How Do You Get Rid Of Dandruff

How Do You Get Rid Of Dandruff

How Do You Get Rid Of Dandruff? All you really need is remedies for dandruff that WORK!

There are simple home remedies for dandruff (a scalp disorder also known as scurf or pityriasis simplex capilliti) which can control dandruff and quite easily restore your hair to its full status of being your crowning glory.

How Do You Get Rid Of Dandruff
Picture courtesy

What is dandruff and what causes dandruff?Dandruff is a condition of the scalp that causes flakes of skin to appear. Dandruff is a common condition, which is marked by itching.

Human skin cells are forever renewing themselves. As skin cells in the scalp are renewed, the old (dead) ones are pushed to the surface and then out of the scalp; they are literally expelled.

For people with dandruff, the new cells are produced at a faster rate than they die, resulting in more skin being shed, making dandruff more noticeable.

If the skin is exposed to extreme temperatures, the risk of developing dandruff is greater.”




Pityriasis simplex capillitii (commonly known as dandruff) is the shedding of dead skin cells at a rate much faster than the normal rate at which skin cells are shed. The normal rate is roughly every 27 days. Dandruff develops in large oily clumps when shedding takes place at a rate of between 2-7 days.

How Do You Get Rid Of Dandruff

The exact cause of the scalp condition is not known; certain health conditions and other causes of dandruff may be any of the following:

  • Hair not brushed/combed enough: regular brushing/combing assists in removing the dead skin cells from the scalp
  • Yeast can cause people sensitive to yeast to get dandruff. The condition worsens during winter; happens when the UVA light from the sun counteracts the yeast.
  • Dry skin: skin generally is drier during the winter months due to cold air and heated rooms; these extreme temperatures subsequently are commonly the cause of itchy and flaky skin. People with dry skin will find that dandruff flakes are not oily.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disorder which typically affects the face, scalp and upper body. The disorder presents itself in skin that is itchy, flaky, scaly and red. People with this skin disorder are very likely to have dandruff.
Seborrheic dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis picture courtesy
  • Skin conditions: people who suffer from eczema or psoriasis more frequently get dandruff than other people
  • Malassezia furfur is lipophilic yeast living on the skin as part of the normal flora which generally speaking causes no problems.

Current evidence suggests M. furfur, combined with multifactorial host factors is also the direct cause of seborrhoeic dermatitis, with dandruff being the mildest manifestation. Host factors include genetic predisposition, an emotional component (possible endocrine or neurologically mediated factors), changes in quantity and composition of sebum (increase in wax esters and a shift from triglycerides to shorter fatty acid chains), increase in alkalinity of skin (due to eccrine sweating) and external local factors such as occlusion. Patients with neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and those with AIDS are commonly affected. Clinical manifestations are characterised by erythema and scaling in areas with a rich supply of sebaceous glands ie the scalp, face, eyebrows, ears and upper trunk. Lesions are red and covered with greasy scales and itching is common in the scalp. The clinical features are typical and skin scrapings for a laboratory diagnosis are unnecessary.”


Malassezia furfur
Malassezia furfur picture credited to


  • Hair and skin care products can cause a reaction which results in a red, itchy and scaly scalp. Experts are of the opinion that irritation of the scalp from shampooing too often can cause dandruff. The use of products such as hair sprays, gels and mousse may also contribute
  • Diet: experts believe a lifestyle where not enough foods with adequate vitamins, zinc and fats are consumed may contribute to dandruff
  • Mental stress: many experts are of the opinion that stress is linked to skin problems

So, how do you get rid of dandruff then?

