Hair Care

How To Get Rid Of Dandruff Naturally?

Undoubtedly, dandruff is one of the most common and commercially exploited hair problems of our time. To get rid of dandruff, either you can use anti-dandruff shampoos full of chemicals or opt for expensive hair salon treatments. Ultimately, either you will end up losing more hair or a lot of money.

But what if I say that you can treat your dandruff naturally and that too free-of-cost. Believe me; you can make your dry scalp healthy and absolutely free of dandruff in just no time with products available at your home itself. But before I list down the eight most effective home remedies to get rid of dandruff, let’s find out what dandruff is and what are its causes?

1. What is dandruff?

Dandruff is a skin condition that affects our scalp. It is a condition where dry and white flakes of skin from the scalp fall all over the shoulders. It is not harmful but can cause itchiness and may lead to social embarrassment.

2. What causes dandruff?

One of the primary reasons for dandruff is excessive scaling of the scalp where skin cells on the scalp grow and die-off too swiftly triggering inflammation.

Assimilation of Malassezia Globosa (a microbe that is present on every scalp), sebum (naturally secreted oils) and a sensitive scalp, is what promotes dandruff. When the Malassezia breaks down the sebum on your scalp, oleic acid is produced, which irritates the sensitive scalp. To get the irritant out, the body sheds cells faster than usual which leads to visible flaking called dandruff.

3. Home remedies to get rid of dandruff

Here are the eight most effective home remedies to get rid of dandruff.

3.1 Tea Tree Oil

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Why tea tree oil is a good remedy for dandruff?  

Tea tree (melaleuca) oil is popular for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and effectively helps in soothing dandruff symptoms [1].

A study has shown that shampoos with a small proportion of tea tree oil (approximately 5%) are effective in the treatment of dandruff [2].

How to use tea tree oil for dandruff treatment?

Method 1 – With a shampoo

  1. Mix a few droplets of tea tree oil with your regular shampoo
  2. Apply and gently rub the mixture to your dry and itchy scalp and wait for 2 to 3 minutes
  3. Rinse thoroughly

Method 2 – With an hair-oil

  1. Mix a few droplets of tea tree oil with your regular hair-oil (like coconut oil)
  2. Massage the mixture on your scalp and wait for an hour at least
  3. Shampoo and rinse thoroughly

Usage – Twice a week.

Precaution – If you have a sensitive scalp, don’t oil your scalp for more than one hour.

3.2 Aloe Vera Pulp

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Why aloe vera pulp is a good remedy for dandruff?

Nature’s blessing to the human race that has been used since centuries, aloe vera is known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and is effective when used on an irritated scalp [3].

It also has a powerful combination of antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E which significantly increases the collagen synthesis on the scalp and makes the scalp healthier.

How to use aloe vera pulp for dandruff treatment?

  1. Extract the gel directly from the plant
  2. Apply and gently rub the gel on the itchy scalp and wait for 20 minutes
  3. Shampoo and rinse thoroughly

Usage – Twice a week.

3.3 Lemon Juice

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Why lemon juice is a good remedy for dandruff?

Lemon juice has critic acid and acts as a natural cleansing agent against dry and white flakes. It’s acidic content balances the pH of the scalp and thus keep dandruff under check. It is also considered as a natural astringent and is very effective in drying up excessive oily scalps.

A study has shown that lemon juice has antimicrobial properties too that can check unwanted microbial growth [4].

How to use lemon juice for dandruff treatment?

  1. Squeeze out 4 to 5 lemons
  2. Apply and gently rub the fresh juice to your scalp
  3. Cover your head and wait for 20 minutes before rinsing it thoroughly

Usage – Twice a week.

Precaution – If you have minor cuts or wounds on your scalp, refrain from applying lemon juice as it aggravates them due to its acidic nature.

3.4 Yogurt

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Why yogurt is a good remedy for dandruff?

Yogurt (Dahi) has antifungal properties which reduce irritation and itchiness of the scalp [5].

Good bacteria present in yogurt helps in restricting excessive microbial growth and thus treats dandruff effectively. Yogurt also acts as a natural conditioner providing dry scalp with ample moisture.

How to use yogurt for dandruff treatment?

