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Flakes, Begone: 5 Natural Remedies For Dandruff

Dandruff remedies - collage: hands holding a spoonful of apple cider vinegar; woman drinking a glass of water; bowl of yogurt with fruit and granola; hands sprinking essential oil into small dish

These Dandruff Hacks Make It Easy To Banish Flakes

If you’ve been struggling with dandruff, you’re certainly not alone! Dandruff is one of the most common scalp conditions, and while it isn’t necessarily harmful, it can be uncomfortable and even embarrassing!

Everyone’s scalp produces some level of flakes due to normal skin cell turnover, but those with dandruff shed bigger flakes of skin more frequently than others. Those flakes can cause itchiness and irritation, not to mention pile up on the shoulders of your dark-colored clothing.

If you experience dandruff, natural remedies can help you manage it. In this post, you’ll find some of the best quick and easy dandruff remedies out there!

But before we begin, I thought it might be helpful to clarify how dandruff differs from other scalp conditions.

Dandruff Remedies - woman with head bowed and hand feeling scalp

The Difference Between Dandruff And Flaky Scalp

One of the main difference between dandruff and other flaky conditions is that dandruff typically coincides with oily scalps. With an oily scalp, dead skin cells may clump together before flaking off, producing larger flakes typically associated with dandruff.

Those with dry scalps can also experience flakiness, but the flakes are typically smaller, and tend to affect people who deal with dry skin in general.

But while dandruff and dry scalp are fundamentally different conditions, you can use a lot of the same treatments to fix them. By ensuring that your scalp is properly hydrated, you can regulate oil production in your scalp and free yourself from those pesky flakes! Here are a few dandruff hacks that can help.

5 Easy Home Remedies For Dandruff & Flaky Scalp

Dandruff Remedies - jar of coconut oil

1. Try A Natural Dandruff Treatment

This scalp treatment includes 3 powerhouse ingredients that can help reduce scalp flaking and regular oil production: coconut oil, tea tree oil, and apple cider vinegar. Coconut oil provides moisture, while tea tree oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties to control dandruff symptoms. Apple cider vinegar helps to stimulate the turnover of new skin, and also helps balance out your skin’s pH level.

Here’s how to use them:

Dandruff Remedies - hand holding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar over a bathroom sink

Step 1 – Wash

Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your normal amount of shampoo, then use it to wash your hair. Massage it into your scalp thoroughly with the tips of your fingers.

Related: 25+ Reasons To Keep Apple Cider Vinegar In Your Cupboard

Dandruff remedies - closeup of woman's hands putting drops of tea tree essential oil into a small dish

Step 2 – Treat

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of coconut oil with 3-5 drops of tea tree oil. Apply the oil mixture all over your hair and scalp, then cover it with a shower cap or plastic wrap. Let it sit for 15-30 minutes, then wash your hair again to remove the coconut oil.

Related: 20 Of The Best Practical Uses For Tea Tree Oil

Repeat this treatment 2-3 times per week until your symptoms improve. (With dandruff, natural remedies may take a month or two of regular use before you’ll notice results!)

Related: The 12 Best Coconut Oil Beauty Hacks For Your Skin, Hair, & More

Dandruff Remedies - two bottles of Head and Shoulders Shampoo

2. Use A Dandruff Shampoo

Another option for treating dandruff, as you might have guessed, is to use a store-bought dandruff shampoo. Many people swear by Head & Shoulders for Dandruff, which comes in several varieties (some of which address itchiness too.) If you have color-treated hair, make sure to choose a shampoo that’s sulfate-free! Use your dandruff shampoo as directed on the bottle for best results.

woman in pajamas drinking a glass of water with a cucumber slice in it

3. Reduce Stress

Stress can both weaken your immune system and aggravate symptoms like dryness and itchiness. If you’ve been feeling stressed out or like you’re stretched a bit thin, make sure to take time for stress-relieving activities like exercise, meditation, or even just a hot bath.

Related: This DIY Is The Unexpected Solution To Your Sleep Problems

Dandruff Remedies - red-rimmed plate with risotto and salmon on it

4. Eat More Omega-3s

Increase your intake of fatty acids like omega-3s to help reduce dandruff. Fatty acids help your body regulate oil production and hydration, and they can promote wound healing too. Some good sources of omega-3s include fatty fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts, or you can try an omega-3 supplement.

Related: Salmon With Mushroom Rice Pilaf … Healthy Mood Food!

Dandruff Remedies - two bowls of yogurt with strawberries, blueberries, and granola sprinkled on top

5. Eat Probiotic Foods

Probiotics are healthy bacteria that can provide a boost to your immune system. You can get them by eating fermented foods like kimchee, sauerkraut, and yogurt, or by taking a probiotic supplement.

Do you have a home remedy for dandruff or itchy scalp?

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • I suffered with flakes and itchy scalp for most of my adult life. I would scratch my scalp until I had sores due to the itchiness. I tried virtually every dandruff shampoo on the market. Nothing worked, and many just made things worse. Even Neutrogena would cause problems, that’s how bad it was. Then one day, as I was once again perusing the dandruff shampoos in WalMart, I noticed a brand way down on the bottom shelf that I’d never noticed before. That brand is Nizoral. Not the cheapest shampoo out there, but if you have seemingly incureable flakes and itchy scalp, it’s hands down the best. Turns out that many of us aren’t actually suffering from “dandruff” at all. It’s actually a fungal infection that conventional shampoos do precisely nothing to get rid of. This shampoo attacks that fungus. At first yoiu use it twice a week for up to 8 weeks (and it only takes a very small amount each shampoo, so that 7 oz. bottle will last a long time) or until you notice the improvement in your scalp problems.Then you can pretty much get away with just using it once a week after that. I then use Head & Shoulders in between (none of the scented ones), as anything else causes my scalp to start itching once again. So, in conclusion, if you’ve tried everything else and still suffer with the itch & flakes, you need to try Nizoral. You may find it to be a miracle worker, as I did. p.s. it’s also available at target and Amazon.

  • Tea tree oil mixed in with my shampoo has made a huge difference. I put approx. 10 drops per 8 oz. of shampoo. I shampoo, massage it in, let it sit while I wash my bod and then rinse it. I shampoo my hair maybe 1 or 2 times a week. A shampoo brush helps too.

  • My recommendation for anyone with dandruff: first, try switching to a shampoo which is suitable for babies with excema. I found that using only a very mild shampoo, without harsh perfumes and colours, solved the problem. I put conditioner on the ends of my hair, so my hair still smells nice. But, as the conditioner doesn’t touch my scalp, it’s not irritating.

  • I had terrible itchiness along with dandruff and tried all sorts of treatments recommended by my dermatologist with minimal success. In desperation one day I tried raw honey — just warmed it slightly, rubbed it into my scalp, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Itching and flaking gone!

  • Something to consider: I had terrible dandruff until I found out I was allergic to some foods. When I stopped eating grains (including corn) and dairy, it all went away. That dandruff was trying to tell me something, but it wasn’t until I started having gas, cramps, and diarrhea that I found out the cause.

  • always check before using tea tree oil for sensitivity .. I got some once for my hair not knowing my allergy .. cause extreme pain to my scalp and took several shampoo to get ot all out and had a very tender scalp for over a week .. never gave a thought to the fact the I have a severe reaction to the blooming of the Malaluca trees but it is something to think about

  • This is great. My mom and I both have struggled with dandruff. I do find that trying to eat a few Walnuts has helped. I’ve heard they help to produce natural oils that are good for your scalp.

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