Dandruff refers to an ordinary scalp condition wherein too many dead skin cells get accumulated on the scalp. Although the process of shedding the dead skin cells is normal, it can lead to an inflammatory condition marked by flaking and itching on the scalp when it sheds cells excessively.
There are many factors that may cause dandruff, such as dry skin, eczema, irregular shampooing, and sensitivity to hair care products. While the minor cases of dandruff need only daily cleansing, serious cases are dealt with simple herbal remedies to keep dandruff at bay.
These herbal remedies are also effective for mild to medium condition of dandruff. After all, dandruff is quite embarrassing when itching and those invisible white flakes become apparent to the public. So, here are some of the best herbal remedies to deal with dandruff.
Herbal Remedies for Treating Dandruff
Aloe is already in use as a natural remedy for treating damaged skin and inflammatory conditions. Indeed, it has been used since ages as a remedy for dandruff. That is why even the modern herbalists recommend this herb for getting relief from dandruff. According to a study reported in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment (2009 issue), using the Aloe Vera extract emulsion on the sufferers of seborrheic dermatitis ensures speedy recovery.
It was later concluded that using fresh gel of this herb may give relief even to a dandruff patient. Even Medline Plus has confirmed that Aloe Vera is an effective topical treatment for dandruff. Therefore, it is recommended to apply the fresh gel on the scalp once in a day followed by rinsing after half an hour for good results.
Vinegar is another potent herb that has shown its effectiveness in the treatment of dandruff. According to the experts, vinegar is full of potassium and enzymes; which are capable of reversing the ill effects of dandruff such as itchy scalp. More effectively, apple cider vinegar is found to give relief from this condition by killing the pathogens on contact, as per the Reader’s Digest Association. Typically, apple cider vinegar discards those dead skin cells that block the hair follicles and cause dandruff flakes.
You can use vinegar in different ways to treat dandruff. First, you can mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part of water, and pour the mixture over your hair as the final rinse after shampooing. To make this solution more effective, it is recommended to add 3 drops of rosemary oil or tea tree oil to every cup of vinegar. Second, you can massage apple cider vinegar on the affected scalp area for 5 to 7 minutes daily.
Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia)
Extracted from the Australian tea tree, this essential oil is effective in treating mild to moderate dandruff conditions. According to the National Institutes of Health, a shampoo made with 5% tea tree oil may be a potent treatment for dandruff. This conclusion is based on a research whose report has revealed the ability of this oil to trigger an antifungal action against a kind of yeast that may cause dandruff.
According to another study printed in the ‘Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (2002 issue)’, patients treated with 5% oil for four weeks showed improvement in the symptoms by 41% than those treated with a placebo in whom the improvement was only seen by 11%. For good results, in 8 oz. of fragrant-free shampoo, dilute 10 drops of oil and then wash your hair with it.
Do not be surprised to know that such a common culinary herb can regulate dandruff. Did you know that parsley has been in use as a folk remedy to treat dandruff? Although there is no clinical evidence to show the effectiveness of parsley, the ancient usage has unveiled a lot about its effectiveness.
The mere fact that the herb leaves the hair silky and shimmering convinces one to use it during the final rinse after shampooing. Jude Todd, the author of Jude’s Herbal Home Remedies, suggests using parsley for dealing with dandruff. She recommends mixing two cups of boiling water and half a cup of chopped parsley, leaving it for half an hour, and then massaging it on the scalp followed by rinsing after 15 minutes. As a tip, try rinsing after shampooing with the tea tree oil for great results.
Evening Primrose (Oenothera Biennis)
This is a yellow flower that grows abundantly in North America. Herbalists recommend using the oil extracted from the seeds of this flower for treating eczema, dandruff, and circulatory disorders. The oil is rich in Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) that is one of the essential omega-6 fatty acids required to treat inflammation. According to the nutritional consultant Phyllis A. Balch, the oil is effective in treating the symptoms of dandruff such as itching, dry scalp, and inflammation.
Warning: The herb may cause nausea in susceptible consumers.
Olive oil acts as a perfect moisturizer on your scalp. Although going for an oily treatment is harmful especially when dandruff is the outcome of an oily scalp, an occasional hot oil treatment can weaken the obstinate flakes so that they can be removed easily from the hair.
As per the American Chronicle site, olive oil is rich in calming Vitamin E and antioxidants that rejuvenate and protect the scalp and hair from ailments such as dandruff. Therefore, the site suggests a topical treatment wherein you need to apply ¼ cup of pure extra virgin olive oil on the hair, leave it for 15 minutes, and rinse with the help of a standard shampoo and conditioner.
Rosemary Essential Oil
According to the experts, this essential oil is effective in boosting the blood circulation to the scalp and in alleviating flaking due to dandruff. Mixing the oil with a fatty carrier such as avocado oil before massaging ensures better results.
So, add two to three drops of rosemary oil to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil, and then massage it onto the scalp for two minutes before sleeping at night. In the morning, you just need to wash and condition your tresses. Continue this treatment until your scalp becomes totally free from dandruff.
Note: Do take medical advice from your doctor before starting with any of these herbal remedies so that you know the most suitable remedy along with its right dosage.