Dandruff is an annoying and sometimes embarrassing condition that mainly affects the scalp. It may be a result of a dry scalp, or other skin conditions or diseases like psoriasis, eczema, or an overgrowth of malassezia – a yeast-like fungus.
Most of the anti-dandruff products contain toxic ingredients, which may cause skin and eye irritation, redness, allergic reactions or even hair loss. Some of them have even been found to disrupt the endocrine, cardiovascular and reproductive systems.
The good news is, there are some homemade remedies that are not only much cheaper but come without the negative side-effects. Plus, most of the ingredients needed to make them might already be in your kitchen.
Tea tree oil
This essential oil is made by steam distillation of the leaves of a plant called melaleuca alternifolia, originating from Australia. Its antibacterial and antifungal properties made it one of the best remedies when it comes to dandruff. One study has shown that if you use a shampoo with just 5 percent tea tree oil, you’ll significantly improve the severity of dandruff.
All you need to do is add about 10 drops of tea tree oil per eight ounces of your hair shampoo and leave it on your scalp for some time, in order to soak up the benefits. Afterward, wash your hair like you normally would.
Besides containing antifungal properties, coconut oil is also an effective moisturizer, meaning it can kill the fungus while at the same time preventing dryness. Thanks to its soothing effect, it can help to relieve the itch and irritation.
To use this remedy, take two tablespoons of coconut oil (the quantity may vary depending on the length of your hair) and warm it until it liquifies. With your fingers, apply this warm oil throughout your hair, start from the roots and going all the way to the ends.
Massage your scalp and hair with the oil for at least 5 minutes and then place a shower cap over your hair to let it work overnight. When you get up in the morning, wash your hair as you normally would.
Acid cider vinegar
The acidic content of apple cider vinegar actually changes the PH of the scalp, making it a less suitable environment for the yeast to grow.
After you’ve washed your hair with your hair shampoo, apply a solution made up of mixed equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water. Massage your scalp while applying it and allow it to sit for a minimum of 15 minutes before rinsing.
Aloe vera has a cooling effect, helps to clean the scalp and balances the scalp’s pH. It’s a better option to use the plant itself since it’s much cheaper and much more effective than using a shampoo that contains aloe vera. Once you purchase your own plant, cut its leaves lengthwise with a knife.
Use a spoon to extract the gel oozing from inside of the leaf and put it into a container. Water your head, and then apply the gel onto your scalp while massaging it gently. When you’re finished, put a towel on your head and leave it for about 30 minutes before washing your hair.
The benefits of olive oil can be experienced both when being ingested as a food ingredient, and when being applied to the skin and the scalp. It moisturizes the scalp, has antibacterial and antifungal properties and can lessen the damage done by hair care products.
To treat your scalp with it, warm a half of cup of organic olive oil, use your finger to make sure it’s not too hot for your head.
Apply it on your scalp, massage it in and work through the hair with your fingers. Cover your hair with a towel or a shower cap and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, or you can leave it overnight for a stronger effect. After removing the cap or the towel, wash your hair as you normally would.