All-Natural Dandruff Home Remedies
Natural dandruff home remedies are gaining in popular as more and more of us become aware of the potential risks of using conventional treatments, ongoing medications, and their side effects.
In order to find the best natural dandruff remedies for you, you must first know the source of your own dandruff. One of the best things you can do is to seek a diagnosis from a naturopathic, holistic doctor. Osteopaths, naturopaths, Chinese medicinal practitioners, etc can all be helpful in finding these answers and can also help you tailor natural remedies to your needs, as well as advise you as to when natural remedies aren't your best fit.
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The most common causes of dandruff that people find:
- Skin irritation: This can be caused by hair products, environmental contaminants and more.
- Over- or under-washing the scalp: Stripping your scalp of its natural oils can cause an imbalance, leaving the scalp too dry or increasing its production of oil to compensate. Too much oils can do the same thing. It's all about balance.
- Psoriasis or eczema: Both of these skin conditions are chronic, can be difficult to resolve, and can look like dandruff. Knowing if this is your problem will help you find the right dandruff home remedies for you.
- Yeast or fungus: Yeast or fungus can show up on your scalp and leave dandruff. According to the Mayo Clinic the specific type of yeast is called malassazia. Other sources list a fungus called Pityrosporum ovale.
- Diet and hydration: Our skin is actually an organ and needs proper hydration and nutrition. Many people can identify foods or dehydration as the source of dandruff, or at least an aggravator.
Below are the common natural dandruff home remedies that you can experiment with. Use your own best judgment and your preferred medical advice to apply the tips below.
Start From The Inside Out
I've found skin to be a very good indicator of our internal health. And a large part of health has to do with how we nourish our bodies.
How much water are you drinking? Our bodies need approximately 1 ounce of water per 2 lbs of body mass (150 lbs = 75 ounces of water). BUT warmer weather, an increase in physical activity, or other circumstances might mean you need more. Dehydration doesn't just affect dandruff; it also has an effect on your energy levels, hair, breath, aches and pains, and more. So, start there. Get yourself drinking enough water while you work on the other dandruff home remedies below.
When I say diet I don't mean "eat well for a couple weeks until your dandruff goes away and then eat whatever you want again." I mean making real changes to the foods you choose to nourish your body for the long-term. If you suspect yeast is a cause of your dandruff start by removing ALL forms of artificial sweeteners and processed sugars. Limit natural sweeteners, such as honey, maple syrup, and even fruit. Use stevia (a sweet herb) in a glass of herbal tea when you're craving something sweet. You may also want to avoid foods containing yeast, such as breads.
Other foods that are good to avoid, as they may exacerbate or even be the cause of your dandruff, are fried foods, chocolate, nuts, and even some seafood.
You may also want to examine your diet for allergens. As a person with eczema, I've found my skin reacts poorly to gluten (found in many grains), dairy, and even grapes and raisins, all of which can show up on my scalp. An "elimination diet" can help you identify foods that are bothering you, but I would recommend starting with dairy, gluten, and eggs.
Address Your Environment
If you suspect skin irritation, it's important to address as many environmental triggers as possible.
For starters, what kind of shampoo, conditioner, and hair products are you using? Do they contain things like sodium laurel sulfates or the like? These are common irritants to many people. Consider a simpler hair style that needs little to no styling product if you can't find any organic substitutes. You can also make your own shampoos or use natural brands. Many people find they need to stop washing as often and allow their scalp to balance its oil production and pH levels.
Switching to natural cleaners and laundry soaps may all have a profound affect on your dandruff home remedies, too. Remember, your scalp also comes into contact with your pillowcase and even inorganic pillow fibers could irritate skin, and chemicals are getting into your system as you use them. I suggest switching to all-natural household cleaners to eliminate any hazard substances. When it's time for a new pillow choose an organic one - you don't want to be breathing all that off-gassing while you sleep anyway.
Using Foods, Plants, and Herbs in Dandruff Home Remedies
Below are some of the most popular dietary and herb-based dandruff home remedies. Two great books to have on hands for dandruff home remedies and other remedies are Prescription for Herbal Healing and Prescription for Nutritional Healing.
We all know how healing and soothing aloe is for the skin. Whether you're looking for dandruff home remedies for yeast, fungus, or even eczema or skin irritation, aloe is a great topical solution. You can also take it internally, such as aloe juice. I would recommend a fresh plant when possible; if not then be sure to read the labels and not buy "aloe vera" products that are full of alcohol, colors, fragrances, etc...the kind that are commonly found for sunburns.
Foods Rich in B Vitamins
Needed for healthy skin and hair, they are also helpful with stress. Dark leafy greens, cruciferous veggies (broccoli), grass-fed and pastured beef and poultry, some fish (such as sockeye salmon and rainbow trout), and eggs from pastured, organic chickens top the list. These same foods are also often full of vitamin E, another essential nutrient for dandruff home remedies.
Things such as swiss chard, organic soy, raw egg yolk, almonds and walnuts, and liver (make sure it's from pastured, organic and sustainably raised animals) are important for natural dandruff remedies.
Can also be taken internally or used externally, such as steeped into a rinse or shampoo base. It is known to be purifying and cleansing, both internally and externally.
A good course of coconut oil is full of essential fatty acids which supports skin and other functions of the body. Eat plenty in your diet, and you can also apply small amounts to your scalp as a skin treatment. Read more about the benefits of coconut oil and coconut oil hair treatments.
This herb can be found in an oil form and added to your washing regimen or homemade shampoos to stop inflammation and flaking.
Essential Fatty Acids
Evening primrose oil, salmon or cod liver oil, black currant or borage oil, or flaxseed oil are full of fatty acids which supports healthy skin function, and reduce inflammation and itching.
Fermented Foods and Probiotics
Many of us believe that our skin is an indicator of the health of our gut. Fermented foods and probiotics are a healthy way to combat an influx of bad bacteria with good, body balancing good bacteria. Sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha are some options. Renew Life has a great selection of probiotics as well.
This herb can be taken internally or applied externally by brewing the herb in water. You can then use it as a rinse, or as the base of your homemade shampoos (above). It's know as an astringent, to be healing, and support nails, skin, scalp and hair among many other uses.
Supplies essential minerals and iodine necessary for the scalp and natural dandruff remedies.
This "weed" is known for its skin soothing properties, often used on stings, scrapes, etc and may be beneficial as a salve, balm or paste on the scalp to relieve itchiness and treat irritated skin.
20 minutes a day is all you need for vitamin D, which may help your immune system as well as potentially kill yeast. (Some may actually find that too much sunshine may make the situation worse, though).
Again, knowing which dandruff home remedies are right for you depends on your skin type, your environment, and your personal cause of dandruff. Don't give up and switch to conventional methods without addressing as many of these potential causes with the natural methods described. But do be sure to check in with your holistic medical professionals to rule out any underlying issues.