Skip to main content
Kapiva Pay Day Sale is Live! Get EXTRA 15% OFF on all orders! Use Code: PAYDAY15
Pan Chi Image

Effective Ayurvedic Remedies To Get Rid Of Dandruff Naturally

Dandruff can be caused by oily, irritated skin, fungal infection, or reaction to hair care products. Ayurveda recommends a balanced diet, warm oil massage, yoga and remedies like camphor, hibiscus, lavender oil, aloe, methi, etc. in combination with carrier oils like coconut and jojoba to combat dandruff.

ayurveda dandruff hibiscus flower
Noni-Ingredient-Kapiva

Itchy, scratchy head? Haven’t we all known that annoying feeling that stops us dead in our tracks until we scratch to our heart’s content. The relief once we’ve managed to scratch the itch away. Followed by embarrassment of white flakes around our shoulders. Dandruff is that nemesis we’ve all lived with at some point.

Dandruff is a condition characterized by the skin on your scalp flaking off. It can be caused by:

  • Oily, irritated skin
  • Dry skin
  • A fungus called Malassezia which feeds on oils present on your scalp
  • A reaction to hair care products
  • Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis

Meanwhile, stress and cold, dry weather can make dandruff worse.[1][Dandruff]. Mayo Clinic.

What Does Ayurvedic Say About Dandruff?

In Ayurveda, this condition is described as “darunaka” which is classified as a kshudra roga or minor disease. It is thought to occur due to an imbalance in the doshas, with pitta dosha, and vata dosha being primarily involved. According to Ayurveda, a range of factors can contribute to the development of dandruff:

  • Environmental factors: Excessive exposure to the sun or heat. Exposure to fog, dust, smoke etc.
  • Diet: Excessive consumption of sour foods. Drinking cold water over a long period of time is also considered to be harmful.
  • Hair care: Not taking proper care of your hair and scalp. That is, not washing your hair regularly, not applying oil to your scalp regularly etc.
  • Excessive sweating and suppressing natural urges such as the urge to sleep, urinate, drink water etc.[2]Daulatkar, Kavita. “Dandruff-Ayurveda management for better hair care.” Journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medical Sciences 3, no. 02 (2018): 85-88.[https://jaims.in/index.php/jaims/article/view/387 ][3]Suresh, Suramya, Akhilesh Shukla, Haroon Irshad, Leena P. Nair, and Jaya Shankar Mund. “CONCEPT OF VEGADHARANA IN VIEW OF PREVALENCE OF DISEASES IN FEMALES.” Global Journal of Research on … Continue reading

Since Ayurveda takes a holistic look at the factors that contribute to the development of dandruff it also seeks to address the problem holistically. It looks at

  • Diet: Eating fresh, juicy, sweet fruits, leafy greens with a bitter taste, and cooked greens are thought to help keep your hair healthy. Fenugreek, turmeric, coriander, and cumin are also considered to be beneficial. As are lentils and other fiber rich foods. You can also add coconut water to your diet and use ghee for cooking to enrich your diet.
  • Snehana (Massage): A warm oil scalp massage which improves circulation, nourishes your scalp and hair, and helps to deal with a dry scalp is highly recommended for treating dandruff. You can use coconut or sesame oil infused with hair nourishing herbs like brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), amalaki (Emblica officinalis), or bhringaraj (Eclipta alba). Ayurvedic practitioners commonly prescribe medicinal oils such as bhringaraja taila, triphaladya taila, durdurapatradi taila, chemparutyadi taila, and nalpamaradi taila to treat dandruff.
  • Yoga: Ayurvedic practitioners also recommend practicing yoga as this can help bring down your stress levels.[4]Shohani, Masoumeh, Gholamreza Badfar, Marzieh Parizad Nasirkandy, Sattar Kaikhavani, Shoboo Rahmati, Yaghoob Modmeli, Ali Soleymani, and Milad Azami. “The effect of yoga on stress, anxiety, and … Continue reading[5]Daulatkar, Kavita. “Dandruff-Ayurveda management for better hair care.” Journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medical Sciences 3, no. 02 (2018): 85-88.

