Unfortunately, like many of us, I have had an ongoing battle with dandruff. It seems that some of us have it worse than others, I can certainly sympathise with those who have suffered from a dry scalp for long periods. I find that especially in the colder weather I seem to experience a higher than average rate of dandruff and it needs to stop! Luckily, I have found some natural ways that I can keep my dandruff at bay, even when the cold weather hits hard, and you can too! Just follow the 5 tips below to minimise your dry scalp and give you the confidence to step outside without care that your dandruff will be visible to those passers-by.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has been used historically to treat so many different ailments, such as acne and psoriasis. It also has powerful anti-microbial properties and anti-inflammatory properties which help to alleviate and protect against dandruff. It has been proven by one recent study to fight a specific strain of fungus which is known to cause seborrheic dermatitis and, you guessed it, dandruff! It has been tested alongside shampoo, tea tree oil-containing shampoo and tea tree oil alone. The tea tree oil by itself showed a decrease in dandruff by 41% in comparison to the other options and minimised the itchiness and greasiness that comes along with dry scalp. It can be known to irritate those with sensitive skin, but it can be diluted by adding a few drops of tea tree oil to the water before applying it to the skin.
Coconut oil is well known for its many health benefits, it can also be used for the treatment of dandruff! This is one of my favourite natural products, it is cost-effective and works well for this condition. Coconut oil works by keeping the skin hydrated and prevents dryness, which can of course worsen dandruff. Coconut oil was tested on a small group of people, 34 in total, in a recent study and showed that it had significantly improved skin hydration. It has also been found to be effective in treating eczema, a skin condition that can contribute greatly to dandruff. It was found to be the most effective mineral oil when treating atopic dermatitis including the symptoms of itchiness and irritation. When applied for eight weeks in total, people found a 68% improvement in their skin's hydration as opposed to other mineral oils tested. The compounds in coconut oil have shown anti-microbial properties, but they have not been tested against the specific strain of fungus-like tea tree oil has. All in all, coconut oil is my go-to when it comes to the symptoms of dandruff and it has not failed me yet!
Applying aloe vera
Aloe vera has been used for all sorts of dry skin conditions and burns, like the dreaded summer sunburn! It is often used in skin ointments and creams because it is so effective at giving that much-needed hydration to our dry skin! That being said, it can also be used to treat dandruff! Aloe vera has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, so it can also help to protect against dandruff. It can treat several types of fungi effectively and so it may help to control any kind of fungal infection on the skin. We still need to see how it can directly affect dandruff and dry scalp, but it is already being used to treat such conditions. I have tried it myself and I can say that it has worked wonders quickly!
Use apple cider vinegar
As we all know, apple cider vinegar has a variety of health benefits including the improvement of insulin sensitivity and weight loss. It has also been used as a natural remedy to assist with dandruff! The acidity of the vinegar helps to stimulate the shedding of dead skin cells on our scalps. It can help to adjust the pH balance of our scalp, reducing the growth of any harmful fungus. Using a few tablespoons in your shampoo can create your natural anti-dandruff shampoo at home! Or you can combine a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one to two drops of essential oils in water and spray it over your hair. It is quick and easy and I always have it on hand!
Keep the stress to a minimum
We all know that being stressed is never a good thing. It can be harmful to our mental and physical health all at once. Stress itself does not cause dandruff, but it can heighten the symptoms and make it difficult to budge. Dryness and itching can result from high stress and dandruff combined. High-stress levels for long periods can also reduce immune system function, making it harder for our bodies to fight off the conditions that cause dandruff and dry scalp. Using some simple stress-reducing techniques can have an overwhelming impact on your mental and physical well-being. Aromatherapy helps me to relax after a long day, but yoga, meditation and even just deep breathing can have a drastic impact. Along with some of the above home remedies, you will see an improvement in your dandruff and everything in between.
These are my top 5 tips to keeping that dandruff under control, no matter what mother nature throws your way. It can be especially difficult in winter to treat a dry scalp, but it doesn't have to ruin your life. There are so many things we can do to help keep it in check, and harsh dandruff treatment shampoos and conditioners that you can find in your local supermarket can often be too intense for your scalp. I found that often they did more harm than good and a natural approach worked much better for me. No need to overpower your scalp with chemicals that may do more harm than good. Try the tips above to see what a difference it can make!