marked by flaking and itchiness. A severe form of dandruff is called seborrheic dermatitis, which is accompanied by redness and scaly scalp.

What are the Physical Signs of Dandruff?

Dandruff is a very common skin condition that people notice easily. A person who has it experience the following signs and symptoms:

  • Visible skin flakes
  • Itchy scalp
  • Scaly scalp
  • Sometimes, noticeable clumps of dry skin

Why Dandruff Occurs?

The real cause of dandruff is yet to be understood, most especially that dandruff is closely linked to seborrheic dermatitis and often share similar symptoms. The following are contributing and precipitating factors of dandruff:

1. Fungus. Malassezia is the primary fungus that causes dandruff formation. It thrives on oily skin and secretes oleic acid, which is a scalp irritant.

2. Sunlight. Too much sun exposure is unhealthy for the scalp and hair. Excessive heat can peel or shred the outer layer of the skin.

3. Scalp Irritants. Excessive combing, over-shampooing, dust, dirt, and the use of different hair cosmetic products can alter the normal flora of the scalp resulting in dandruff formation.

9 Home Remedies To Remove Dandruff Naturally

The best way to treat dandruff is to use a method that works. Examine the ways to eliminate dandruff naturally.

1. Olive oil. Olive oil is a natural therapy for dandruff. Dab olive oil on the scalp and leave it overnight. The oil helps soften the flakes. Leave it overnight, and wash hair with a mild shampoo the next day.

2. Tea tree oil. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology provides insight into the antifungal activity of tea tree oil. Leave drops of tea tree oil on the scalp for 30 minutes, then wash hair. Remember, do not apply undiluted tea tree oil on the scalp. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to make the essential oil less strong.

3. Daily hair care routine. Wash hair often – and that may mean every day. Contrary to popular belief that hair should only be washed several times a week, people who have dandruff issues should wash and shampoo their hair more often. Fungi feed on sebum and dry skin cells. Washing hair every day removes oil build-up and dead skin treating dandruff.

4. Coconut oil. A dry scalp contributes to the formation of dandruff. Coconut oil does not only have antifungal properties, but the oil is abundant in fatty acids and vitamins that are healthy for the scalp and hair. Thus, applying coconut oil addresses scalp dryness. To use coconut oil as a dandruff treatment, begin with a little amount 2 to 3 times weekly. Leave it for 30 minutes or overnight for excessively dry hair.

5. Aloe vera. It is a natural remedy for itching and flaky scalp. Aloe vera is part of Ayurvedic medicine due to its healing activity. Aloe vera decreases scalp itchiness and scaliness. Apply and rub a freshly-cut aloe vera directly on the scalp. Let it sit for an hour, allowing the extracts to penetrate on the scalp. Next, wash it off using a mild shampoo. You may add up olive oil to moisturize hair.

Aloe vera

6. Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is known for its healing benefits – hair and scalp are no exception. Apple cider vinegar has antifungal and antimicrobial components that ward off infections and fungus on the scalp. Never apply undiluted vinegar on the scalp. Create a mixture of apple cider vinegar for the scalp by mixing ½ of the vinegar and 1 ½ cup of water. Apply it on the scalp, and leave for 20 minutes. Shampoo and condition afterward. Dermatologists recommend the use of apple cider vinegar preparation twice a week for dandruff-free hair.

7. Baby oil. Baby oil is a natural dandruff treatment that moisturizes the scalp and helps loosen flakes. It is a perfect choice for dry, flaky skin and scalp irritation. Smear cotton with baby oil on the affected area. Alternatively, massage baby oil on the scalp and leave it overnight. You can use this method as a part of your hair care routine.

8. Lemon and lime. The citric content of lemon and lime helps remove dandruff and treat itchy scalp. It also reduces excess oil on the scalp. Use lemon or lime extract as a pre-shampoo treatment. You can also mix it with other ingredients such as coconut oil or olive oil for an added moisturizing effect or sugar to exfoliate the scalp.

9. Neem oil. Neem oil is not only a good insect repellent but also a potent dandruff remedy. This type of vegetable oil contains nimbidin as an active ingredient, which has antifungal properties. It also has an anti-inflammatory action that suppresses the redness and itchiness of the scalp. Add several drops of neem oil on the affected scalp, massage, and leave it on for 30 minutes before washing hair.

Neem oil

Common Questions

Should I be Worried about Having Dandruff?

Many people suffer dandruff at some point in their life, but it goes away with simple, natural remedies. Dandruff is a common skin condition that is not contagious or harmful.

How Do You Remove Dandruff Naturally?

The good news is dandruff is not difficult to treat. Dandruff can be managed naturally using home remedies. Natural treatments often worked; however, it might take a while to see results. For severe dandruff, medications such as anti-fungal or salicylic acid can be used to treat dandruff – or at least, subside its symptoms.

Is Dandruff Fatal?

There are no reported disabilities or deaths caused by dandruff. While it may cause discomfort or distress, dandruff is neither dangerous nor fatal.

Is Dandruff a Health Disorder?

A disease is any condition or state that causes discomfort and physical and social problems. Dandruff is considered a milder form of seborrhoeic dermatitis. Often, it causes distress, and people who have it experience social stigma. Therefore, dandruff is qualified as a disease.

Can I Get Rid of Dandruff Overnight?

There is no solitary management and treatment for dandruff. Dandruff can sometimes be very mild and transient and easily managed by using a mild shampoo. However, treatment for a severe form of dandruff can be made through natural remedies, and ultimately, over-the-counter medications.

Final Words

Dandruff is a scalp and skin health disorder. It is a common problem and purported to be the most exploited skin disease by the Indian Journal of Dermatology.[1] Dandruff is multifactorial. While health experts consider dandruff as a disease, it is not fatal, contagious, or dangerous. The good news is, dandruff is manageable and treatable. Yet, there is no best way to treat dandruff. People may find it helpful in combining two or more remedies to get rid of dandruff naturally.

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