Home remedies

Home remedies for dandruff

Home remedies for dandruff

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Everyone loses scalp dandruff on a regular basis, but this is usually not visible to the naked eye. Dandruff can be an uncomfortable pain if it is excessively severe and can be seen by everyone on dark clothing in the form of fine white snow. In rare cases, special anti-dandruff shampoos can help, but especially in the case of dry dandruff, this can even lead to a massive increase in symptoms. On the other hand, treatment with natural home remedies is simple and harmless, by means of which the problem can be tackled quickly and effectively.

What are "dandruff"?

The so-called "dandruff" (medical: pityriasis simplex capitis) is a larger collection of horny cells that detach from the scalp. This is a completely normal process, because human skin normally renews itself approximately once a month and automatically rejects the old cells. Accordingly, dandruff is not an indication of neglect or poor hygiene, but rather represents a completely natural and sensible phenomenon in the course of skin renewal. Sometimes dandruff does not only appear on the head, but also as scaly skin in other places.

As a rule, the horn platelets are so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye. However, this changes when the normal process is disturbed. Because, for example, the new cells grow so quickly that the ones above them cannot be detached in time, cell clusters form that are visible externally from a certain size in the form of scales. The darker the outer clothing, the more striking. In order to alleviate the annoying dandruff as much as possible, we first need to know what kind of dandruff it is.

Causes of greasy dandruff

Greasy scales in turn mostly arise from an overproduction of sebum, which connects to the detached horn cells. In the form of oily, yellowish flakes, these are then recognizable between the hair. Reasons for a malfunction of the sebaceous glands can be, for example, hormonal changes especially during puberty, hereditary factors or the so-called "seborrheic eczema", which affects about three to ten percent of the population. If you also suffer from oily hair, you can find some home remedies for oily hair here. The greasy scales stick together quickly and also offer an ideal breeding ground for bacteria or fungi such as the harmless yeast “Malassezia furfur”, which often initially leads to severe itching. If the pathogens get deeper into the scalp due to scratching, however, infections occur, which can massively intensify the symptoms.

Causes of dry dandruff

A distinction is made between dry and oily scales. The former indicate that the scalp is too dry or overused, which produces an excess of horny cells. These then trickle like fine "snow" on the shoulders and back. The dryness of the skin can have various triggers such as heating air, sun exposure, air conditioning or washing hair that is too hot and too frequent and blow drying. If the hair is also dry, you can find home remedies for dry hair here.

For sensitive people, washing several times with an unsuitable, degreasing shampoo is often enough to dry out the scalp, produce dandruff and make the head very itchy. In addition to this, the dry, whitish flakes can also be caused by an accelerated skin metabolism in the course of an allergic disease such as hay fever (pollen allergy) or asthma.

Other causes

Our scalp is just as sensitive to persistent stress such as lack of sleep or excessive consumption of luxury foods such as nicotine and alcohol. A one-sided, particularly high-sugar diet - often low in healthy fats and important vitamins and minerals - often leads to dandruff. A lack of exercise has an equally negative effect here, which reduces blood circulation and reduces the supply to the scalp. In the worst case, circulatory disorders can occur and the entire hair growth can suffer. Sometimes even hair care products themselves trigger the overproduction of these unpleasant platelets, as this causes our scalp to react to a contact allergy.

Dandruff can also indicate various skin problems. Here come psoriasis, neurodermatitis and fungal infections such as the small mushroom lichen in question. A contact allergy (e.g. to fragrances, preservatives in cosmetics, etc.) or a butterfly lichen (lupus erythematosus) are also possible. Some bacteria can also cause massive dandruff.

When treating the dandruff, it is important to know whether it is greasy or dry. Only then can they be treated specifically. Otherwise, the problem of dandruff could be exacerbated by the wrong home remedies. Accordingly, those affected by prolonged scaling should always consult a dermatologist as a precaution, who can clarify the exact cause and, if necessary, initiate the appropriate treatment.

Home remedies for dry dandruff

In the case of dry dandruff, all influences that can lead to additional drying of the scalp should be avoided. These are, for example, strong sunshine, hot blow-drying, coloring or even straightening the hair. It is also important to calm the scalp and bring it back into balance. A package of yogurt or curd, for example, can be helpful here, gently massaged in, left on the skin for approx. 15 minutes and then rinsed carefully with a mild care product (baby shampoo!). A treatment with oil can ensure a soft scalp and therefore less dandruff.

Olive oil

Olive oil is rich in vitamin E, which is beneficial for our scalp and dandruff. It can moisturize the scalp and support the healing process of the irritated scalp. For the application of olive oil, a tablespoon of the oil is warmed up a little, then spread over the scalp and gently massaged. Then wrap the hair in a warm towel and let the oil soak in for 45 minutes. Then wash the hair with a mild shampoo. Repeat this application once or twice a week.

