DIY: Simple Natural Home Remedy for Dandruff
There’s a lot of things you can try for treating your dandruff at home without medicated shampoos, etc. Some people use vinegar, baking soda, etc., trust me, I have tried them all. I’m not ashamed to say that I am often afflicted with dandruff, even though I make my own shampoo and conditioner and consider myself a hair care guru.
First, it’s important to understand why you have dandruff in the first place. There are a number of factors that can contribute to dandruff, you may only have one contributing factor, or maybe even a number of them. Dandruff can be caused by a dry itchy scalp, but it can also be caused by an oily itchy scalp. In the past, I have probably had dandruff for every reason. A regular dry itchy scalp is probably the quickest and easiest to cure, while an oily itchy scalp can be a little more frustrating.
In the case of the dry scalp, you might be the type that likes to wash your hair every single day. No matter what shampoo you use, whether it is one of ours (which is a gentler choice) or someone else’s, you need to try to curb your hair washing. If your scalp is dry you are removing your scalp’s natural oils too frequently. Washing your hair every single day is over doing it, especially if you have long hair that you want to keep growing and keep healthy. I’m not saying you should walk around with greasy hair, but perhaps if you remove one of your hair washings a week, you may see better results.
The itchy oily scalp doesn’t seem to make sense since if you have natural oils in your hair, why would you have flakes? Well, there’s more to it. Don’t freak out, but this is often an indication of a yeast-like fungus (Malassezia globosa) that thrives on the scalp and feeds on your scalp oils! It sounds terrifying, but it is very very common and is the main cause of dandruff, so don’t feel bad about it. You just want to make your scalp a little less susceptible to this fungus. Having wet hair for an extended period of time can make your scalp more habitable for this yeast-like fungus, so try not to sleep on wet hair.
There are a few other causes for dandruff, so you still may not be in the categories above. If you wash your hair too much your scalp might not respond by drying out like above, but instead it may respond by producing more oily sebum to make up for the over-washing. Or you might be producing skin cells too rapidly, where the life cycle of the skin on your scalp is too short, producing new skin faster than the old can properly be removed. Also, I find that those with very thick hair and dense roots can suffer from dandruff, since it is difficult for the dead skin to wiggle out through the hair follicles, and if you have textured/curly hair this is more likely.
I found that my remedy works well with all of the above contributing factors.
What you need:
-A 1/2 cup of a hydrating oil, olive oil seems to be the best, but if you want to be creative or you need to work with what you have in the kitchen, you can use other oils.
-A tablespoon of tea tree essential oil
-A squeeze dispense bottle, or something that can make it easier for your to get the mixture directly on your scalp.
Add the oils to the bottle and shake it up to evenly mix them.
It may seem counter-intuitive to use oil on an oily scalp, but this tea tree and oil solution will make the dead skin lift up and wash out. The tea tree oil is also a natural fungicide, so it is going to help kill that yeasty Malassezia globosa if you are afflicted with that. You can buy tea tree oil at the health store and often grocery stores carry it near their pharmacy, medicine, or personal care section.
We want to evening distribute the olive oil tea tree mixture on your scalp. You don’t want to completely saturate your hair, although it would probably give it a good shine. We just want to make sure that your scalp gets most of this concoction.
Once you have it all on your scalp, take your finger tips and massage the mixture into your scalp. Don’t use your fingernails, since you can actually damage your hair follicles. I actually did that once while washing my hair as a frustrated teenager with dandruff, I ended up losing a lot of hair!
For best results you want to leave this mixture on your scalp for about an hour, so find something to do while you wait. To avoid a mess you can wrap some plastic wrap around your head, or just drape an old towel around your neck.
After about an hour has passed you can wash it out. It may take a few shampoos to get rid of the heavy oily feeling on your root shafts, but you’ve just reduced your dandruff big time.
Notes: You might find 1/2 cup of oil to be a lot, so if you only use part of it, just cap your squeeze bottle and save what is left for later.
Why does this work?
As I mentioned above, if you have Malassezia globosa, the tea tree oil is a natural fungicide that will kill living fungus on your scalp. You may have to repeat this once a month, since environmental and chemical factors make your scalp susceptible, but you can definitely fight back. I recommend washing your pillows after your treatment so you do not reintroduce it back to your scalp. And as I said before, don’t sleep with wet hair!
If you have a dry scalp, overactive skin cells, dense follicles, or a combination, the olive oil in this treatment will help soften and remove the dead skin on your scalp and it will hydrate the new skin beneath, delaying your next dandruff affliction. The rich As some of you may know, archaeology was my main study in college; I learned that the ancient Greeks and Romans would regularly wash themselves with olive oil. They would apply generous amount onto their skin (sometimes with sand for exfoliation), and then they would use a strigil to gently scrape the oil off of their skin, which would remove dead skin and dirt, while moisturizing the skin beneath.
I bet he didn’t have dandruff…
If you still see a few flakes after this treatment, don’t be disheartened. You have probably drastically reduced your dandruff. Make it a monthly or bi-monthly routine and you won’t have to be self-conscious about your scalp again.