Dossier: Home remedies

Be done with dandruff!

Dandruff is annoying and often hard to get rid of. If you want to get rid of your dandruff for good, you first have to know what’s causing it, because a flaky scalp can have many causes – and the treatment varies accordingly.

Text: Michael Suter; photo: Unsplash

If the flakes of dandruff fall off easily when you move your fingers through your hair and your scalp is itchy, you may actually be suffering from dry scalp. This can be caused by hot water and frequent blow drying, but also by too much sun, aggressive care products and dry ambient air. As a result, the scalp produces small, dry flakes. Dandruff flakes are bigger and they look oily. Dandruff is caused by the scalp producing too much sebum, which makes the flakes stick together. This is usually the result of a hormone imbalance or a fungus called malassezia. These home remedies can help:

Against dry scalp

Aloe vera: The gel of this pretty plant has an antibacterial and moisturising effect. Squeeze the sap from an aloe vera leaf and rub it into your scalp. Within a few hours it will soothe the dry skin and relieve the itchiness.

Natural yoghurt: The gentle lactic acid acts like a balm on the scalp. Spread a generous amount of natural yoghurt over your scalp and leave it for 15 minutes. Then rinse your hair with a gentle shampoo. You can repeat this treatment with natural yoghurt two to three times a week.

Against dandruff

Cider vinegar: This is a well-known household remedy against dandruff. It regulates the scalp’s pH value and cleans the pores of the sebaceous glands of oily hair. For the treatment, mix cider vinegar and water in a ratio of 1:1. Then pour the mixture over your scalp and massage it in gently. After around 10 minutes, rinse your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water.

Tea tree oil: Whether for spots or warts – tea tree oil helps with many skin problems. And it can also help with dandruff. It has an anti-fungal effect and is gentle on the skin. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to the shampoo and wash your hair. But be careful, because tea tree oil and other essential oils can cause a contact allergy.

Expert tip

Dr Paola Maltagliati-Holzner, a dermatologist with Medgate

“Minor cases of dry scalp and dandruff can be treated at home. The skin irritation usually goes away if you stop using aggressive care products and blow drying your hair for a few weeks. You need to see a doctor or dermatologist if the scalp is inflamed or if scabs or blisters form. This could be caused by a fungal infection, a bacterial infection or contact dermatitis, which requires urgent treatment. You should also see a doctor if the dandruff persists for three weeks or more.”