Dandruff is a common skin condition and is characterized by a flaky skin, redness, and itchiness. It is caused by the overgrowth of the skin’s normal skin cells, called sebaceous glands. This skin condision is easily treated and does not cause any serious health problems.
When it comes to your hair, you have enough challenges to deal with on a daily basis. Is it overly greasy, too dry, too flat, too long, or too wavy?
And, of course, there’s the terrible dandruff. The little, white flakes that stay on your head are difficult to overlook. However, while the ailment is prevalent, it can also be difficult to cure.
Look no further if you’re trying to discover out how to get rid of dandruff. We consulted with experts to help us narrow down the best solutions to the vexing situation.
What exactly is dandruff?
Dandruff is a rather common scalp problem. It produces itchy scalp skin, which is followed by flakes of dead skin. According to the Journal of Clinical and Investigative Dermatology, it normally begins around adolescence and ends around the age of 50.
Your skin replaces itself constantly, and old cells are pushed outside, where they die and peel off. While these flakes are normally little and invisible, if you have dandruff, your skin cells may begin to replace more quickly than the regular cycle. As a result, the skin sheds in greasy, bigger clumps that may be seen.
The intensity of dandruff varies from case to case; some cases are less aggressive and easier to cure, while others may require a dermatologist-approved medicated therapy.
What really causes dandruff?
“The most prevalent cause of dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis, also known as seborrhea,” according to expert esthetician Julie Matsushima.
Dry skin, sensitivity to particular hair products, and skin diseases such as eczema or psoriasis can all make you more prone to dandruff. Malassezia, a widespread fungus, is also thought to cause dandruff.
“Malassezia stimulates skin cell proliferation, and these additional skin cells die and flake off,” stated Matsushima.
Dandruff might also intensify if you are worried or ill. Dandruff can be triggered or worsened by cold temperatures. According to Matsushima, diet may also play a role, since a lack of vitamin B or zinc can cause dandruff.
Believe it or not, cleanliness might have an impact on your chances of having dandruff.
“The longer you go without washing, the flakier your scalp might get,” says Dr. Alan Parks, the founder of DermWarehouse and a board-certified dermatologist.
If you’re tempted to join the “no poo” trend, bear in mind that washing your hair less regularly might cause the oils and skin cells on your scalp to accumulate, resulting in obvious dandruff.
Shampooing too frequently, on the other hand, can dry out your scalp and cause dandruff, according to Parks, so it’s all about finding that happy medium that keeps your hair and scalp hydrated and flake-free.
Though dandruff may affect everyone, it is more common in men than in women.
What are the indications of dandruff?
Itchy scalp is a common symptom of dandruff. Red and oily areas, as well as a tingling sensation on the skin, may also emerge. Your scalp may also experience dryness, stiffness, or inflammation.
“Overall, dandruff decreases in warmer weather,” Matsushima explained. “Dandruff can also cause puffy or irritated scalp.” If this happens, you should also seek medical treatment.”
Dandruff can also appear in your brows, chest hair, groin, and armpits.
Though there are several OTC medicines available to treat dandruff, natural solutions are frequently just as effective.
Here are some simple home methods for getting rid of dandruff easily.
Tea tree essential oil
Tea tree oil has traditionally been used to treat acne and psoriasis.
It has also been shown to have potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, which may help treat dandruff symptoms.
According to one earlier study, tea tree oil is efficient in combating the particular strain of fungus that causes both seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.
Another study discovered that putting tea tree oil-soaked placental tissue to the skin was more successful than a prescription antifungal medication in treating sores caused by this fungus.
Furthermore, in a previous trial, 126 participants with dandruff used a shampoo containing either 5% tea tree oil or a placebo on a regular basis. In comparison to the placebo, tea tree oil reduced the intensity of symptoms by 41% after 4 weeks and improved greasiness and itching.
More high-quality research is still required.
Tea tree oil may also cause discomfort in those with sensitive skin. As a result, it’s advisable to dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut oil before applying it straight to your skin.
The oil of coconut
Coconut oil, well-known for its numerous health advantages, is also utilized as a natural dandruff treatment.
It may act by increasing skin moisture and avoiding dryness, both of which can aggravate dandruff.
According to some studies, when used as a moisturizer, coconut oil may be just as efficient as mineral oil in enhancing skin moisture.
Other study shows that coconut oil might help cure eczema, a skin disease that can cause dandruff.
An older, 8-week trial discovered that applying coconut oil to the skin decreased symptoms of atopic dermatitis (a kind of eczema characterized by itching and irritation) by 68%.