Simple Home Remedies To Tackle Dandruff

1. Camphor

Research shows that camphor has antifungal properties and acts against Malassezia, the fungus implicated in the development of dandruff.[6]Kim, Young-ju, Guen-bae Hwang, and Young-Bae Seu. “Antifungal activity of borneolum (Borneo-Camphor) from Dryobalanops aromatica against Malassezia furfur.” Microbiology and Biotechnology … Continue reading

How to use:
  • Powder two tablets of camphor.
  • Heat half a cup of coconut oil (extra virgin is preferable). Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Mix the powdered camphor to the warm oil. Note that camphor is highly inflammable so ensure it is away from a heat source and that the oil is not scalding hot.
  • Massage your scalp before bedtime and leave it overnight before washing it off.
  • Make sure that the camphor makes up less than 10% of the hair oil that you prepare.
Precautions:
  • It is not safe to apply camphor on broken skin as toxic amounts may get absorbed into your body. If you’ve been scratching your scalp and suspect that you may have broken skin, avoid use.
  • Camphor is highly flammable. Hair oils or products containing camphor should not be heated in the microwave.
  • The topical use of camphor is not safe for children. There isn’t enough data to confirm that it’s safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Stay safe and avoid use.
  • Some experts suggest that camphor can worsen liver disease.
  • Some people can experience minor side effects like skin irritation and reddening while using camphor. Always test new ingredients on a small patch of skin to see it they irritate you before applying them on your scalp.
2. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is another natural ingredient which inhibits Malassezia.[7]Kumar, Saneesh. “Analysis on the natural remedies to cure dandruff/skin disease-causing fungus-Malassezia furfur.” Adv Bio Tech 12, no. 07 (2013): 01-05.

How to use:
  • To take advantage of its antifungal properties, add a little lemon juice to warm coconut oil.
  • Massage it into your scalp.
  • Let it sit for around half an hour before washing it off.
  • Follow this treatment for at least 2 weeks for best results.
Precaution:
  • Test all new hair care ingredients for an allergic reaction on a small patch of skin first, before applying it to your scalp.
3. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is another natural ingredient with antifungal properties.[8]Muyima, NY Osée, and Lerato Nkata. “Inhibition of the growth of dermatophyte fungi and yeast associated with dandruff and related scalp inflammatory conditions by the essential oils of … Continue reading

How to use:
  • Dilute a few drops of lavender oil with a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oil.
  • Massage it into your scalp and leave it in for 10 to 15 minutes before washing it off.
  • You can even keep it on overnight if you want to.
Precaution:
  • Always do a patch test when trying new hair care ingredients to rule out an allergic reaction, before applying it to your scalp.
4. Hibiscus Flowers

Ayurvedic practitioners traditionally recommend using hibiscus flowers along with other natural ingredients to tackle dandruff. It is worth noting that research indicates that both hibiscus flowers and amla act against Malassezia. As do tulasi oil and tulasi extracts.[9]Sibi, G., Md Ansar Alam, Jhanvi Shah, and Masna Razak. “Susceptibility pattern of Malassezia species to selected plant extracts and antifungal agents.” International Journal of Green … Continue reading[10]Prabhamanju, M., S. Gokul Shankar, and K. Babu. “Herbal vs. Chemical Actives as Antidandruff Ingredients-Which Are More Effective in the Management of Dandruff?–An Overview.” … Continue reading

How to use:
  • Take equal quantities of hibiscus flowers, fresh amla (Indian gooseberry) and tulasi (holy basil) leaves.
  • Add sesame oil (4 times the quantity) and coconut water (8 times the quantity).
  • Cook this mixture till all the water evaporates.
  • Strain and apply to your scalp to get rid of dandruff.
Precaution:
  • Always do a patch test on your skin, when trying new hair care ingredients to rule out an allergic reaction.
5. Gram Flour

Many ayurvedic practitioners recommend using gram flour and curd for tacking dandruff. Curd and gram flour are considered to be great cleansers which can help clean your scalp.

