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How to Get Rid of Dandruff

About half of people will experience dandruff. The fastest way to treat it is with specialized shampoo.

  • Home Remedies
  • Lifestyle Changes
  • Seeking Medical Care

If you notice white flakes on your clothes or have an itchy, flaky scalp, you may have dandruff , a condition that impacts about half of American adults. That can leave you wondering how to get rid of dandruff. Luckily, there are many treatments available.

Dandruff can be caused by dry skin, seborrheic dermatitis (a skin condition that causes a scaly rash), sensitivity to hair products, or a fungus growth called Malassezia yeast. Learning the cause of your dandruff can help you find a dandruff remedy that works for you. 

This article will cover how to get rid of dandruff, with dandruff treatment including dandruff shampoo and home remedies for dandruff. 

Moyo Studio / Getty Images

Dandruff Shampoo

If you have a flaky scalp, dandruff shampoo can provide relief. In fact, dandruff shampoo is fastest way to get rid of dandruff. Dandruff shampoos have special ingredients that can fight dandruff, including:

  • Zinc pyrithione
  • Salicylic acid
  • Selenium sulfide
  • Ketoconazole

How to Use Dandruff Shampoo

When you’re using a dandruff shampoo, read the directions on the bottle, and follow them carefully. Instructions can differ among brands or from regular shampoos. For example, some dandruff shampoos need to remain on the scalp for five minutes before rinsing, while others should be rinsed right away. 

The following tips can also make using dandruff shampoo more effective:

  • Know how often to use it : Dandruff shampoo should be used according to hair texture. For example, naturally curly hair or hair that is coiled may require dandruff shampoo just once a week, as tolerated, and regular shampoo in between. And people with fine or straight hair or those with an oily scalp may need to shampoo each day and use dandruff shampoo twice each week.
  • Be careful with coal tar. Dandruff shampoos with coal tar can discolor light colored hair, and can also make your scalp more prone to sunburn. If you use this type of shampoo, use a hat when outdoors. 
  • Try various options. If you don’t get relief within a month of using a dandruff shampoo, try another shampoo with a different active ingredient.

Shampoos and Allergic Reactions

Some shampoos can trigger allergic reactions . If you notice symptoms like redness, increased itching, or swelling, reach out to your healthcare provider. 

Home Remedies for Dandruff

Whether you’re experiencing dry flakes or wet dandruff , too much yeast on the scalp is often to blame. Yeast is a type of fungus, so treating your scalp with home remedies that have antifungal properties may help fight dandruff. 

There’s little research around home remedies for dandruff. While dandruff shampoo is the most effective way to treat dandruff, there’s little harm in trying home remedies, including:

  • Tea tree oil . One study found that tea tree oil can treat dandruff, with no negative side effects. Tea tree oil can be added to your favorite shampoo. However, some people may become allergic to it, so use it sparingly and with caution to avoid developing an allergy.
  • Coconut oil. Using coconut oil to treat dandruff can increase good bacteria on your scalp, add moisture, and reduce inflammation. All of that might help fight dandruff.  
  • Aloe vera. Aloe vera can promote healing and reduce inflammation. The plant also has antifungal properties. At least one study showed it may help with dandruff. Try making a hair and scalp mask using the gel. 
  • Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial properties, so it may fight fungal infections that contribute to dandruff. Try mixing a few drops with water, and rinsing it though your hair and scalp.  

There are, however, a few home remedies you may want to skip, including:

  • Aspirin. Aspirin is a common pain reliever that contains salicylic acid, one of the ingredients in dandruff shampoo. In theory, you could harness the dandruff-fighting power of salicylic acid by crushing aspirin and mixing it with shampoos, but it’s probably easier to simply buy dandruff shampoo containing this ingredient.  
  • Baking soda. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) can help exfoliate your skin, which may help clear dandruff flakes. But there’s no scientific evidence that it helps treat dandruff—in fact, one study found that baking soda didn’t help with symptoms of psoriasis, a skin condition that may have some overlap with dandruff.
  • Olive oil. Olive oil can fight fungi and add moisture to your scalp. However, one of the causes of dandruff is too much oil on the scalp, so proceed with caution if you want to try treating your dandruff with olive oil.

Lifestyle Changes That May Help With Dandruff

Dandruff has nothing to do with your hygiene routine. Even those with the best hygiene can find themselves battling flakes.  

Still, there are some lifestyle changes that might help you get rid of dandruff. For starters, evaluate your diet and consider making these changes that could help with dandruff symptoms:

  • Following an anti-inflammatory diet
  • Eliminate foods made with yeast or fungi, including some breads and cheeses and alcohol.
  • Eat more omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in salmon. These compounds can fight inflammation. 

In addition, finding ways to manage your stress can also help.

When to See a Provider for Dandruff Treatment

Most people don’t need to see a healthcare provider about dandruff. However, you should see a healthcare provider if you experience these symptoms:

  • Intense itchiness
  • Dandruff that doesn’t get better after a month of using dandruff shampoo
  • A red or swollen scalp
  • Itchy, dry patches on your face or elsewhere on your body

Dandruff is very common, affecting nearly half of American adults. It’s most often caused by inflammation and too much yeast on the scalp. Using dandruff shampoo is the fastest way to treat dandruff. You can also try home remedies that fight fungi, including tea tree oil, coconut oil or aloe vera. If your dandruff is intensely itchy or impacting your day-to-day activities, speak with your healthcare provider. 

American Academy of Dermatology Association. How to treat dandruff .

National Health Services. Dandruff .

Satchell AC, Saurajen A, Bell C, Barnetson RS. Treatment of dandruff with 5% tea tree oil shampoo . J Am Acad Dermatol . 2002. doi: 10.1067/mjd.2002.122734. PMID: 12451368.

Saxena R, Mittal P, Clavaud C, et al.  Longitudinal study of the scalp microbiome suggests coconut oil to enrich healthy scalp commensals .  Sci Rep . 2021;11(1):7220. Published 2021 Mar 31. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-86454-1

Evangelista MT, Abad-Casintahan F, Lopez-Villafuerte L.  The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial .  Int J Dermatol . 2014;53(1):100-108. doi:10.1111/ijd.12339

Varma SR, Sivaprakasam TO, Arumugam I, et al.  In vitro  anti-inflammatory and skin protective properties of Virgin coconut oil .  J Tradit Complement Med . 2018;9(1):5-14. Published 2018 Jan 17. doi:10.1016/j.jtcme.2017.06.012

Surjushe A, Vasani R, Saple DG. Aloe vera: a short review . Indian J Dermatol. 2008.. doi: 10.4103/0019-5154.44785.

Gopal J, Anthonydhason V, Muthu M, et al.  Authenticating apple cider vinegar's home remedy claims: antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral properties and cytotoxicity aspect .  Nat Prod Res . 2019;33(6):906-910. doi:10.1080/14786419.2017.1413567

Mazzarello V, Piu G, Ferrari M, Piga G. Efficacy of a topical formulation of sodium bicarbonate inmild to moderate stable plaque psoriasis: a randomized, blinded, intrapatient, controlled study . Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2019. doi: 10.1007/s13555-019-0302-5.

Mysore V, Arghya A. Hair oils: Indigenous knowledge revisited .  Int J Trichology . 2022;14(3):84-90.

Veterans Affairs. Seborrheic dermatitis .

By Kelly Burch Burch is a New Hampshire-based freelance health writer with a bachelor's degree in communications from Boston University.


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10 Ways to Get Rid of Dandruff ASAP, According to Experts

We talked to experts to get the low down on dandruff solutions.

how to solve problem dandruff

Stocksy / Design by Michela Buttignol

“While we don’t know exactly why dandruff occurs, in many people it is thought to be due to a mixture of genetics, allergies and sensitivities, and an imbalance of skin microbes,” says trichologist Dominic Burg, MD. According to Burg, experts believe that the common condition is driven by an overgrowth of microorganisms—like bacteria, yeasts, and fungi—that live on the surface of the scalp. When these microbes consume the natural oils on your skin, they can produce byproducts that the body reacts to, leading to shedding and inflammation. At least, that’s the hypothesis.

“We do know it has nothing to do with hygiene,” says dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD . In other words, dandruff has nothing to do with how often you shower or shampoo. Our skin follows its own shedding cycle, gradually sloughing away excess cells. Dandruff is what happens when you experience increased turnover of cells and this exfoliation happens unevenly, causing both excessive shedding and buildup. While the itching and irritation that follow are often associated with dryness, they can also occur on any hair or skin type.

Whatever the case, most of us just want instant and permanent relief from the experience. While it may not be as simple as prescribing a single treatment (most things never are), we asked the experts to share the best course of action in getting rid of dandruff for good.

Meet the Expert

  • Dominic Burg is a trichologist, hair biologist, microbiologist, and the chief scientist at  Évolis Professional .
  • Ava Shamban , MD, is a board-certified dermatologist in Los Angeles and the founder of  Ava M ,  Skin Five , and  The Box by Dr. Ava .
  • Orit Markowitz, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist in New York City and the founder of OptiSkin .
  • Sophia Emmanuel  is an IAT-Certified Trichologist and licensed cosmetologist based in New York. She owns and operates the  Crown Worthy beauty salon  in New York City.  

Make Sure You Actually Have Dandruff

Before you begin treating dandruff, make sure it’s not one of two other possibilities. Burg notes that a dry scalp that has mild dryness, flakiness, and minor shedding shouldn’t be confused with “true” dandruff. “Your scalp condition will change over time, and many of us will notice a change with the seasons or with other factors in our environment,” he says. Often, you’ll notice this type of mild reaction occurs during seasonal changes or when you’re exposed to excess heat styling—and you can soothe it simply by dialing back the heat or switching to more hydrating formulas. Dandruff, on the other hand, has a much stronger effect. “The scenario of true dandruff can usually be recognized by skin cells falling off in medium to large clumps that are usually a little oily,” explains Burg.

On the other side of the spectrum, you might have more extreme symptoms that point to an inflammatory skin condition known as seborrheic dermatitis . Burg describes this as “characterized by flaking, skin irritation, redness, and sometimes sores—whereas dandruff is usually painless.” Both Burg and Shamban agree that if you’re experiencing redness, sores, pain, or excessive itching, you need to book a dermatologist appointment. Unlike most cases of dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis cannot be treated using over-the-counter remedies and requires dermatologist care and prescriptions.

What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that causes patches of dry flakes or greasy scales along with redness. It is most commonly found on the scalp, but can also appear on other oily areas of the body like the nose and ears.

Use Antifungal Ingredients

Once you’ve verified that you actually have dandruff, head to your nearest drugstore and start reading those ingredient labels. “Common ingredients like pyrithione zinc , ketoconazole , and selenium disulfide are antifungal and have shown some good results in reducing dandruff,” says Burg.

Some of these ingredients are available in prescription versions, says dermatologist and OptiSkin founder Orit Markowitz, MD. "The difference between prescription and OTC shampoos is the percentage of the active ingredient."

Coal tar and its derivatives have also been typically used to treat dandruff, but Burg cautions against using these ingredients, which he says can be too harsh. “They’re not great for the scalp and hair follicles,” he notes.