Since dandruff essentially is harmless you do not need a prescription to treat it; the severity of your dandruff condition may however require a different approach to the dandruff home remedies discussed in this article…

  • Considering too little brushing is one of the dandruff causes discussed earlier, my first dandruff remedy is to brush your hair daily using steady strokes. Brush your hair down from the scalp as this action will carry the oil which causes dandruff from the scalp, eventually leading to dandruff free hair
  • Personally I wash my hair once every day; have never had any problems with dandruff. Washing your hair daily can be the solution to your dandruff problem and may be considered one of the easy remedies to restore the beauty of your hair
  • Shampoos are not all equal. When dandruff persists, even with regular brushing and shampooing, it may be time to switch to anti dandruff shampoos. Keep in mind that when you scratch your itchy head, you may break the skin of your scalp. You are advised to refrain from using these medicated shampoos until the scratches are healed. The best over-the-counter anti dandruff shampoos will contain at least 2 of the following ingredients:

a)    Coal tar brings relieve to an itchy head and slows down cell production. Brand names with coal tar include Alphosyl 2 in 1, Neutrogena T-Gel and Pentrax. Remove any odor from this type of shampoo by rinsing your hair with either a conditioner or lemon juice. If you have a sensitive skin, coal tar shampoo may irritate and inflame hair follicles – rather opt for a milder anti dandruff shampoo.

b)    Ketoconazole is an antifungal agent in anti dandruff shampoo which largely prevents the growth of fungus.  Brings relieve from the itching, flaking and scaling typically associated with dandruff. Probably the best shampoo for itchy scalp. Brand names include Nizoral and Nizoral AD shampoos.

Directions for use: “Wet hair and scalp completely with water. Apply enough shampoo to produce enough lather to clean hair and scalp. Massage gently over entire scalp. Rinse hair with warm water. Repeat this process if directed to do so by your doctor. Dry hair thoroughly after the final rinse. If using the over-the-counter strength of the shampoo (1%), apply the shampoo, lather, and rinse thoroughly. Repeat this process. Dry hair thoroughly after the second rinse. If treating skin other than the scalp, wet the skin and apply the shampoo to affected area and the surrounding healthy skin. Lather and leave in place for 5 minutes, then rinse off with water. Dosage, number of applications, and the length of treatment depends on the strength of the shampoo (2% or 1%) and the condition being treated. Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions or the package directions. Avoid contact with the eyes. If the shampoo gets into the eyes, rinse thoroughly with water. Do not begin using the shampoo if your scalp/skin is broken or swollen. Inform your doctor if your condition persists after 2-4 weeks of treatment or worsens at any time.”


c)    Salicylic acid is a great ingredient when looking for dry scalp treatment. It increases the moisture in the skin which softens and loosens scaly skin, essentially aiding the removal of dead skin cells. Brand names are Salex, Keralyt Scalp, Selsun Blue Naturals and Neutrogena T/Sal

d)    Selenium Sulfide is an anti-infective agent which brings relief from itchy and dry flaky scalp by removing the dandruff. Brand names which contain selenium sulfide include Head & Shoulders, Selsun Blue Medicated, Selsun Blue 2-in-1, Selsun Blue Normal to Oily and Selsun Blue Moisturizing.

e)    Zinc Pyrithione has antifungal and antibacterial properties which help to slow the production of skin cells. Some of the best dandruff shampoos include brand names like Denorex and Dermazinc.

f)    Sulfur, in combination with salicylic acid, is another shampoo used in the treatment of dandruff. “Salicylic acid and sulfur are known as keratolytic agents. This type of drug causes the skin to shed dead cells from its top layer by increasing the amount of moisture in the skin and dissolving the substance that makes the cells clump together. This effect makes it easier to shed the skin cells, softens the top layer of skin, and decreases scaling and dryness.” 


Brand names include Sebex and Sebulex Dandruff Shampoo

Should the effectiveness of a shampoo wear off, try switching to a different anti dandruff shampoo. Alternatively, you can even rotate between 2 or 3 different brands with different formulations by using each for a month. Make sure to always follow the directions on the bottle for best results.

Exercise or strenuous work causes us to perspire. The sweat irritates the scalp which increases the speed at which the skin cells start to flake. Take a shower and shampoo your hair as soon as you can.

Don’t give up your gels, sprays, mousses, etc, but try and use them less often as they contribute to the buildup of oil on the scalp


How do you get rid of dandruff using what’s right there in your kitchen (and bathroom)?

