How to Get Rid of Dandruff Naturally – The Easy Path to a Healthier Scalp
Figuring out how to get rid of dandruff naturally can be easy enough, even without the need for drugs and messy oils or over-the-counter products that can have a lot of unwanted side effects.
How can you do it, though, and what is it all about when it comes to dandruff? Before going into the actual methods and remedies involved, it’s important that we first look at the source of dandruff itself, as well as its causes and the various myths and misconceptions that are commonly associated with this unwanted and often embarrassing hair and skin problem.
What Is Dandruff? Root Causes and Misconceptions
So let’s start at the beginning: what is dandruff? Also known as “pityriasis,” dandruff is a common skin condition that is usually caused by a type of yeast-like fungus named Malassezia. This fungus is a part of the scalp’s natural flora, but due to problems such as stress, hormonal imbalances, less frequent shampooing, certain skin disorders or dry skin (the most common cause of dandruff), dandruff can form as a result of complications resulting from Malassezia growing too rapidly, feeding on sebum, and breaking it down into excessive fatty acids that ultimately lead to the symptoms of dandruff – such as dryness and itchiness of the scalp, or dry, dead skin flakes.
The most basic misconception about dandruff is that, due to it being apparently a problem that only deals with the scalp, you may tend to buy into remedies that deal specifically with the symptoms – such as topical remedies and oils. However, the root cause of the problem is never addressed which is why many of the products and remedies promising to get rid of dandruff won’t actually work.
Also, dandruff is often confused with dry skin. Although it can lead to the formation of dandruff, dry skin is not the same problem, and in most cases comes with different symptoms as well. Dry skin is consistent with flakes of dead skin cells as well – as in the case of dandruff – but its causes can include shampooing too often, skin irritations and conditions caused by harsh hair products or exposure to excessive temperature differences.
The Importance of Natural Remedies
About 2 in 3 people are said to have suffered from dandruff at some point in their lives. This would be a scary number if the disorder had no proper cure and if it was something a lot more serious (some may disagree with me on that last one). Nevertheless, getting rid of dandruff can be an important issue, and for many people, none of the anti-dandruff shampoos, oils or other products that require topical application have been effective – at all.
“The hair-washing “epidemic” only started in the 70’s and was made up by some very smart marketing people with big $$$ in their eyes.”
People didn’t use a lot of shampoos and complex formulas to get rid of dandruff much before these hair products became mainstream. In fact, back in the day, many were able to do without anything but a basic shampoo – or just by using soap (yikes(?)!) – but curiously enough, they were able to maintain their bodies’ natural balance through a healthy lifestyle and diet.
You may find that going back to those natural remedies, day-to-day activities and healthy foods that they were using could actually help you get rid of dandruff naturally and permanently. Let’s see exactly how this is done.
Alternative Topical Treatments
“Normal, healthy hair and scalp have a natural balance that is disturbed every time you wash them. Did you know that normal shampoos contain chemicals (mostly sulfates, like sodium lauryl sulfate) that are identical to the ones found in detergents you clean your kitchen with? They completely strip your hair and scalp from its natural oils and destroy the balance.” – Amazingy Magazine 
While in a few cases, special products may exist that aim to cure dandruff naturally, they have the drawback of being either extremely expensive, not too effective, or coming with a wide range of side effects. So making abstraction of them, we can mention a few genuinely practical natural remedies and changes you can try to get rid of dandruff:
- Use vinegar to kill off dandruff-causing fungus and gradually treat the dry, itchy skin associated with dandruff. (Try this shampoo-free method using vinegar).
- Use baking soda as a gentle scrub to exfoliate the scalp and soothe symptoms of redness and itching. Baking soda also has anti-fungal properties that can work effectively against the Malassezia.
- Neem leaves, a natural Indian herbal remedy, can also help inhibit the growth of the fungus that causes dandruff, while gently taking itching out of the picture. Just add two handfuls of neem leaves to 4 cups of hot water and leave them there overnight, before using them on your scalp. Alternatively, you can take it as a supplement. 
- Citric acid and vitamin C present in oranges and lemons can also act as a highly effective natural remedy against dandruff outbreaks. Mix lemon juice and orange peel into a paste, and apply it to the scalp for half an hour before washing it off.
- Avoid stress at all costs, and diminish your levels of daily anxiety, as they can easily compromise your body’s natural defenses. Some meditation techniques will help.
- Finally, and probably the most effective method of all – it’s important to look into a healthy diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, zinc and plenty of fluids. This will help you restore the natural hormonal balance of your body and help its natural healing abilities along.
Dandruff and Diet – The Key Connection
Diet is essential not only to reducing and eliminating dandruff, but also when you want to keep it off permanently. A natural diet is the key component in reestablishing the natural balance within your body that may have been inhibited by the use of chemicals in various hair products.
A healthy diet to get rid of dandruff naturally can include leafy greens such as kale and lettuce, as well as healthy vegetables like broccoli. Also, it is very important to add a good source of lean proteins and omega-3 fatty acids. Fish are the ideal candidate, and you can also get lean protein from nuts and beans, as well as eggs and non-meat protein sources.
If you’re serious about learning how to get rid of dandruff naturally, these tips and methods should really help, and you will find that results won’t shy away from showing as soon as you find out which natural remedy works best for you.
Author: Adrian S. @ Humble Universe
Editor: Margot R. @ Humble Universe