Wash Your Hair Often

While your hygiene habits have no bearing on whether you develop dandruff or not, it's important not to avoid washing your hair for fear of making the problem worse. "People often think that over washing or too much heat from drying your hair causes dandruff but that is not true," says Markowitz. "Product buildup can often lead to dandruff so it’s important to wash your hair regularly, especially if you use hair styling products, leave-in conditioners, or dry shampoos."

IAT-certified trichologist  Sophia Emmanuel also points out dandruff can occur with protective styles that make it tricky to shampoo. "Dandruff can show up or worsen if you wait long periods to shampoo your hair," she says. "Specifically, if you wear hair extensions, braids, or other protective hairstyles that do not allow you to shampoo on a regular basis."

So, how often is often enough? Well, that depends on your hair and scalp. "If you have mild dandruff, I recommend you wash your hair daily until you have the dandruff under control," says Markowitz. "If you don't use a lot of styling products, you can wash your hair less frequently." Either way, she suggests reaching for a specially formulated dandruff shampoo (such as Head & Shoulders Classic Clean ) whenever you do cleanse.

Turn to Essential Oils

Aside from smelling good, your favorite essential oils and botanical extracts can go a long way in soothing dandruff symptoms. “ Rosemary oil , lavender oil , green tea extract , and mangosteen all have great antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties,” says Burg. He particularly likes the évolis Professional Promote , Prevent , and Reverse ranges, which utilize essential oils to target scalp buildup and encourage overall hair health. "The great thing about these ingredients is that they can be used long term, are gentle, and can keep dandruff at bay," says Burg—noting that since they have a more mild effect, they also may take slightly longer to work than ingredients like selenium disulfide.

Avoid Sulphates

Burg notes the main thing you want to avoid are  sulfates , which can be too harsh and stripping for those with sensitive scalps. For a gentler wash, Shamban also suggests swapping your usual shampoos for formulas that rely on an essential oil base.

Make Time for Deep Treatments

We’d suggest regular deep treatments whether or not you have dandruff—for the simple reason that they’re relaxing and always leave your hair looking and feeling better. But for those who have extra flaking and shedding, scalp oil treatments are a must. Burg recommends treatments with added moisturizers like baobab oil to maintain hydration.

Brush It Out

While you’re at it, make some time to brush your hair, too. "It’s old-school, but it works to get rid of the scale," says Shamban. Brushing helps stimulate the scalp and brings more circulation to the area while also gently exfoliating cell buildup. In a pinch, brushing your hair can make a world of difference.

Try At-Home Treatments

Don't be afraid to DIY it! Markowitz recommends homeopathic remedies like applying coconut oil, mixing yogurt and thyme, or lemon juice and oil, which are "effective in treating dandruff but may not work as quickly as conventional methods." If you want to try the natural route and see if your pantry holds the answer, try the below to reduce your dandruff.

  • Coconut oil: This ingredient seems to be the answer to all of life's problems. It's also great for keeping your hair and scalp moisturized, too. Massage into your hair and cover with a shower cap for about 30 minutes. Shampoo and rinse well. If your hair is fine, using coconut oil may weigh your strands down.
  • Aloe vera: Aloe's anti-inflammatory properties are ideal for soothing those with itchy scalps and dandruff. Add a tablespoon of aloe to your favorite conditioner to coat your strands. Only use aloe vera as needed. Due to its high water content, it is possible to make your strands too moisturized.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Using ACV as a rinse can help balance the pH level of the scalp and remove buildup. Add one part of vinegar to one part of warm water and massage into your hair and scalp for three to five minutes, rinsing well. This can be done twice a week.
  • Aspirin: It's not just for headaches. Some people credit aspirin's salicylic acid properties to helping combat dandruff when crushed and mixed with shampoo.
  • Baking soda: The gritty texture of baking soda is ace for grabbing oil and excess dirt from your hair and scalp. Combine one tablespoon of baking soda for every cup of water and mix well. Massage into your scalp and rinse thoroughly. Take care not to use this method more than once a week, as baking soda is very abrasive.
  • Lemon juice: The citric acid in lemons is also thought to help cleanse the scalp of excess oil. However, because of its high alkaline levels, derms recommend diluting it or using a lemon essential oil instead.
  • Olive oil: A natural emollient that helps to maintain hydration in the hair, olive oil also contributes to that glossy, soft, and shiny mane we all dream of. Use as a mask and leave on for 15 minutes to a half hour under a shower cap before rinsing off in the shower.

Know When to See a Specialist

According to Burg, the length of any of these treatments will vary based on the individual, but if you don’t see any change after several weeks of use, it’s time to book that derm appointment. It’s important to remember that even if you do see improvement, you could experience more flare-ups down the line. “Some people may require continual treatment,” he says. In this case, it's best to see a specialist for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.

Consider a Prescription

In some cases, dandruff may be extreme and persistent enough to warrant a derm prescription (without classifying it as seborrheic dermatitis). If nothing OTC seems to work for you, you’ll want to visit a doctor’s office anyway. Burg says that most prescriptions for dandruff are stronger versions of over-the-counter medicated shampoos. “With medicated solutions, results can be seen relatively quickly—within a week or two,” he says. Once the symptoms improve, ask your doctor how to proceed. Some patients with more long-lasting dandruff use a medicated treatment once weekly to keep sebum levels down, alternating it with regular use of a dandruff-friendly shampoo.

Your dermatologist or trichologist may also choose to prescribe steroids, which are typically used short-term. “If necessary, there are steroid shampoos or steroid liquid solutions,” says Shamban. These should work within a week. “Even if there is still some excess after one or two washes, at least the discomfort will subside,” she says. Once the worst of the symptoms have been treated, proceed with the rest of their expert advice: once-weekly medicated washes, anti-inflammatory shampoos, and plenty of nourishing at-home treatments. Your scalp should revert to its pre-flake state in no time.

While brushing your dandruff out and making use of scalp scrubs are dermatologist-recommended methods for treating dandruff, it's important to avoid scratching your scalp too vigorously or too often, as it can lead to more irritation—and make your dandruff worse.

Though dandruff is a chronic condition (meaning it cannot be "cured" permanently) it can be easily treated through either at-home remedies or prescriptions.

While it's important to wash your hair frequently when you have dandruff, make sure your strands are at least somewhat dry before you hit the hay. Sleeping on wet hair increases your risk of infections, including fungal infections like Malassezia folliculitis , which causes dandruff.

Nowicki R. [ Modern management of dandruff ].  Pol Merkur Lekarski . 2006;20(115):121-124.

What is the best way to treat severe dandruff ? Harvard Health.

Can wet hair make you sick ? Cleveland Clinic.

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How to treat dandruff

Board-certified dermatologists recommend these tips to help treat dandruff at home.

Dandruff is a common scalp condition in which small pieces of dry skin flake off of the scalp. If you have dark hair or you’re wearing dark colors, you may notice the flakes in your hair or on your shoulders. Dandruff may also make your scalp itch.

Dandruff can develop due to multiple reasons, including some medical conditions, your hair care habits, or oily skin.

You can usually treat mild dandruff at home by regularly washing your hair. If this doesn’t relieve your dandruff, follow these tips from board-certified dermatologists.

Choose a dandruff shampoo. You can find shampoos specially formulated to treat dandruff over the counter at your local drugstore. If one shampoo doesn’t work, try alternating between dandruff shampoos with different active ingredients. Look for a shampoo with one of the following ingredients: Zinc pyrithione; salicylic acid; sulfur; selenium sulfide; ketoconazole; and coal tar shampoo.

Follow the instructions on the dandruff shampoo bottle. Dandruff shampoos need to be applied to and lathered on your scalp. You may also need to allow some dandruff shampoos to sit on your scalp for up to 5-10 minutes before rinsing. These instructions will be different depending on the shampoo you choose and your hair texture.

Shampoo according to your hair type. If you have fine or naturally straight hair, or an oily scalp, wash your hair often. For example, you may need to shampoo daily and use your dandruff shampoo twice a week. If you have coarse or naturally curly or coily hair, wash your hair when needed, and use your dandruff shampoo about once a week, if tolerated. Take care to only apply the dandruff shampoo to your scalp if you have curly or coily hair, as the ingredients that treat dandruff can dry your hair. You can shampoo and condition your hair with your normal products after using your dandruff shampoo if it is needed for hair care.

Protect your scalp from the sun. Some dandruff shampoos, such as those containing coal tar, can make your scalp more sensitive to the sun’s harmful UV rays. A sunburn on your scalp can also increase flaking. To protect your scalp from the sun, seek shade, wear sun-protective clothing, like a wide-brimmed hat, and apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to your scalp if you have thinning hair. Try powder or spray sunscreen for easier application to your scalp.

For most people, dandruff does not require medical attention. If your dandruff doesn’t go away after following these tips, or if you develop severe dandruff, partner with a board-certified dermatologist.

Your dermatologist may prescribe stronger dandruff shampoo or medication. Your dermatologist also knows whether your dandruff is a sign of a medical condition, such as seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, fungal infections of the scalp, or eczema.

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Written by: Brooke Schleehauf

Reviewed by: Roopal Vashi Kundu, MD, FAAD William Warren Kwan, MD, FAAD Laurel Geraghty, MD, FAAD Ata Moshiri, MD, MPH, FAAD Darrell S. Rigel, MD, FAAD Sanna Ronkainen, MD, FAAD Desmond Shipp, MD, FAAD

Last updated: 12/11/23

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Dandruff Treatment and Home Remedies

how to solve problem dandruff

What Causes Dandruff?

When you have dandruff, the skin on your scalp flakes off. It's not a serious condition, but you may find it itchy and annoying. Flakes can be especially obvious if you have dark hair or wear dark clothes. 

Dandruff is considered a mild form of the condition seborrheic dermatitis.

Dandruff has many causes. They include: 

  • Certain medical conditions 
  • Your hair care routine

There are many ways to treat dandruff, depending on how severe it is.

Dandruff Treatments

Dandruff treatments are ways you can get rid of or control itching and flaking on your scalp. The first two to try are brushing your hair and using a dandruff shampoo.

Brush your hair from your scalp down with steady, firm strokes. This carries the oil away from your scalp, where the buildup of it and skin cells can cause dandruff. Moving it along the hair strands helps keep your hair shiny and healthy.

Dandruff Shampoos

Not all dandruff shampoos are alike. They have different ingredients that work in different ways. 

Coal tar preparations. Brand names for this type include Denorex Therapeutic Protection, Neutrogena T/Gel, and Scytera. Coal tar slows down the death and shedding of skin cells on your scalp. 

Pyrithione zinc . This ingredient kills bacteria and fungus. Brand names include Selsun Blue for Itchy Dry Scalp, Neutrogena T/Gel Daily Control Dandruff Shampoo, and Head & Shoulders.

Salicylic acid and sulfur.  These ingredients work together to moisturize your scalp and reduce scales. Brand names include Sebex and Sebulex.

Salicylic acid. It works to reduce scales. Examples include Neutrogena T/Sal.

Selenium sulfide. This ingredient kills fungus. It can discolor your hair and scalp. Brand names include Dandrex, Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength, and Selsun. 

Ketoconazole . This is a strong antifungal ingredient. Brand names include Extina, Nizoral A-D, and Xolegel.