  1. Apply a thick layer of yogurt onto your scalp
  2. Rub it gently and let it sit for an hour or two
  3. Rinse off with a mild shampoo

Usage – Twice a week.

Added advantage – Yogurt can be used as a hair mask too. A natural conditioner, it makes hair soft and silky.

3.5 Neem Leaves

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Why neem leaves are a good remedy for dandruff?

Neem has antifungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties [6].

It contributes to the well-being of our scalp and removes dry and white flakes effectively.

How to use neem leaves for dandruff treatment?

Method 1 – With a shampoo

  1. Boil a few neem leaves and add the green water to your regular shampoo
  2. Apply and gently rub the mixture to your troubled scalp and wait for 2 minutes
  3. Rinse thoroughly

Method 2 – As a paste

  1. Grind some neem leaves and add a splash of hot water
  2. Apply and gently rub the paste onto your dry scalp and wait for an hour
  3. Rinse off with a mild shampoo

Usage – Twice a week.

3.6 Aspirin

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Why aspirin is a good remedy for dandruff?

Aspirin has salicylic acid, the same active ingredients that are present in medicated anti-dandruff shampoos [7].

How to use aspirin for dandruff treatment?

  1. Add two crushed aspirin tablets to your regular shampoo
  2. Apply and gently rub the mixture to your itchy scalp and wait for 2 minutes
  3. Rinse thoroughly

Usage – Twice a week.

3.7 Vinegar

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Why vinegar is a good remedy for dandruff?

It is believed that the acidic content of vinegar gets rid of the shedding skin on the scalp and does not clog pores. It is also said that vinegar keeps the ph of the scalp balanced and makes it difficult for yeast to grow.

According to a study, apple cider vinegar has antifungal properties against candida (a kind of yeast) which is the most common cause of fungal infections [8].

How to use vinegar for dandruff treatment?

  • Combine half a cup of vinegar with the same amount of water
  • Apply and gently rub it on your scalp and wait for 20 minutes
  • Shampoo and rinse thoroughly

For the best results, use apple cider vinegar instead of malt vinegar. Apple cider vinegar makes it harder for the yeast to grow, as it balances the pH of the scalp effectively.

Usage – Once a week.

Precaution – If you have a cut on the scalp, don’t use the mixture.

3.8 Baking Soda

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Why baking soda is a good remedy for dandruff?

Baking soda acts as an exfoliator for the dry scalp and also as a fungicide which helps kill the abundant Malasezzia [9].

Baking soda is alkaline and is believed to balance the pH of the scalp.

How to use baking soda for dandruff treatment?

  1. Take a cup of water and add one tablespoon of baking soda
  2. Apply and gently rub it all over your scalp
  3. Rinse off with a mild shampoo

Your hair may become dry for the first few weeks but don’t worry. Your healthy scalp will soon start producing natural oils, leaving your hair softer.

Usage – Twice a week.

Precaution – When applying the mixture of baking soda and water on your scalp as a substitute for shampoo, do not leave the mixture for too long. Doing so would dry out your hair.

4. FAQs on dandruff treatment

4.1 Is oiling for more extended periods suitable for hair with dandruff?

Oiling the dry scalp may sound good. But, the prolonged application of oil can be a reason for the rapid growth of Malassezia and ultimately lead to more dry and white flakes. Avoid oiling your hair for more than two hours.

4.2 Are anti-dandruff shampoos safe?

Anti-dandruff shampoos can be harsh to your scalp and hair as their purpose is to temporarily re-balance the scalp’s pH balance which does not usually last for long. Upon using regularly, they can cause severe damage to your scalp and hair. On the other hand, most of the home remedies mentioned above are natural and are great contributors to a healthy scalp.

4.3 What is the best treatment for dandruff?

Chemically laden anti-dandruff shampoos can be an obvious choice, but I tend to disagree. Since dandruff is a result of an unhealthy scalp, you should opt for treatments which are more natural and make your scalp healthy inside-out. Home remedies to get rid of dandruff mentioned above are effective, and you can start with the one you think is easy to adopt. Have a healthy and nutritious diet so that you get all the inner strength in fighting off these dry and white flakes without using artificial products.

Dandruff is a scalp condition. So, focus on keeping your scalp healthy and that too naturally. Always remember to do a patch test to check for any possible allergic reactions.


The author’s views are personal here.