Other remedies I came across which may very well be the best way for you to remove dandruff once and for all include:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar is another way to stop dandruff. There are 4 different ways in which this dandruff home remedy can be applied with relevant how to instructions:

a)   In a spray bottle, mix 1 part water with 1 part ACV. Wet your hair well, pat down and spray mixture all over. Leave on for about 40 minutes. Wash out and shampoo as normal.

b)    Another way to use ACV is to wash your hair as normal, then rinse with a 1 part cold water to 1 part ACV solution

c)   Massage 3 tablespoons ACV into your scalp and wait a few minutes. Rinse and wash as normal.

d)   Mix ¼ cup ACV with ¼ cup water in spray bottle. Wet hair and spray generously with ACV mixture. Wrap towel around hair, leave on for 15-60 minutes and wash out. Shampoo as normal. Do this daily for 2-3 days (or longer) until dandruff clears up.

  • Aspirin contains salicylates; also found in anti dandruff shampoos. Crush 2 aspirins tablets and add the powder to a capful of fragrance-free and dye-free shampoo in a bowl. If you use more than 1 capful shampoo to wash your hair, increase the number of tablets accordingly. Mix well and wash your hair with the mixture. Leave on your hair for at least 5 minutes to allow the exfoliation of the scalp by the salicylic acid. Rinse your hair well and repeat if you prefer. Add ½ cup of apple cider vinegar to the final rinse. The vinegar smell goes away as your hair dries, so no need to rinse again.

how do you get rid of dandruff

  • Aloe Vera’s antifungal and antibacterial properties makes it great for dandruff control. Apply either fresh aloe vera juice or aloe vera gel to your dry hair. Leave on for a few minutes and shampoo with a mild shampoo. To keep dandruff under control, repeat this home remedy for dandruff twice daily.
  • Baking soda (once again!) to the rescue. A dandruff cure as simple as wetting your hair and rubbing a handful of baking soda into your scalp vigorously. Rinse well and dry your hair. This replaces your normal hair washing routine, so do not use shampoo. Initially your hair may get very dry; after a few weeks though, your hair will start to produce natural oils leaving it soft and free of dandruff. If preferred, you can add baking soda to your regular shampoo and wash as normal.
  • Coconut oil is a natural conditioner which can help to prevent dandruff. Massage the oil into your scalp and leave for 30 minutes. Wash as normal. Another way to reduce dandruff is to mix 5 tablespoons of coconut oil with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and apply to your hair. Wrap a towel round your head overnight and shampoo as normal the next morning.
  • Eggs are so versatile; must be one of the more extraordinary uses as a cure for dandruff; quite popular among dandruff sufferers it seems. Probably one of the best ways to get rid of dandruff naturally also.  Begin by combining 1-2 eggs with a bit warm water, after that, wet your hair with warm water and apply the egg combination on your scalp. Allow it lay on your scalp for Quarter-hour to One hour and it’s going to begin to pull off dead skin cells and provide shine and life back to your hair.
  • Once you have utilized the egg combination to your scalp protect your head using a shower cap and bath towel so that you could build up the your scalp’s temperature to let your pores to open and let the egg combination to clean out dirt and dead skin.
  • You could improve its performance by utilizing a hair dryer on your shower cap to use the power of heat to increase speed the process, sitting below a hair steamer is another great option if it is available to you.
  • It is a little of a unpleasant dandruff remedy so be sure you use an old bath towel and to clean up later on. Eggs for the health of hair and scalp have been used for hundreds of years because of full protein present in eggs and amino acids methionine and cysteine which helped to strengthen roots and improve hair growth.


