Dandruff is annoying, itchy, and embarrassing. If you have it, you want it gone. The good news is now you can stop dandruff in its tracks by making your own shampoo at home. It works, it’s affordable, and it’s made with all natural ingredients. You can also use it if your scalp is dry. Don’t be surprised if it becomes your new best friend. Keep reading to learn how to make it.
What Is Dandruff?
Dandruff, a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis, is caused by an increased production of skin cells on the scalp that causes the skin to flake, itch, and shed, showing up as white flecks on your clothing. The condition is seen as cradle cap in babies. Seborrheic dermatitis affects area of the body that contain a lot of oil-producing glands, not just the scalp. It is associated with the fungus, Malassezia, which feeds on oily hair-follicle secretions.
Although, dandruff is common, the exact cause is unknown, and it can be difficult to treat. Dandruff is wrongly accused of being caused by poor hygiene, which is a fallacy, even though shampooing more frequently does help to alleviate the problem because it removes the annoying flakes. No doubt about it, the condition is frustrating, but thankfully it’s not dangerous, nor is it contagious.
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Stress appears to compound the problem as do inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Extremes in the amount of moisture in the skin, such as really dry or particularly oily skin, may also be an underlying cause. People with seborrheic dermatitis tend to have oily skin, which pre-disposes them to developing dandruff.
A B-vitamin and zinc deficiency may also play into risk. Getting enough healthy fat appears to be preventative. Interestingly, dandruff is more common in men than women, with male hormones, or androgens, potentially playing a role. Dandruff typically occurs in young and middle-aged adults, and unfortunately for some, can be a lifelong condition.
Air pollution can make dandruff worse so don’t be surprised if you notice more shedding after being exposed to dirty air. Genetics also factor in. A weakened immune system is thought to be an underlying factor in the development of dandruff.
It’s normal to have fungus on the scalp, and in most people isn’t problematic. In people with dandruff, however, the immune system may overreact to the fungus, causing skin cells to turn over too rapidly.
Stop Dandruff In Its Tracks
Yeast is suspected to be a primary cause of dandruff. This is why products designed to treat the scalp contain anti-fungals. The DIY recipe below contains tea tree oil, which is a natural anti-fungal, antiseptic, and antibiotic.
Many people notice that their dandruff improves in the summer months when they’re exposed to sunlight. This reduction may be attributed to UV radiation, which counteracts yeast.
Washing your hair more frequently will remove dead skin, as will brushing. Eat a nutritious diet with foods that contain B vitamins and zinc, including nuts, red meat, poultry, beans, fish, eggs, and green leafy vegetables.
Eating these foods will also boost your immune function, as will getting enough sleep, exercising, and managing your stress. This is important because stress can exacerbate the problem. Also, reduce the amount of sugar you eat since sugar feeds yeast.
- Use anti-fungal preparations
- Expose your scalp to sunlight
- Brush frequently to remove dead skin cells
- Wash your hair more often
- Optimize immune function
- Consume foods or supplement with B vitamins and zinc
- Reduce sugar which feeds yeast
- Find ways to manage stress
When Dandruff Turns Serious
Most cases of dandruff are not serious enough to warrant visiting a doctor. However, it may be time to schedule an appointment if you’ve tried a variety of anti-dandruff shampoos for a few weeks with no improvement.
Another cause for concern is if your scalp becomes increasingly itchy, red, or swollen, especially if your immune system is compromised from taking immune-suppressing medications or being treated with chemotherapy.
Anti-Dandruff Shampoo Recipe
Over-the-counter shampoos can treat dandruff, just be aware that the chemicals within the products aren’t natural. It’s easy and inexpensive to make your own anti-dandruff shampoo so why not give this DIY recipe a try? It only takes a few minutes to throw it together.
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water (use filtered or distilled)
- 1/3 cup castile soap (I use unscented)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons jojoba or almond oil
- 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
- 1 1/2 teaspoons glycerin
- Several drops of tea tree oil
- In a large bowl, thoroughly combine all ingredients
- Pour into a jar or container and shake well
- Apply a generous amount of the solution to your palms
- Massage mixture into your scalp and leave on for at least 5 minutes
- Rinse and repeat as needed
- Continue using until dandruff is gone
Pretty simple, right? Concoctions that work don’t need to be complicated or expensive.
Stop Dandruff With Apple Cider Vinegar
Here’s another quick and easy dandruff hack. Put equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water in a small spray bottle. Saturate your scalp with the solution. Wrap hair in a shower cap and leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. Repeat procedure twice a week until dandruff is gone.
Apple cider vinegar is fermented and jam packed with life-giving probiotics, which are antibacterial. The acidity of the vinegar helps to control fungus on the scalp, and the anti-inflammatory properties soothe swelling and irritation. It’s also great for conditioning the hair and adding shine.
Dandruff, while not painful, is irritating and embarrassing. No one wants unsightly flakes of skin on their clothing. Dandruff is thought to be caused by yeast and is treated with anti-fungals.
If you have dandruff, and haven’t been successful in getting rid of it, whip up some anti-fungal shampoo, and kick it to the curb for good…
What remedies have you tried for dandruff? Were they successful? Let me know in the comments:)
(1) MedicalNewsToday: How to treat dandruff
(2) Mayo Clinic: Dandruff
(3) HTQ: What Is Seborrheic Dermatitis?
(4) WebMD: Dandruff: Learn The Basics
(5) WebMD: Apple Cider Vinegar and Your Health