What causes dandruff?
When your scalp becomes dry or irritated, it can cause tiny bits of dead skin to fall away and become stuck in your hair. It can be caused by dry skin, oily skin, medical conditions such as eczema, allergies or chemical irritants, or general lack of cleanliness. It is never usually a serious problem but it can be embarrassing so you will probably want to treat it.
Aloe Vera & Yoghurt
Aloe Vera is well known for its moisturising and anti-inflammatory properties and the live cultures found in yogurt are great for removing any bad bacteria that has built up in your hair follicles.
- Mix 3 tablespoons of natural plain yogurt with 1 tablespoon of 100% pure Aloe Vera gel. You can find instructions to harvest your own gel from an Aloe Vera plant here.
- Apply the mixture to your hair, massaging into your scalp.
- Leave on for an hour or so and then wash out with a natural shampoo.
Exfoliate your itchy, dry scalp with crushed sea salt. Salt is great at removing dead skin cells and also has antibacterial properties which can clean away any oily build up and dirt that has accumulated in your pores.
Tea Tree Oil
With its antifungal and antibacterial properties, tea tree oil is a perfect choice for combating dandruff. It penetrates deep into hair follicles, killing off micro-organisms that cause irritation and a dry scalp.
- Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil. Massage the mixture into your hair, leave to soak in for an hour and wash with a natural shampoo.
- You can add a few drops of tea tree oil to your normal shampoo for regular benefits.
- You can even create a tea tree rinse by adding a few drops to a jug of water and using it as the finishing rinse for your hair. It will keep your hair smelling gorgeous and the antibacterial compounds will continue working throughout the day.
Bi-Carbonate of Soda
Bi-carbonate of soda or baking soda works in a similar way to salt. You can make a paste with a few spoons of bi-carbonate and a small amount of water. Massage it into your scalp as an exfoliating treatment and then rinse out with warm water. There is no need to follow with a shampoo as bi-carbonate of soda is a cleanser in itself.
Lemon has acidic properties which help to balance the pH levels in your scalp. It is also an antibacterial and antifungal so it will wash away any bad bacteria that has built up in your pores and hair follicles.
- Juice a whole lemon and massage the juice directly to your scalp. Leave it to soak in for 20 minutes or so and then rinse out with warm water. Do this 3-4 times a week and you should soon start to notice results.
- You can also mix the juice of a lemon with a few spoons of coconut oil. Massage onto your scalp, leave for an hour and then wash out with a natural shampoo.
Apple Cider Vinegar
The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of apple cider vinegar are great as a dandruff fixer. It can be used for people with sensitive skin and results can be seen within a week of starting the treatment. For best results mix equal parts ACV and water and use as a rinse 1-2 times a week.
Coconut oil is a great natural moisturiser. It also has antifungal properties that will help to get rid of any fungal build up in your hair follicles that cause excess dead skin cells.
- Use organic 100% virgin coconut oil for best results.
- Massage into your scalp and leave to soak in overnight.
- Wash out with a natural shampoo. You may need to wash twice to remove all traces of oil.
- Repeat 2-3 times a week and you should start seeing results almost immediately.
How to prevent dandruff
Most dandruff can be treated and ultimately prevented by using the above methods on a regular basis. Introducing a salt scrub followed by a coconut oil massage to your regular routine can keep the problem at bay without harsh chemicals. There are some cases that may be more difficult to treat, such as those caused by an underlying medical condition. In these circumstances you should check with your doctor.