  • Essential oils: How to remove dandruff with oils? Here are some DIY hair tips. Mix 7 drops cedar wood oil, 10 drops cypress and 10 drops juniper essential oils in 50ml carrier oil. Massage into the scalp thoroughly and leave on for 1 hour. Now rub a mild shampoo into your hair and wash out with warm water. To prevent dandruff in future, stir the above quantities of oil into 600ml of warm water and use as a final rinse when you wash your hair.
  • Fenugreek Seeds (great for treating acne) is an herbal treatment for dandruff with antifungal properties. This again is a time consuming remedy for dandruff; if herbal treatments are your option of choice however, this is it! Soak 2 tablespoons fenugreek seeds in water overnight. Grind to a paste in the morning and apply the paste to your scalp. Leave on for at least 30 minutes and shampoo your hair thoroughly with a mild shampoo (baby shampoo is ideal). For that extra punch, rinse your hair with the water in which the seeds were soaked in. For severe dandruff, repeat the remedy twice a week, otherwise just weekly for about 4 weeks to get rid of dandruff.
Picture credited to
  • Fullers Earth: Prepare a paste of fullers earth powder and lemon juice and apply to the scalp. Leave for 10 minutes to dry, Scrub from scalp and rinse hair. Another way to employ fullers earth as a dandruff treatment is as follows: Fuller’s earth reportedly effectively fights stubborn hair conditions like dandruff and seborrhea.  Its natural property to absorb excessive impurities from scalp skin is used in natural anti-dandruff hair care masks.  Fuller’s earth is most frequently combined with sulphur for a better anti-dandruff effect.  Washing hair alternately with Fuller’s earth soap and pine tar soap is another effective hair care solution with a particularly powerful anti-dandruff effect.”


  • Lemon juice as an itchy scalp treatment is hard to beat. Lemons contain acids which get rid of the yeast which causes dandruff. For hair that smells lemon-fresh with no more itching, do the following daily until your dandruff clears up: massage 2 tablespoonfuls of lemon juice into your scalp, and then rinse with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of lemon juice stirred into a cup of water. You may also want to consider mixing 4 tablespoons witch hazel with 1 tablespoon water and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a small jar or bottle so you can store what is left over. Wash your hair as normal. Pour a small amount into the palm of your hand and massage into your scalp while your hair is still damp. That’s it. Do not wash your hair for 3 days; rinsing is OK when you shower though. You should have shiny hair which is dandruff free after 3 days. Is there anyone who tried this who cares to let us know if it works? Please drop us a comment below the article…
Picture credited to
  • Mouthwash is another of those dandruff remedies which seems to be quite popular. Not sure if all mouthwashes will work however (maybe one of my readers can help us out? – please leave a comment if you have experience with this dandruff remedy). Wash your hair as normal. Now use yellow Listerine (original) and make a solution of 2 parts water and 1 part Listerine in a spray bottle. Spray your wet hair with the solution, ensuring every bit of hair is covered. Leave on for 30 minutes and wash your hair. Do this every 2nd day for a week. Repeat as necessary.
  • Salt is great for getting rid of dandruff flakes before you shampoo. Shake some salt onto your scalp and start massaging it for a while. Wash out and shampoo as normal.
  • I came across other natural remedies for dandruff you may want to try also: “Tea Tree Oil: Pour 1 TBS Tea Tree Oil with 1 cup of warm water (use distilled if you plan on making a big batch) in a squirt bottle, shake until well mixed. After shampooing and conditioning, spray a generous amount of the mixture all over, massage and let sit for a couple minutes. Pat the excess moisture out but don’t wash out.
  • Rosemary Tea: Brew a pot of tea and steep for 24 hours with 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh Rosemary. Strain and pour into a squirt bottle and use as a rinse. *Dark hair only
  • Peppermint Tea: Same as the Rosemary Tea method but use a handful of fresh peppermint leaves instead of the Rosemary sprigs. *Dark hair only
  • Peppermint Cider: Boil 1 cup of water then add to 1 cup of ACV and a handful of fresh peppermint leaves. Steep for 2 hours, strain and pour into a squirt bottle. Apply after shampooing, massage scalp with mixture and leave in.

Tip: If you discover a successful treatment for your situation, make sure to keep all hair tools clean to help prevent a recurrence. Regularly soak combs and picks in a jar of Listerine or household vinegar and spray brushes with same.


