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You’re preparing to go on an important date, and you suddenly notice something. White flakes are falling like snow from your hair. You think: “Oh, no! It’s dandruff again!”
You try several anti-dandruff shampoos in a row, but nothing seems to do the trick. Is it impossible the get rid of these embarrassing white flakes?
First, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about dandruff. In fact, almost 50% of the population suffers from dandruff.
And yes, sometimes it can be hard to get rid of those flakes. But there are many home remedies for dandruff and itchy scalp that you can try at home. Some of them might be even more effective than any shampoo that you buy.
But first, let’s see why you have dandruff.
What causes dandruff?
Dandruff is a skin condition that affects the scalp of your head. If you worry that it’s contagious – don’t, it’s not. Also, most doctors agree that it’s not the result of poor hygiene.
But what’s the reason for the appearance of those white specks in your hair?
Since your skin is constantly producing new cells, the old cells must be shed. In the case of dandruff, your skin produces these cells faster and sheds them faster. The oil from your hair causes the dead skin cells to clump together. The result is the known white flakes.
There are multiple factors responsible for dandruff including:
- Irritated, oily skin (Seborrheic dermatitis)
- Malassezia. Malassezia is a fungus that lives on your scalp. It feeds on the oils secreted by the hair follicles. In most cases, you don’t even know that it’s there. But when it grows rapidly, your scalp gets irritated. This leads to the production of extra skin cells, which die and fall off.
- Tinea capitis. This is a fungal infection of the scalp.
- Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis
- Dry skin
- Allergic contact dermatitis. In this case, hair products like dye, hairspray, gel or mousse cause dandruff.
- Lack of hair brushing. Hair brushing is not only important for our appearance. It also aids us in shedding the dead skin cells. This means you’re less likely to have dandruff if you brush your hair regularly.
- Not enough shampooing. If you don’t shampoo properly, you’re more likely to have an excessive build-up of oil and dead skin.
- Diet. Some experts claim that if your diet is lacking enough zinc or vitamin B, you might be prone to dandruff.
- Sex. If you are male, you’re more likely to have dandruff. That’s why some researchers think that hormones might play a part.
- Oily hair and scalp.
- Illness like Parkinson’s disease or HIV infection
Are there any other reasons why your scalp is itching besides dandruff? Yes, there are. The most common causes of itchy scalp are sebaceous cysts, dry scalp, lack of proper hair care, fungus and viral infection.
Signs and symptoms of dandruff
The most noticeable symptom of dandruff is white or gray flakes in the hair or on your shoulders. Your scalp might be itchy, red or even scaly.
If the culprit is Seborrheic dermatitis:
- You might have dandruff on your scalp, hair, eyebrows, beard, or mustache
- Patches of greasy skin on the scalp, ears, face, chest, armpits. They will be covered with white or yellow crust or scales.
- Red skin
If you suspect that your child is suffering from tinea capitis, look for:
- Hair loss
- Black dots
- Inflamed mass, like an abscess
- Yellow crust and matted hair
Psoriasis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease. This means that your body attacks healthy tissues for some reason. It causes an abnormal growth of new skin and a build-up of dead skin cells. It’s characterized by red, flaky, crusty patches of skin. These patches might be covered with silvery scales.
If dry skin is the reason for your dandruff, you’ll have small flakes, but they won’t be oily.
How to Get Rid of Dandruff & Itchy Scalp?
The usual answer is anti-dandruff shampoo. But there are many brands to choose from, right? So you start to wonder which the best shampoo for dandruff is. If you want to use a shampoo look for a brand that contains one of these ingredients:
- Salicylic acid
- Zinc pyrothione
- Selenium sulphide
- Coal tar
However, there are numerous home remedies for dandruff and itchy scalp that you can try at home. Are you curious what they are? Let’s see.
#1 Aspirin cleanses dead skin.
If you think aspirin is only an excellent pain medication, think again. It turns out that aspirin can help you with your scalp problems. It sounds unbelievable, right? Let’s see why.
Aspirin contains salicylic acid, and this is a compound found in most anti-dandruff shampoos. This is not a coincidence. Salicylic acid is known to loosen and soften the flakes, and it makes it easy to remove them.
- Two aspirin tablets
- A bowl
- Shampoo. Choose a fragrance-free and dye-free one.
- Put the tablets in the bowl and crush them to a powder with the back of the spoon.
- Then add a blob of shampoo and mix it with the powder.
- Apply the mixture to your head and massage it well.
- Wait 5 minutes and wash thoroughly to make sure that there is no powder left.
Salicylic acid might cause some skin irritation or stinging and rarely nausea or dizziness.
#2 Lemon juice has anti-fungal properties
There are numerous reasons why lemon juice is perfect for treating dandruff. Some of them are:
- It balances the scalp’s pH levels
- Soothes irritation and itching
- Contains antioxidants and vitamins
- Cleanses any leftover chemical from soaps and shampoos
- Contains citric acid which gets rid of dandruff from the roots
- It has anti-fungal properties. If fungi are the culprit behind your dandruff, it will take care of them.
So, what’s the best way to use lemon juice to combat dandruff? Let’s take a look at some popular methods.
- Lemon juice from half a lemon
- One quarter cup of yogurt
- Mix the juice with the yogurt.
- Apply the mixture to your scalp and hair.
- Wait 20 minutes.
- Then rinse thoroughly and shampoo your hair.
- Alternatively, you can use only lemon juice.
- 4 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 mug of water
- Add the lemon juice to the water.
- Shampoo your hair.
- Apply the mixture to your scalp.