Beer rinse

A cure with beer can work wonders, especially with dry dandruff. In addition to numerous vitamins, it also contains important minerals that can benefit skin and hair. After washing your hair with mild shampoo, the beer can simply be poured slowly over the scalp. A stale non-carbonated beer, which is still from the previous evening, is also suitable for this. The beer can also be placed in a spray bottle and sprayed directly onto the hairstyle. Don't worry, the slightly yeasty smell disappears after a short time.

Willow bark extract

This willow bark extract - also called "willow tar" - can be an excellent help against dry dandruff on the scalp. It doesn't necessarily have to be an expensive shampoo that also contains additives that dry out the hair. The willow bark extract can simply be made by yourself. Only thin willow branches are needed for this. These can easily be found on the edge of the pasture or meadow. The pasture is very common. Wash these branches (approx. 150 grams) hot, then cut them into small pieces with secateurs, and let the pieces soak in half a liter of water for 24 hours. The antiseptic extract can easily be stored in the refrigerator for a week and is simply mixed again if necessary. After shampooing, spread generously over the scalp and let dry slowly with a towel. The salicylic acid contained in willow even serves as a light herbal pain reliever, and is nowadays marketed as chemically similar to ASS.

Egg, honey & oil mask

In addition to that, other home remedies for dry hair can be used to prevent and combat dandruff. For example, heated olive oil (approx. 100 ml), which is mixed with an egg yolk and a little honey, is worked into the scalp and hair after washing and rinsed out again after about 30 minutes.

Home remedies for greasy dandruff

The home remedies listed above are suitable for the treatment of dry dandruff, where the scalp is just as dry and irritated. On the contrary, greasy scales must be averted by other means. It is more important to gently remove excess fat from the scalp.

Herbal tea against fat scales

A thyme infusion has proven itself as a home remedy for natural hair care. For this, a tablespoon of the Mediterranean spice is poured over with a cup of boiling water. Then let the tea cool down a little, pour it through a sieve and massage it gently into the scalp, with the remains of this homemade hair treatment then not having to be rinsed out.

A nettle cure is a traditional remedy for dandruff. For this, a handful of fresh or dried nettle leaves are poured with half a liter of boiling fruit vinegar, left to steep for about ten minutes, strained and also introduced into the scalp. In addition, washing your hair regularly with linden blossom or chamomile tea can help, whereby the active ingredients should act for about an hour before rinsing thoroughly.


The great burdock (Arctium lapa L.) thrives all over Europe, especially along roadsides, on wasteland, on rubble sites and on river banks. As a medicinal plant, it also helps with liver / biliary problems. However, it is more known for increasing hair growth and extensive help for skin problems. The finished burdock root oil is commercially available. A tea brew from the dried roots can also be used. These roots are either harvested and dried themselves - or purchased as medicinal tea. Rubbing the scalp with burdock root oil ensures suppleness and can thus significantly reduce the formation of dandruff.


For greasy dandruff and itchy head, it can be helpful to add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the mild shampoo and then wash your hair as normal. Alternatively, the scalp can first be rubbed with the two halves of a lemon and then washed in after about ten minutes. The lemon helps wonderfully against yeasts and fungi on the scalp that cause itching.

Tea tree & lavender

Another effective home remedy for oily hair and dandruff is tea tree oil because it has an antiseptic and balancing effect on sebum production. For a particularly simple application, about 20 drops of the oil are added directly to a mild shampoo. Afterwards, however, you should shake until the substances have completely mixed together. Oil of lavender, which can be used in the same way, also helps.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is rich in acetic acid, which reduces the growth of fungi and thus relieves itching on the scalp. Mix half a cup of apple cider vinegar with two cups of lukewarm water and use this mixture as a hair conditioner after washing your hair. The conditioner is massaged into the scalp, flows out again and does not need to be rinsed out. The subtle fragrance disappears at the latest when the hair has dried. Repeat this application once or twice a week and you should see an improvement soon. The acidity of the vinegar can normalize the pH of the stressed scalp, which reduces dandruff.

Baking powder

Yes, baking soda can also help against dandruff - especially against greasy ones. Since baking powder is available in almost every household, the powder is particularly suitable for spontaneous use. First, the hair is wet with water as normal. A handful of the sodium is then massaged into the skin on the wet scalp. Let it take effect, then rinse again without shampoo. This remedy must be used several times to show an effect.

Beware of dandruff shampoos

So-called “anti-dandruff shampoos” are often recommended for treatment, which promise quick and long-lasting success. However, those affected should take a close look and get good advice from their dermatologist, because the products are not always as helpful as they appear. The specialty products from the pharmacy can be useful for greasy dandruff, because they flush out excess fat and usually contain other ingredients like antifungal substances (antifungals) such as ketoconazole or clotrimazole.

With extremely dry, flaky scalps, however, caution is advised. Since the shampoos are designed for increased sebum production, treatment can do the opposite. Accordingly, the skin is additionally stressed and dried out, which increases the formation of dandruff and the itching. Instead, a mild shampoo should be used here, which is specially designed for dry and sensitive skin and accordingly does not degrease. Gentle baby shampoos without perfumes are particularly suitable for this. They hardly attack the natural flora of the scalp.