How to use:
  • Add a couple of spoons of gram flour, and half a spoon of lemon juice to a small bowl of curd.
  • Mix well and apply to your scalp.
  • Leave it on for around thirty minutes.
Precaution:
  • Test all new hair care ingredients for an allergic reaction on a small patch of skin first, before applying it to your scalp.
6. Amla

Amla has antifungal properties which make it useful for treating dandruff.[11]Sibi, G., Md Ansar Alam, Jhanvi Shah, and Masna Razak. “Susceptibility pattern of Malassezia species to selected plant extracts and antifungal agents.” International Journal of Green … Continue reading

How to use:
  • Add equal quantities of shikakai (soap-pod) and amla powder to a little curd and stir it into a smooth paste.
  • Apply this to your scalp and hair and leave it in for around 30 minutes before washing it off.
  • You might need to repeat this treatment once a week if you have a persistent problem with dandruff.
Precaution:
  • Do a patch test any time you use a new hair care ingredient, to rule out an allergic reaction and before applying it to your scalp.
7. Methi

Another remedy for dandruff frequently recommended by ayurvedic practitioners is fenugreek or methi seed paste.[12]Sharuti Sarin, Sukhpreet Kour.[EFFECTIVE AYURVEDIC REMEDIES FOR DARUNAKA (DANDRUFF)]. World Journal of Pharmacetical and Life Sciences. 2017.

How to use:
  • Soak the seeds in water overnight and grind it into a paste the next day.
  • Leave the paste on your scalp for 30 to 45 minutes before washing it off.
  • You can also make a paste of fenugreek powder and amla powder using water or curd and use that. This recipe will give you the added power of amla. Leave the paste on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
Precaution:
  • Test all new hair care ingredients for an allergic reaction on a small patch of skin first, before applying it to your scalp.
8. Aloe Vera

Here’s another traditional remedy for dandruff that is backed by science – aloe vera. One study found that the application of an aloe vera extract reduced both itching and scaliness and in people with this condition.[13]Vardy, D. A., A. D. Cohen, T. Tchetov, E. Medvedovsky, and A. Biton. “A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of an Aloe vera (A. barbadensis) emulsion in the treatment of seborrheic … Continue reading

How to use:
  • Split an aloe vera leaf and spoon out the gel inside. You can apply this gel to your scalp.
  • Let it sit for around half an hour before washing it off.
  • Depending on the severity of your condition, this treatment can be repeated 2 or 3 times in a week.
Precaution:
  • Test all new hair care ingredients for an allergic reaction on a small patch of skin first, before applying it to your scalp.

General Tips To Ward Off Dandruff

Here are a few things that you can do to keep dandruff at bay.

1. Design a suitable hair care routine: Your hair care routine must be tailored to your needs. For instance, if your scalp tends to be oily, shampooing everyday may be a good idea. Meanwhile, if you have dry hair and a sensitive scalp, you might need to shampoo less frequently and use a conditioning treatment in between your shampoo days.

2. Brush daily and how to work it: The hair should be brushed daily to improve circulation and remove any flakes. The most effective way to brush the hair is to bend forward from the waist with the head down towards the ground and brush from the nape of the neck towards the top of the head.

3. Massage routine: The scalp should also be thoroughly massaged every day, using fingertips and working systematically over the head. This should be done just before or after brushing the hair. Like brushing, this stimulates the circulation, dislodges dirt and dandruff and encourages hair growth.

4. Clean your comb/brush: Disinfect your comb to avoid auto-infection once a week. Similarly, do not share a comb

5. Keep stress under control: Stress may trigger or worsen dandruff. Try meditation or yoga to manage stress.

6. Have a healthy balanced diet: A diet that has sufficient amounts of nutrients such as B vitamins, zinc, and omega Omega-3 fatty acids may be helpful in preventing dandruff.

