We have put together a list of causes and some great home remedies to help you reduce your symptoms in just a few short weeks with items you probably already own.
How To Get Rid Of Dandruff
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Dandruff affects about half of the population. It’s a serious issue that can be caused by a few different underlying problems in your body. Itchy scalp and flakes of skin are the most common signs of dandruff, but it can also cause symptoms like greasy spots on the scalp or tingling skin.
There are a few different causes of dandruff, all of which underlie different issues you may experience either environmentally or physically. Even genetics can play a role, although less so than the other causes.
Most often, dandruff is caused by seborrheic dermatitis, which researchers believe is related to another common cause of dandruff: Malassezia. Malassezia is a fungus in the yeast family that naturally occurs on the scalp, but can cause issues when it overgrows. Yellow or white greasy flakes characterize seborrheic dermatitis.
Other causes of dandruff include dry skin, allergic reactions or sensitivities to cosmetics, and occasionally eczema or psoriasis. Each of these underlying causes will have different cures, but consistency is key no matter what. Inconsistent treatment for chronic dandruff will get you nowhere fast.
Home Remedies for Dandruff Relief
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Aside from over-the-counter shampoos that you can get at the drug or grocery store, the most common treatments for dandruff are actually home remedies. Doctors recommend trying a few home treatments before coming in to see them for a high powered steroid or antifungal.
There are a wide variety of dandruff treatments that you can make in your home with products that you probably already own, or that are easily accessible at your local drug or health food store. We will look at the following treatments to see how they can help and learn how to get rid of dandruff.
- Tea tree essential oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Stress reduction
- Water intake
Researchers and homemakers alike love tea tree oil for its immense benefits, and recent findings have shown that it is incredibly effective in combating dandruff. Scientists found that tea tree oil was effective in fighting every type of Malassezia that it was exposed to, even in shampoos that contain only 5% tea tree oil.
Tea tree essential oil
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You can utilize tea tree oil in a few different ways. First, you could add a few drops to the shampoo you already use. Somewhere around six drops should do the trick. If you’d like to utilize carrier oil like coconut oil with your tea tree oil instead of shampoo, the ratio to use is about six drops tea tree to every half cup of a carrier.
The bonus of using coconut oil as a carrier is it can combat yet another cause of dandruff, which is dry skin. Coconut oil prevents dryness, which can cause additional itching and worsen dandruff symptoms. So using tea tree and coconut oils in combination can help to attach dandruff from both sides.
Apple Cider Vinegar
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Oh, the ever powerful ACV! Doctors, nutritionists, dermatologists, and naturopaths all swear by it to help treat a variety of ailments, including dandruff. Apple cider vinegar is great because it can actually change the pH of your scalp, which can make it more difficult for yeast to overgrow there.
Apple cider vinegar also contains malic acid, which can help to get rid of excess skin cells. So basically it can fight dandruff in two ways, by balancing your pH to stop the intrusion of the fungus that causes it, and getting rid of dead skin faster to lessen that frustrating itch. It’s a double-whammy!
To use this remedy, you can either mix one part water with one part ACV and spray directly onto hair, allowing it to set for at least an hour or two before washing off normally, or you can add it to your shampoo just like you would with tea tree oil. Experts recommend using the water spray treatment at least twice a week.
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The latest and greatest in health and wellness revolves around gut health and how it affects the rest of the body. One way to improve gut health is through consuming more probiotic-rich foods or to take a high-quality probiotic supplement.
Probiotics can be used to help reduce dandruff and the symptoms associated with it by controlling your body’s natural yeast production and lowering inflammation. One study done in Hungary showed that the use of probiotics reduced dandruff symptoms by 57% overall by regulating the immune function of the skin.
Probiotics can also reduce the symptoms of eczema and dermatitis, which can be underlying causes of dandruff, so probiotics can hit dandruff from several angles if used regularly.
To garner the benefits of probiotics, you’ll simply need to consume them regularly. Probiotic-rich foods include naturally fermented vegetables, yogurt, milk or water kefir, and kombucha. You can also take probiotic supplements, preferably those that contain Lactobacillus and Acidophilus strains.
Up Your Omega-3 Intake
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Omega-3 fatty acids are great for you for a number of reasons, but they may specifically be helpful in combating the causes of dandruff. They can help to hydrate your skin from the inside out, while also helping to heal your damaged skin and manage oil production.
Omega-3s can also help to reduce inflammation, which many doctors believe causes exaggerated dandruff and itching. There hasn’t been much research on how omega-3s directly affect dandruff, but they seem to bring about good results in reducing symptoms when used regularly.
To utilize the benefits of omega-3s, not only on your dandruff symptoms, but also on your heart and lung health, you will want to eat foods rich in omega-3s, and you may also want to think about adding a high-quality supplement. Regulating your omega-3 intake will help with symptoms over time.
Another major cause of dandruff is stress. Although it isn’t talked about as often, since it’s much more difficult to combat than many of the other causes on our list, stress can really aggravate your symptoms. Stress isn’t the direct cause of dandruff, but a piece of the puzzle that needs to be eliminated to recover fully.
There are plenty of stress reduction exercises out there for you to try. Yoga, meditation, and aromatherapy are just a few options you can try to remove the stress from your life. If those aren’t up your alley, you can try working out, journaling, going on solo walks, or getting a message.
Self-care is extremely important, so if you are finding it difficult to regulate your stress on your own, you may want to consider seeing a therapist. Stress can not only affect your dandruff, but it also has many negative results throughout your body and mind, so it’s important to address your stress levels while trying to alleviate dandruff.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
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Although there are differences between dry scalp and dandruff, keeping hydrated will help to alleviate the symptoms of both. Most Americans aren’t drinking enough water daily. Even those of us who think we are often don’t account for the dehydrating effects of our lifestyles or other beverage choices.
Although the exact amount of whatever you need each day differs from person to person based on age, sex, level of physical activity, and more, the general recommendation is more than you’d think. The Institute of Medicine recommends drinking at least 101 ounces of water daily for men and 74 ounces for women.
Those recommendations are well over the well-known “eight cups per day” rule that has been around for years. For individuals who suffer from dry skin already, or those who live in dry climates, you may want to increase your water intake even more.
The Bottom Line
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Although there are plenty of different factors that can contribute to your dandruff, there are just as many home remedies available to help you relieve the worst symptoms, from simple changes like upping your intake of water and Omega-3s to more complicated things like applying essential oils to your scalp twice a week.
We have given you just a few of the best ways to improve your symptoms over time, but remember that consistency is key in any good dandruff reduction routine. If you decide to try one of these techniques, be sure to try it for at least a month of regular use before deciding its effectiveness.
Doctors generally recommend trying home remedies before heading into a clinic for a more powerful medicine or heading to the drug store for pricey dandruff reducing shampoos, so if the first remedy you try doesn’t work for you, try another.
There is something here for everyone and every symptom, but there are plenty of additional recommendations available with a quick Google search if you’re not up for trying one of our ideas. Of all of the ideas above, the use of tea tree oil is our number one recommendation, and the best researched.
Go ahead and give one or two of these ideas a try, and we are sure you’ll be amazed at the results you see in just a few weeks! Dandruff can be a frustrating and embarrassing thing, but with just a few items from around your home, you can go back to wearing black again with confidence.