How to Get Rid of Dandruff

Written by on January 25, 2023

Dandruff is a specific form of seborrheic dermatitis that is confined to the scalp.  Many factors contribute to this problem such as excessively dry or oily scalp, preexisting inflammatory skin disorders, poor hair and scalp hygiene, and microbial overgrowth on the scalp, to name a few.

natural remedies for dandruff

However, the primary underlying etiology of dandruff is the overgrowth of a type of yeast called Malassezia, which lives naturally on your scalp but triggers a fungal infection if allowed to overgrow.

Dandruff can reflect poorly on your appearance and hygiene, which can affect your confidence. Plus, it can make your scalp perpetually itchy and irritated, which can be quite bothersome.


Home Remedies to Treat Dandruff

The following remedies can help in the management of mild or early-stage dandruff, but they may not be very effective for severe cases. You must use them consistently for several weeks to see results.

Caution: Do a patch test before trying any of the remedies to prevent allergic reactions.

1. Neem and coconut oil

neem and coconut oil usage can help in dandruff prevention

Neem possesses antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties,  both of which can help in the treatment of dandruff. This healing ingredient not only limits the yeast overgrowth responsible for dandruff but also reduces the itching and redness caused by it.


How to use:

  • You can prepare a neem-based hair mask by grinding 10–20 neem leaves with coconut oil until they form a thick paste. You can replace coconut oil with henna and water. This hair mask works especially well during the summer months.
  • You can also prepare a hair rinse by boiling some neem leaves for 10–15 minutes and then filtering out the liquid into a container. Let it cool down and use it to wash your hair multiple times after shampooing.

2. Tea tree essential oil and oatmeal

Tea tree oil contains compounds such as terpinen-4-ol that give it significant antimicrobial properties. It even works as an effective antifungal agent  against yeast species that give rise to scalp infections such as dandruff.

How to use:

  • Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with 1–2 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil, and use this oil blend to massage your hair roots and scalp.
  • You can also add a few drops of the above oil blend to your other DIY remedies or your shampoos and conditioners.
  • If you have dry scalp, prepare a mask by mixing 2 tablespoons of oatmeal and just enough water to make a smooth, thick paste and then stirring in few drops of tea tree oil.

Note: You can also try other essential oils to combat dandruff such as lemongrass essential oil, sweet basil essential oil, clove essential oil, ginger oil, and neem oil.

3. Fenugreek, hibiscus, and yogurt

Fenugreek inhibits the proliferation of Malassezia, which naturally resides on the scalp but can give rise to dandruff if allowed to overgrow.

How to use:

  1. Take 1 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in a cup of water, and let them soak overnight to soften.
  2. Put the softened fenugreek seeds in a grinder along with a few hibiscus leaves. You can add ½ cup of yogurt to the mix if you please.
  3. Blend the ingredients until you get a smooth, consistent paste.

4. Yogurt, lemon, and honey mask

yogurt, lemon, and honey mask for dandruff control

Yogurt owes its antifungal properties to the presence of lactic acid bacteria in it.

How to use:

Mix 2 tablespoons of fresh unflavored/unsweetened yogurt with 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to make a smooth paste.

5. Rice water rinse

Rice water contains selenium, which curbs the growth of dandruff-causing yeast Malassezia on your scalp.

How to use:

  • Use rice water to rinse your hair and scalp after shampooing. Adding some neem water to it may help deliver better results.
  • Alternatively, you can use rice water to prepare any of your DIY antidandruff scalp and hair mask.

6. Aloe vera gel, lemon, and honey

Aloe vera gel is commonly used to treat symptoms of skin inflammation such as scaling, itchiness, and dryness,  which are symptoms of dandruff. So, you can use this medicinal gel to soothe the scalp discomfort caused by dandruff.

How to use:

  • Simply extract the gel from a freshly cut aloe vera leaf, gently massage it in your scalp, and apply it all over your hair. Let it dry and then wash it off.
  • You can also combine the healing goodness of both aloe gel and honey in the form of a hair and scalp mask. Mix 4 tablespoons of aloe gel with 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to form a paste.

7. Green tea hair and scalp rinse

Green tea is full of phenolic compounds called catechins that exhibit strong antioxidant activity, which can help curb fungal overgrowth and the scalp inflammation associated with dandruff.

How to use:

  • Mix 4–5 drops of tea tree or peppermint essential oil in ½ cup of green tea, and use this solution to rinse your scalp and hair.
  • If you want a mask instead of a rinse, just mix some oatmeal powder into the solution to thicken its consistency. Oatmeal is credited with moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties, besides being a gentle scrub that exfoliates the dead skin flakes from your scalp.

Current track