How to get rid of dandruff easily

The man checking his shoulder for dandruff

Men got enough problems to deal with on a daily basis when it comes to hair. Is it too greasy? Is it too dry? Is it too long? Is it too much hair loss? Then, of course, there’s always dandruff. Let’s be honest, no one wants dandruff.

What is dandruff?

Dandruff is a common skin condition and it’s not harmful. Dandruff is itchy and flaky condition of the skin on the head.

Let’s make one thing clear; dandruff is not a disease.

It is not transferrable by sharing your combs or hairbrushes (though you should not use combs belonging to others).  

The flakes are visible in the hair.  Sometimes the condition becomes bad enough to cause skin acne on your forehead and face. The skin becomes itchy. Flaky white dust falling on the shoulders can cause an embarrassing situation for most men. 

What causes dandruff?

Dandruff is dead skin cells of our scalp that appear as white flakes in our hair. 

Oily skin is more prone to dandruff. The oil from the scalp causes the shed skin cells to clump together. The oilier is your skin; the bigger are the flakes.

Though dandruff is not a sign of poor hygiene, if you do not wash your hair regularly, it can cause build-up and flaky skin.

Many factors predispose your scalp to dandruff. Too much dry or oily skin and sensitive scalp skin are the main reasons. Some skin conditions may also contribute to the situation. These include seborrheic dermatitis or eczema.

Sometimes dandruff is associated with fungal infection (ring worm). Stress and cold weather can make dandruff worse.

How to treat dandruff?

Dandruff is treatable. It is reversible in cases where it is secondary to some skin disease as fungal infection etc. 

Supplementing your diet with zinc and different B-Vitamins helps too. Omega-3-supplements are also beneficial for dandruff removal. Incorporating probiotics in the diet is another effective dietary add-on for treating the condition. 

But remember, every case is individual. What may work for one person might not be effective for another. Very rarely, you need to go to a skin specialist for dandruff treatment.

Here are some remedies for dandruff removal. 

Dandruff shampoos

Choose an anti-dandruff shampoo containing one of these ingredients. You can buy these shampoos from pharmacies or supermarkets.

  • ketoconazole
  • selenium sulfide
  • salicylic acid
  • sulfur
  • coal tar
  • zinc pyrithione 
  • tea tree oil

You may have to try different brands before selecting one right for you. Coal tar and tea tee oil are linked with allergic reactions, so be cautious while using shampoos with these ingredients.  

Dandruff Home remedies / Natural remedies

The good thing is you do not have to buy expensive shampoos for dandruff removal (if your condition is not complicated). You will find many ingredients in your kitchen cabinet that have proved effective at managing the flaky, dry, itchy scalp of dandruff.  

  • Massage your hair before shampooing helps. Use coconut, olive, or mustard oil. They all serve well to loosen dandruff, which becomes easy to remove with shampoo. Oil application helps to hydrate the scalp and reduces itchiness. Coconut oil is highly effective in this regard. 
  • Applying aloe vera on your scalp before shampoo is a good remedy. It removes the flaky deposits and soothes the skin of the scalp because of its anti-inflammatory actions. 
  • Apple cider vinegar is known for its many health benefits. It also helps dandruff removal. Mix quarter cup each of apple cider vinegar and water. Pour it over the scalp. Wait for 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Apple cider vinegar helps to balance the scalp pH levels. Its acidity helps skin cells to shed fast. It is an effective remedy against dandruff that occurs due to fungal infections. 
  • Sprinkle some baking soda on your scalp before shampoo. Wait for a few minutes before washing your hair. It is an easy, convenient, yet effective home-based remedy for dandruff removal. Baking soda has antifungal properties that help relieve dandruff due to this factor.
  • Take two tablespoons of lemon juice and rub it on your scalp. Wait for a few minutes before rinsing. Before shampooing, pour a mixture of one teaspoon of lemon juice with a cup of water on to your scalp. This home-based dandruff remedy should only be used if your skin is not infected or broken.
  • Tea tree oil works in the same way as lemon juice, and its application is also the same as lemon juice. If you feel any signs of irritation, wash immediately. Tea tree oil targets the specific strain of fungus that causes seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. For sensitive skins, it is used best as a diluted solution with coconut oil. 
  • Did you know aspirin could help dandruff removal besides helping your headaches? It is because of its salicylic acid content, which is an anti-dandruff element. Crush two aspirins and mix the powder in your shampoo. Apply shampoo and wait for a few minutes before rinsing off. You can also use a shampoo containing salicylic acid. According to a research, salicylic acid shampoos were found as effective as prescription medicine in treating dandruff. 

Take home message

Dandruff is frustrating but manageable and, in some cases, even reversible. You can opt for many medicated and non-medicated shampoos. Many alternate home-based dandruff remedies work against dandruff.

Many of them have scientific backing for their effectiveness. Use them on their own or couple it with dandruff shampoos for an aggressive approach. Always consult a skin specialist if the condition worsens or does not get better with time.

The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Paurush, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.