Dandruff – Causes, Effects, and Remedies to Fix it

Table of Content  

What is Dandruff
How many types of Dandruff are there

What are the symptoms of Dandruff
When does Dandruff start
What is Dandruff caused by
What is the prognosis of Dandruff
What are the Dandruff home remedies
How to remove Dandruff permanently
What are the natural ways to eliminate Dandruff
What can I use to get rid of dandruff overnight
What are the medications of Dandruff
How do you prevent dandruff
What are the risk factors of Dandruff
What are the alternative and complementary therapies to avoid Dandruff

What Is Dandruff

What is Dandruff

Dandruff is a common scalp disorder that affects almost half of the population, starting from puberty and up until your mid 80’s. It can affect people of any gender and ethnicity. This condition causes the skin on the scalp to flake. An extremely common fungus called Malassezia may contribute to dandruff. This fungus supposedly lives on the scalp of most healthy adults without causing any problems. According to research, around 80% of individuals in India from the age of 13-80 will experience dandruff on a seasonal basis in their entire lifetime.

Although this problem isn’t contagious or serious, it can cause major embarrassment and a serious drop in an individual’s confidence level. From home DIY treatments including lemon and honey to pouring egg whites, coffee, and more on our hair, people go to various lengths and try every possible remedy to get rid of those pesky little white flakes on the head.

How many types of Dandruff are there

Types of dandruff

Although there are many types of dandruff, there are 4 major categories of dandruff that every individual suffers from at least once in their lifetime.  From genetics and an oily scalp to poor hygiene and cosmetic product usages, dandruff is that one never-ending issue that can come and go according to climate changes and more. 

Commonly there are 4 types of dandruff:

1. Dry/Irritated Skin Dandruff

Dandruff tends to get itchier and drier depending upon how flaky your scalp is. It isn’t exactly about how well or how often you wash your hair but about the overall health and hygiene of your skin. 

2. Oily scalp-related Dandruff

Skin cells that grow and die off too fast are the major problem. A common fungus called Malassezia is one common contributor to the problem of dandruff. This particular fungus lives on the scalp of most healthy adults without creating any problem. 

3. Fungal infection/Dandruff

One plausible theory is that the immune system of someone with dandruff may overreact to fungus. Dandruff may get worse when you’re stressed, sick, having a cold, or living in a climatic condition with dry winters.

4. Skin Disease-related Dandruff

One common cause of these pesky dead skin cells is seborrheic dermatitis or seborrhea. People with extreme dandruff issues may also have seborrheic dermatitis in other areas of the body. Ears, eyelids, the center of the face, and the center of the chest are some common spots to look out for. Today, let’s dive deep into the causes, effects, and remedies of this common problem which many face in their day-to-day lives.  

What are the symptoms of Dandruff

symptoms of dandruff

Itchy and flaking that appears on the scalp or eyebrows; around the hairline, ears, or nose; or in the center of the chest or back are sometimes a cause for concern as these can highlight more serious underlying issues. Dandruff remedy can be done in a lot of ways; hence it is advisable to start off treatment as early as possible. 

Some of the most common symptoms of dandruff include:

1. Scaling

If over-the-counter treatments and shampoos fail to relieve you of this issue then it is time to visit your doctor as a more aggressive cleaning method is required to relieve you from the redness and pain. 

2. Flaking

Additional problems like erythema (red patches on the skin of the scalp, and face) hair loss, eyebrow dandruff, and dry flakes on the skin and face are bound to show up when the dandruff is left untreated.

3. Itching, greasy yellow large flakes

The word dandruff (dandriffe) is of Anglo-Saxon origin. It basically means a combination of ‘tan’ which refers to ‘tetter’ and ‘drof’ which means ‘dirty’. Dandruff affects the overall aesthetic value and often causes itching and painful flaking. It has been well researched that keratinocytes play a huge role in the generation of immunological reactions during dandruff formulation.

The severity of dandruff may fluctuate all over the year and it often worsens especially in winters.

When does Dandruff start

When does dandruff start

Dandruff starts in the early teenage years and can continue for almost 50-80 years of age for an average individual’s entire lifespan. In some very rare cases, it has also been found that babies can contract a mild form of dandruff. 

