Dandruff is an uncomfortable and embarrassing problem characterized by a dry, itchy scalp with shedding flakes or clumps. Dandruff can have many causes, such as sensitivity to hair care products, eczema or infrequent shampooing. Severe dandruff is usually caused by an excess of a naturally occurring fungus on the human scalp. While there are medicated dandruff shampoos available, you might find that inexpensive, easy-to-find ingredients used in various home remedies are equally effective at fighting pesky flakes and annoying itch.
Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
A common ingredient in dandruff-reducing shampoos, tea tree oil is found in the leaves of the Australian tea tree. Primarily an antifungal agent, the oil has also been used as an antibiotic and antiseptic. Shampoo the oil into hair daily until the scalp has returned to a healthy state. Discontinue using the oil if you notice any allergic reactions such as a burning sensation.
Fenugreek Seed Mask
A paste made from fenugreek seeds, used in many home recipes and exotic cooking, is a commonly used dandruff treatment. Soak 2 tablespoons of seeds in water overnight to make them soft enough to crush into a paste. Apply the paste to the hair and scalp in the morning, allowing it at least half an hour to take effect. Rinse the paste from the hair using a ritha, or soap-nut, solution. Use this remedy for four weeks, applying twice a week for the first two weeks and then once a week for the final two.
Apple Cider Vinegar Treatment
Vinegar, in its many forms, is mildly acidic, whereas shampoos are strongly alkaline in pH. The acidity in vinegar can help kill bacteria and fungus growth on your scalp, as well as clear away any buildup from hair-care products. Mix apple cider vinegar in a 1:3 ratio with water; water being the greater part of the mixture. Apply the vinegar to the scalp at the beginning of the shower and rinse out at the end. Repeat this treatment until the desired results are achieved.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Seborrheic Dermatitis
- The Dr. Oz Show: Natural Cures for Your Most Embarrassing Problems
- US National Library of Medicine: Pityrosporum ovale and Skin Diseases
- Home Remedies: Dandruff
- AppleCiderVinegarBenefits.com: Apple Cider Vinegar is a Versatile Natural Hair Care Product
- Positive Health Steps: Home Remedy Treatment for Dandruff
Jacob Hendriks' work has appeared in "The Western Front," "The Planet Magazine" and Trails.com. He graduated from Western Washington University with a major in international business management and a minor in Community Health. Hendriks' passion for sports nutrition and fitness, combined with experience as a personal trainer, has led him to pursue health-oriented journalism.