11 Natural Remedies For Dandruff

11 Natural Remedies For Dandruff

Those white spots on your shirt are a no-no – is there anything more irritating than dandruff?

Not only does it give you other symptoms you don’t want to have to deal with, like an itchy scalp, but it also makes you feel less confident than you should be, especially on important days when you want to look and feel your best.

What causes dandruff?

There are different factors that can cause dandruff, such as if you have oily skin on your scalp, if you don’t shampoo your hair enough as this can lead to the accumulation of skin cells, and if you use grooming products that irritate the scalp.

If you suspect one or more of the above is causing your dandruff, it’s time to eliminate it once and for all so you can feel great about your hair.

However, you don’t have to resort to hair products to remove dandruff because natural remedies can be just as effective, while being kinder to your delicate scalp.

Here’s your guide to the best natural remedies for dandruff and what you need to know about this scalp condition that can make you feel like you’re turning heads for all the wrong reasons.

How Does Dandruff Occur?

man with dandruff in head

The skin all over your body, including on your scalp, replaces itself continuously.

Old cells are pushed to the surface where they die and flake off. You usually won’t even see these flakes, but when you have dandruff the skin cells are replacing themselves faster than in the normal skin cycle, which makes them more noticeable.

What happens is that you see these skin cells shed on your clothing. Sometimes they’re larger, oily flakes of dandruff that can also lead to skin symptoms such as irritation.

Sometimes fungus can also be to blame for why you’re suffering from dandruff. A fungus called Malassezia can trigger dandruff but interestingly it usually lives on your scalp without causing any problems.

In some people, this fungus can be in a larger quantity, which results in the skin cells of the scalp to multiply faster than they usually would.

Usually, dandruff begins with itchiness, but you might also notice redness on your scalp or even tingling sensations. If you’re battling with dandruff, or feel that it’s about to start, know that there are effective natural remedies you can try right now to send it packing.

Here’s a rundown of some popular ones.

Wash Your Hair More Regularly

wash hair more often

One of the easiest things to try when you notice dandruff is to increase the amount of times that you wash your hair on a weekly basis.

Although you might reach for dry shampoo regularly to prevent having to wash your hair so much, this is a no-no because not washing your hair often can result in a build-up of your hair’s natural oils. These accumulate and cause flakiness.

So, if you’re only washing your hair once or twice a week, increase it to once every second day and you might notice a difference in your scalp health.

When washing your hair, it’s also advised to go easy on the conditioner. Although you want to finish off your hair-washing routine with a conditioner to keep your hair silky-smooth, never apply this product directly to your scalp.

You should leave at least an inch from your scalp before applying your hair conditioner to prevent scalp irritation. Finally, always make sure you rinse shampoo and conditioner out of your hair properly to prevent product build-up that can lead to irritation and dryness.

Washing your hair on a regular basis but still finding dandruff’s a problem? Try one or more of these natural home remedies.

Apply Tea Tree Oil To Your Scalp

tea tree oil is one of natural remedies for dandruff

Tea tree oil is usually spoken about when it comes to treating skin breakouts, but since it’s both anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory it’s an effective dandruff treatment.

Science backs it up! A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology found that tea tree oil treats fungus that can be a culprit of both seborrheic dermatitis as well as dandruff, so it’s worth trying.

Here’s how: Apply some tea tree oil to your scalp. If you have sensitive skin it’s a good idea to dilute the tree tea oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, before it makes contact with your skin.

Make A Coconut Oil Scalp Treatment

Not a fan of tea tree oil?

Try coconut oil instead. Research has found that coconut extracts can decrease inflammation and even reduce atopic dermatitis symptoms, as Medical News Daily reports.

So, get your hands on some coconut oil and apply it to your scalp before washing it with shampoo and water. You can also find shampoo products that contain coconut oil.

Eat More Omega-3s

White rice with salmon and avocado

It’s not just topical ingredients that can benefit your crowning glory, but what you eat on a regular basis that can ensure greater hair health.

Omega-3s, those fatty acids that are always talked about for the prevention of heart problems, can also be beneficial to send your dandruff packing.

When your body doesn’t get enough omega-3s from your diet, research (such as that published in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America) has found that it can lead to many symptoms, including dry skin and dry hair. Make sure you get enough of these essential acids!

Fatty fish, such as salmon, are a great source of omega-3s. If you’re vegan, you can take an omega-3 supplement to give you enough of this valuable nutrient.

Add Baking Soda To Your Shampoo

Baking soda has been gaining popularity as a DIY skincare and cleaning ingredient, but you can also benefit from it if you suffer from dandruff.

Since it exfoliates the skin well, it can be excellent to apply to your scalp. Exfoliating your skin is a must to do regularly because it prevents dead skin cells from building up and causing flakes, and you should do it regularly on your scalp as well as the rest of your body.

