Whether you have short hair, long hair, or anywhere in between, there are ways to get rid of dandruff fast, without having to resort to chemically-induced shampoos. Some of the following home remedies can even offer a permanent overnight solution. That’s right, there are organic, DIY ways to get rid of dandruff forever and for good.
To be fair, some of these remedies might work for some better than others. Each of our bodies have a different genetic makeup. So take note that this can play a role in which will work best when finding an at home dandruff-free solution.
So without further ado, skip potentially toxic dandruff shampoos and try these home remedy tips to ward off those obnoxious white flakes.
10 Dandruff Home Remedies Without Using Shampoo
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
One of the most popular DIY treatments for dandruff is apple cider vinegar. The reasons ACV can be so effective is because of its effect on the pH of your scalp. In short, it makes it more difficult for yeast to grow in your hair.
Simply mix ¼ cup of ACV with ¼ cup of water in a spray bottle and spritz throughout your scalp. Wrap a towel around your head for about 30 minutes, and then wash the apple cider vinegar out of your hair. This might not eliminate dandruff in one day, but after just a few treatments you should start to see results.
2. Coconut Oil
What some call the “tried and true” anti-dandruff treatment, coconut oil (for some) can be an overnight solution. As a moisturizer, conditioner, and antifungal substance, coconut oil helps to kill off the fungus that typically causes dandruff. It has been used for centuries to treat a range of skin issues. Thanks to its ability to heal the scalp, if used regularly coconut oil can get rid of dandruff permanently and fast.
Before taking a shower, massage three to five tbsps of the oil into your scalp and hair and let sit for about 45 minutes. Then rinse out hair.
Lemon has a host of natural benefits, including its anti-fungal properties and the vitamin C and citric acid that can ward off dandruff. Applying lemon to your scalp will moisturize and shed dead skin cells, while soothing any itching or irritation.
To apply, massage two tbsps of lemon juice into your hair and scalp, and rinse out with water. Then mix a tsp of lemon juice with a cup of water and rinse accordingly. The acidity in the lemon juice will help balance the pH in your scalp, making it an organic anti-dandruff treatment.
4. Baking Soda
Most likely, you’re cupboard is already stocked with this basic commodity. That’s right, your kitchen could harbor the key to a flake-free scalp. Baking soda can eliminate dandruff by rooting out the fungi that can generate dandruff.
After wetting your hair, rub a handful of powder into your scalp. Then go right to rinsing. Keep in mind that this might dry out your hair at first. But over time, your scalp will begin to produce natural oils, leaving softer, flake-free hair.
5. Essential Oils
Essential oils are among the best home remedies for treating and soothing a flaky and itchy scalp. Arguably the most popular oil for treating dandruff is lavender, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. It also has regenerative properties that encourage a consistently healthy and germ-free scalp.
Mix five to seven drops of lavender with coconut oil (or the carrier oil of your choice) and apply the mixture overnight. An added bonus is that lavender promotes restful sleep! Other essential oils to consider are:
- Rosemary: Increases circulation of the scalp
- Thyme: Eliminates germs with its antiseptic properties
- Chamomile: Cures the scalp with numerous healing properties
- Peppermint: Provides a cooling sensation that eases itching
6. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera gel is already used in a lot of dandruff-removing shampoos to help clean the scalp. The gel provides a cool and soothing effect when massaged into the scalp, while reducing the temptation to itch. Thanks to the antiviral and antibacterial nature of aloe vera, it will also help fight infections in the hair.
Apply aloe vera directly and let it sit for about 20 minutes before rinsing.
7. Egg and Curd
This might seem like an odd one, but egg white is rich in proteins, which nourishes and repairs weak hair and split ends. The amino acids will help strengthen your roots so that your hair won’t break down so easily.
Collect the white of one egg, mix to curd, and apply to your hair. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then wash out using cool water.
8. Neem Leaves
Neem is comprised of anti-septic properties and natural oils that help moisturize your hair, giving it the ability to treat dead skin flakes and an itchy scalp. Neem is widely used in Asian countries to remove lice, dandruff, and other skin conditions.
Create a paste from the leaves and mix in some water. Rinse your hair with the solution to get fast relief. You can also boil the neem leaves in water for about half an hour. After the solution cools, you can then use it to rinse your hair.
Oatmeal can be a comfort to itchy skin, making it a great natural alternative for curbing the irritation from hair dandruff. To help relieve the itch, you can make your own oatmeal shampoo recipe. Follow these steps:
- Blend one cup of oatmeal in a blender or food processor until it breaks down to a powder. While it’s more expensive, you can purchase pre-grounded oatmeal at most health food stores.
- Boil two cups of water in a small bowl and then add in the grounded oatmeal. Stir until the oatmeal is dissolved and let sit for about five minutes. Filter the mixture into a medium-size bowl.
- Add a tbsp of both lemon juice and apple cider vinegar and stir. Add 15 drops of your preferred essential oil and stir (lavender and orange are two we would recommend). Pour all the ingredients into an empty shampoo bottle – and you’re good to go!
10. Olive Oil
Olive oil can work as a natural, healthy treatment for your scalp. As you might already know, it’s been used for centuries to treat a variety of hair problems. Chalked with antioxidants and other nutrients, it’s a healthy substitute for traditional shampoos and hair care products – that are both expensive and potentially damaging to your health.
In addition, olive oil works as a great natural moisturizer to reduce the appearance of dandruff, by preventing a dry and flaky scalp. To apply, simply heat some extra virgin olive oil until it is warm. Massage into your scalp and then wrap with a towel. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, or for the best results, leave it on overnight.
Natural Tips to Get Rid of Dandruff on Dogs and Pets
If you own a dog or cat, you might know that most pets have no immunity to dandruff. We know you named your dog Fluffy, and not Flaky, for a reason. If your pet does have dandruff, it’s most likely a sign of dry skin. Here are a few natural cures for pet dandruff:
- Keep them groomed: Brushing on a daily basis not only makes your dog or cat feel good, it smoothes out her hair while distributing natural oils into their skin.
- Bathe them: Like us humans, it feels good to get a bath every now and then. There are organic pet shampoos and conditioners you can use to keep the chemicals at bay. Just be sure to check the product label to ensure all the ingredients are safe.
- Check their diet: Pets need a certain degree of fat in their diet to keep their skin healthy and their hair shiny. You can either supplement their food with pet-specific oils or switch to a higher quality, holistic pet food.
- Run a humidifier: Because low humidity can be a stimulant to cat or dog dandruff, a humidifier can work wonders. Keep it running in your pet’s sleeping area to boost the moisture in the air.
- Try out a DIY remedy: Most of the remedies for humans (listed above this section) also work great for animals. The remedies we especially recommend are apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, and essential oils.
Causes of Dandruff and Tips to Consider
Before concluding, it’s important to understand the causes of dandruff. If you can find certain habits that might be the culprit, some simple lifestyle adjustments can offer a potent, and more permanent solution. Consider these factors:
- Certain environmental factors
- Fungus or yeast
- Poor diet and not enough hydration
- Not washing your hair well enough
- Excessively dry or oily scalp
- Skin issues such as psoriasis and eczema
- Negative reaction to hair care products