Independent Online

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

View 0 recent articles pushed to you.Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Home remedies for dandruff that have been clinically shown to work

Small bits of dry skin that have built up on the scalp flake off in dandruff, a prevalent scalp condition. Picture: Pexels

Small bits of dry skin that have built up on the scalp flake off in dandruff, a prevalent scalp condition. Picture: Pexels

Published Apr 5, 2023


When you’re dressed up for an interview or a formal meal, the most embarrassing thing that could happen is having an overwhelming urge to scratch your head, while also being aware that a shower of white flakes would follow, landing on a shirt that is either black or navy blue, and being exposed to everyone.

Beyond gender, age, and ethnicity, dandruff is a medical condition that has managed to unify more than half of the adult population worldwide.

According to Medical News Today, the fungus Malassezia, which feeds on dead skin cells produced naturally during the development of new skin and sebum (the oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands on our head), is what causes this scalp condition.

Despite being a typical component of the scalp, this microbe becomes troublesome when a fungus feeds on sebum and breaks it down into fatty acids, which may irritate many people’s sensitive scalps.

Additionally, this is the cause of the dryness and itching on the head, which makes the dead skin cells build up into obvious flakes.

Whether a person develops severe or moderate dandruff depends on how sensitive they are to these fatty acids. If you’re searching for dandruff home remedies, the following is what dermatologist Dr Dilshaad Asmal advises:


In addition to healing dry, itchy skin, vinegar aids in the destruction of bacteria and fungi responsible for dandruff. Vinegar’s acidic composition is helpful to significantly decrease flaking.

Applying an equal mixture of white vinegar and water to the scalp 30 minutes before washing your hair is Dr Asmal’s go-to home remedy.

Sodium bicarbonate

Use baking soda to softly scrub and exfoliate the scalp, removing dead skin cells without causing it any discomfort. According to Dr Asmal, exfoliation is necessary to prevent a build-up of flakes on the head that would make dandruff even more noticeable.

He says that in addition to its exfoliation and anti-fungal qualities, baking soda also soothes the scalp and lessens redness and itching.

Simply mix some baking soda into your shampoo when washing your hair.

Tea tree oil

Due to its ability to combat bacterial and fungal infections, tea tree oil is a key component of many all anti-acne and anti-fungal medications. Dr Asmal advises adding a few drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo and washing as usual to see results while relaxing in your own home.


Occasionally eating a garlic clove may be frowned upon by some people due to its strong scent, but there is no denying its medicinal benefits.

“The benefits of raw or crushed garlic (avoid cooked garlic for treating medical conditions) have mesmerised man for millennia. Garlic is incredibly beneficial as an anti-fungal natural product.

“To get results quickly, crush one or two cloves of garlic and combine with water before applying to your skin. You could always add some honey and ginger to mask the odour,” advises Dr Asmal.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera has cooling qualities in addition to mild skin exfoliation, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.

Dr Asmal recommends that it is best to directly extract some from the aloe vera plant because it is transparent and has a thick consistency.

It can be rubbed into the hair before being removed with a medicated anti-dandruff shampoo or gentle shampoo. He also suggests using this herb to soothe irritated skin and reduce inflammation.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is frequently used as a home remedy for dandruff and has been linked to a number of health advantages, according to a study cited by Healthline.

That’s because it’s thought that the acidity of the vinegar may aid in promoting the shedding of dead skin cells from your scalp. Apple cider vinegar is also said to balance the pH of your epidermis.

No scientific research backs up these assertions, although anecdotal evidence supports many of the claimed uses for apple cider vinegar in the treatment of dandruff.

A small study of 22 individuals found topically applying diluted apple cider vinegar did not improve eczema or the integrity of the skin barrier — instead, it worsened skin irritation.

Dr Asmal recommends either adding a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your shampoo or mixing it with essential oils and spraying it straight onto your hair if you want to give it a try.


In your body, omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the health of your heart, immune system and airways, in addition to making up the cell membranes that enclose your cells.

Omega-3s are also essential for healthy epidermis. They facilitate wound repair, control oil production, maintain hydration, and delay the onset of ageing.

Fatty seafoods are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, including salmon, trout, and mackerel. Adding more omega-3-rich items to your diet, like flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts, is another option, suggests Dr Asmal.

Even though there are many at-home treatments for dandruff, in some instances additional care may be required. Numerous over-the-counter medicated shampoos and scalp remedies have components that are antifungal or antibacterial to lessen dandruff.

If these products are ineffective after two to three weeks, you might want to see a dermatologist to see if any other prescribed shampoos or drugs would be helpful.

According to Healthline, medical experts frequently recommend topical antifungal drugs, corticosteroids, and immunomodulators to treat dandruff and other skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis.

Even though dandruff can be a challenging issue to manage, a number of natural remedies may ease symptoms and offer alleviation.

Try a few of the natural solutions listed above the next time you notice flakes to promote skin health and reduce dandruff naturally.

If these treatments are unsuccessful, speak with a dermatologist to determine whether additional treatment might be required to deliver long-lasting relief.

Read the latest issue of IOL Health digital magazine here.