The right hair care

With dandruff, it is therefore particularly important to treat the hair and scalp with care. To prevent damage, brushes and combs with pointed, sharp-edged metal or hard plastic bristles should be avoided and a hairbrush with natural bristles should be used instead. Wild boar bristles are particularly suitable here, as they can be used to remove dandruff, dust and fat very thoroughly. In addition, the scalp is massaged to promote blood circulation while combing, which in turn can provide the hair roots with better nutrients.

When buying, it should be ensured that the brush consists of bristles of different lengths, so that the hair is better penetrated. It is also important to have a sufficient distance between the bristles so that not only the top hair but also the hair underneath can be easily reached and detangled. Regular cleaning is important in order to maintain the care properties of the brush for as long as possible. A mild shampoo is suitable for this, with which the bristles are carefully washed out with lukewarm water. Special brush and comb cleaners can also be helpful to remove hair and dirt. Before the brush is used again, it should dry thoroughly in the air. On the other hand, drying on the heater is not recommended, as the strong heat quickly damages the structure of the bristles.

For example, if there are open, sore spots on the scalp as a result of neurodermatitis, a boar bristle brush should not be used without consulting the doctor in order to avoid further injuries. In general, dandruff should always be carried out carefully and slowly at the beginning to check whether the scalp can tolerate the comparatively hard bristles.

Right hair wash

When washing the hair, depending on the type of dandruff, either a particularly mild (dry dandruff) or a special anti-dandruff shampoo (oily dandruff) should be used. In addition, it is advisable to initially do without styling products such as hairspray, foam and wax. In general, the hair should not be "cared for" in order not to strain the sensitive scalp even further and to avoid damage to the hair structure.

Before washing, the first thing to do is to free the hair from the small flakes of skin by rinsing it thoroughly with clear water. However, this should never be too hot, but at most lukewarm, so as not to dry out and strain the scalp even more. After washing, rinse again thoroughly with clear water to remove any residues from the shampoo that could otherwise have a beneficial effect on dandruff formation. Individuals should completely avoid conventional soap when washing their hair, as residues can cause irritation to the scalp, which also promotes dandruff.

Real blow drying

When blow drying, it is important to be careful not to put the hair dryer too hot and hold it too close to the head. Since the artificial heat strains the scalp, the hair should instead be air-dried if possible. In winter this is of course not absolutely possible. To prevent hair damage, it helps to wrap the hair in a dry towel for 15 minutes before blow drying. Then they are not blow-dried completely so as not to dry out the hair too much.

Diet tips for dandruff

A balanced, varied diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals is important to keep the scalp healthy and functional. In the case of dandruff, the trace element zinc in particular should be on the menu sufficiently. This is not only essential for a strong immune system, but also influences the metabolism of the skin, hair and nails, ensures their growth and cell renewal. When there is a mineral deficiency, our body suffers, deficiency symptoms appear.

Possible zinc deficiency

If the body is not adequately supplied, the zinc deficiency is often recognizable and noticeable from the outside, e.g. due to brittle nails, brittle hair or dry, flaky skin. Hair loss, neurodermatitis, reduced wound healing and inflammatory skin diseases can also occur. Since the body cannot store zinc, the trace element has to be absorbed with food. The German Nutrition Society recommends a daily intake of ten milligrams for men and seven milligrams for women, which increases to 10 or 11 milligrams for women during pregnancy (from the 4th month) or breastfeeding.

Zinc-rich foods

The most zinc-rich food is by far the oyster with up to 160 milligrams of zinc per 100 grams. Shrimps, sea fish, wheat bran, calf's liver and oatmeal also contain comparatively high amounts of the trace element. Furthermore, for example, 100 grams of pumpkin seeds with a content of 7.4 milligrams of zinc per 100 grams can cover three-quarters of the average needs of an adult male. Sunflower seeds, lentils, Brazil nuts, raspberries, broccoli, milk products (especially cheese) and eggs are similarly suitable, although the body can generally utilize zinc better from animal sources than from plant-based foods. (no, dp)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dipl. Social Science Nina Reese, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


  • Ben-Erik van Wyk, Coralie Wink, Michael Wink: Handbook of Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Guide, Scientific Publishing Company, 2003
  • Richard N. Herrier: Advances in the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, Volume 68, Issue 9, May 1, 2011, pp. 795-806, (accessed August 20, 2019), Academic oup
  • M. Mariano, M.P. de Padova M. S. Lorenzi et al. : Clinical and Videodermoscopic Evaluation of the Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability of a Shampoo Containing Ichthyol, Zanthalene, Mandelic Acid, and Honey in the Treatment of Scalp Psoriasis, Skin Appendage Disord, 4/2018, pp. 296–300, (access 20.08 .2019), Karger
  • Working group of the scientific medical societies (AWMF): Guideline for the therapy of psoriasis vulgaris, 2017 (call 20.08.2019), AWMF

Video: Natural Methods to cure Dandruff - Baba Ramdev (July 2022).


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