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Hair health and science

How to Get Rid of Dandruff and Do It Quick

3 minutes

Dandruff is a condition that causes the skin cells to shed faster than usual. This leads to white or yellow flakes on your scalp. The main cause of dandruff is excess Malassezia yeast. This normally lives on your scalp without causing any problems.

Dandruff isn’t contagious and it isn’t caused by poor hygiene. It's not all that serious, so we'll take a look at how to get rid of flakes in hair – and when you might want to see a doctor about it.

Is a flaky scalp always dandruff?

While both dandruff and dry scalp create itchy, flaky scalps, they are two different conditions. Large, oily flakes? Chances are you have dandruff. Small and dry (and you don’t see any oil)? You may be dealing with a dry scalp.

How to get rid of dandruff, fast

Our skin is as unique as our fingerprints, so not all ways to get rid of dandruff would work for everyone. If you try a product for at least 28 days (a full skin cycle), you'll have a better idea if it's right for you.

Use anti-dandruff shampoo

Anti-dandruff shampoos contain ingredients that help fight the fungus that causes dandruff. Some of these ingredients include salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione, and ketoconazole. Anti-dandruff shampoos also contain mild cleansers to remove excess oil and dirt from your scalp.

Don't scratch

Scratching doesn't help with dry skin, and it can make matters worse if you have dandruff. The fungus feeds on dead skin cells, so if you're scratching all the time, you'll be giving it more food than ever before.

Exfoliate your scalp

Scalp exfoliation is a quick and painless way to fight dandruff, and it can be as simple as using a dry brush or rubbing your scalp with a towel after you shower. When you exfoliate, you're removing the dead skin cells that clog up your pores and lead to dandruff.

Use scalp scrubs

Scalp scrubs are one of the most popular natural remedies for dandruff. A scalp scrub involves massaging a paste or powder into your scalp and letting it sit for at least ten minutes before washing it off. Just don't overdo it. Once a week is enough.

Avoid sharing combs or brushes

In this case, sharing is not caring! If you have more than one person in your household with dandruff, buy separate combs and brushes as well as shampoo for each person. This will help keep your hair clean and free of fungus that could cause dandruff symptoms in others.

Minimise stress levels

Chill. Stress can trigger dandruff because it causes your body to produce more oil. This can cause the skin on your scalp to be moist and flaky, which is perfect for dandruff-causing bacteria. Try to take some time out of your day to relax. You could try yoga, a massage... or, you know, anything else that helps you unwind.

When to see a doctor – don’t fret

If your scalp has been itching, red, or inflamed for more than two weeks it might be best to see a doctor. If not, try some home remedies below – that should do the trick!

Dandruff home remedies

What helps with dandruff? There are many over-the-counter products to treat dandruff, but sometimes an at-home remedy works better. 

  • Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has been known to improve the condition of dandruff. It's often used in shampoos and conditioners designed for people with dandruff.

You can also use tea tree oil directly on your scalp. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with an equal amount of water, then massage it onto your scalp. Let it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.

  • Apple cider vinegar

The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar helps to kill off fungi and bacteria that cause dandruff. It also helps to tighten your hair cuticles and make your hair shinier.

  • Coconut oil

Coconut oil is an excellent natural remedy for dandruff. The lauric acid in coconut oil helps fight fungal and bacterial infections that are commonly associated with dandruff. It also moisturises your scalp, reducing dryness, flakes and itching. 

You’ll have a flake-free scalp in no time! The best and fastest way to get rid of dandruff is to choose care products according to your hair type. Take our quiz and find out which hair products are best for you!

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