Thursday, July 19, 2012

Natural Relief from Dandruff

Our skin cells are constantly renewing themselves. When new cell are formed, the dead skin cells are pushed to the surface of the skin where they are shed and flake away. On the scalp, an excessive flaking of skin cells is known as dandruff. Aside from it being itchy and a constant irritation, it can also be kind of embarrassing especially when you wear a black shirt. Medicated shampoos can be harsh on the scalp and although it may clear up the problem for a day or two, chances are the dandruff will return with a vengeance especially if you are allergic to any one of the many chemicals in the shampoo. So let’s talk about some alternatives.
When trying to treat an issue it is always important to identify the cause. Some of the simpler causes to dandruff include using harsh hair products (solution: stop using them), poor rinsing after shampooing (solution: rinse your hair more thoroughly) or poor scalp circulation (solution: massage your scalp or brush your hair more often).
There are also some more involved causes of dandruff. One symptom of food allergies can be dandruff. If you suspect you might have food allergies you may wish to do an elimination diet, excluding common allergens like dairy, wheat, corn, soy and processed foods.
Chronic dandruff may also be showing toxicity in the body. When other elimination pathways (bowels and urinary) are not working optimally, the body may excrete more toxics through the skin, including the scalp. The best way to remedy this problem is to detoxify the body by stimulating the liver, and assisting the body’s main elimination pathways (through the bowels and the urinary system). Many herbs can be helpful in this area including burdock, milk thistle, cleavers, nettles and dandelion to name a few. Bitters can also be beneficial
Excessive dandruff may also be the result of a fungal infection. This can be treated internal or externally with herbs such as pau d’arco, burdock, Echinacea or garlic. Be sure to add some tea tree essential oil to your topical application. Tea tree helps to clean clogged pores of dead skin while balancing the pH of the scalp.
For general scalp health, I think that vinegar and oil applications are wonderful. So you don’t feel like your applying salad dressing to your head, the two applications are done separately. A vinegar rinse is helpful for oily hair and is done by mixing apple cider vinegar and water in equal parts and then the mixture is poured over the hair and scalp. Essential oils such as cedarwood, rosemary and tea tree can be added for extra benefit and help to tame the smell (making you feel less like a salad). With or without essential oils, the vinegar smell quickly fades, leaving your hair shiny and dandruff free.

An oil application can be beneficial to individuals with dry hair. Jojoba oil is the best to use because it’s similar to our own sebum. It can also balance out our skins pH and has no oily build up. Massage into the scalp and leave on for as little or as long as you’d like. Olive oil can be used as well and chamomile, geranium and lavender essential oils can be added to the oil.
I suggest using many different approaches to finding relief from dandruff. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you are brushing your hair and massaging your scalp frequently. I hope this helps you to get rid of the flakes and allows you to wear black shirts again.


Gladstar, R. (2001). Rosemary Gladstar's family herbal: a guide to living life with
energy, health, and vitality. North Adams, Mass.: Storey Books.

Holmes, P. (2007). The energetics of Western herbs: a materia medica integrating Western and Chinese herbal therapeutics (Rev & enl. 4th ed.). Cotati, Calif.: Snow Lotus Press.

Levy, J. d. (1997). Common herbs for natural health (Rev., expanded ed.). Woodstock,
N.Y.: Ash Tree Pub..

Wildwood, C. (1996). The encyclopedia of aromatherapy. Rochester, Vt.: Healing Arts


  1. I mixed pau d'arco in a shea butter and coconut oil hair mix. Is that ok?

  2. This blog is really very helpful, thanks for sharing this information
    Dandruff Treatment In Bangalore