Natural Health Remedies for You

Natural Dandruff Cures

Use natural dandruff cures such as essential oils, herbs, and natural supplements to get rid of flaky dandruff and dry scalp.

Dandruff is a chronic scalp condition, characterized by itching and flaking of the skin on your scalp. This condition is not contagious and is rarely serious. However, for those who have dandruff, it is more like a nuisance than anything else, and the truth is, dandruff is not easy to get rid of.

Dandruff is the single most common scalp complaint in North America. According to dermatologists, virtually everyone has this problem to some degree.

In fact, dandruff can even affect babies. Called "cradle cap", it causes a scaling, crusty scalp mostly in newborns, but it can occur anytime during infancy. Fortunately, cradle cap is not a serious problem and usually clears up on its own by the time a baby is one year old.

Causes of Dandruff

There are quite a few possible causes of dandruff, such as:

  • Dry skin: Perhaps this is the most common cause of dandruff, especially in the winter when the air is cold and rooms are overheated. Flakes from dry skin are generally smaller and less oily than those from other causes of dandruff.
  • Not Shampooing Often Enough: Not washing your hair regularly can cause oils and dead skin cells to build up - a cause of dandruff.
  • Contact Dermatitis: Sometimes if your scalp is sensitive to certain hair care products such as shampoo or hair dyes, it will develop a skin condition in which your scalp becomes irritated, red and itchy, causing dandruff to form.
  • Poor diet: A deficiency of nutrients especially zinc, B vitamins or certain types of fats increases your chance of having dandruff.
  • Various Skin Problems: Various skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis can also cause dandruff to form.
  • A Yeast-Like Fungus (Malassezia): This fungus lives on the scalps of most healthy adults without causing problems. However, sometimes it grows out of control, irritating the skin on your scalp and causing flaky white dandruff to form.


Symptoms of Dandruff

If you suffer from dandruff, you have:

  • White, oily-looking flakes of dead skin in your hair and on your shoulders
  • An itchy, scaling scalp

See a doctor if you have the following symptoms which may indicate that you have seborrheic dermatitis:

  • Scalp irritation
  • Thick scale despite regular use of dandruff shampoos
  • Yellowish crusting
  • Red patches, especially along the neckline


Natural Dandruff Cures - Herbs

Fortunately, there are quite a few effective natural dandruff cures that can help get rid of the white, flaky spots in your hair and on your shoulders.

Numerous herbs are beneficial to the skin and scalp and can be made into a rinse, or added to your shampoo. For example:

  • Comfrey: Comfrey contain the chemical allantoin, which has anti-dandruff properties. You might be able to find a commercial shampoo that contains comfrey at a health food store . If not, just add a few drops of comfrey tincture to a natural herbal shampoo.
  • Thyme: Thyme is reputed to have mild antiseptic properties that can help alleviate dandruff. You can add a few drops of thyme tincture to a natural herbal shampoo. For added synergistic effects, also add a few drops of the tinctures of Sage and Rosemary to the shampoo.
  • Plantain: Like comfrey, plantain contains allantoin. You could make a strong tea and use it as a hair rinse.
  • Licorice: Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, a compound that can minimize the scalp's secretion of oils. You can steep a few handfuls of the dried herb in a bottle of vinegar and use it as a hair rinse.


Natural Dandruff Cures - Aromatherapy

Essential oils are also effective dandruff cures. Some essential oils that are particularly beneficial include:

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Cypress
  • Tea Tree

You can add a few drops of any of the above essential oils to your favorite herbal shampoo.

Essential oils can also be added to vinegar to make a massage oil mixture for dandruff. You need:

  • One tablespoon of cider vinegar
  • 5 drops of Thyme
  • 3 drops of Sage
  • 3 drops of Cypress
  • 5 drops of vegetable oil (e.g. evening promise, jojoba, carrot)

Mix the above together and add them to one ounce of spring water. Use about one teaspoon of the mixture each time, massage into the scalp (not the hair) every night before going to bed.


Natural Dandruff Cures - Vitamins and Minerals

As mentioned above, a poor diet deficient of certain vitamins and minerals is also one of the possible causes of dandruff.

If you have dandruff, make sure that your diet is rich in the following:

  • Biotin: Biotin is a water soluble member of the vitamin B family, and it helps to break down fats, carbohydrates and proteins. It is widely used to treat dandruff. Foods rich in biotin include soybeans, garlic, American ginseng, oats, barley, Asian ginseng, avocado, alfalfa, sesame, corn, fava beans and elderberry.
  • Vitamin A
  • B-complex vitamins, particularly vitamin B1 and B2
  • Essential fatty acids, particularly omega-6
  • Zinc

You should base your diet on plenty of green leafy vegetables and raw foods. Avoid oily fried foods and reduce intake of saturated fats, sugars, chocolate, dairy products, seafood and peanuts.


Duke, J.A. The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook. (Rodale, 2002)
Worwood, V.A. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. (New World Library, 1991) (

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