DIY methods to get rid of dandruff naturally
Do you find yourself constantly brushing off little white flakes from your dark clothes or picking at your dry, itchy scalp every two minutes? We probably don’t have to tell you that having dandruff can be a constant hassle or irritation, and may even lead to some awkward situations at work or when you’re out.
That said, faithfully following a daily regimen of shampoo, conditioner and scalp tonic can help reverse your dandruff woes, said Leonica Kei, principal trichologist of Leonica K Trichology.
“When shampooing, concentrate on the scalp, not the hair, rub (don’t scratch) the scalp to remove sweat, sebum and other impurities. The remaining lather will efficiently keep the hair shaft clean.”
Modifying environmental factors may help resolve scalp conditions.
Kei also debunked the myth that washing hair on a daily basis will cause more hair to fall. “On the contrary, washing hair daily is recommended for sufferers of dandruff because it helps loose flakes to soften and get washed away so new skin can grow.”
Massage brushing the scalp may help alleviate the feeling of itch in the scalp. However, she also cautioned it is not necessary to brush your hair 100 times a day. “You may cause more hair breakages,” said Kei.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for those with a dry and itchy scalp. “Most cases of dandruff and scalp irritation are a combination of genetic factors and environmental factors such as choice of shampoo and hair styling preferences,” said Dr Etienne Wang Cho Ee, a consultant at the National Skin Centre. “Modifying environmental factors may help resolve scalp conditions.”
To help you brush away those problems more permanently, here’s a list of DIY hair masks for a healthier scalp, according to Vogue.
Lemon + curd
Lemon is an effective natural remedy against dandruff. Mix about two tablespoons of yoghurt with a tablespoon of lemon juice, and apply onto the scalp gently. Let it sit for 30 minutes, before rinsing it off with a mild shampoo.
“Thanks to the antimicrobial properties of the citric acid present in lemons, this DIY hair pack is used commonly in India. Applying lemon directly onto the scalp can sometimes cause irritation, so it's best to apply it with unflavoured curd,” advises dermatologist Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, founder, ISAAC.
Yoghurt is full of proteins and makes for a nourishing natural conditioner. You can add rice water to this mix as well, as it contains selenium, which reduces malassezia, the yeast responsible for dandruff.
Fenugreek seeds + yoghurt + patchouli essential oil
Samantha Kochhar, chief hairstylist, Earth to Bottle Salon, swears by the power of essential oils to fight an itchy scalp. Patchouli essential oil is a great antidote for dandruff due to its antiseptic properties. Additionally, it strengthens hair follicles and prevents hair loss. The lactic acid in yoghurt is great for cleansing the scalp and clearing away dead skin.
“Soak the fenugreek seeds in water and leave it overnight. Next morning, strain and blend them with two tablespoons of yoghurt. Add three drops of patchouli essential oil, mix well and apply on your hair. Keep the mixture on for 20 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water.”
Neem + coconut oil
This neem pack shows miraculous results when applied regularly, especially in summer months. Ayurveda holds neem leaves in high esteem for their magical ability to purify both skin and hair. Neem works as an anti-fungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent, helping to control many skin and scalp ailments, including a dry, flaky scalp.
Dr Gupta shares her foolproof anti-dandruff home remedy: “Grind 10-20 neem leaves with coconut oil till it forms a thick paste. Apply this on your scalp. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes before washing off with water. Along with lauric acid (which boosts moisture), coconut oil also has linoleic acid, which helps sooth the scalp due to it anti-inflammatory nature.”
Baking soda + olive oil + eggs
Sometimes, overuse of hairstyling products can lead to a clogged scalp that could further cause dandruff. To get rid of product build-up, a hair pack with baking soda may help, suggests Dr Gupta.
“Used in dry shampoos due to its oil-absorbing properties, baking soda is also an antiseptic. To avoid over-drying your hair, combine it with eggs and olive oil.”
Take one teaspoon baking soda and one egg yolk in a mixing bowl. Now, add two to four tablespoons of olive oil and mix well to get a medium thick consistency. Keep this mask on for 20 minutes, and rinse off with tepid water. Then, shampoo as usual.
Apple cider vinegar + tea tree oil
An oily scalp can itself be the cause of dandruff, and in cases like this, using apple cider vinegar as a rinse can help. If you're experiencing serious flaking, combine apple cider vinegar with an antibacterial ingredient like tea tree oil. Wash your hair with a suitable shampoo and let it dry. Take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, three drops of pure tea tree oil and a carrier oil like almond oil and mix all these in one cup of water. Massage this mixture onto your scalp and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water./.