In current times it is still unclear as to what dandruff should be treated as. Many say it is a disease, while many are still researching if it falls under the category of a disorder. Dandruff on the face is another common place for it to start. Bad dandruff is when it starts affecting one’s daily life and activities. 

Ages around which Dandruff tend to start :

  • Dandruff 

This issue begins at puberty and peaks at around age 20, and gradually becomes far less prevalent among people over 50 years old.

The root cause however remains largely unclear. Dandruff is usually non-inflammatory in nature. The main cause for dandruff formation and appearance from the normal physiological spectrum of scaling is yet to be understood and treated.

In the physiological spectrum of scaling, about 487,000cells/sq cm get released normally after detergent treatment and this number goes up to 800,000/sq. cm during dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis; as researched by renowned dermatologists and skin consultants. The answer to “what causes dandruff” can be many, although it is all about finding the correct treatment.

What is dandruff caused by

dandruff caused by

Dandruff is a cluster of corneocytes. It has collectively retained a large portion of cohesion with one another and detaches from the surface of the stratum corneum. The size and abundance of the scales are heterogeneous from one site to another. 

Dandruff can be caused by a lot of external factors, some of which are :

1. Hair Products

Products like shampoos, conditioners, and serums can clog your hair follicles, which can cause severe dandruff and redness. Opt for non-comedogenic/medicated products instead. 

2. Hot Hair Tools

Hot hair tools like curlers, straighteners, and crimpers can damage and break your hair which can also be a major cause of dandruff. Keep the setting low or opt for cool air instead of hot ones from your blow dryer. 

3. Dietary changes

Another major change in recurring dandruff can be dietary and hormonal changes in your system. Keep dairy products as they can be a major contributing factor for dandruff.

4. Hormonal imbalances

PCOS/PCOD, and many other issues which can cause hormonal imbalances in your system are also a major part of dandruff formation. Get it checked with your doctor to avoid possible future complications.

5. Stress

Many studies show that stress is a contributing factor to dandruff. Meditate, cleanse your chakras, exercise, eat and sleep well to avoid stress.

6. Unhygienic practices

Dirty pillow covers, bedsheets, combs, and hair ties can also lead to dandruff. Unhygienic practices like this should be avoided at all costs to keep dandruff at bay.

7. Infections

Chronic infections like eczema and atopic dermatitis can also lead to dandruff formation. People with extremely sensitive skin types should also be careful as dandruff formation can also cause dry, flaky eyelids.

Parakeratotic cells make up a huge part of dandruff. Their numbers are related to the severity and intensity of the clinical manifestations, which may also be influenced by seborrhea.

What is the prognosis of dandruff

prognosis of dandruff

The massive spectrum of dandruff is difficult to define in a particular way, as it blurs with seborrhoeic dermatitis and some other similar, scaly conditions. The inflammation and extension of scaling outside the scalp eliminate the diagnosis of dandruff from seborrhoeic dermatitis.

A few effective medical shampoos to try out are:

1. Pyrithione zinc shampoos

These contain an antibacterial, antifungal agents and zinc pyrithione which is extremely beneficial for combating dandruff. 

2. Tar-based shampoos

Tar-based shampoos can show how quickly your scalp can begin flaking, especially in the sun. People who have light/bleached hair should refrain from using this kind of shampoo. 

3. Shampoos containing salicylic acid

These products help to eliminate scaling and reduce the redness of the scalp. 

4. Selenium sulfide shampoos

These contain an antifungal agent which as should be used as directed. Rinse thoroughly after shampooing, as they tend to discolor the hair.

5. Ketoconazole shampoos

This shampoo is formulated to kill the dandruff-causing fungi which live and multiply on your scalp.

6. Fluocinolone shampoos

These products contain a type of corticosteroid which helps in controlling itching, flaking, and irritation.

 Many reports suggest a clear link between the two clinical conditions – the mildest form of the clinical presentation of seborrhoeic dermatitis as dandruff. In-depth research, studies, and examination reveal the scattered presence of lymphoid cells and squirting capillaries in the papillary dermis with hints of spongiosis and focal parakeratosis when it comes to comparison with seborrhoeic dermatitis.

