Dandruff is a common skin condition that affects everyone from kids to adults. Also known as seborrheic dermatitis, it can manifest as dry or greasy, with slightly itchy skin and some flaking. Although it’s quite common, dandruff can be an embarrassing skin condition to deal with. Fortunately, there are great home remedies for dandruff and dry scalp that help ease your symptoms and get rid of dandruff for good!
What Causes Dandruff?
Dandruff is different for everyone and is caused by a number of common culprits. The first is not shampooing your hair enough. This causes skin cells to accumulate and creates flakes and itchiness. It may also be caused by a yeast called malassezia, which aggravate your scalp and cause excessive skin cell growth.
Personal care products can also cause dandruff, making your scalp dry and itchy. Food sensitivities can also lead to dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, which is a more severe form of dandruff. You can work with your doctor to determine possible food sensitivities that could be leading to your dry scalp.
7 Tips to Prevent Dandruff
1. Increase Your Omega 3s
Omega 3 fatty acids play a crucial role in the health of your skin. They help manage oil production and hydration, and an omega 3 deficiency can cause symptoms such as dry hair, dry skin and dandruff. Omega 3s also help with inflammation, which can relieve irritation that comes with dandruff. You can get omega 3s from foods like fatty fish, eggs, flax seeds and chia seeds, or take an omega 3 supplement.
2. Eat More Probiotics
Probiotics are good bacteria that help boost the immune system, fighting against fungal infections that cause dandruff. Probiotics have been shown to decrease symptoms of skin diseases like eczema and dermatitis. You can find probiotics in supplement form, or in foods like kimchi, tempeh and sauerkraut.
3. Exfoliate Your Scalp
Just like exfoliating your skin, exfoliating your scalp is also important. Exfoliating gently lifts the top layer of dry skin, removing dead skin cells from your scalp. Scalp exfoliators are typically formulated with salicylic acid or granules that dissolve, which are helpful in breaking down dead skin cells.
4. Wash Your Hair Regularly
While some people are totally fine to let their hair go days without washing it, if you’re prone to dandruff, you should be washing your hair a few times a week at minimum. Natural oils and dead skin cells accumulate when you don’t wash your hair enough, so make sure you’re washing your hair regularly.
5. Avoid Hair Spray and Hair Gel
Certain styling products such as hair spray and hair gel can lead to a build up of oil on your hair and scalp. This can cause flakes, itchiness and dandruff. If you already have a naturally oily scalp, you’re going to want to cut back on these products as much as you can.
6. Drink Lots of Water
The more hydrated you are, the less dried out your skin will be, and this includes your scalp. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your scalp well hydrated.
7. Stress Management
Stress has been known to trigger dandruff and even make your dandruff worse. If you’re experiencing stress at work, home, in your relationships, or elsewhere, work on eliminating it with stress management. Meditation, yoga, exercise and proper rest are all great ways to manage stress.
6 Home Remedies for Dandruff
1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is known for its magical effects on skin. From acne to psoriasis, it treats symptoms due to its powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties also help when it comes to dandruff. Tea tree oil works to reduce the symptoms of dandruff while improving itchiness and greasiness. If you have sensitive skin, make sure to dilute tea tree oil with water or a carrier oil like coconut oil.
2. Coconut Oil
Speaking of coconut oil, it’s another oil that can help with dandruff. It boosts your skin’s hydration and prevents dryness, which can both worsen dandruff. Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that can help diminish dandruff symptoms. Apply it directly to your scalp and leave it on for a few minutes to make sure the oil has enough time to penetrate your hair and scalp.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is incredibly helpful and soothing for the skin. It’s known to help treat skin conditions like burns, psoriasis and cold sores, and is used consistently in skin ointments and lotions. The antibacterial and anti-fungal properties of aloe vera can help protect against dandruff. It’s also known to reduce inflammation, which can relieve dandruff symptoms.
4. Baking Soda
Baking soda is one of the quickest and easiest home remedies for dandruff. It acts as a gentle exfoliant, removing dead skin cells and reducing scaling and itch. It also has anti-fungal properties that can help treat symptoms of dandruff. Apply baking soda directly to wet hair and massage your scalp. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes, then continue washing your hair as usual.
Using aspirin on your scalp may seem like a wild recommendation, but the salicylic acid found in aspirin makes it a great anti-inflammatory. Salicylic acid helps get rid of scaly skin and loosens flakes so they can be removed more easily. Crush two tablets of aspirin and add them to your shampoo before washing your hair.
6. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice can be used to fight off yeast growth on the scalp. The acidity of lemons lowers the skin’s pH and makes it inhospitable to yeast. Massage two tablespoons of lemon juice onto the scalp and let it sit for about ten minutes. Rinse your scalp with water. Repeat the process with one tablespoon lemon juice and 1 cup of water, then rinse your hair again.
Dandruff can be a pain to deal with, but using the right home remedies can help you banish it once and for all. Use these tips to prevent and get rid of dandruff!