You may need to switch between types of shampoos if one type controls the dandruff at first but later loses its effectiveness. And if you decide to try a shampoo that has coal tar in it, you’ll need to use care. Coal tar treats dandruff by making the skin cells on your scalp die and flake off more slowly, but there are things you should know: 

  • Some people have an allergic reaction to it. 
  • It can change the color of lighter-colored hair, fingernails, skin, and clothes. 
  • You’ll need to keep it away from any cuts, broken skin, or infections, as well as your eyes. 
  • It can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. You should stay out of the sun for 24 to 72 hours after using it. 
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn’t use it. 

How to use dandruff shampoos

When shampooing:

  • Rub the shampoo into your scalp well. Leave the shampoo on your head for 5 minutes, or as directed.

Rinse thoroughly. Any leftover shampoo may irritate your skin.

Different hair types require different approaches to using dandruff shampoo. 

If your hair is naturally straight or fine, or if you have an oily scalp, you may need to wash your hair every day, using dandruff shampoo twice a week. 

If your hair is naturally curly, has coils, or is coarse, wash your hair when it needs it and use your dandruff shampoo only once a week. You may want to apply the dandruff shampoo only to your scalp and use regular products on the rest of your hair. If your hair has curls or coils, the ingredients in dandruff shampoo could dry it out. 

Once your dandruff is under control, you may be able to use dandruff shampoo less often.

How long do dandruff shampoos take to work?

Your itching and flakes should clear up after a few weeks of using dandruff shampoo regularly. If they don't, you may want to talk to your regular doctor or a dermatologist, a doctor who specializes in skin conditions.

Prescription Treatments for Dandruff

If over-the-counter remedies don't improve your dandruff, you may need prescription medicine. These can include: 

Fluocinolone (Capex). This is a corticosteroid used to reduce itching and flaking. 

Calcineurin inhibitors . Drugs like pimecrolimus (Elidel) and tacrolimus (Protopic) help suppress your body's immune response. 

You also might need phototherapy, which exposes your skin to ultraviolet light under controlled conditions.

Home Treatments for Dandruff

Aside from dandruff shampoos, a few other things may help. You might try some of these natural treatments. They’re either moisturizing or they might be helpful against bacteria or fungi:

Coconut oil

Start by rubbing 3 to 5 teaspoons of this into your scalp, then wait an hour and shampoo your hair. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has antifungal properties. It also moisturizes skin. One small study in India found that coconut oil reduces bacteria and fungus on the scalp.

Rub a bit into your scalp just before you shampoo your hair. An Italian study found that aloe vera works well for seborrheic dermatitis with few side effects.

Apple cider vinegar

Mix a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar with a quarter cup of water, then pour it over your scalp. Leave it in for at least 15 minutes, then rinse your scalp well. Some studies have shown apple cider vinegar can have antimicrobial effects.

Crush two aspirin and mix them with your shampoo, then shampoo your hair. Let it sit for 2 minutes then rinse it out. Aspirin contains s alicylic acid, an ingredient in some dandruff shampoos.

Baking soda

Wet your hair, then put baking soda on your scalp. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse it out. There's some evidence that baking soda has a positive effect on skin conditions, including psoriasis. But baking soda is alkaline, which can damage your hair.

Lemon juice

Rub 2 teaspoons of lemon juice into your scalp, let it sit for a couple of minutes, then rinse. Follow that by mixing another teaspoon of lemon juice mixed with 1 cup of water and pouring it over your scalp. Researchers have found evidence that the acids in citrus fruit can help your scalp maintain a healthy pH level. But there's no proof that lemon juice will help your dandruff.

Rub several drops of olive oil into your scalp, cover your hair with a shower cap, then sleep on it. In the morning, shampoo your hair. Olive oil can act as a moisturizer. But it might worsen your dandruff by making your scalp a more inviting environment for fungi.

Tea tree oil

Some studies have shown that tea tree oil, a by-product of the Australian tea tree, may help with dandruff , but more research is needed. In some cases, it can irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction.

Treating Dandruff Caused by Stress

Stress doesn't actually cause dandruff, but it can make it worse.

Managing your stress may have a positive impact on your dandruff. Here are some techniques to try: 

  • Meditation 
  • Deep breathing 
  • Exercise and eating a healthy diet
  • Limiting your use of social media
  • Connecting with other people

Dandruff Prevention

You can take steps at home to reduce the risk of dandruff. They include: 

Diet. Making sure you get enough zinc, B vitamins, and healthy fats can improve the health of your scalp.

Establish a routine: If your scalp tends to be oily, you may need to wash your hair more often. If your scalp tends to be dry, wash your hair less often and condition your scalp. 

Get outside . A few minutes of sunlight is healthy for your scalp. But don't overdo it; that raises the risk of skin cancer.

Limit products. When you use styling products, they can build up on your hair. That can make your hair and scalp oilier.

When to See a Doctor for Dandruff Treatment

If you're still scratching and shedding after trying over-the-counter preparations, see your doctor. For really stubborn dandruff cases, you may need to use a prescription shampoo or topical medication.

Dandruff is a mild version of a condition called seborrheic dermatitis. It causes the skin on your scalp to flake off and itch. An over-the-counter dandruff shampoo, used as directed for a few weeks, should clear up the problem. If your dandruff is especially severe, you might need a prescription medicine. You can try home remedies, including various plant oils, but the evidence that they work is sparse. Establishing a good hair-care routine, getting moderate amounts of sun, and limiting your use of styling products can cut the risk of dandruff.

Dandruff FAQs

How can I get rid of dandruff fast? 

If you have a mild case of dandruff, using an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo as directed for a few weeks should clear things up. Look for products that contain one of these ingredients: 

  • Zinc pyrithione
  • Salicylic acid
  • Selenium sulfide
  • Ketoconazole

Does hot water cause dandruff?

Hot water doesn't cause dandruff. But it can dry out your scalp and make your skin more sensitive.

Is coconut oil good for dandruff?

There's some research to suggest that coconut oil reduces fungi and bacteria on your scalp. It also will moisturize your skin.

Is dandruff a fungus?

Dandruff involves several factors, and experts don't completely understand how they work together. A fungus called m alassezia plays a role. It's a type of yeast found on everyone's skin, but it some people have too much of it.

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how to solve problem dandruff


how to solve problem dandruff

How to Get Rid of Dandruff: An Expert Guide

Dandruff can be a frustrating condition to deal with, but the good news is that it’s treatable. In this expert guide, we’ll explore the causes of dandruff, different types of dandruff, and the various home remedies and over-the-counter treatments available for getting rid of it.

Understanding Dandruff

Dandruff is a common scalp condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but it’s not a serious health concern. In this article, we’ll explore the causes and types of dandruff, as well as some tips for managing it.

What is Dandruff?

Dandruff is a condition where small white or yellow flakes of dead skin shed from the scalp. These flakes can be visible on clothing and can cause itching and irritation. Dandruff can occur at any age, but it’s most common in adults.

Causes of Dandruff

While the exact cause of dandruff is unknown, several factors may contribute to its development. One of the most common causes is excessive oil production on the scalp. When the scalp produces too much oil, it can create an environment where a fungus called Malassezia can thrive. This fungus feeds on the oils and dead skin cells on the scalp, which can lead to dandruff.

Another factor that can contribute to dandruff is irregular shampooing or poor hygiene. If you don’t wash your hair frequently enough, or if you don’t use a shampoo that’s designed to treat dandruff, it can lead to a buildup of dead skin cells and oils on the scalp.

Stress can also play a role in the development of dandruff. When you’re stressed, your body produces more oil, which can exacerbate the condition. In addition, cold, dry weather can cause the scalp to become dry and itchy, which can lead to dandruff.

Types of Dandruff

There are two main types of dandruff: dry dandruff and oily dandruff.

Dry dandruff is characterized by small, white flakes that are dry and itchy. This type of dandruff is often caused by a dry scalp, and it can be worsened by cold, dry weather.

Oily dandruff, on the other hand, is characterized by larger, yellow flakes that are greasy and sometimes accompanied by redness or pimples. This type of dandruff is often caused by excessive oil production on the scalp, and it can be worsened by poor hygiene or the use of harsh hair products.

Regardless of the type of dandruff you have, there are several things you can do to manage it. Regular shampooing with a dandruff shampoo can help to reduce the buildup of dead skin cells and oils on the scalp. In addition, avoiding harsh hair products and minimizing stress can also be helpful in managing dandruff.

If you’re struggling with dandruff, talk to your doctor or dermatologist. They can help you identify the underlying cause of your dandruff and recommend a treatment plan that’s right for you.

Home Remedies for Dandruff

Dandruff is a common scalp condition that affects many people. It is characterized by white flakes that appear on the scalp and hair. While it is not a serious condition, it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are several home remedies that can help reduce dandruff symptoms.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial properties that may help fight dandruff-causing fungi. It also helps balance the pH level of the scalp, which can reduce itching and flaking. To use apple cider vinegar for dandruff, mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water, apply to the scalp for 15-20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Repeat this process once or twice a week for best results.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has antifungal properties that may also help reduce dandruff symptoms. It can also help soothe an itchy scalp. To use tea tree oil for dandruff, add a few drops to your shampoo, or mix it with a carrier oil like coconut oil and massage onto your scalp. Leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing. Repeat this process two to three times a week for best results.

Baking Soda

Baking soda acts as an exfoliant, helping to remove excess skin cells and reduce itching. It also helps balance the pH level of the scalp. To use baking soda for dandruff, mix a tablespoon of baking soda with water to form a paste. Apply the paste to the scalp for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Repeat this process once a week for best results.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has natural astringent properties that can help reduce oiliness and prevent dandruff. It also helps balance the pH level of the scalp. To use lemon juice for dandruff, mix two tablespoons of lemon juice with water, apply to the scalp, and leave on for a few minutes before rinsing. Repeat this process once a week for best results.

Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that may help soothe a dry, itchy scalp. It also helps moisturize the scalp and hair. To use aloe vera for dandruff, apply fresh aloe vera gel to the scalp and leave on for 10-20 minutes before rinsing. Repeat this process once or twice a week for best results.

While these home remedies can be effective for reducing dandruff symptoms, it is important to maintain good scalp hygiene to prevent dandruff from recurring. This includes washing your hair regularly, avoiding harsh hair products, and keeping your scalp moisturized.

Over-the-Counter Treatments

Dandruff is a common scalp condition that affects many people. It’s characterized by flaky, itchy, and sometimes red skin on the scalp. While it’s not a serious condition, it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are many over-the-counter treatments available that can help reduce dandruff and its associated symptoms.

Anti-Dandruff Shampoos

Anti-dandruff shampoos are the first line of defense against dandruff. They contain active ingredients like ketoconazole, salicylic acid, or selenium sulfide that can help reduce dandruff and associated symptoms. These shampoos work by slowing down the growth of the yeast that can cause dandruff. Use according to the product instructions, and be sure to leave the shampoo on your scalp for a few minutes before rinsing it off.

It’s important to note that anti-dandruff shampoos can be drying to the hair and scalp. If you have dry or damaged hair, you may want to use a moisturizing conditioner after using an anti-dandruff shampoo.

Topical Steroids

If your dandruff is accompanied by inflammation and itching, your doctor may recommend a topical steroid like hydrocortisone. These creams or ointments can help reduce the inflammation and itching associated with dandruff. However, they should only be used under a doctor’s supervision and for a limited time, as prolonged use can lead to thinning of the skin and other side effects.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a type of beta-hydroxy acid that helps exfoliate the scalp. It works by breaking down the dead skin cells that can contribute to dandruff. Salicylic acid can be found in many over-the-counter shampoo and scalp treatments. Use as directed, and be sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid irritation.

Zinc Pyrithione

Zinc pyrithione is an antifungal agent that can help reduce Malassezia growth. Malassezia is a type of yeast that can contribute to dandruff. Zinc pyrithione is often found in anti-dandruff shampoos and other hair products. Use according to the product instructions, and be sure to leave the shampoo on your scalp for a few minutes before rinsing it off.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for dandruff, these home remedies and over-the-counter treatments can provide relief for many people. However, if your symptoms persist despite treatment, it’s important to consult a doctor or dermatologist for further evaluation. They can help determine the underlying cause of your dandruff and recommend a more targeted treatment plan.

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  • Diseases & Conditions

A doctor can often diagnose dandruff simply by looking at your hair and scalp.

The itching and flaking of dandruff can almost always be controlled. For mild dandruff, first try regular cleansing with a gentle shampoo to reduce oil and skin cell buildup. If that doesn't help, try a medicated dandruff shampoo. Some people can tolerate using a medicated shampoo two to three times a week, with regular shampooing on other days if needed. People with drier hair would benefit from less frequent shampooing and a moisturizing conditioner for the hair or scalp.

Hair and scalp products, both medicated and nonmedicated, are available as solutions, foams, gels, sprays, ointments and oils. You may need to try more than one product to find the routine that works for you. And you'll likely need repeated or long-term treatment.

If you develop itching or stinging from any product, stop using it. If you develop an allergic reaction — such as a rash, hives or difficulty breathing — seek immediate medical attention.

Dandruff shampoos are classified according to the medication they contain. Some are available in stronger formulations by prescription.

  • Pyrithione zinc shampoos (DermaZinc, Head & Shoulders, others). These contain the antibacterial and antifungal agent zinc pyrithione.
  • Tar-based shampoos (Neutrogena T/Gel, Scalp 18 Coal Tar Shampoo, others). Coal tar slows how quickly skin cells on your scalp die and flake off. If you have light-colored hair, this type of shampoo may cause discoloration. It can also make the scalp more sensitive to sunlight.
  • Shampoos containing salicylic acid (Jason Dandruff Relief Treatment Shampoo, Baker P&S, others). These products help eliminate scaling.
  • Selenium sulfide shampoos (Head & Shoulders Intensive, Selsun Blue, others). These contain an antifungal agent. Use these products as directed and rinse well after shampooing, as they can discolor the hair and scalp.
  • Ketoconazole shampoos (Nizoral Anti-Dandruff). This shampoo is intended to kill dandruff-causing fungi that live on your scalp.
  • Fluocinolone shampoos (Capex, Derma-Smoothe/FS, others). These products contain a corticosteroid to help control itching, flaking and irritation.

If one type of shampoo works for a time and then seems to lose its effectiveness, try alternating between two types of dandruff shampoos. Once your dandruff is under control, try using the medicated shampoo less frequently for maintenance and prevention.

Read and follow the directions on each bottle of shampoo you try. Some products need to be left on for a few minutes, while others need to be rinsed off quickly.

If you've used medicated shampoo regularly for several weeks and still have dandruff, talk to your doctor or dermatologist. You may need a prescription-strength shampoo or a steroid lotion.

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Lifestyle and home remedies

You can take steps to reduce your risk of developing dandruff or to control it:

  • Learn to manage stress. Stress affects your overall health, making you susceptible to a number of conditions and diseases. It can even help trigger dandruff or worsen existing symptoms.
  • Eat a healthy diet. A diet that provides enough zinc, B vitamins and certain types of fats may help prevent dandruff.
  • Develop a hair and scalp care routine that suits you. If you tend to have an oily scalp, daily shampooing may help prevent dandruff. Gently massage your scalp to loosen flakes. Rinse thoroughly. If your hair tends to be dry and your scalp is sensitive, shampoo less frequently and condition your scalp between washings (Design Essentials, Melanin Haircare, ScalpBliss).
  • Get a little sun. Sunlight may be good for controlling dandruff. But because exposure to ultraviolet light damages your skin and increases your risk of skin cancer, don't sunbathe. Instead, just spend a little time outdoors. And be sure to wear sunscreen on your face and body.
  • Limit hair-styling products. Hair-styling products can build up on your hair and scalp, making them oilier.

More Information

  • Mayo Clinic Minute: Tips for dealing with dandruff

Alternative medicine

Tea tree oil is included in a number of shampoos, but there is no strong evidence to support its use for dandruff control. It comes from the leaves of the Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and has been used for centuries as an antiseptic, antibiotic and antifungal agent. The oil may cause allergic reactions in some people.

"When someone visits a primary care provider or a dermatologist regarding dandruff, we need to do an examination of the scalp."

Mayo Clinic dermatologist, Dr. Dawn Davis says there are two common causes for dandruff flakes on the scalp.

"We can differentiate whether the patient has overactive oil glands, simply dryness and dehydration causing scaling and flaking, or a combination thereof."

You can treat both types of dandruff with special shampoos that have active ingredients designed to reduce irritation and rehydrate the scalp.

"Be careful and aware how you use your shampoo." Dr. Davis says most dandruff shampoos need to be left on the scalp for more than five minutes.

"Shampoo has a precipitate that once applied takes several minutes to separate itself out to allow it to remain on the skin to become active."

And Dr. Davis says dandruff fighting routines can become less effective over time, so for best results she recommends rotating among up to three shampoos with different active ingredients."

For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm Jeff Olson.

Preparing for your appointment

You don't need any special preparations for an appointment to diagnose dandruff. Your doctor will likely be able to diagnose your dandruff simply by looking at your scalp and skin. If you've started using any new hair care products, bring the bottles with you to your appointment or be prepared to tell your doctor about them, which help in determining the cause of your dandruff.

  • Borda LJ, et al. Seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff: A comprehensive review. Journal of Clinical and Investigative Dermatology. 2015; 3:1.
  • Dandruff: How to treat. American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/hair-care/how-to-treat-dandruff. Accessed July 12, 2019.
  • Tea tree oil. Natural Medicines Database. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed June 7, 2019.
  • Sasseville D. Seborrheic dermatitis in adolescents and adults. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed July 12, 2019.
  • Kermott CA, et al., eds. Dandruff. In: Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies. 2nd ed. Time; 2017.
  • Dandruff. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. http://www.aocd.org/page/Dandruff. Accessed July 12, 2019.
  • Kang S, et al., eds. Cosmeceuticals and skin care in dermatology. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology. 9th ed. McGraw-Hill; 2019. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed July 23, 2019.
  • High WA, et al., eds. Special considerations in skin of color. In: Dermatology Secrets. 6th ed. Elsevier; 2021. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 5, 2021.
  • Kelly AP, et al. Pediatrics. In: Taylor and Kelly's Dermatology for Skin of Color. 2nd ed. McGraw-Hill Education; 2016. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed May 27, 2021.
  • James WD. Seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, recalcitrant palmoplantar eruptions, pustular dermatitis, and erythroderma. In: Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. 13th ed. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 17, 2020.

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9 derm-approved ways to get rid of dandruff + the root cause  .

Alexandra Engler

Flakes are no fun; this should come as no surprise to anyone. They're deeply challenging to treat, too, as the underlying condition can be triggered by a wide variety of factors—making identifying what (exactly) is triggering your current flare-up very difficult. And if we know anything about beauty: If you can't figure out what's causing something, it's near impossible to treat. 

So first, let's dive into what exactly dandruff is. Then how you can better keep it under control with the correct lifestyle changes, products, hair care tips, and so on. 

What is dandruff?

Dandruff is characterized by flakes—from dry, small flecks to big, oily scales—that shed from your scalp. It's a common condition and can be chronic, seasonal, or just comes in ebbs-and-flows. 

"Dandruff causes an itchy, flaky scalp. Also known as seborrheic dermatitis, a form of eczema, it is caused by a yeast, Malassezia furfur," says board-certified dermatologist Raechele Cochran Gathers, M.D. "The malassezia yeast is common, and people with seborrheic dermatitis are just a little more sensitive to it." It's not always pleasant to think of the plethora of organisms living on our skin (collectively called the skin microbiome ), but essentially what's happening in the case of dandruff is one of the strains of yeast that naturally lives on us causes skin to flake off and cause irritation. And while it's not confirmed, there does seem to be a genetic link to this too, meaning many are simply naturally predisposed to get it. 

And while it's most famous for appearing on the head, it can show up a lot of places: "Seborrheic dermatitis can also affect other areas besides the scalp, including the ears, eyebrows, center of the face, eyelids, upper chest, upper back, armpits, and groin area," says board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, M.D.

But what triggers dandruff?

First things first: Let's note that when a skin condition is "triggered" by an external or internal condition, it's not always the "cause" of said condition. While dandruff's underlying cause has to do with yeast on our scalp, it's flare-ups can be triggered by a plethora of things. "Symptoms often come and go. Flares are common when the weather turns cold and dry, and stress can also trigger a flare," says King. 

Dandruff can also be exacerbated by other illnesses, worsening the severity. "Certain medical conditions increase your risk of seborrheic dermatitis; these include acne, rosacea, psoriasis, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, stroke, heart attack, alcoholism, depression, and eating disorders," says King. "Some medications can also increase your risk of seborrheic dermatitis, including interferon, lithium, and psoralen."

Is it dandruff or dryness? 

So, here's the thing: Flakes can happen for a lot of reasons that aren't necessarily seborrheic dermatitis. A dry scalp can produce smaller, white, flecks that look similar to the traditional dandruff flakes but are actually just natural skin shedding that happens when your skin isn't properly hydrated. (In the same way your body or face does.) 

These flakes are a sign that you perhaps need to amp up your hydration levels, via a scalp mask or oil—not necessarily treat an underlying condition. 

Understand there is no "cure," but you can manage it.

Technically, dandruff is a mild form of eczema; it's important to note that there is no current "cure" for it. There are plenty of ways to manage and ease the symptoms, but it won't treat the underlying cause. 

"I think most people think that if they work really hard at it—skin moisturizing, diet change, allergen avoidance—they can control eczema and eliminate flare-ups," says double-board-certified dermatologist Latanya Benjamin, M.D. , previously told us about eczema . "Initially, I teach my families to expect occasional flare-ups, despite their best care. Even when the skin is under better control, eczema can still flare for many reasons, including catching a common cold, battling a skin infection, or becoming overheated during play."

Try an OTC medicated shampoo.

So, with that understanding, there are several things you can do to help relieve the symptoms, including OTC antifungal shampoos. "Mild cases of dandruff will respond to over-the-counter shampoos," says Cochran Gathers. "These affordable shampoos will decrease the inflammation on your scalp and help with scaling and itching. Many of these shampoos should be used twice per week, and you should follow the instructions on the bottle."