What are the Dandruff home remedies

Dandruff home remedies

There are a number of ways to eliminate dandruff through home remedies. These tried and tested methods work the best as they come with centuries of experience, practice, trust, and easily available kitchen ingredients. Not only are these easy on your pockets, but a few particular home remedies for curing dandruff can include something as simple as lemon and an egg. 

Some popular ingredients to combat dandruff are :

1. Tea Tree oil  

Contains anti-inflammatory properties which help in combating recurring dandruff issues. Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, comes from a native Australian plant called Melaleuca alternifolia. Tea tree oil has antiviral, antifungal, soothing, and antibacterial properties. It’s used for different purposes, such as killing head lice, healing small wounds, and controlling dandruff. Tea tree oil is widely available in different strengths and as a strong essential oil. It’s meant to be mixed with a carrier oil and used externally. It’s also an ingredient in products such as spa oils, shampoos, and shower gels. Its distinct, camphor-like scent is relaxing for a lot of people.

2. Argan Oil  

Hydrates your scalp. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Argan oil helps in preserving your scalp health in the long run. They also help in preventing skin conditions like psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis by nourishing and protecting your scalp. Its antifungal properties also fight the dandruff-causing fungi, keeping your scalp clean and hydrated. 

3. Aloe Vera  

Helpful in soothing red, irritated, and itchy scalp. Aloe Vera for dandruff is extremely effective in eliminating a dry, flaky scalp. Its antifungal, moisturizing, and nourishing properties make it an effective and affordable treatment for dandruff. Aloe vera can also be used fresh off the leaf. 

4. Neem

Contains Anti-fungal and Anti-Inflammatory properties. The properties possessed by the neem leaves are used to treat various skin and hair issues. It also contains blood purifying and anti-microbial elements. It is also known to be antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory. You can chew the neem leaves, make a neem oil, or mix it in with curd and apply it as a hair mask.

5. Lemon  

Contains Citric Acid. Lemons are known to be rich in vitamin C and B. Vitamin C has powerful antioxidant properties which not only helps to strengthen the hair follicles but also promotes collagen production to help repair damaged cells. Use it as a pre-treatment before you shampoo or mix in coconut oil and sugar to form an exfoliating scrub.

6. Fenugreek Seeds 

Promotes healthy scalp and faster hair growth. Fenugreek which is also known as “Methi” in Hindi is a rich source of protein, vitamin C, iron, potassium, nicotinic acid, and lecithin. The benefits that these nutrients and properties offer for dandruff plagued hair are innumerable. Fenugreek seeds help in preventing dandruff and also promotes healthy hair growth. It also prevents grays while adding shine to your hair.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar 

Removes residual scalp buildup. Apple cider vinegar has natural anti-inflammatory and fungus prevention properties which is helpful in calming your dandruff while it prevents yeast overgrowth. Apple cider vinegar can also soothe an irritated scalp. 

8. Omega -3 Fatty Acids 

Promotes oil production and hydration. Dandruff is often a result of the dry and dehydrated scalp. Omega-3 fatty acids and supplements can help to retain water loss from the scalp, which in turn will reduce the flaking.  

9. A healthy diet 

Can reduce inflammation and itching of the scalp. Food, which is rich in probiotics i.e fermented food such as kanji, idli, homemade pickles, dhokla, miso, and homemade curd can be beneficial in stopping dandruff formation. Include products like fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help in keeping your scalp hydrated. Biotin (Vitamin B7) also helps in combatting dandruff.

10. Managing Stress Levels 

Managing your stress levels is beneficial for reducing the overall physiological impact on one’s health and body for combating dandruff. Scratching too hard from emotional stress can also cause major trauma to one’s scalp, which can further contribute to dandruff. 

How to remove dandruff permanently

How to remove dandruff permanently

The PH imbalance of the skin scalp is one of the primary issues why it is almost impossible to remove dandruff permanently. However, addressing the root cause of the problem can make one manage and find a better solution.  Understanding if a particular product is bad for your skin or if a prominent dietary issue is causing the inflammation, then the overall problem of dandruff can be cured to a massive extent. 