7. Get some sun: Sunlight may help control dandruff. But remember not to overexpose yourself. Exposure to ultraviolet light increases your risk for skin cancer and damages your skin. Always use sunscreen when you’re out in the sun.

8. Minimize the use of hair styling products: Excessive use of styling products can build up on your scalp and hair and make them oilier.[14][Dandruff]. Mayo Clinic.

References

References
1, 14 [Dandruff]. Mayo Clinic.
2, 5 Daulatkar, Kavita. “Dandruff-Ayurveda management for better hair care.” Journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medical Sciences 3, no. 02 (2018): 85-88.
3 Suresh, Suramya, Akhilesh Shukla, Haroon Irshad, Leena P. Nair, and Jaya Shankar Mund. “CONCEPT OF VEGADHARANA IN VIEW OF PREVALENCE OF DISEASES IN FEMALES.” Global Journal of Research on Medicinal Plants & Indigenous Medicine 5, no. 4 (2016): 121.
4 Shohani, Masoumeh, Gholamreza Badfar, Marzieh Parizad Nasirkandy, Sattar Kaikhavani, Shoboo Rahmati, Yaghoob Modmeli, Ali Soleymani, and Milad Azami. “The effect of yoga on stress, anxiety, and depression in women.” International journal of preventive medicine 9 (2018).
6 Kim, Young-ju, Guen-bae Hwang, and Young-Bae Seu. “Antifungal activity of borneolum (Borneo-Camphor) from Dryobalanops aromatica against Malassezia furfur.” Microbiology and Biotechnology Letters 33, no. 3 (2005): 236-239.
7 Kumar, Saneesh. “Analysis on the natural remedies to cure dandruff/skin disease-causing fungus-Malassezia furfur.” Adv Bio Tech 12, no. 07 (2013): 01-05.
8 Muyima, NY Osée, and Lerato Nkata. “Inhibition of the growth of dermatophyte fungi and yeast associated with dandruff and related scalp inflammatory conditions by the essential oils of Artemisia afra, Pteronia incana, Lavandula officinalis and Rosmarinus officinalis.” Journal of Essential Oil Bearing Plants 8, no. 3 (2005): 224-232.
9, 11 Sibi, G., Md Ansar Alam, Jhanvi Shah, and Masna Razak. “Susceptibility pattern of Malassezia species to selected plant extracts and antifungal agents.” International Journal of Green Pharmacy (IJGP) 8, no. 4 (2014).
10 Prabhamanju, M., S. Gokul Shankar, and K. Babu. “Herbal vs. Chemical Actives as Antidandruff Ingredients-Which Are More Effective in the Management of Dandruff?–An Overview.” Ethnobotanical Leaflets 2009, no. 11 (2009): 5.
12 Sharuti Sarin, Sukhpreet Kour.[EFFECTIVE AYURVEDIC REMEDIES FOR DARUNAKA (DANDRUFF)]. World Journal of Pharmacetical and Life Sciences. 2017.
13 Vardy, D. A., A. D. Cohen, T. Tchetov, E. Medvedovsky, and A. Biton. “A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of an Aloe vera (A. barbadensis) emulsion in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis.” Journal of dermatological treatment 10, no. 1 (1999): 7-11.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. For more information pertaining to your personal needs please see a qualified health practitioner.

About the Author

author image

Dr. Aswathy E.S. (KAA Expert)

Dr. Aswathy has 10+ years of experience as an Ayurvedic consultant and medical officer in different nursing homes and hospitals. She has a deep knowledge of classical texts, Ayurvedic treatments, and Panchkarma. Dr. Aswathy is proficient in diagnosis through traditional Ayurvedic means and plans treatment that is specific to an individual’s constitution.

Know more

No Comments yet!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *