How to get rid of dandruff

8 min read
23 Dec

White scales falling from the head onto clothes automatically turn the perfect look into a sloppy one. And you can see this happening all the time.  About 30% of people all over the world periodically have problems caused by dandruff. This title was given to a syndrome in which particles of the scalp peel off and crumble too quickly for quite a long time. This ailment is not only cosmetic and might cause severe consequences like hair loss. Hence, it must be treated correctly and promptly.

How to detect dandruff

Dandruff can be easily seen with the naked eye. The white scales appear in large numbers on the hair and fall on the shoulders. On dark hair and clothes, they are clearly noticeable. The owners of light hair suffer less as they are hardly seen on a light background. In addition to falling scales, dandruff may cause the following symptoms:

  • itchy scalp;
  • redness;
  • dry skin.
How to get rid of dandruff

For some reason, people tend to believe that men suffer from dandruff more than women, but it is another myth. This ailment equally haunts both sexes. Probably, the best explanation to why people believe this myth derives from the fact that men usually have short haircuts, on which white particles are more noticeable. Ladies manage to hide this imperfection under the volumetric styling.

Dandruff has some unique features: 

  • In children, this phenomenon occurs very rarely. As a rule, dandruff may appear at puberty;
  • Dandruff occurs equally often in 20-40-year-old men and women;
  • After the age of 50, dandruff substantially disappears. 

What causes dandruff?

It is a natural process that the epidermis of the scalp regularly refreshes. However, under normal circumstances, it happens unnoticed, either for the person himself or for others. In the case of dandruff, there are too many exfoliated scales.

The most common cause of this is the yeast-like fungi Malassezia. It occupies the scalp of almost every person. Its existence doesn't automatically mean that you will have dandruff as a healthy body inhibits it. However, if the glands begin to produce more sebum, they arouse and multiply actively, which leads to irritation, itching, and dandruff.

Stress might be another significant cause of why the glands increase sebum extraction. Negative emotions suppress the immune system, which leads the body to malfunction and produce more fat. And this is the exact environment needed for fungi growth. In this case, along with dandruff, you may also be irritated with an itchy scalp. Some people are stressed even more after they see the first signs of dandruff. This cycle of psychological problems may last for a long time without proper treatment. 

How to get rid of dandruff

Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, as well as malnutrition, can also cause dandruff. The body needs to receive enough minerals and trace elements.

Dandruff can occur when the scalp gets too dry. What can possibly cause the dryness of the scalp? I might be a hairdryer turned on at a high temperature, dry air in an apartment, or the use of cosmetics with a drying effect. In this case, the scales are not very large. 

Dandruff can also be caused by an allergic reaction from contact dermatitis, accompanied by acute itching. This reaction happens from cosmetics, fragrances, materials from which hats are made, hair jewelry, and hairstyling devices. 

Unpleasant symptoms alongside dandruff can also appear with insufficient head hygiene. A lot of people still believe that washing your head too often harms your hair. This is true only for dry hair, while oily hair needs frequent washing since fat is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. If you are "lucky" to have oily hair, you should determine the frequency of hair washing on your own. As it depends on the type of skin, hair, and styling products used. In any case, if you feel that your hair needs to be washed every day, go for it. Moreover, use only a good quality liquid shampoo, but not a dry one.


Dandruff is often caused by seborrhea, which is a skin disease. The glands producing sebum get disrupted and start to extract too much or too little of this substance. There are several types of seborrhea:

  • Oily seborrhea. Too much fat is produced, so the skin and hair become unkempt very quickly. Such seborrhea can be thick when the scales are mixed with fat and turn into a crust (dandruff, in this case, is oily and falls off in large pieces); and liquid, with lighter particles, without the formation of crusts.
  • Dry seborrhea. The glands produce too little sebum. In this case, dandruff also occurs, but the scales are much smaller.
  • Combined, when both types of seborrhea are observed in different areas of the skin.

Signs of seborrhea: 

  • thickening of the epidermis and hair at the roots;
  • the specific glitter of the skin and hair (oily form);
  • profuse peeling (dry form);
  • itchy scalp;
  • hair loss;
  • severe dandruff.