Some ways to remove dandruff permanently are:

1. Examine your skin type

Choose your shampoo accordingly. Do not over-wash your hair. Thin, thick, curly, wavy, etc are all different textures of the hair which also play a huge role when it comes to determining your hair type for choosing anti-dandruff products.

2. Try to keep your scalp clean

Use a mild, exfoliating shampoo, once every three weeks. A clean and clear scalp means less product build-up which automatically brings down the possibility of getting dandruff. 

3. Carefully choose your shampoo

There are plenty of anti-dandruff shampoos in the market which makes it even harder to choose from. Do a patch test and see which one works the best for you and your hair type. This will ensure that you get the best results out of your hair care product.

4. Never share your hair tools and appliances

Use your own comb to brush your hair and avoid using others’ personal hair tools and equipment.

5. Create a healthy, balanced, and holistic lifestyle

This will prevent the problem of recurring dandruff.

6. Make sure to cover your hair

Use a scarf while traveling in public transports.

7. Herbal Products can also be a safe bet

Refrain from treating dandruff with chemical shampoos and other variants.  Getting rid of dandruff on a permanent basis can be a burden for many, but some simple efficient steps can help to combat this issue with ease. Additionally, a combination of home remedies and chemical treatments can help to treat it better. 

What are the natural ways to eliminate dandruff 

natural ways to eliminate dandruff 

Although over-the-counter medications are popular to eliminate dandruff, these hash shampoos and other products can cause massive hair fall and thinning in the long run. Natural ways are gradually becoming more popular when it comes to removing dandruff. 

Let’s have a look at some easy-to-do hacks and tips which will help to eliminate dandruff naturally. 

1. Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass oil has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that may help in reducing dandruff. Lemongrass oil may cause irritation or allergic reaction if applied directly on the skin. People can use lemongrass oil with water or mix a few drops of it in their regular shampoo and conditioner.

2. Aspirin

Take a tablet and crush it with a spoon to grind it into a fine powder. Mix it with a few spoons of water to form a thick paste. Apply it on the scalp for a few minutes and wash it off with your regular shampoo. 

3. Baking Soda

Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda, may help in reducing dandruff. Baking soda is an excellent exfoliator that removes excess skin cells and oil on the scalp. Baking soda also has antifungal properties which help in fighting the fungus responsible for dandruff. Baking soda has a high pH level, which can damage the scalp if used frequently. Using too much baking soda can strip the hair of its natural oils which can cause further damage; hence the product should be used in moderation.

4. Zinc

In various studies, it has been found that a severe zinc deficiency has been linked with hair loss, diarrhea, impotence, and skin lesions. Many dandruff shampoos contain zinc pyrithione because it stops fungal growth and eliminates excess skin cells from the scalp. 

5. Coconut Oil

 Coconut oil may help in improving hydration, reducing irritation, and preventing fungal growth on the scalp.

6. Fresh Aloe Vera Gel

The fresh aloe gel contains several bioactive compounds, such as amino acids and antioxidants, which may help in reducing dandruff. 

What can I use to get rid of dandruff overnight

get rid of dandruff overnight

Dandruff has a very strong effect as compared to mild seasonal flaking. The condition of true dandruff can usually be recognized by skin cells and white flakes falling off in medium to large clumps which are usually a little oily. Frequent product buildup can often lead to dandruff so it’s important to wash your hair very often, especially if an individual is using hair styling products like leave-in conditioners, serums, and dry shampoos.

Some tips and tricks which can help you to get rid of dandruff overnight are:

1. Essential oils 

Essential oils like tea-tree, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, and more can be used by mixing in with your regular coconut oil and leaving it on your hair as an overnight treatment. 

2. Lemon Juice 

A few drops of lemon juice mixed in with your hot coconut oil can serve as an excellent overnight treatment to combat dandruff and prevent it from coming back.

3. Brushing with a Neem/Wooden Comb 

Neem/Wooden combs have antifungal, antibacterial, and ayurvedic properties which help in treating dandruff. One thorough brush before going to bed and the itchiness from dandruff will go away. 