  • This coconut oil and tea tree oil dandruff home remedy is a testimony straight from the horse’s mouth so to speak…unaltered: “This cured my dandruff/itchy scalp in just two treatments. Take some coconut oil, the kind that is solid at room temp, and heat it slightly until it’s melted and warm to touch. For approximately 5tbsp coconut oil, use 5-9 drops pure tea tree oil. I have a special basting brush, that I use only for hair, if you plan to do this often its worth the mini investment. There are several ways to apply it, I do it some what like I would when I would dye my hair. Make sure you apply first to the problem spots and directly onto the scalp. Once hair is completely saturated cover in hair cap, or an old cloth fashioned into a hair wrap. I find this is much more comfortable then a plastic bag. Leave this in overnight and give yourself a good shampoo the following morning. I recommend also adding a few drops of the tea tree oil to your shampoo as an on going treatment. I’d also suggest looking into more natural shampoos that leave out the harsh chemicals that leave your hair dry and brittle, and your scalp unhealthy.” Submitted by Katy at 2013-01-07 08:10:36


  • Turmeric powder (bound to feature as a remedy!) and coconut oil. This home remedy for dandruff does require patience, but will get rid of dandruff for good…unedited: ”Here is how I got rid of my dandruff for good. The procedure requires a bit of patience, and the solution is literally a bit sticky, but I can assure you that the end result is well worth the trouble and wait. Above all it is seriously healthy and absolutely natural.1) Take some pure coconut hair oil in a small utensil. You need to take enough to be able to smear all of your scalp and your hair with a good glossy, thick and filmy coat. If you suffer from pimples/boils on your face as well, take some more. Females will have to take more. A little extra should not matter. Make sure that the coconut oil is not perfumed or treated in any way or is some mixture of different oils. The oil need not be cooking grade. Just plain coconut hair oil. I used a local brand called parachute. It worked ok for me.2) Add pure cooking turmeric powder to the oil. You should have an idea. Not too much to make it into a paste and not too little as to be ineffective. Roughly like adding sugar to your milk or tea; maybe a wee bit more. The turmeric powder should settle down and sink to the bottom in a while.3) Heat the mixture, continuously stirring the turmeric powder and the oil. After a while, when the oil has sufficiently heated, the turmeric powder will turn black.4) This is an optional step. It requires adding an extra ingredient. You may skip this step. While continuously heating the mixture add several pinches of gram flour into the mixture. Again you should have an idea, more or less. Unlike the turmeric which burns black, the gram flour will burn white.5) Heat just a bit more while still stirring, then turn off the heat and let the mixture take its own time to cool down. Do not immerse the vessel in water or put it in the fridge to cool.6) When the mixture has sufficiently cooled, apply the mixture with the oil, the burnt turmeric, and the burnt gram flour all over your head. Rub it well into your scalp and onto your hair. If you have pimples on your face, apply there as well, or to any other affected part of your body.7) Here is the most difficult yet most important part. You will have to wait for about 24 hours for the mixture to seep through your scalp and your skin, and be effective to work its magic. Assuming that you are performing this procedure early in the morning, the entire daytime itself should be about 12 hours, but I discourage removing just then and urge waiting for the entire 24 hour period. While sleeping you can cover your pillow with sufficient sheets of old newspaper or an old cotton towel or perhaps even plastic sheets. Some trace oil will be lost while you sleep but that is alright. You can perform this procedure on the weekend. On sunday morning, and off monday morning.8) Wash off the excess oil, the turmeric and flour residue along with the dandruff(which I did not spot) with a very mild herbal shampoo and herbal soap. The shampoo and soap should not have any harsh chemicals in it. Do not soak your scalp with the shampoo or your skin with the soap for any length of time, however short. Just a quick on, a good scrub with your hands, and no nails, and a quick off.I used sri sri ayurvedas neem-tulsi-honey shampoo, though I suspect it still has a few chemicals in it.9) Your scalp should be dandruff free. Repeat this procedure once a week for a few weeks till you feel confident of its non-return, then you can extend it to maybe once a fortnight. Even though the dandruff had not returned by the end of the week, I have now applied this procedure for three consecutive weeks and my hair is just perfect and no longer unruly. Note that I do not oil my hair or shampoo it during the intermediate days of the week. Just this procedure, once a week is all that I do. Incidentally, my hair-fall stopped almost immediately. I also got rid of the frequent pimples on my face and the occasional boils on my scalp altogether. I had a nasty shoe-bite, which I seem to get from wearing almost any type of sandals, and this oil helped heal that wound. Besides, I do not get the rashes, presumably due to allergies, on my arms and legs any more.I think this procedure holds a clue to healthy cooking in general. It has worked excellently for me and I hope it does for you too. On a more personal note, I would imagine you priced your hide/scalp a lot more than to just douche it with some mouthwash. But, desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess.”