Applying coconut oil to the scalp improved the scalp microbiota and specific dandruff indicators in a 12-week trial of 140 women.
In certain test-tube investigations, coconut oil and its components have also been found to have antibacterial qualities, however researchers have yet to investigate the impact on the specific strain of fungus that causes dandruff.
Aloe vera gel
Aloe vera is a succulent that is frequently used in skin care products such as ointments, cosmetics, and lotions.
It may help cure skin diseases such as burns, psoriasis, and cold sores when administered to the skin.
According to one study, aloe vera’s antibacterial and antifungal qualities may help prevent dandruff.
Similarly, some in vitro studies indicate that aloe vera may be beneficial against a variety of fungi and may aid in the treatment of certain fungal infections.
Aloe vera has also been shown in animal experiments to decrease inflammation, which may alleviate symptoms.
Despite these encouraging findings, more research is required.
Vinegar made from apple cider
Apple cider vinegar has been linked to a number of health advantages and is frequently used as a natural dandruff treatment.
This is because the acidity of the vinegar is said to encourage the shedding of dead skin cells on your scalp. Apple cider vinegar is also supposed to regulate your skin’s pH, reducing fungal development and so combating dandruff.
However, no research have been conducted to back up these claims. Many of the claimed advantages of apple cider vinegar for dandruff are based on hearsay.
In reality, one tiny research of 22 participants discovered that applying diluted apple cider vinegar topically to the skin did not improve eczema or skin barrier integrity – and even increased skin irritation.
Nonetheless, in-vitro studies reveal that apple cider vinegar and its constituents may inhibit the growth of certain forms of fungus.
If you want to experiment with apple cider vinegar, mix a few teaspoons into your shampoo or blend it with essential oils and spritz straight into your hair.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential in your body.
They not only form the cell membranes that enclose your cells, but they are also essential for the proper functioning of your heart, immune system, and lungs.
Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids are essential for skin health. They aid in the management of oil production and hydration, the promotion of wound healing, and the prevention of premature aging.
A lack of omega-3 fatty acids can result in a variety of symptoms such as dry hair, dry skin, and even dandruff.
Although additional study is needed, omega-3 fatty acids may decrease inflammation, alleviating irritation and dandruff symptoms.
Fatty fish such as salmon, trout, and mackerel are high in omega-3 fatty acids. You can also take a fish oil supplement or eat more omega-3-rich foods like flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts.
Probiotics are helpful microorganisms that have been linked to a variety of health advantages such as allergy relief, decreased cholesterol levels, and enhanced weight reduction.
These bacteria may also boost immunological function, assisting your body in fighting the fungal infections that cause dandruff.
In fact, one research found that consuming probiotics for 56 days decreased the severity of dandruff in 60 persons.
Probiotics have also been found to aid in the treatment and prevention of skin disorders including eczema and dermatitis, particularly in newborns and children.
Probiotic supplements are commonly accessible for a quick and handy dosing. They can also be present in kombucha, kimchi, tempeh, sauerkraut, and natto, among other fermented foods.
Baking soda is a quick, easy, and commonly accessible dandruff treatment.
It’s said to work as a mild exfoliator, removing dead skin cells and reducing scaling and irritation. It also contains antifungal qualities that may aid in the treatment of dandruff.
An prior test-tube investigation indicated that baking soda totally prevented fungal growth in 79 percent of specimens after 7 days on some of the most prevalent strains of fungus that cause skin diseases.
Another older study examined the effects of baking soda on 31 psoriasis patients. After only three weeks, treatment with baking soda baths greatly decreased itching and irritation.
More research is needed, however, because one study discovered that baking soda had no effect on psoriasis, skin moisture, or skin redness.
Apply baking soda immediately to wet hair and massage it into your scalp for optimum results. Allow it to remain for 1–2 minutes before washing your hair as usual.
If home cures are ineffective,
Although there are various home cures for dandruff, extra treatment may be required in some circumstances.
Many over-the-counter medicated shampoos and scalp treatments contain antifungal or antibacterial chemicals that are intended to reduce dandruff.
Whether these items do not work after 2–3 weeks, you should see a dermatologist to see if alternative prescription shampoos or drugs will be helpful.
Topical antifungal medicines, corticosteroids, and immunomodulators are frequently prescribed by healthcare experts to treat dandruff and other skin disorders such as psoriasis and dermatitis.
Although dandruff may be a challenging disease to treat, there are a number of natural therapies that can help lessen symptoms and bring relief.
When you notice flakes, try a couple of the natural solutions listed above to maintain scalp health and naturally reduce dandruff.
Whether these methods do not give long-term relief, see a dermatologist to see if more treatment choices are required.