4. Deep treatment with hot oils 

Deep treatment with oils, conditioners, and medicated hair creams can also turn out to be beneficial for treating dandruff overnight.

5. Steroids prescribed by a dermatologist 

Steroids prescribed by a dermatologist can also prove to be beneficial for overnight dandruff treatments. 

What are the medications for dandruff

medications for dandruff

What works for one person may not be the best solution for another individual. The only definitive way to find out which medication is the best for extreme dandruff is confirmed by speaking with your healthcare provider. Your physician will advise your dosage based upon your medical condition, history, and any other medications that you may already be taking. Then, your doctor/medical professional can monitor your response to the given treatment and adjust the medication accordingly. 

Here are some medications which are proven to be beneficial for the treatment of dandruff: 

1. SelRx (selenium sulfide) – Anti Infective agent 

180 mL at 1% and 2.25% is the general dosage for this product.  Apply a small amount to wet hair and work it into a lather. Leave it on your scalp for two minutes and rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Some common side effects may include hair loss, skin irritation, dry scalp, change in hair color, etc. 

2. Selsun Blue (selenium sulfide) – Anti Infective agent/Shampoo

325 mL of 1% is the approximate dosage for an individual. Apply one pump or less to dampened hair and work it into a lather. Leave it on your scalp for five minutes and rinse it off thoroughly with regular temperature water. 

3. Sebuderm Anti-Bacterial gel/Topical Gel

Rub gently into the scalp and leave it on for a little over two minutes and wash it out with regular temperature water. There are no known side effects as it is naturally produced by the body and hence can be used on sensitive skin too. 

4. Capex topical cream/shampoo (steroid)

120 mL of 0.01% Apply a little less than one ounce to wet/damp hair and work it into a lather. Leave it on your scalp for five minutes, and then rinse thoroughly. Some common side effects may include swollen hair follicles, blistering, or pimples with mild itching and burning.

5. Ovace Wash (sodium sulfacetamide wash) Topical Liquid 

480 mL of 10% is the approximate dosage for an adult. Slightly wet your skin and apply a generous amount of product to the affected area. Work it into a lather, and rinse it over thoroughly. Some side effects may include redness, stinging, or burning of the skin.

How do you prevent dandruff

prevent dandruff

You can take these necessary steps to reduce the risk of developing dandruff and taking the appropriate measures to control it :

1. Learn to manage your stress levels  

Piling on cups of coffee triggers your stress levels and affects your overall health which in turn makes you susceptible to a number of conditions and diseases. It can even be a major cause for the worsening of dandruff while paving the way for newer ones. 

2. Eat a well-balanced and healthy diet

A healthy diet that is rich in zinc, Vitamin B, and plenty of fatty acids may help in the prevention of dandruff.

3. Develop a hair and scalp care routine

If you tend to have an oily and greasy scalp, daily shampooing may help to a certain extent in the prevention of dandruff. Gently massage your scalp to loosen flakes and brush it off.  If your hair tends to be on the drier side with sensitivity, then shampoo less frequently. Condition your scalp between washings to prevent stripping it off from its natural oils.  

4. Get a little sunlight

Sunlight may be good for preventing dandruff. Exposure to ultraviolet light can damage your skin and increase the risk of skin cancer, hence avoid sunbathing.  Spend a little time outdoors and wear sunscreen on your face and body with an SPF of 50+.

5. Limit your hair-styling products and tools

 Hot hair-styling products can make product build-up on your scalp, which in turn makes them oilier and triggers dandruff.

What are the risk factors of Dandruff

risk factors of Dandruff

Seborrheic dermatitis which is popularly known as dandruff appears to be more common among people with:

1. Psoriasis or scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis is an extremely common skin disorder that makes raised, reddish, bluish, and scaly patches. It can pop up as an individual patch or several patches, and can sometimes affect your entire scalp. It can sometimes also spread to your forehead, the back of your neck,  behind and inside your ears, and on your hairline.  

2. HIV 

Dandruff is a common symptom in HIV, and it can be harder to treat in people who have been living with this chronic condition for a long time now. Dermatitis can be treated with steroid ointments and tablets in some cases or with anti-fungal creams. Some scalp problems can be treated with anti-dandruff or anti-fungal shampoos, serums, and conditioners. 

3. Acne 

Keep your hair off the face as when dandruff comes in contact with the facial skin, it can lead to pimples. A good hot oil massage once a week can help in reducing the problem of pimples caused by dry scalp dandruff. It also keeps the scalp healthy and improves blood circulation. 

4. Rosacea 

With rosacea, there is no permanent cure for seborrheic dermatitis, but therapy is available to bring its signs and symptoms under control. The treatment depends on your skin type, the severity of the condition, and the part of your body where it occurs. Treatment on your face and body may include medications such as antifungals and steroids that reduce inflammation and the build-up of scaling on the skin. When seborrheic dermatitis appears with a combination of rosacea, a safe and effective antifungal alone may often be prescribed. The long-term use of topical steroids is associated with rosacea-like symptoms like scaling, redness, etc. This specific condition is known as steroid-induced rosacea. Treatment of seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp may include medicated anti-dandruff shampoos and topical ointments. Rosacea patients who suspect that they may have this disorder are urged to see a dermatologist at the earliest for diagnosis and appropriate treatment. 

5. Parkinson’s disease 

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin condition in the general population, but even more commonly found in people with Parkinson’s Disease. It causes patches of scaly, flaky, red skin and dandruff, primarily on the scalp and on the oily parts of the face such as the sides and tip of the nose. 

6. Epilepsy, fatigue, and obesity

All of these conditions and diseases in an individual can be a major cause for triggering dandruff as researched by medical professionals. 

7. Alcohol dependency, depression or recovery from a stroke and heart attack 

Alcohol addicts, people who are on anti-depressants and going through a recovery process should also be careful regarding dandruff as it can get triggered easily.  

Research has found that almost 30–83% of people with HIV have seborrheic dermatitis, as compared to 3–5% of the general population. The symptoms may also be more severe and life-threatening in certain rare cases. 

A person with HIV who experiences severe scalp disorders and dandruff should visit their doctor urgently who will recommend an appropriate treatment. 

Some other external factors which may trigger dandruff are 

1. Eczema 

Eczema not only affects the easy-to-see parts of your body but it can affect your scalp, too. In fact, scalp eczema is a type of disease which causes inflamed, itchy, and dry skin to form on your scalp.  

2. Ringworm 

Ringworm may start off as a small sore that looks like a regular pimple before becoming patchy, flaky, or scaly. These flakes may resemble dandruff. It can make hair fall out or break into a stubble, while leaving a bald spot. It can also make the entire scalp swollen, tender, and red.

3. Contact Dermatitis 

Contact dermatitis takes place when your skin reacts to contact with something around you. You may also need to treat the active rash, but one should be able to manage the reaction once one identifies the trigger causing the symptoms. Further contact can be avoided with that particular irritant. 

4. Yeast Infections 

There are many factors which can contribute to a scalp yeast infection, but an overgrowth of yeast/fungus is the primary underlying cause. Various types of medicated shampoos/cosmetics, as well as prescription medications, is useful for treating a yeast infection.

5. Shampooing & skincare products 

Dandruff is an irritant that we don’t have to live with, as it gets worse during the winters. Anti-dandruff shampoos can make life simple and convenient by eliminating it to quite an extent. 

6. Extreme winter temperatures and a combination of cold weather and overheated rooms 

Although this combination can feel extremely comforting and relaxing, overheated, cozy rooms in chilling winters can be a drastic cause for dandruff due to the extreme varying temperatures.

7. Infrequent hair brushing.  Brushing helps to remove dead skin cells

A good thorough brush is extremely necessary for eliminating any leftover dry and flaky skin. This is turn lessens the possibility of dandruff. 

8. Stress 

Stress can be the number one contributing factor when it comes to dandruff formation. A clean diet, good food and sleep with a healthy lifestyle can help to combat this issue. 