Now, these tend not to be of the natural variety, but worth mentioning the ingredients in case you're curious: "Ketoconazole, the active ingredient in Nizoral shampoo, is a popular antifungal that can help fix itchy scalp. Selenium sulfide shampoos also help to reduce buildup on your scalp and help cut the yeast that can trigger dandruff. Zinc pyrithione is antibacterial and antifungal and can help fix some types of itchy scalp," says Cochran Gathers. 

Use a salicylic acid wash.  

If you're looking for a more natural approach, salicylic acid (or sometimes called willow bark) provides great results, too. Plus, it's formulated into several natural or clean shampoos .

"Salicylic acid may be useful, especially when used alongside other treatments," says King. "The main benefit is that it helps to reduce scaling on the scalp. It can help to gently remove buildup from styling products, pollution, and hard water, as well as gently exfoliate to reduce scaling, without stripping the hair of its natural oils."

Try tea tree oil products.

"Tea tree oil is another ingredient found in dandruff shampoos. It has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties," says King. 

One study found that using shampoo that contained tea tree oil was an effective way to improve mild to moderate dandruff 1 . The group that used the oil for four weeks showed a 41% improvement in symptoms (less itchiness, scaliness, etc.) compared to the placebo group, which had an 11% improvement. These days, many shampoo brands use tea tree oil as an active ingredient, but you can also make your own by mixing 1 tablespoon of baking soda into 1 cup of water and throwing in 5 or 6 drops of tea tree oil.

Taz Bhatia, M.D. , an integrative doctor and mbg Collective member, recommends throwing in some peppermint oil , too, for max relief: "Melaleuca oil, better known as tea tree oil, functions as an antifungal and antibacterial. It can help kill candida and, with the help of peppermint, soothe an itchy scalp."

Apple cider vinegar rinse. 

"Apple cider vinegar makes a less favorable environment for the yeast and therefore may halt its growth, leading to less flaking," says board-certified dermatologist Morgan Rabach, M.D. , co-founder of LM Medical NYC.

Board-certified dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, M.D. , agrees: "Because apple cider vinegar is an antimicrobial 2 , anti-yeast, and antifungal, it helps to clean bacteria and other organisms from the skin. When used for short contact, such as in a shampoo, it is generally safe and well tolerated."

Invest in a scalp scrub. 

When your flakes get out of control, a scalp scrub can help break apart the clumps, loosen the buildup, and clear your pores. "When there's a lot of scale, it interferes with the medication and treatments from getting to where the action is," according to board-certified dermatologist and founder of Mudgil Dermatology , Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, M.D.

Plus, there's a plethora of good options available for any and all hair types . 

Calm inflammation internally. 

Since dandruff can be triggered by internal inflammation, it's vital to tend to this for long-term results. Stress, diet, and poor health can all trigger internal inflammation. Derms note that times of stress can also trigger flare-ups , so finding a mindfulness routine that keeps you at ease will help keep your scalp-flake free.

As for diet, the gut-skin connection 3 has been extensively studied, and research shows that your gut microbiome has a significant impact on your skin. When you have poor gut health, it triggers inflammation throughout your body. This can trigger inflammatory skin conditions, sebo being one of them. But if you can support your gut health, it can help manage overall inflammation.

Up your shampoo schedule.

Shampooing is a delicate balance for all of us, no matter the hair type. Of course, the specifics of when you should be shampooing are entirely unique to your scalp, hair type, and lifestyle ( learn more here ). However, if you are prone to dandruff, you may consider increasing the number of times you wash your hair per week. "Shampoo more frequently because this helps to wash away yeast and dead skin cells," says King. 

Visit a derm. 

If you've tried everything, and you're at your wit's end, time to call in a professional. "If these measures are not sufficient to control your dandruff, then see a dermatologist, who may prescribe a topical cortisone for the scalp or other affected areas," says King. "Other possible causes of flaking skin in the scalp include psoriasis and eczema."

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12451368
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5788933/#__ffn_sectitle
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6048199/

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How to Prevent and Treat Dandruff

Last Updated: February 27, 2024 Approved

This article was medically reviewed by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS and by wikiHow staff writer, Christopher M. Osborne, PhD . Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from the University of Tennessee in 2006. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 14 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,995,984 times.

Dandruff is an annoyance that we all have to deal with at least sometimes, but it’s also usually very treatable. To help you out, this article starts by listing proven treatments—including seeing your doctor about really stubborn dandruff. It then lists some home remedies that may help treat dandruff, and finishes up with some lifestyle changes that might help prevent dandruff. If dandruff keeps you from wearing your favorite black top, declare war on those pesky little flakes!

Here are 13 proven ways to treat dandruff and prevent it from coming back.

Use a dandruff shampoo with pyrithione zinc.

Shampoo with it daily for 2-4 weeks as your first treatment option.

  • Follow the product instructions for using the shampoo. Generally speaking, you’ll want to keep the shampoo in your hair for around 5 minutes before rinsing it out.
  • Other name brands that use pyrithione zinc include Jason Dandruff Relief 2-in-1 and SHS Zinc.

Try shampoo with salicylic acid or coal tar.

Use them one at a time until you find the most effective ingredient.

  • Salicylic acid and sulfur , found in brands like Neutrogena T/Sal and Sebulex. These ingredients soften dead skin cells on your scalp so that they wash away in the shower. Use a conditioner after shampooing to reduce scalp dryness.
  • Selenium sulfide 1% to 2.5% , found in brands like Exsel, Selsun Blue, and Reme-T. This ingredient slows down skin cell production and kills dandruff-causing fungi, but may discolor blonde or chemically-treated hair.
  • Ketoconazole 1% , found in brands like Nizoral A-D. This ingredient is particularly helpful in treating and parenting dandruff that is caused by fungi.
  • Coal tar , found in brands like Neutrogena T/Gel, Tarsum, and Tegrin. This ingredient slows down the production of the dead skin cells that end up as dandruff. Coal tar can cause discoloration of lighter-colored hair.

Apply an OTC medicated cream.

Corticosteroids or antifungals may reduce your dandruff production.

  • As with shampoos, try these products one at a time for about 2-4 weeks, then move on if you don’t see positive results.
  • The best time to apply one of these creams to your scalp is when your hair is slightly damp after washing it with an anti-dandruff shampoo. But they can also be applied to your scalp when your hair is dry.

See your doctor for severe or persistent dandruff.

They’ll diagnose your specific condition and direct you to stronger treatments.

  • If your dandruff worsens while you try OTC options, if your scalp is really itchy all the time, or if you notice redness or swelling in the area, contact your doctor sooner rather than later.
  • Conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, ringworm, and “cradle cap” (in infants) can cause dandruff. But most of the time it just happens!

Moisturize your scalp with oil overnight.

Applying warm oils can add moisture and loosen dandruff.

  • Alternatively, try shampooing with dish detergent to remove the oil!

Try an anti-fungal like cider vinegar, tea tree oil, or aloe.

Massage it into your scalp to possibly kill dandruff-causing fungi.

  • Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and plain water in a bowl, massage the mixture into your scalp, and wash it out after a few minutes.
  • Dilute a few drops of tea tree oil in a natural carrier oil, such as coconut oil, massage it into your scalp, and wash it out after several minutes.
  • Work a glob of aloe vera gel into your hair and scalp and leave it for up to several hours or overnight. As an added bonus, aloe works as a natural hair gel!

Use baking soda to gently scrub your scalp.

Apply it to your damp hair before shampooing.

  • With your hair wet in the bath or shower, take a small handful of baking soda and massage it into your scalp—don’t scrub so hard that it hurts. Leave the baking soda in place for 1-2 minutes, rinse it away, and wash your hair with shampoo as normal. [10] X Research source

Try crushing aspirin into regular shampoo.

This is essentially a DIY dandruff shampoo that may help out.

  • Crush 2 aspirin tablets into a fine powder. Mix them into your regular shampoo (not dandruff shampoo) and lather the mixture into your hair as normal. Leave the shampoo in your hair for at least 1-2 minutes, rinse it out, and shampoo again without the crushed aspirin. [12] X Research source

Wash your hair more—not less—often.

Some people say less frequent washing helps, but the opposite is true.

  • Frequent washing with regular shampoo should help with minor dandruff. Move up to using a dandruff shampoo if you have more extensive dandruff.

Limit your use of hair styling products.

When you do use them, wash them out as soon as is practical.

  • Don’t leave styling products in your hair overnight! Shampoo them out before going to bed or, even better, once you get home at the end of your day.

Spend some time in the sun each day.

Exposure to sunlight may reduce dandruff-causing fungi on your scalp.

  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and areas of exposed skin before spending time in the sun.

Add more zinc and B vitamins to your diet.

These nutrients, along with healthy fats, may help prevent dandruff.

  • Zinc-rich foods include beef, poultry, shellfish, fortified cereals, oatmeal, and beans.
  • Pork, salmon, chicken, eggs, yogurt, avocados, sunflower seeds, chickpeas, and fortified cereals are good sources of B vitamins.
  • Good sources of healthy fats include olive oil, nuts and seeds, avocados, fatty fish, soybeans, and tofu.

Manage your stress.

Having dandruff can be stressful, but stress can cause more dandruff!

  • When you start feeling stressed out about your dandruff, remind yourself that it’s extremely common, not dangerous to your health, and something that you can successfully treat!

Expert Q&A

Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS

You Might Also Like

Take Care of Your Hair

  • ↑ http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Dandruff/Pages/Treatment.aspx
  • ↑ https://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0501/p2703.html
  • ↑ https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dandruff/
  • ↑ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14717453/
  • ↑ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15663338/
  • ↑ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17336466/
  • ↑ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22991095/
  • ↑ https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/natural-fixes
  • ↑ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2887514/
  • ↑ https://www.self.com/story/dandruff-myths
  • ↑ https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dandruff/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353854

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Home > Skin & Beauty > Hair & Scalp > How to Get Rid of Dandruff: 9 Home Remedies and Tips

How to Get Rid of Dandruff: 9 Home Remedies and Tips

how to solve problem dandruff

In this article:

Dandruff is a specific form of seborrheic dermatitis that is confined to the scalp. (1) Many factors contribute to this problem such as excessively dry or oily scalp, preexisting inflammatory skin disorders, poor hair and scalp hygiene, and microbial overgrowth on the scalp, to name a few.

natural remedies for dandruff

However, the primary underlying etiology of dandruff is the overgrowth of a type of yeast called Malassezia , which lives naturally on your scalp but triggers a fungal infection if allowed to overgrow.

Dandruff can reflect poorly on your appearance and hygiene, which can affect your confidence. Plus, it can make your scalp perpetually itchy and irritated, which can be quite bothersome.

This article will list easy home remedies that can help bring this problem under control without the risk of side effects.

Home Remedies to Treat Dandruff

The following remedies can help in the management of mild or early-stage dandruff , but they may not be very effective for severe cases. You must use them consistently for several weeks to see results.

Caution: Do a patch test before trying any of the remedies to prevent allergic reactions.

1. Neem and coconut oil

neem and coconut oil usage can help in dandruff prevention

Neem possesses antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, (2) both of which can help in the treatment of dandruff. This healing ingredient not only limits the yeast overgrowth responsible for dandruff but also reduces the itching and redness caused by it.