  • Olive oil, almond oil and coconut oil are some of the best options when home remedies for dry scalp are considered. Essential oils are generally favored for many other skin care related problems; no surprise then that it is also one of the ways to cure dandruff. Heat up your preferred oil until it’s warm and massage into your dry scalp. Wrap a towel around your head for 30 minutes. Brush/comb out your hair to remove all the flakes and shampoo as normal. Doing this twice weekly will eventually get rid of dandruff.
  • Tea Tree Oil added to your shampoo can effectively treat dandruff. Just add 1 drop TTO for every oz of your regular shampoo. Alternatively, massage a few drops into your scalp just before you wash your hair.
  • Thyme to get rid of dandruff. Add 4 tablespoons dried thyme to 2 cups of water and boil for 15 minutes. Strain and allow it to cool down. Take some of the solution and massage into your scalp thoroughly. Wait 5 minutes and repeat process. Leave the solution on your hair for at least 2 hrs; 3 hours is better. Wash your hair with regular shampoo. Repeat the remedy twice weekly.
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  • White vinegar is one of the best ways to control and treat dandruff. You will however need patience with this natural dandruff treatment as you may have to apply it regularly for quite a while in order to obtain desired results; also every application takes time which means you need to schedule time to do it properly. Wash your hair with a solution of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water. Rinse with clean water. Alternatively, apply vinegar to your hair, wrap with a towel and leave on overnight. Shampoo as normal the next morning. This dandruff remedy needs to be repeated two or three times weekly, and for many weeks to work.
  • Lemon wash is an all natural remedy for getting rid of dandruff.  It may very well turn out to be the best dandruff shampoo and a much cheaper one too. Prepare the lemon wash by taking the peels of 3-4 lemons and boiling it in 4-5 cups of water for about 20 minutes. Let the solution cool down before you wash your hair with it. Repeat once a week until dandruff is gone.
  • Yogurt is something I’d rather eat (I recently learned that yogurt is quite effective in combating constipation), but here goes…Wash and rinse your hair as normal. Rub plain yogurt into your scalp and leave on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse your hair and wash with as little shampoo as is really necessary. Rinse, or prepare an infusion of thyme with 2 tablespoons vinegar for the final rinse.

For those interested, here is a “no poo” shampoo recipe:


In conclusion: I found some hair care tips for hair treatment at home which will go a long way in helping you to prevent dandruff problems and ensure healthy hair in the future…

  • If you keep getting flakes, you might have scalp psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis. See a dermatologist for tips.
  • Clean your brush regularly in vinegar.
  • When you start using anti-dandruff shampoos and stop, the dandruff may come back worse than before.
  • Put a little bit of baby powder onto the scalp (where the flaky bits are) and use a small toothed comb to comb the dandruff out.
  • If you don’t have enough time to take a full shower, then just wash your hair.
  • Wash hair with tea tree oil shampoo and dry immediately afterwards. Never leave your hair to towel dry either.
  • Don’t scratch your scalp. It will only make it spread to other parts of your hair.
  • When you use shampoo, try adding a squirt of lemon juice as it will help reduce the effects of dandruff.
  • Really, If you do not have time to pick up anything at the store; mix 1 part mouthwash with 9 parts water after washing your hair. Simply dump the mixture over your head and style as normal. Do not rinse out. This is a healthy thing to do to prevent dandruff about once a month.


how do you get rid of dandruff

The home remedies for dandruff discussed in this article are by no means an exhaustive list. Actually, I need YOU, my most valued reader to tell us all how do YOU get rid of dandruff once and for all?

Hey people, let us know you’re ALIVE!!! Please leave your comments (and critique) below…

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