Add a bit of baking soda to your shampoo so that you can make the most of this gentle exfoliating ingredient.

Just a note of caution: use baking soda sparingly as too much of it can remove your hair’s natural oils, the ones it needs to remain silky and hydrated.

This is also why it’s a good idea to add it to your shampoo instead of massaging it directly into your scalp.

Crush Some Aspirin

pills on table

Instead of using anti-dandruff shampoos, you can turn to trusty aspirin. The reason? Both contain salicylic acid that helps to exfoliate your scalp to prevent the accumulation of dead, oily skin cells.

Take two aspirin tablets and crush them up. Add them to about a penny-sized amount of your daily shampoo before you wash your hair.

To get the most out of this anti-dandruff mixture, rub it over your scalp and leave it to work for about 10 minutes. Then rinse it out well and shampoo your hair as you usually would.

Reduce Your Stress

You might wonder what your stress levels have to do with dandruff, but the two are connected. If you’ve ever experienced dandruff or an itchy scalp when you’re more stressed than usual, then you’ll know this is true.

When you’re stressed, those feelings can intensify symptoms you can experience with dandruff, such as itchiness and dryness.

In addition, when you’re anxious or stressed your body produces more hormones, such as cortisol, that prevent the body from holding onto water. This is why your skin becomes dry.

Since being stressed out for long periods of time can lead to a weakened immune system, this makes it more difficult for your body to fight off fungal infections, as Healthline reports.

So, try to find ways to relax and destress on a daily basis, whether that involves taking walks in nature, engaging in a vigorous sports game after work, or spending time with your mates. 

Try Aloe Vera

aloe vera plant and gel on wooden spoon and in bowl

Aloe vera is another DIY dandruff remedy, but it’s especially good to try if you experience lots of itchiness. Since it’s so soothing, aloe vera applied to the scalp can help to soothe irritated skin.

It’s also antibacterial and antifungal, so it’s worth purchasing aloe vera gel from your local pharmacy or supermarket and trying it out.

Create A Green Tea Hair Wash

While you might enjoy drinking green tea once in a while, it’s also a great dandruff eliminator.

However, mix it with peppermint essential oil to make it even more effective and then massage the mixture into your scalp for a few minutes. Rinse it off and wash your hair as usual.

The reason why green tea and peppermint oil are so good for dandruff is that they both have antimicrobial properties. In addition, they’re both antioxidants to keep your hair and scalp healthy in general, so it’s worth using them regularly.

Reach For Lemons

benefits of lemons and coconut oil

Don’t have green tea or peppermint essential oil in the house?

No problem – reach for lemons. Squeeze a lemon so that you get two tablespoons of lemon juice out of it. Massage the juice all over your scalp and let it work for about one minute.

You should then follow up by mixing one teaspoon of lemon juice with a cup of water and using this as a hair rinse. Although lemon juice contains acids, these aren’t harsh on your skin.

Lemon juice’s acids are a natural way to break down fungus that can be the culprit for your dandruff. Lemons also smell better than if you had to use an ingredient like garlic – that’s definitely a no-no before a date!

Make A Neem Leaf Paste

You’ve probably heard of neem because it’s a herb that’s renowned for its medicinal benefits.

It’s actually an excellent way to treat hair loss, but it can also remove dandruff because it’s got the three As: it’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal!

There are two methods you can try when using neem leaves on your scalp.

Method One: Neem Leaf Rinse

  • Take two handfuls of neem leaves.
  • Let them steep in five cups of hot water overnight.
  • The next day you should strain the liquid and use it as a hair rinse.

Method Two: Neem Leaf Paste

  • Alternatively, you could make a neem paste by crushing the leaves you’ve got.
  • Apply this paste to your scalp and leave it on for about an hour.
  • Then, wash your hair well with water.

Related Questions

visible dandruff in hair

Will one natural remedy for dandruff eliminate it?

You should actually try more than one natural remedy for dandruff, as this is good to prevent your body from building up tolerance to certain ingredients.

So, go ahead and try one dandruff remedy for a while, then change it for something else and see how your scalp responds.

Can dandruff lead to hair loss?

You want to treat dandruff as soon as you spot it because over time it can lead to hair loss. This is as a result of scratching your scalp when it’s itchy.

When you do this, you can damage hair follicles that could lead to some hair loss, although it won’t result in complete baldness.


Dandruff is everyone’s worst nightmare. It comes on with itchiness and tingling, and the next thing you know you’re afraid to wear dark clothing in case anyone sees the flakes falling from your scalp.

But fear not: with the natural remedies for dandruff that we’ve featured in this article, you can safely and effectively eliminate dryness without damaging your hair or scalp health.

In fact, using natural remedies is a great way to ensure that your hair can grow beautifully.