How to use:

  • You can prepare a neem-based hair mask by grinding 10–20 neem leaves with coconut oil until they form a thick paste. You can replace coconut oil with henna and water. This hair mask works especially well during the summer months.
  • You can also prepare a hair rinse by boiling some neem leaves for 10–15 minutes and then filtering out the liquid into a container. Let it cool down and use it to wash your hair multiple times after shampooing.

2. Tea tree essential oil and oatmeal

Tea tree oil contains compounds such as terpinen-4-ol that give it significant antimicrobial properties. It even works as an effective antifungal agent (3) against yeast species that give rise to scalp infections such as dandruff.

  • Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with 1–2 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil, and use this oil blend to massage your hair roots and scalp.
  • You can also add a few drops of the above oil blend to your other DIY remedies or your shampoos and conditioners.
  • If you have dry scalp , prepare a mask by mixing 2 tablespoons of oatmeal and just enough water to make a smooth, thick paste and then stirring in few drops of tea tree oil.

Note: You can also try other essential oils to combat dandruff such as lemongrass essential oil, sweet basil essential oil, clove essential oil, ginger oil, and neem oil.

3. Fenugreek, hibiscus, and yogurt

Fenugreek inhibits the proliferation of Malassezia , which naturally resides on the scalp but can give rise to dandruff if allowed to overgrow. (4) (5)

  • Take 1 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in a cup of water, and let them soak overnight to soften.
  • Put the softened fenugreek seeds in a grinder along with a few hibiscus leaves. You can add ½ cup of yogurt to the mix if you please.
  • Blend the ingredients until you get a smooth, consistent paste.

4. Yogurt, lemon, and honey mask

yogurt, lemon, and honey mask for dandruff control

Yogurt owes its antifungal properties to the presence of lactic acid bacteria in it. (6)

Mix 2 tablespoons of fresh unflavored/unsweetened yogurt with 1 tablespoon of honey (7) and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to make a smooth paste.

5. Rice water rinse

Rice water contains selenium, which curbs the growth of dandruff-causing yeast Malassezia on your scalp. (8)

  • Use rice water to rinse your hair and scalp after shampooing. Adding some neem water to it may help deliver better results.
  • Alternatively, you can use rice water to prepare any of your DIY antidandruff scalp and hair mask .

6. Aloe vera gel, lemon, and honey

Aloe vera gel is commonly used to treat symptoms of skin inflammation such as scaling, itchiness, and dryness, (9) which are symptoms of dandruff. So, you can use this medicinal gel to soothe the scalp discomfort caused by dandruff.

  • Simply extract the gel from a freshly cut aloe vera leaf, gently massage it in your scalp, and apply it all over your hair. Let it dry and then wash it off.
  • You can also combine the healing goodness of both aloe gel and honey in the form of a hair and scalp mask. Mix 4 tablespoons of aloe gel with 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to form a paste.

7. Green tea hair and scalp rinse

Green tea is full of phenolic compounds called catechins that exhibit strong antioxidant activity, which can help curb fungal overgrowth and the scalp inflammation associated with dandruff. (10)

  • Mix 4–5 drops of tea tree or peppermint essential oil in ½ cup of green tea, and use this solution to rinse your scalp and hair.
  • If you want a mask instead of a rinse, just mix some oatmeal powder into the solution to thicken its consistency. Oatmeal is credited with moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties, besides being a gentle scrub that exfoliates the dead skin flakes from your scalp.

8. Onion and lemon hair mask

onion and lemon based hair masks for dandruff control

Water-based extracts of onion contain organic chemicals called saponins or ceposides that have fungicidal properties and can help kill the dandruff-causing yeast on your scalp. (11)

Blend a big-sized onion with just enough water to make a smooth, thick paste, and then mix some lemon juice in it.

9. Curry leaves paste

Curry leaves are loaded with phytochemicals that can help treat dandruff.

  • Put 10–15 curry leaves in a grinder, add a little bit of water, and blend them to form a paste.
  • Pour this paste in a bowl and mix in about ½ cup of plain yogurt and onion juice until it becomes completely uniform and lump-free.

How to apply hair and scalp masks and rinses

  • Wash your hair and scalp with an antidandruff shampoo.
  • Dab your wet hair with a clean towel to remove the excess moisture.
  • Spread the mask onto your scalp and hair while they are still damp, and gently massage it in with your fingertips. If you are using a hair rinse, wash your head with the liquid multiple times after shampooing. You can put a bowl or any container under your hair to collect the liquid that drips down, and use it in the next rinse.
  • Let your hair and scalp soak in the goodness of the mask or rinse for 15–20 minutes.
  • Rinse it off with lukewarm water.

Antifungal Shampoos

antifungal shampoos for dandruff control

Several varieties of antifungal shampoos are available over the counter and can help treat dandruff at home. Here are a few key ingredients that you should look for in your antidandruff shampoo:

  • Zinc pyrithione
  • 2.5% selenium sulfide
  • Tar (in low concentrations and for intense inflammation/redness and pruritus)
  • Keratolytic agents such as sulfur or salicylic acid (for milder cases of dandruff)
  • Tea tree essential oil, 10% lemongrass oil
  • Ketoconazole
  • Ciclopirox olamine

Caution: If you are pregnant or lactating, it’s best to consult your doctor before trying any medicated antidandruff shampoo as some of its ingredients, such as tar, can be harmful to both the mother and baby.

Self-Care Measures

self-care measures for dandruff prevention

Here are some self-care measures that can help manage and prevent the progression of incurable conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis;

  • Do not use hot water to rinse your hair and scalp as it strips away the natural oils and adds to the dryness.
  • Wash your hair and scalp with an antifungal shampoo thrice a week.
  • Always apply your hair conditioner starting from the hair ends up to the midlength of the strands, but never up to the scalp.
  • If the cause of your dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis, living in a dry environment can make it worse. So, it is very important to maintain proper humidity levels inside your home, especially during winters when indoor heating sucks the moisture from the air. To that end, install a humidifier to restore moisture in the environment. Make sure to clean it frequently to keep it free of mold.
  • De-stress as anxiety and psychological stress can also cause flare-ups of seborrheic dermatitis, (12) which will worsen dandruff. Try yoga, meditation, journaling, music therapy, tai chi, regular exercise, and getting 8 hours of sleep and rest.
  • Add anti-inflammatory and antifungal foods to your diet. These include green tea, garlic, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as freshwater fishes, walnuts, avocadoes, flaxseeds, and chia seeds. Consume immune-boosting probiotics containing  Lactobacillus acidophilus  or Bifidobacterium and foods rich in vitamin C such as citrus fruits and berries. Also, increasing your dietary intake of vitamin B6, biotin, folate, vitamin B12, zinc, niacin, and riboflavin, which can also help reduce the severity and frequency of dandruff flare-ups.

Most-Asked Questions About Dandruff

Can i use apple cider vinegar to treat dandruff.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) does exhibit some antibacterial and antifungal properties, (13) but experts do not recommend using it directly on your scalp.

You can, however, try ACV-based medicated shampoos that are specifically designed for controlling dandruff. Such products are safe for topical use as they contain ACV in limited and diluted amounts.

Can I prepare a lemon juice or baking soda scalp mask to treat dandruff?

Lemon and baking soda, (14) like cider vinegar, is known to possess antifungal properties (15) against a variety of fungi that cause common skin infections, but there is no research regarding their efficacy against dandruff.

Plus, lemon juice is highly acidic and can irritate the sensitive scalp skin, whereas baking soda is too alkaline and can lower the natural pH of your scalp, making it more prone to microbial growth.

Can I prepare an aspirin hair mask to treat dandruff?

aspirin hair mask for dandruff control

Aspirin contains salicylic acid, which works as an antifungal agent that can help treat scalp conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. In fact, it is often a main ingredient in numerous antidandruff hair products.

But the concentration of this acid in aspirin tablets and that in medicated hair products such as shampoos is different. Therefore, directly applying aspirin to your scalp to banish dandruff may neither be safe nor effective.

Dandruff is extremely common and quite a nuisance, but the good thing is that most cases are mild and can usually be managed with proper hair care using medicated antidandruff products that are available over the counter.

The intense itching caused by this condition can make you scratch your scalp uncontrollably, damaging your hair roots and triggering inflammation. Plus, the buildup of dead skin flakes on the scalp can clog your hair follicles, hindering hair growth while also increasing the risk of scalp infections. All these factors can lead to hair shedding and can greatly impair the overall quality of your hair.

So, it’s best to treat the condition in its early stages to save yourself from such complications. The home remedies mentioned in this article employ the healing power of natural ingredients to control dandruff and ease the scalp discomfort associated with it. They are best used in conjunction with other doctor-recommended hair products and as part of an overall healthy hair care routine.

Continue Reading

  • Ranganathan S, Mukhopadhyay T. Dandruff: the most commercially exploited skin disease. Indian journal of dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20606879. Published 2010.
  • Alzohairy MA. Therapeutics Role of Azadirachta indica (Neem) and Their Active Constituents in Diseases Prevention and Treatment. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine: eCAM. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4791507/. Published 2016.
  • Berk T, Scheinfeld N. Seborrheic dermatitis. P & T: a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2888552/. Published June 2010.
  • AA; KMHVJVD. Fenugreek Leaf Extract and Its Gel Formulation Show Activity Against Malassezia furfur. Assay and drug development technologies. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31524496/. Published 2020.
  • Kosmetische MEDIZIN. Fenugreek+micronutrients: Efficacy of a food supplement against hair loss. researchgate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/251923543/. Published 2006.
  • Delavenne E; Cliquet S; Trunet C; Barbier G; Mounier J; Le Blay G; Characterization of the antifungal activity of Lactobacillus harbinensis K.V9.3.1Np and Lactobacillus rhamnosus K.C8.3.1I in yogurt. Food microbiology. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25481057/. Published 2015.
  • Moussa A, Noureddine D, Saad A, Abdelmelek M, Abdelkader B. Antifungal activity of four honeys of different types from Algeria against pathogenic yeast: Candida albicans and Rhodotorula sp. Asian Pacific journal of tropical biomedicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609343/. Published July 2012.
  • Saunte DML, Gaitanis G, Hay RJ. Malassezia-Associated Skin Diseases, the Use of Diagnostics and Treatment. Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7098993/. Published March 20, 2020.
  • Surjushe A, Vasani R, Saple DG. Aloe vera: a short review. Indian journal of dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/. Published 2008.
  • Kim HK, Chang HK, Baek SY, et al. Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis Associated with Malassezia sympodialis by Green Tea Extracts Bath Therapy: A Pilot Study. Mycobiology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3408302/. Published June 2012.
  • Lanzotti V; Romano A; Lanzuise S; Bonanomi G; Scala F; Antifungal saponins from bulbs of white onion, Allium cepa L. Phytochemistry. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22169018/. Published 2012.
  • Misery L; Touboul S; Vinçot C; Dutray S; Rolland-Jacob G; Consoli SG; Farcet Y; Feton-Danou N; Cardinaud F; Callot V; De La Chapelle C; Pomey-Rey D; Consoli SM; [Stress and seborrheic dermatitis]. Annales de dermatologie et de venereologie. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18033062/. Published 2007.
  • Yagnik D, Serafin V, J Shah A. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Scientific reports. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5788933/. Published January 29, 2018.
  • Letscher-Bru V; Obszynski CM; Samsoen M; Sabou M; Waller J; Candolfi E; Antifungal activity of sodium bicarbonate against fungal agents causing superficial infections. Mycopathologia. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22991095/. Published 2013.
  • Oikeh EI, Omoregie ES, Oviasogie FE, Oriakhi K. Phytochemical, antimicrobial, and antioxidant activities of different citrus juice concentrates. Food science & nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4708628/. Published July 30, 2015.
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By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more


Feeling low on confidence and self-esteem by those tiny flakes constantly falling on your black dress? Well, dandruff is something that can hurt your behaviour in public. But, wait, what is dandruff? Dandruff is also medically known as seborrhoea and this condition weakens your scalp primarily due to poor hair brushing, stress and dry skin. So now the question is how do you put a stop to it?

how to get rid of dandruff

Now that you have understood the primary cause of dandruff, let us understand how you can put an end to this condition. Home remedies can do well to treat dandruff, provided the condition is not severe. If dandruff is severe, then it is advised that you take medical treatment that can help resolve this problem. Sometimes, the shampoos you use do not do any good and that is when you will need medical treatment to treat this condition.