- Repeat this procedure regularly for better results.
You can also use only lemon juice.
- one lemon
- a knife
- Cut a lemon in half.
- Apply the juice directly on your hair.
- Wait around 10 minutes.
- Wash your hair with cool water
Before using lemon juice as a dandruff remedy, do a patch test on your skin. You must be sure that it won’t cause further irritation. Also don’t go outside after applying lemon juice on your scalp. It might bleach your hair.
#3 Fenugreek Seeds make your hair shiny
These seeds have been used for centuries for dealing with hair problems. Let’s see why. Fenugreek seeds contain protein and nicotinic. Both of these promote hair growth, and they are effective against hair thinning, baldness and itchiness.
Fenugreek seeds are also rich in lecithin. What’s that you ask? Lecithin nourishes and hydrates your hair thanks to its natural emulsifying properties. It also strengthens your roots, adds luster to your hair and makes it shiny.
The seeds also decrease the building of dead skin cells on your scalp, eliminate scalp infections and rejuvenate your tresses.
Moreover, they have anti-fungal properties. This makes them ideal for getting rid of dandruff caused by Malassezia fungi.
- two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds
- warm olive or coconut oil ( not necessarily)
- a bowl
- Let the seeds soak overnight to soften them.
- Then ground them in the bowl into a paste or cream.
- Apply the cream on your scalp.
- Wait at least 30 minutes.
- Thoroughly wash your hair.
If you wish, you can also:
- Add warm olive or coconut oil to the fenugreek paste
- Let it cool down.
- Apply it to your hair.
- Wait two or three hours before rinsing.
If you want to achieve fast results, use fenugreek paste at least thrice a week.
#4 Baking soda
Yes, that’s right. Baking soda isn’t only useful for making a cake or whitening your teeth. It’s also an effective dandruff remedy. Baking soda:
- Removes excess oil, dirt and dead cells thanks to its absorbing properties
- Removes excessive sebum from the hair.
- Exfoliate dead cells and grime
- Balances the scalp’s pH levels.
- Leaves the hair soft and shiny.
But how to make it work?
- Baking soda
- Mix baking soda with water to form a paste.
- Wash your hair with warm water.
- Massage the paste into your scalp.
- Be thorough and don’t miss a spot.
- Rinse your hair with warm water.
- You may use condition, but don’t shampoo your hair.
Alternatively, you may try this method.
- Baking soda
- Lemon juice
- A bowl
- Mix baking soda with lemon juice to make a paste
- Apply the paste to your scalp.
- Wait 5 minutes.
- Rinse with cool water.
- Repeat twice a week until dandruff disappears.
Use a minimal amount of baking soda. Don’t leave it for long on your scalp. At first, your hair might become dry, but with time it should regain moisture.
#5 Apple cider vinegar clears clogged hair follicles.
If you wonder how to reduce dandruff effectively, use apple vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has anti-fungus, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. It kills the fungus or bacteria that can cause dandruff. It restores the pH balance of the scalp, helps clogged hair follicles, and soothes an itching scalp.
Here’s how to use it for the best result.
- ½ cup of unfiltered apple cider vinegar ( ACV)
- ½ cup of water
- Tea tree oil – 5 drops
- Cotton balls
- A bowl
- Mix the ACV, the water, and the tea tree oil in the bowl.
- Soak a cotton ball in the mixture.
- Then apply it directly on your scalp and massage it for a couple of minutes.
- Wait around 30 minutes.
- Wash your hair with warm water.
- Then use shampoo.
- Repeat once a week to prevent it from appearing again.
Alternatively, you can skip the tea tree oil.
- apple cider vinegar
- cotton balls
- a bowl
- Soak a cotton ball in the apple cider vinegar.
- Apply it on directly on your scalp and massage it.
- Wrap a warm towel on your hair and head.
- Wait an hour and then rinse your hair.
- Don’t shampoo.
- Repeat at least twice a week for a month.
Apple cider vinegar might lead to dry hair or change in hair color. If you have open sores on your scalp, you’ll feel a burning sensation.
#6 Coconut oil removes dryness
Coconut oil has been a known remedy for skin problems since ages gone by. But what makes it such a potent anti-dandruff remover?
Coconut oil is a natural fungus killer. It’s also a great moisturizer and conditioner. This means that it will keep your scalp soft and itchy free.
- Two tablespoons of warm coconut oil
- Warm water
- A bowl
- A cap
- Measure two tablespoons of warm coconut oil in a bowl
- Apply the coconut oil to your scalp with your fingers.
- Massage for five minutes.
- Put a shower cap on your head for the night.
- In the morning, wash your hair with shampoo.
Choose an organic coconut oil. It has greater antifungal and antibacterial properties.
How to prevent dandruff?
Of course, it’s better never to get dandruff. Is there anything you can do to prevent it? Yes, there are a few simple things that you can do to avoid dandruff or itchy scalp.
- Brush your hair regularly to shed the dead skin. Brushing also spreads your hair’s natural oils evenly around your scalp. This is helpful for your dry tresses.
- Try to spend time outside. Sunlight improves the health of your scalp. But be careful - too much sun can damage your skin.
- Add foods rich in zinc and vitamin B in your diet
- Shampoo your head properly to prevent the building-up of dead cells.
- Choose your hair products carefully and watch out for signs of allergy
What do you think? Have you ever tried any of these home remedies for dandruff and itchy scalp? I hope that you’ll give them a chance to see for yourself how efficient they are.
Share your experience in the comments or tell us your own way of dealing with these annoying white flakes. And don’t forget to like the article and share it with your friends.