Most often, the cause of the disease lies in hormonal changes occurring in the body. In adolescence, it is quite common and goes away on its own after the end of puberty. In adulthood, seborrhea in men and women can occur due to an imbalance of androgens and estrogens. This is due to both heredity and pathologies of the genital area.

How to get rid of dandruff

How to treat dandruff

To define the causes of dandruff and its treatment, you should consult a trichologist. After the initial examination of your scalp, the doctor may redirect you to other specialists since dandruff can be a symptom of various diseases, including quite severe ones.

If you have thick dandruff, severe itching, and the hair quickly becomes oily, it is better not to postpone a visit to a doctor. But if the signs are mild, you can try using an anti-dandruff shampoo. Most shampoos promise to cure dandruff, but in reality, they only wash off the scales and do not eliminate the cause of the problem. Therefore, it is better to use pharmacy products:

  • antifungal;
  • reducing flaking and restoring normal skin condition;
  • promoting the formation of new cells of the epidermis;
  • soothing, relieving itching, and irritation.

Traditional medicine

If dandruff does not have a severe form, you can try to get rid of it with traditional medicine. Folk remedies have always been an excellent addition to drug treatment. 


A mask from rolled oatmeal (requiring cooking) is known to be one of the most efficient ones for treating dandruff. To prepare it, you will need rolled oatmeal, the herb of oregano, chamomile, nettle, or calendula, which must be poured with boiling water and set for 15 minutes. After, pour the infusion into cereals and wait for the mass to acquire a thick, homogeneous consistency. The mask should be kept on the scalp for two hours. Within a month, you will get rid of itching and dandruff. Moreover, it noticeably improves the condition of the hair. 

A mask made from fermented milk products is also quite famous among folk remedies. You need to mix half a glass of 2% natural yogurt or kefir, chicken yolk, and 6 drops of cooking oil (better than burdock or coconut oil). Apply the mixture to your hair, cover with a plastic cap, a towel, and keep it for 2 hours.

A mask made from onion juice is also well-received among folk remedies lovers. It not only removes dandruff but also strengthens and nourishes hair. To prepare it, you need 5 tablespoons of onion juice and 8 tablespoons of burdock oil. You need to keep it for 1 hour. You can take a whole onion, chop it to a mushy state and add 1 tablespoon of honey. The mixture is heated in water, applied to the hair, and kept for 15 minutes. Onion masks are very efficient, but they have one major con - an unbearable specific smell. 

How to get rid of dandruff


In addition to masks, you can use herbal infusions and decoctions. Nettle is the best choice if you want to cure dandruff. You need to take 200 grams of crushed leaves, pour them with 1 liter of water, boil it, set for several hours, and strain. It is recommended to rinse your head with this broth after each wash.

If you want to remove itching and skin flaking, use a decoction from the calamus. You need 5 tablespoons of the finely chopped calamus roots. Pour it with hot water, then set for half an hour in a water bath, and infuse for about an hour. Similarly, you can prepare an infusion of burdock and oak bark.

If you have dry dandruff and itching, use an infusion made of chamomile and linden. A few tablespoons of these herbs are poured with a liter of hot water and let it set for half an hour. Strain and get an infusion to rinse your head after washing. You can also prepare a decoction of calendula and oregano or mint and carrot tops.

Other treatments

Oily seborrhea can be treated by acetylsalicylic acid. Grind several tablets of this substance into a powder and add to shampoo. Keep the shampoo during washing for several minutes, and then wash it off thoroughly.

If you have dry seborrhea, you can apply raw yolks (2-3 eggs, depending on the hair length). Be cautious to carefully separate yolks from proteins (otherwise, it will be hard to wash it off). Then, lightly mix up with warm water until you get the consistency of an emulsion. Use the mixture as a shampoo as it has a perfect cleansing and moisturizing effect. 

Prevention of dandruff

Dandruff mostly occurs in people with a weakened immune system. Therefore, our advice is to keep the body healthy, avoid stress, be active, walk more outdoors, and eat healthy food. The daily diet should include foods rich in Omega-3, zinc, vitamins. Do not overuse styling products such as varnish or mousse. Choose the most gentle cosmetics and hair dyes, avoid complicated styling.

Apply masks from natural ingredients and rinse your head after washing with decoctions of herbs. If you do this systematically, the question of how to get rid of dandruff will be irrelevant.