Table of Contents

Causes of Dandruff:

Ever wondered what causes dandruff in hair? Dandruff is caused when a type of fungus called Malassezia begins to grow on your scalp. However, this results in scalp damage and causes severe dryness. There is another type of dandruff wherein your scalp begins producing more oil and as a result, dandruff appears to be sticky and oily on your hair. Here are some of the major dandruff causes

  • Irregular brushing and hair washing.
  • Not using shampoo constantly
  • Stress and any kind of mental illness
  • Parkinson’s disease

Now that you know the primary causes of dandruff, let us understand how to get rid of it without any medical treatment and by following some simple home remedies.

Did You Know?

  • Dandruff affects about 50% of the population at some point in their life.  source: Better Health Victoria
  • African-Americans should shampoo once a week using a dandruff shampoo.  source: aad.org
  • Tar shampoo can discolour blonde, grey or white hair and make the scalp more sensitive to sunlight.  source: aad.org
  • Dandruff is not caused by poor hygiene but by an accelerated cycle of skin renewal on the scalp.  source: NHS
  • Caucasian and Asian individuals should shampoo daily and use dandruff shampoo twice a week.  source: aad.org

Types of Dandruff

Dandruff are of various types, each presenting distinct characteristics and requiring tailored treatment approaches.

1. Dry Scalp Dandruff:

  • Characteristics: Caused by insufficient moisturization, resulting in small, dry flakes.
  • Symptoms: Often accompanied by itching and a sensation of tightness on the scalp.
  • Treatment: Requires hydrating the scalp through regular moisturizing and the use of gentle, moisturizing shampoos.

2. Oily Scalp Dandruff:

  • Characteristics: Linked to an excess production of sebum, the scalp’s natural oil, resulting in sticky, clumped flakes.
  • Symptoms: Hair may appear greasy, and flakes may be larger and more adherent to the scalp.
  • Treatment: Involves using shampoos that control oil production and maintaining a consistent washing routine.

3. Malassezia-Associated Dandruff:

  • Characteristics: Caused by an overgrowth of the yeast-like fungus Malassezia, accelerating the shedding of skin cells.
  • Symptoms: Larger, greasier flakes that may be accompanied by redness and inflammation.
  • Treatment: Anti-dandruff shampoos with ingredients like ketoconazole or selenium sulfide are recommended to address the fungal overgrowth.

4. Mixed Dandruff:

  • Characteristics: Combination of both dry and oily dandruff, requiring a nuanced treatment approach.
  • Symptoms: Scalp may exhibit characteristics of both dry and oily dandruff simultaneously.
  • Treatment: A personalized plan that takes into account both dry and oily dandruff treatments.

Understanding what kind of dandruff you have is crucial for effective care. Talk to a skin doctor to figure out the exact type and get the right treatment for long-lasting relief.

Quick Guide To Dandruff:

Flaky skin from scalp, eyebrows, shoulders– Skin irritants
– Oily skin
– Dry skin
– Skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema
Age- typically occurs in young adults and continues to middle age (may be lifelong)
Itchiness on the scalpReaction to harsh chemicals in hair productsSex – Males are more likely to develop dandruff than females
Scaly skin with a crusty appearance (particularly in infants)malassezia yeast infectionExisting illnesses – HIV, Parkinson’s and diseases affecting the immune system may all increase the risk of developing dandruff

Home Remedies to Cure Dandruff:

There are many natural dandruff home remedies that you can use on a daily basis and this will help you get rid of dandruff permanently. However, in order to get all of this done, you need to get certain ingredients ready and mix all of it in an appropriate manner. Once this is done, there is a prescribed way that you need to apply it and this will help you get rid of those disgusting flakes that lower your confidence levels.  If you’re wondering how to get rid of dandruff naturally, here is a list of home remedies that will help you get rid of dandruff completely.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV):

Apple Cider Vinegar

Treating dandruff at home requires a way in which the ingredients must be mixed. Once you have mixed all of the ingredients in the right way, you can go about applying it. ACV is said to be one of the best natural remedies to treat severe dandruff. However, there is a prescribed way in which you need to prepare the paste. Here are some easy steps you need to know for preparing apple cider vinegar for dandruff treatment

Preparation of Apple Cider Vinegar:

  • Add some apple cider vinegar to water (Equal parts) and keep it aside.
  • After washing your hair, apply the mix to your wet hair.
  • Gently massage your hair with the mix
  • Leave to dry for 15 minutes and then rinse it off.

Note: You can do this every time you have a head shower. Also, keep in mind that you cannot excessively use apple cider vinegar over your hair and this means that do not apply it every day. Once every two days is the best way to use this home remedy for fighting dandruff.

2. Apply Mehndi:

how to solve problem dandruff

You can cure dandruff using mehndi. Mehndi works well on your hair and softens it. Here is how you prepare the mehndi mix for your hair.

Preparation of Mehndi:

Mehndi needs to be prepared the right way and this mix has a prescribed manner in which it needs to be prepared.

  • Firstly, mix mehndi with curd and a little bit of lemon juice
  • Once this is formed as a paste, keep the mixture aside for 8 hours.
  • After 8 hours you can apply it on your hair
  • Let it dry over your hair for two hours and then you can wash it away.

Note: Follow the above-listed pointers well and you will see the difference. Mehndi is natural and this is one simple way that you can get rid of dandruff easily.

Also Read: Mehendi: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & More!

3. Coconut Oil with Lemon:

how to solve problem dandruff

Coconut oil is said to keep your hair nourished, and when this is mixed with a little lemon juice, it can cure dandruff. This combination serves as an effective home remedy, Using coconut oil for dandruff treatment is also an easy way to get rid of those tiny flakes that can pull your confidence down. Follow these simple tips, and get rid of dandruff permanently.

Preparation of Coconut Oil with Lemon:

Follow these simple steps and get rid of dandruff quickly:

  • Firstly you need to heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and mix it equally with some mixture of lemon juice.
  • Once this is done, you can apply this on your scalp and massage your hair gently with it.
  • After this is done, leave it for 20 minutes and then rinse it off with some shampoo.

Note: This is one of the easiest ways to get rid of dandruff on your hair. You need to keep in mind that all of the above-listed procedures need to be followed in the prescribed manner.

4. Fenugreek Seeds:

how to solve problem dandruff

Fenugreek seeds are used as a preventive cure for dandruff. Also known as methi seeds, this procedure needs to be followed in the right way possible.

Preparation of Fenugreek Seeds:

Fenugreek is said to benefit people suffering from low blood sugar and boosts testosterone and also milk production for mothers. Fenugreek has multiple benefits such as regulating cholesterol levels and keeps your appetite in control. Here are some simple tips that you need to keep in mind while preparing fenugreek seed to get rid of dandruff.

  • Firstly, you need to put some fenugreek seeds in a small bowl of water and let it soak overnight.
  • Once you wake up in the morning make sure that you mash the seeds to a paste-like substance. Then add little lemon juice to the paste and mix it well.
  • Once this has formed into a paste, apply it onto your scalp and hair and leave it to dry for 30 minutes.
  • After this is done you can wash your hair with shampoo and allow your hair to dry.

Also Read: Methi: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

how to solve problem dandruff

Following a home remedy for dandruff may be a tough task to do, especially curd makes it very messy. Curd applied to your hair makes it very effective to treat dandruff.

Preparation of Curd to Cure Dandruff:

Here are some easy tips of curing dandruff using curd. Here is how you do it.

  • At first, you need to apply little curd onto your hair including your scalp.
  • Let it dry for an hour or so.
  • Make sure you rinse it off in an hour’s time with some shampoo.

6. Neem Juice:

how to solve problem dandruff

Neem is a very good cure for dandruff and this has been found in most shampoos as one of the main ingredients. The method of using neem juice on your hair doesn’t make it messy like curd being applied to your hair. If you’re seeking an effective dandruff treatment at home, incorporating neem into your routine can be a natural and convenient dandruff solution.

Preparation for Neem Juice:

Here is how you prepare neem juice mix before applying it to your hair and this will help cure dandruff.

  • Firstly you need to crush some neem leaves till it forms a thick paste.
  • Next, you need to apply this paste onto your scalp and hair and let it dry for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  • Once this is done, you can wash it away with some water.

7. Orange Peel:

how to solve problem dandruff

Orange peel is said to work well as a very good remedy for treating dandruff at home. But you need to keep in mind as for how you need to prepare this mix.

Preparation of Orange Peel:

Orange peel is said to contain calcium, magnesium, vitamin A and dietary fibres which are good for your body. However, when it comes to your hair and curing dandruff, orange peel must be made in the following manner and applied to your scalp and hair to get rid of dandruff. Here are tips that you need to follow in order to get rid of dandruff.

  • Take the orange peel and then squeeze some lemon juice onto it.
  • Add all of this to a grinder and grind it till it turns into a paste.
  • Then apply the paste to your scalp and let it dry for 30 minutes
  • After this is done, you can wash it away with some anti-dandruff shampoo.

Note: You can follow all of the above-listed procedures for at least thrice a week and this will help you get rid of dandruff at home.

8. Vinegar:

how to solve problem dandruff

Vinegar has medicinal properties that can kill the bad fungus and this can be seen as an easy remedy to get rid of dandruff the easy way. This also helps in treating various skin related problems like acne and itchiness in the scalp.

Preparation of Vinegar:

Here are some easy steps that you need to keep in mind while preparing vinegar mix to get rid of dandruff.

  • Firstly you will need 2 cups of vinegar and 1 cup of water as the major ingredient.
  • Next, you will have to boil both the cups of vinegar and keep it aside to cool.
  • Then mix one-eighth cups of water to the vinegar.
  • Once this is done, you can use this to clean your scalp and you can rinse it away with shampoo.

Note: You will have to do this usually in the morning before you apply shampoo in your hair. Vinegar will reduce the dryness and remove the itchiness that you are facing.

