How Can I Reduce Dandruff?

Emily Espinoza
Emily Espinoza
There are various dandruff treatments, ranging from shampoos to diet changes.
There are various dandruff treatments, ranging from shampoos to diet changes.

Dandruff can result from several different causes and can be reduced in several ways. Certain lifestyle changes might help prevent and treat a dandruff problem, and there are numerous homeopathic and natural remedies that you can make and try out yourself. If none of the simpler remedies work, you can reduce dandruff with several medicinal remedies that can be obtained over-the-counter or from a doctor.

Adding mouthwash to shampoo helps kill bacteria and any dandruff caused by it.
Adding mouthwash to shampoo helps kill bacteria and any dandruff caused by it.

A balanced diet may prevent or reduce dandruff, while a diet that is rich in saturated fat and sugar can create an environment that is more favorable for the bacteria and fungi that can cause dandruff. Reducing the amount of saturated fat, sugar, and junk food in your diet may help combat a dandruff problem. Other simple lifestyle changes that you might try are increasing your intake of zinc and vitamin B, either through diet or with supplements, and lowering your stress levels. Excessive use of hair products can cause dry skin that will lead to dandruff, so using fewer products in your hair could also help reduce dandruff.

Apple cider vinegar is one dandruff remedy.
Apple cider vinegar is one dandruff remedy.

Dandruff can be caused by your scalp becoming either too dry or too oily, and there are many natural remedies that are believed to help these problems. Massaging your scalp with a natural oil such as olive oil, sesame oil, or almond oil before you shampoo can moisturize your scalp and reduce dry flakes. Another popular remedy is applying vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar, to your scalp after shampooing to control bacteria and excess oil. Adding a small amount of mouthwash to your regular bottle of shampoo can kill bacteria and help reduce any dandruff caused by it. Lemon juice and aloe vera can also be applied to the scalp to address itchiness and flakes.

Anti-dandruff shampoos contain anti-fungal components to reduce flakes and itchy scalp.
Anti-dandruff shampoos contain anti-fungal components to reduce flakes and itchy scalp.

If lifestyle changes and natural remedies do not work for you, there are medicinal treatments meant to reduce dandruff. Zinc pyrithione and ketoconazole are both anti-fungals that are found in anti-dandruff shampoos. These ingredients are usually available in over-the-counter products, but some countries may require a prescription from a doctor for stronger concentrations. Salicylic acid is also available in over-the-counter or prescription products and may reduce dandruff but can also cause excessively dry skin. If you cannot find relief from any gentler treatments, your doctor may prescribe a steroid cream containing betamethasone.

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Discussion Comments

bear78

I reduced my dandruff with over the counter dandruff shampoo that contains zinc pyrithione. It started working from first use and I have little to no dandruff when I use it regularly.

I also tried tea tree oil as a natural dandruff treatment. I think it was working, but it was kind of messy to use and I didn't like the scent. So I just use my dandruff shampoo now.

literally45

@ZipLine-- Sometime dandruff resolves by itself, but that's not the case for most people in my opinion. For me, I had to figure out what was irritating my scalp in order to treat my dandruff. It didn't go away on its own.

After several visits to a dermatologist and after observing my dandruff, I discovered that I have winter dandruff. It's when dandruff occurs or worsens in winter because of dryness and cold weather. So staying warm in winter, using mild shampoos and keeping my scalp hydrated was the treatment for my dandruff.

Not everyone has dandruff for the same reason though. Some people have oily dandruff caused by excessive oil production on the scalp. Others have dandruff due to fungal overgrowth from humidity and a weak immune system. So everyone's treatment is going to be a little different. My dandruff remedy might not work for you and vice versa.

ZipLine

I think that genes and hormones have a lot to do with dandruff. I had bad dandruff when I was in high school and college. After college, it resolved on its own, even though I was not doing anything different or using a dandruff treatment. I think my hormones had something to do with it. When my hormones settled down, the dandruff went away.

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    • There are various dandruff treatments, ranging from shampoos to diet changes.
      There are various dandruff treatments, ranging from shampoos to diet changes.
    • Adding mouthwash to shampoo helps kill bacteria and any dandruff caused by it.
      Adding mouthwash to shampoo helps kill bacteria and any dandruff caused by it.
    • Apple cider vinegar is one dandruff remedy.
      Apple cider vinegar is one dandruff remedy.
    • Anti-dandruff shampoos contain anti-fungal components to reduce flakes and itchy scalp.
      Anti-dandruff shampoos contain anti-fungal components to reduce flakes and itchy scalp.
    • Visible white flakes of dry dead skin on the scalp are a sign of dandruff.
      Visible white flakes of dry dead skin on the scalp are a sign of dandruff.
    • Dandruff can occur as a result of the scalp becoming too dry or too oily.
      Dandruff can occur as a result of the scalp becoming too dry or too oily.