Anyone else embarrassed when scattered bunches of bitty white flecks cling to the shoulders of clothing and outerwear? This is such a common human experience and it happens to most of us from time to time.
If your head is frequently itchy–maybe wondering what triggers it exactly…or are looking for effective solutions that work to treat this malady, this is the page with answers!
I’ve put together a handy resource sheet including details on what causes dandruff and how to get rid of it.
I’m also sharing several home remedies from my personal collection (found below).
“As the skin layers continually replace themselves, cells are pushed outward where they die and flake off. For most individuals, these flakes are too small to be visible. However, certain conditions cause cell turnover to be unusually rapid, especially in the scalp.
It is hypothesized that for people with dandruff, cells may mature and be shed in 2–7 days, as opposed to around a month in people without it. The result is dead skin cells are shed in large, oily clumps, which appear as white or grayish flakes.” Source: Wikipedia.
What Are The Causes:
- Reaction or allergy to certain commercial products (contact dermatitis). Weed them out one by one until the culprit is discovered.
- Irritated/greasy scalp (seborrheic dermatitis) or dry skin.
- Infrequent shampooing.
- Fungus (malassezia: feeds on body oils). Don’t freak out! It’s something natural everyone has…but some have a negative reaction to it.
- High Season: Outbreaks tend to occur during winter and/or in dry climates.
- Conditions such as psoriasis or eczema.
- Is it contagious? Thankfully, No.
These are organized from my personal notes and research, please be careful to avoid getting any of the solutions in eyes since I’m sure it would sting a bit (just as with commercial products). If the head has a cut or broken skin, wait until fully healed to avoid experiencing any discomfort.
Careful: Be aware that it’s possible a treatment may strip dyed color or affect light colors such as blonde or gray, I have no way to test things to know for sure. Test a patch underneath at the back if you want to make sure there will be no problems.
- White Household Vinegar: Before applying shampoo, do a rinse. Wait a minute or two before removing; proceed as normal. Do this every time showering. You could also try in reverse by performing the rinse last.
- Listerine (Original): Combine two parts water to 1 part Listerine. Wet head, spritz the mixture all over really well so every inch is covered. Allow to sit for 30 mins.; wash off. Do every other day for one week. Repeat as necessary.
- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): Combine 50/50 ACV + water. Thoroughly wet head, pat down, then spray the ACV batch all over. Allow to sit for about 40 mins., wash out, shampoo as normal.
- Tea Tree: Pour 1 TBS Tea Tree Oil + 1 cup of warm water (distilled if making a big batch) in a squirt bottle, shake until well mixed. After usual hair care routine, spray a generous amount of the mixture all over, massage and wait for a couple minutes. Pat the excess moisture out but don’t remove.
- Rosemary Tea: Brew a pot and steep for 24 hours with 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh Rosemary. Strain and pour into a squirt bottle and use as a rinse. *Dark hair only
- Peppermint: Same as the Rosemary Tea method but a handful of fresh peppermint leaves instead of the Rosemary sprigs. *Dark hair only
- Peppermint Cider: Boil 1 cup of water + add to 1 cup of ACV and a handful of fresh peppermint leaves. Steep for 2 hours, strain and pour into a squirt bottle. Apply after shampooing, massage mixture into surface and leave in.
- Aspirin: Finely crush 3 tablets of Aspirin + dissolve into a spray bottle of hot water, allow to cool. Apply (all over) then wash as normal. Shake well.
- Lavender Infusion: Good as a rinse, also adds shine. Dilute first–1 part infusion to 8 part water ratio. Click the link to find recipes and info.
- Coconut Oil: Simple remedy that’s effective for treating a dry scalp. Melt on low heat and when the temperature is comfortable, apply.
- Low Carb/Low Sugar Diet: Easy way to reduce the buildup of glycogen (what the yeast feasts on).
Here’s a simple Anti-Dandruff recipe to try, this can be used daily to help control itching and flaking (source: davidsuzuki.org — no longer available online)…
- Combine 2 cups water, 1/2 cup ACV, 5 drops tea tree EO, 5 drops rosemary EO. Massage into scalp, let it sit for a few minutes before washing. Store in a squirt bottle and shake first. You can adjust the amount of EO added (if found too strong).
Final Tip: If a successful treatment is discovered for your situation, make sure to keep tools clean to help prevent a recurrence. Regularly soak combs and hair picks in a jar of Listerine or household vinegar, spray brushes with it too.