The first step to overcoming dandruff is taking a deep breath. Dandruff is simply an aesthetic issue and, despite myths, it won't make you go bald or spread to others. In addition to your normal hair care routine, which should include regular shampooing, it takes a combination of all-natural techniques -- from prevention to after-the-fact remedies such as scrubs and oil treatments -- to fight pesky dandruff.
Massage about 2 tablespoons of pure, natural lemon juice into your scalp, then rinse your hair with a mixture of 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. This daily treatment helps ease dandruff when it strikes.
Scrub a bit of regular table salt into your scalp before you shampoo. This natural, abrasive remedy helps work flakes out of your scalp before your shampoo does its job.
Choose an all-natural, anti-dandruff shampoo. Although these products vary, common ingredients include tea tree oil and rosemary extracts, which serve as gentle alternatives to chemical anti-dandruff agents, such as ketoconazole and coal tar. Unless the manufacturer recommends otherwise, lather and rinse twice and allow the shampoo to sit on your scalp for about five minutes before rinsing.
Rinse your hair with a combination of one part apple cider vinegar and one part cold water after you've lathered and rinsed with shampoo for a deep-cleaning measure that both treats and prevents dandruff. Apple cider vinegar cuts through residue and kills dandruff-causing bacteria. [Ref 2, pg. 6, Ref 3]
Apply a few drops of essential jojoba oil to your hair in the morning. Don't overdo it -- use just enough to very lightly cover your scalp. Massaging your scalp with natural oil moisturizes your skin and helps restore your scalp's regular pH balance.
Treat your hair with coconut oil about once per week. Warm roughly a spoonful of coconut oil and work it into both your hair and scalp. Wrap your hair with a damp, hot towel and leave the oil in for at least an hour before rinsing. For the maximum effect, use antifungal coconut oil as an overnight treatment. If this treatment makes your hair too oily or greasy, rinse with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and cold water.
Substitute baking soda for your regular shampoo if all else fails. This remedy may leave your hair dry initially, but as weeks go by, your hair's natural oils compensate for the dryness, which softens your hair and eliminates flakiness.
Antifungal agents may help ease your dandruff. Mix antifungal oils, such as essential tea tree or coconut oil, into your off-the-shelf shampoo, if the product doesn't already contain this ingredient. About 10 drops of oil per 8 ounces of shampoo does the trick.
Consult your dermatologist before making major changes to your hair care regimen, or if you experience serious itching or inflammation of the scalp. Read and follow any instructions or warnings provided by the manufacturers of any anti-dandruff products you use.