9. Age

Dandruff is more likely to occur between an individual’s teenage years and midlife. (although a specific type of dandruff which is also known as cradle cap is common among babies)

10. Hormonal factors in men and women 

Fluctuating hormonal factors in men and women during pregnancy, menstruation cycles etc. can also be a major factor in the triggering of dandruff. 

11. If an individual has Zinc deficiency 

People can obtain zinc from animal proteins, fats, nuts, and certain types of whole grains. According to research, severe zinc deficiencies have often been associated with hair loss, diarrhea, impotence, and skin lesions. A specific review lists zinc deficiency as a major factor for seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.

12. Vitamin-B deficiency 

Dandruff and might be caused by various factors, with a nutrient-poor diet being one of them. For example, low blood levels of zinc, niacin, riboflavin, and pyridoxine may each play a role in the formation of dandruff. 

13. Omega-6 fat is known as gamma-linolenic acid, which is present in evening primrose oil  

Essential fatty acids, including foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, help in supporting healthy hair and skin in general. 

What are the alternative and complementary therapies to avoid dandruff 

alternative and complementary therapies to avoid dandruff 

Some alternative and complementary therapies to avoid dandruff include going back to using some simple kitchen ingredients along with a healthy mind and body. A few things that an individual can keep in mind are: 

1. Olive Oil 

Take a small amount on your comb and brush it through your hair in the scaly and patchy areas to add moisture to your dry scalp. Do not overdo this step or else it will make your hair greasy.

2. Calm your mind

Find a healthy way to release your stress. Exercise, meditate, and eat well to avoid any sudden flare-ups. Don’t be hesitant to consult your therapist if required. 

3. Use a UV Light in winters 

If you are someone who suffers from seasonal depression, then this might be a good alternative as depressive tendencies and stress has been found to be a contributing factor in dandruff. 

4. Boost the “good bacteria” in your digestive system 

Take probiotics containing Lactobacillus acidophilus or Bifidobacterium, which is found in a few supplements and some yogurts.


Dandruff can be an extremely long and persistent condition, which can leave you in distress but there are plenty of treatments available that might help you to relieve your symptoms.

Dandruff can take a bit of time to respond to a particular treatment, but if you are experiencing symptoms even after trying plenty of anti-dandruff shampoos and over-the-counter products for at least a month, then it might be time to speak to your doctor.


1. Can I use a conditioner if I have dandruff?

Yes, a mild conditioner, which does not clog the pores of the scalp, can be used.

2. How do I get rid of dandruff on keratin-treated hair?

Keratin treatments can trigger dandruff, so it is best advised to stay away from the process altogether. Apart from that, essential oils like tea-tree and aloe Vera can help to get rid of dandruff on keratin-treated hair.

3. Which dandruff shampoo is best in India?

Some popular anti-dandruff shampoos in the Indian market are-

  • Head and Shoulders
  • Dove
  • Scalpe-Pro
  • Himalaya
  • Selsun Suspension
  • Clear Complete Active Care

4. Does dandruff actually cause hair loss?

Yes. In some cases, dandruff might be the cause of hair loss.

5. Can coconut oil treat dandruff?

Yes. If mixed in with essential oils in moderation, coconut oil can be helpful in treating dandruff.

6. Should I wash my hair every day if I have dandruff?

No, over-washing your hair can strip it off from its natural oils.

7. Can you get rid of dandruff?

Yes, dandruff can be treated.

8. Is dandruff bad for your hair?

Yes. Excessive dandruff can be bad for your hair as it can clog your hair follicles.

9. Does dandruff cause hair growth?

No. Dandruff doesn’t cause hair growth.

10. Is scratching dandruff off bad?

Gently scraping off the dandruff is alright. However, harsh scratching can damage your scalp.

11. Can dry shampoo cause dandruff?

Yes. Excessive product build-up from the dry shampoo can cause dandruff.

12. How does dandruff affect the face?

Dandruff can cause acne and breakouts on the face from the greasy and oily flakes.

13. Why does my beard have dandruff?

Seborrheic dermatitis is one of the most common causes of beard dandruff. 

14. When should I call the doctor about dandruff?

When your dandruff is greasy and yellow and does not respond to over-the-counter dandruff, shampoos, and lotions it might be time for you to call the doctor.