When you have a dry, itchy scalp and hair full of white flakes, you’ll try almost anything to free yourself of the annoying symptoms. But drugstore solutions tend to be one in the same. The shampoos you’ll find in stores will either have ingredients to fight the fungus and bacteria associated with dandruff, or exfoliating properties to wash away dead skin and flakes. If you haven’t been able to find a solution on the shelves, try one of these natural treatments to take control of your dandruff once and for all.
Before cleansing, apply a leave-on treatment.
Give your scalp a little extra TLC by using one of these natural ingredients as a mask to fight dandruff and dry, itchy skin. For best results, apply the mask before shampooing!
- Coconut oil – Commonly referred to as a “cure all” it is no surprise that coconut oil is recommended for healing dry scalp and eliminating dandruff. To make a mask, massage a few tablespoons of coconut oil into the scalp and hair. Leave on for at least an hour and then wash your hair as normal.
- Olive oil – Like coconut oil, olive oil is another popular oil for nourishing skin and works in the same way as a scalp and hair mask.
- Aloe Vera – Just as aloe vera cools skin after a sunburn, it can relieve the dry and itchy symptoms of dandruff. Massage the plant’s gel into the scalp and leave on as a treatment before washing your hair.
Give your shampoo anti-dandruff power.
Since those other shampoos weren’t doing the trick, try adding one of these natural ingredients to your favorite shampoo.
- Aspirin – Salicylic acid is a common ingredient found in dandruff shampoo because of its ability to wash away those stubborn white flakes. It’s also found in aspirin. You can add the painkiller to your shampoo to reduce dandruff by crushing two pills into a fine powder and mixing it with your typical application of shampoo. Suds up and let the mixture sit in your hair for a minute or two before rinsing thoroughly and shampooing a second time with plain shampoo.
- Tea tree oil – The benefits of tea tree oil for the skin are no secret, but this natural antiseptic is also great at treating dandruff. You’ll find many tea tree oil shampoos on the market but you can also make your own by simply adding a few drops of the essential oil to your shampoo before washing.
Swap shampoo with one of these natural cleansers.
You can also try doing away with shampoo entirely (some find them too harsh for dry scalps) and try one of these natural alternatives instead.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – The reason everyone loves apple cider vinegar as a shampoo replacement is because its acidity can actually change your scalp’s pH level. Users report less oil, more body, and more manageable hair as a result of washing with apple cider vinegar. You can mix a few tablespoons of ACV with water to create a “rinse” that you pour over hair, let sit for a few minutes and then wash with water. If the smell is too powerful, you can add some essential oils like lavender to mask the strong scent.
- Lemon – Another powerful and natural way to improve your scalp’s pH balance is with lemon. To wash your hair with lemon, start with your scalp by massaging a couple tablespoons of the juice directly on skin. Follow with a lemon “rinse” of 1 tsp. lemon juice and 1 cup water. Washing regularly with lemon has been known to alleviate dandruff.