Statistics reveal that five out of ten people have experienced dandruff at least once in their lifetime. Regardless of the season, dandruff can be an annoying condition. It is more about the scalp rather than the hair. The shine and bounce of your hair indicate the underlying health of your scalp, no matter how much you try to hide those flaking skin. Dandruff is a skin condition caused by a fungus called Malassezia that feeds on the sebum – an oily matter that is secreted by the sebaceous gland on the scalp. Experiencing such a scalp condition is nothing severe, but if left untreated, it can turn out to be consequential in the long run. There are several over-the-counter medications that are designed to treat dandruff, but before that, you should try out a few at-home remedies that are just as effective. Some of the simple and commonly followed home remedies include –

Apple Cider Vinegar

A dry and flaky scalp is alkaline in nature, while Apple Cider Vinegar is acidic. The use of apple cider vinegar helps in restoring the pH balance of the scalp while inhibiting the growth of yeast. It also works as a natural hair cleanser to unclog hair follicles and pores. Haircare experts recommend mixing two parts of Apple Cider Vinegar with three parts of cold water and applying it onto the scalp, post shampooing. Give a pause of two minutes to let the solution settle down before washing it off. Repeat the process once weekly. If you are too short of time or lazy to even prepare the mixture, you can purchase readymade mixture from the market and follow an at-home treatment to get rid of those nasty flakes.

Tea Tree Oil

This essential oil is popular for its ability to treat a variety of conditions such as athlete’s foot, dermatitis, and acne. Besides that, it also controls the growth of Malassezia and keeps itching and flakes at bay. Its anti-fungal and anti-acne properties make it capable of fighting fungal and bacterial infection. Simply add a few drops of tea tree oil to your regular shampoo and mix it well. Follow your regular haircare routine with the shampoo. Potential users should note that applying tea tree oil directly on the scalp can cause rashes and inflammation. So, it is recommended to mix it with your daily shampoo.

Garlic and Onion

Both garlic and onion are known to possess anti-fungal properties that help in curing the scalp of dandruff. These are a must-add to your hair care regime. Take a couple of cloves of garlic and half onion and blend them together. Apply the juice on your scalp and massage gently. Leave it for about half-an-hour and then rinse it off with a mild shampoo. Some people are concerned with the strong and pungent smell of both the ingredients. You can always add some honey to beat the smell. Also, use a strong natural shampoo and conditioner to rinse off the smell from your hair.

Aloe Vera

This has been labeled as one of the best dandruff home remedies. Not only for dandruff, but this succulent is also frequently added to various skin ointments, lotions, and cosmetics. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties in Aloe Vera mildly exfoliate the skin and provide a cooling sensation. A test-tube study revealed that Aloe Vera has been effective in combating various species of fungi, including dandruff, and hence is effective in controlling fungal infections. Experts recommend directly applying the extract from the Aloe Vera plant, which has a thick and transparent consistency. After allowing it to settle on the scalp surface, it can be washed off with a medicated anti-dandruff or mild shampoo. This herb also helps to calm down an irritated scalp and provides relief from inflammation.


Yogurt or curd is a common household food. The presence of lactic acid in yogurt is known to be effective in reducing dandruff considerably. The anti-bacterial properties of this food will help to remove dandruff and strengthen the hair from its roots. First, rinse the hair with lukewarm water and then towel dry it to remove the dripping water. Apply a layer of fresh yogurt on the scalp and let it sit for about 10 minutes before washing it off with water. You can also mix the yogurt with other ingredients like eggs, lemon, vinegar, and gram flour to get the desired result. Use a mild shampoo post-wash to restore the hair vitality and remove any remaining odor.


This might sound a bit awkward, but salt has the potential to absorb excess oil that can clog pores and prevent your scalp from turning into an oil extracting surface. The abrasive nature of ordinary table salt works wonders for scrubbing out dandruff flakes before you wash it off with shampoo. This is one of the simplest methods for dandruff home remedies. Simply grab a saltshaker and put some salt on your scalp. Then give a gentle massage to your scalp. After that, you can wash it off with a mild shampoo. You can also add it to your usual hair wash for similar results.

Coconut Oil

The application of coconut oil on the scalp may reduce irritation, improve hydration, and prevent fungal growth. Research studies have found that coconut extract possesses anti-inflammatory properties that aid in the treatment of eczema, a skin condition that may contribute to the occurrence of dandruff. Before taking a bath, take 3-5 tablespoon of coconut oil and massage it on your scalp. Let it sit for about an hour before washing it off. You can either apply it separately or look for s shampoo that contains coconut extract. This is one of the best dandruff home remedies that also add volume to your hair while making it smooth.

General Guidelines to Keep in Mind

Following the dandruff home remedies mentioned above will not give you the desired result unless you take proper care of your hair and overall health. Alongside the home remedies which you may opt for, there are a few things that you need to follow. These include –

Changing Your Diet

Research studies reveal that poor nutrition and dandruff are inter-linked. Consuming high-carb food leads to the buildup of glycogen in the skin that is a food source for yeast. Though there is little evidence, the same food that promotes acne may also aggravate dandruff. Also, sugary foods and dairy products stimulate the sebaceous gland that may produce oil on the skin. So, you might need to avoid those carbs and sugar if you are prone to dandruff.

Washing Your Hair More Often

Whatever dandruff home remedies you might use, washing your hair frequently is a must. Keeping your hair dry for longer periods may partially contribute to the flaking of your scalp. Though some people are of the opinion that allowing the natural oils to sit on your scalp is good, it can add to the dandruff problem. So, people with dandruff problems should regularly wash their hair to reduce the buildup of flaky growths.

Exfoliating the Scalp

Similar to the exfoliating your skin, you also need to exfoliate your scalp by gently lifting the top layer of the dry skin. Scalp exfoliators use a small amount of salicylic acid to remove dead skin from the surface of the scalp.

Avoiding Shampoos Containing Tar

Shampoo containing tar may discolor your hair, especially those with light hair. So, try to opt for a shampoo with low tar content. Go for special dandruff shampoos that contain sulfur or zinc to reduce the yeast population. There are different shampoos for dryness, flaking, irritation, and redness. Choose wisely, depending on your skin type and condition.

Preventing Scratching

Scratching your head is a common symptom of dandruff on your scalp. Refrain from scratching your scalp as it can aggravate irritation and inflammation. Also, getting a scratch from long and sharp nails may lead to infection.

A Final Word of Advice

Dandruff can be a frustrating problem, but there are plenty of treatment options available. There are several effective dandruff home remedies that can reduce symptoms and provide relief to the person. Next time you observe some of those dry flakes on your scalp, try out some of these natural remedies and experience the remarkable outcome.