When you need a home remedy for dandruff, you’ll get the best results when you use topical remedies AND deal with the nutritional deficiencies that encourage those annoying flakes and an itchy scalp.
The cause of dandruff was once believed to be a fungus called Malassezia, but a French study in 2013 found that dandruff is caused by an imbalance of both fungus and bacteria on the scalp.
We all have fungus and bacteria on our heads – it’s a fact of life. But when you have dandruff, certain strains (Staphylococcus and Malassezia) get a little too enthusiastic.
What’s really interesting about this is that it means you can start self-healing your dandruff by working on your microbial population which, frankly, runs a lot of what goes on with your health.
And, by the way, if you have dandruff, do you also have some digestive issues? Just askin’ because the microbes in your gut will make an enormous difference to your skin (good or bad)… even when it’s on your head…
Up until now, most typical drug treatments, dandruff shampoos and natural cures for dandruff have been anti-fungal. But you’ll want to tackle both the bacteria and the fungus on your head. Fortunately, a good home remedy for dandruff is often both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.
Conditions related to dandruff (or with dandruff as a symptom) are:
Okay, seriously, would you have guessed that putting honey on your head was a highly effective home remedy for dandruff?
Well, guess what? Honey is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidant.
Here’s what happened when patients in this study rubbed slightly diluted raw honey (90% honey with warm water) into their scalps and left it on for 3 hours…
The participants had dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis (so they had scaling, itching and lesions on both head and body.) After four weeks, they switched from daily treatment to once a week, and continued to have excellent results.
Honey is non-toxic and does not cause the skin irritation that sometimes occurs with conventional dandruff preparations.
What? Probiotics are a home remedy for dandruff? I know that in conventional Western medicine, what you put in your stomach supposedly has nothing to do with the skin on your head but, guess what? It totally does!
If the microbes in your gut are a mess, it’s going to show up in your skin somewhere – as dandruff, dry, flaky skin, breakouts, eczema, psoriasis, or other conditions. This is not rocket science, people.
Before I knew about how crucial gut flora is to health, I had dandruff (ick! Who wants to admit that?)
It went away when I fixed my flora with…
If you’re eating junk food or processed food, you’re not giving your skin any nutrients and… much worse!... you’re actually feeding the fungus and bacteria that cause problems.
Cultured foods and kombucha are available ready-made, or you can make your own.
I love Donna Schwenk’s great books about cultured foods. She has the kind of delicious recipes I would never have thought of myself. A yummy way to calm down dandruff and other skin issues.
And while you’re eating all those great cultured foods, put some probiotic yogurt on your head to rebalance the fungus and bacteria on your scalp.
Mix a half-cup of plain yogurt with a beaten egg and the juice of a quarter lemon. Apply to your scalp. After 30 minutes, wash it off.
To make this even more effective, add some…
Try one or more of these antifungal essential oils for dandruff…
For Seborrhoea, use…
To treat dandruff, you can add essential oils to your natural, sodium laurel sulphate-free shampoo.
Here’s a tip from skincare expert, Wendy Gardner, for a more intensive dandruff treatment...
Optional – for added antibacterial effects, follow shampoo by rinsing scalp with fresh-squeezed lemon juice diluted in enough warm water to make a rinse.
While all parts of the Asian neem tree have healing properties, the leaf seems to work best as a home remedy for dandruff. Neem has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to treat skin problems and many other health conditions.
Neem is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and has many more properties, but that’s enough to deal with your scalp.
There are a couple of ways to use neem leaves for dandruff.
Neem seed extract (neem oil) is an effective treatment for head lice.
Tea Tree or Melaleuca Alternifola is well-documented as a home remedy for dandruff.
Clinical studies show that a 5% solution of Tea Tree Oil in shampoo was “effective in the treatment of mild to moderate dandruff.”
Like honey, Tea Tree is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. Tea tree oil should be in a glass bottle because…
So, if you’re going to use tea tree shampoo, you’ll likely get better results if you use a good quality natural shampoo with no irritants, and add a few drops of your own tea tree/melaleuca oil when you’re washing your hair.
Or massage some tea tree into your scalp before washing your hair.
First, add a few drops to a carrier oil such as almond oil or coconut oil, because melaleuca is quite strong! (Don’t use olive oil as a carrier oil.*) Then let the mixture sit on your scalp for 30 minutes before shampooing.
If you like the scent of tea tree, you can reverse the process: wash your hair, then massage the diluted oil into your scalp and leave it all day to work its magic.
Olive oil is fabulous for cooking and eating, but it is NOT good as part of a home remedy for dandruff because it can damage your skin barrier and worsen atopic dermatitis.
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