9. Egg Yolk:

Egg Yolk

Egg yolk contains biotin which is the major vitamin that treats dandruff. Egg yolks can act as conditioners for your hair that can make it healthier. For those seeking effective home remedies for dandruff, incorporating egg yolk into your hair care routine can provide a natural and nourishing solution.

Preparation of Egg Yolk:

In order to prepare egg yolk, you will have to remove the white layer that surrounds the yolk. Always remember that the yolk is more beneficial than the white layer that surrounds it. Here are some simple steps that you need to follow when you are making egg yolks.

  • Firstly you need to keep your hair and scalp dry and then apply yolk on your hair.
  • Once you are done applying the yolk, you will have to cover your hair with a plastic bag for an hour.
  • Wash your hair gently using shampoo. Sometimes you will have to wash your hair twice to remove the bad odour.

Note: You can follow this treatment for dandruff in the morning while having a bath or anytime when you have a bath. Always remember that it needs to be followed only thrice a week.

10. Green Tea:

how to solve problem dandruff

Green tea contains a lot of antifungal properties and it is an antioxidant that can restore the health of your scalp. All you need to cure dandruff is by applying some cooled green tea on your scalp and you can witness the difference.

Preparation for Green Tea:

In order to get rid of dandruff, green tea can be used by following these simple steps.

  • Firstly you will require 2 green tea bags and some hot water as the major part of your ingredients.
  • Then you will have to put the green tea bag into the hot water for 20 minutes till the decoction dissolves in it and then allow it to cool.
  • Once it cools, you can apply the green tea onto your scalp and let it dry for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes gently rinse your hair with water.

Note: This can be followed in the mornings when bathing. This is one of the easiest ways in which you can cure dandruff naturally at home.

11. Basil Leaves:

how to solve problem dandruff

Basil leaves are one of the natural remedies for dandruff. This is because these leaves have antifungal and antibacterial properties that can cure you of heavy dandruff. These leaves can also help your scalp become strong and stay healthy.

Preparation of Basil Leaves:

Here’s how you prepare basil leaves for curing dandruff and other hair related problems.

  • Firstly, you will require some basil leaves, 2 teaspoons of amla powder, and just 2 teaspoons of water.
  • Mix all of these ingredients together and this will form a clean paste.
  • Once the paste is formed, apply it gently over your scalp and let it dry for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes rinse your hair with some water.

Note: You need to follow this on a daily basis and you will witness the difference. By doing this, the strength of your hair will increase and this will help curb hair fall too.

12. Olive Oil:

Olive Oil

Olive oil can do a lot of good for your hair. All you need to do is apply olive oil to your hair, and this dandruff remedy strengthens your scalp, promoting overall hair health.

Preparation of Olive Oil:

Preparing olive requires a prescribed format that needs to be done in order to get rid of dandruff. Here are some easy ways in which you can get rid of dandruff.

  • Firstly, apply some olive oil on your hair.
  • After 10 minutes you can wash your hair gently with shampoo.

Note: In some cases, you can apply some olive oil before you go to bed. Wrap your head with a towel and let it absorb the remaining oil.

13. Listerine Mouthwash:

how to solve problem dandruff

Listerine mouthwash has antifungal properties that can fight the yeast responsible for preventing the growth of this yeast.

Preparation of Listerine Mouthwash:

Here is how you need to use Listerine mouthwash. Follow these simple ways and you can get rid of dandruff.

  • At first, you will need 1 tablespoon of Listerine mouthwash and 9 tablespoons of water.
  • You need to mix the mouthwash with water in a small bowl.
  • Once this is done, make sure that you wash it away using some anti-dandruff shampoo that will help wash away all the bad bacteria.

Note: You can do this in the mornings when you are bathing. Follow this simple procedure and you can see the difference in a few weeks.

14. Banana With Apple Cider Vinegar:

how to solve problem dandruff

Banana and apple cider vinegar makes a good choice for curing dandruff. This is because bananas are rich in vitamin B and this helps in improving blood circulation and keeps your skin healthy. On the other hand, apple cider vinegar is known as a fungicide and a germ killer and this helps in curing dandruff.

Preparing Banana with Apple Cider Vinegar:

Follow these simple steps and you will get rid of those disgusting dandruff.

  • As a major part of your ingredients, you will need 1 full banana with 2 cups of apple cider vinegar.
  • Once you’ve got your ingredients ready, you will have to peel the banana and put it in a small bowl. Along with this, you can add some apple cider vinegar.
  • Once the mix is done make sure you mix it well till it becomes a perfect paste.
  • Then, apply the paste to your hair and gently massage the mixture into your scalp and ensure that the paste covers your hair completely.
  • Allow it to dry for 20 minutes and then rinse your hair with normal water and some shampoo.

Note: You can use this method early mornings if you have the time or in the night before having your shower.

15. Garlic:

how to solve problem dandruff

Garlic has a good source of antifungal properties that have the tendency to eliminate certain dangerous microbes that are responsible for causing dandruff.

Preparation for Garlic:

Here are some simple tips that you need to keep in your mind while applying garlic paste on your hair.

  • Initially, you will need a few garlic cloves along with 1 tablespoon of honey.
  • Once you’ve got all the ingredients ready, make sure that you mix it till it turns into a smooth paste.
  • Then, apply the paste on your scalp and let it dry for 15 minutes.
  • Once this is done make sure you rinse your hair with some shampoo.

Note: You can use this natural way to get rid of dandruff in the mornings or in the night before you have a shower. Garlic is strong enough to get dandruff off your hair.

Also Read: Effective Home Remedies For Frizzy Hair

How Dietary Habits Can Reduce Dandruff:

Simple dietary modifications can play a big role in lessening the appearance of dandruff thereby reducing the necessity for you to opt for topical medications or natural dandruff remedies. Some of these include: 

  • Eating a diet high in sugar content promotes inflammation in the body which can lead to the appearance of more and more flakes. Cut down on sugar wherever possible, whether be it in your tea, coffee or having less processed foods. Instead, gorge on antioxidant-rich foods such as dark chocolate, strawberry, blueberries, spinach grapes, broccoli, and tomatoes. 
  • Eat a diet rich in seasonal fruits and vegetables for added nutrition and fibre daily. 
  • Sometimes yeast overgrowth is linked to dandruff production. To cut down on yeast in your system, reduce the consumption of bread and alcohol. 
  • Incorporate more healthy fats into your diet such as olive oil, avocado, omega-3 fatty acid fish, and walnuts which not only reduce dandruff but also promote healthy hair growth. 
  • B vitamin, biotin, and zinc also lessen the production of dandruff. You can either obtain these minerals from foods naturally such as tomatoes, yoghurt, carrots and eggs or you can include them in the form of dietary supplements which are readily available in the market as over the counter medications. 

Also Read: Does Dandruff Cause Hair Loss? Uncovering the Truth with Expert Insights

How to Cure Dandruff Permanently?

Getting rid of dandruff can be a burden, however, if you follow these simple steps on a day-to-day basis, you can prevent it from affecting you. Also, these simple steps are applicable to those suffering from the disease, Wondering how to remove dandruff permanently naturally? By consistently following these steps, you can take significant strides toward maintaining a healthy scalp.

  • Use the right shampoo for your hair. Moreover, do not use this in excess.
  • Always keep your scalp clean. This means that you need to have a head shower every 3 days once.
  • There are many anti-dandruff shampoos out there in the market that will help you but make sure you try something that will work milder for you and this can be made possible only if you try out all and see which one suits you the best.
  • Use your own comb to brush your hair.
  • Make sure you take enough of rest before you get yourself working. Lack of sleep creates stress and this in return causes dandruff.
  • Make sure you always cover your hair while travelling.
  • Also, make sure that you use herbal products to cure dandruff. This is because harmful chemicals found in shampoos can also sometimes cause dandruff.

Note:  Do not comb your hair using others’ hairbrushes. Also, make sure you clean your hair once in two days. Regular cleaning of your hair will help prevent dandruff.

Correct diagnosis and treatment by a dermatologist are crucial as dandruff, often mistaken for other conditions such as psoriasis, results from a fungal infection on the scalp. The use of appropriate antifungal shampoos or lotions, as recommended by a dermatologist, is necessary for addressing dandruff, as home remedies alone may prove inadequate. Dr. Arpit Verma, MD

Other tips to reduce Dandruff:

Stress ManagementStress can affect your health and harm your immune system, this may trigger increased dandruff production.
DietZinc, B type vitamins and fats are required for keeping dandruff away.
Hair RoutineUse safe products that do not react badly with your hair or scalp, be gentle and massage thoroughly while cleaning your hair. If your scalp is sensitive, shampoo it less often.
SunlightSunlight may play a role in reducing dandruff, but don’t spend too much time outdoors as it can cause UV damage. Use sunscreen on the rest of your body when you go outside.

Dandruff vs Dry scalp

Dry scalp is a condition characterized by insufficient moisture in the skin on the scalp. It often leads to flakiness and itching. Common causes include exposure to cold weather, the use of harsh shampoos, or overwashing.

  • A sensation of tightness on the scalp

Dry scalp responds well to moisturizing treatments. Using a gentle shampoo and regularly conditioning the hair can help alleviate symptoms associated with dry scalp. Additionally, maintaining a balance in hair care practices, avoiding excessive washing, and protecting the scalp from harsh environmental conditions can contribute to overall scalp health.

Dandruff is a distinct condition primarily caused by the overgrowth of the yeast-like fungus Malassezia on the scalp. This overgrowth leads to an accelerated shedding of skin cells, resulting in the formation of larger, greasier flakes. Dandruff is often accompanied by scalp inflammation and redness.

  • Larger, greasier flakes
  • Scalp inflammation

Anti-dandruff shampoos with active ingredients like ketoconazole or selenium sulfide are recommended for managing dandruff  These shampoos work by addressing the underlying fungal overgrowth, Additionally, maintaining good scalp hygiene, using appropriate hair care products, and adopting a balanced diet are essential steps for preventing and managing dandruff in the long term.Consulting with a dermatologist can help individuals determine the specific condition and develop a targeted treatment plan for lasting relief.

Also Read: Fenugreek for Hair Growth: Reviewed and Confirmed by Effective Studies

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes, sufficient studies carried out by experts have revealed that vitamin deficiency can cause scaly scalp and dandruff among other things such as brittle nails, poor night vision, hair loss and bleeding gums. Low levels of vitamin B2, B6, vitamin B3 and zinc can cause seborrheic dermatitis. To improve the health of your scalp and reduce dandruff include foods such as legumes, seafood, meat, nuts, dairy and whole grains.

Yes. People do not think much about their hairbrushes when it comes to the health of their scalp or hair but a scalp brush can help reduce dandruff in the following ways: Helps remove scalp buildup. This is very important for dandruff which is an issue that arises due to scalp buildup as a result of sebaceous glands and dead skin cells. When using a scalp massager brush, move it in small movements to avoid the problem of hair tangling.   It makes shampooing more effective . If you plan to use the brush at the time of shampooing, it can help for better cleansing and moisturisation. With the scalp buildup removed or loosened, the shampoo can work better to clean your scalp and reduce the signs of dandruff.   It can stimulate your scalp and promote hair growth . If you have been worried about hair loss due to dandruff, using a scalp massager brush two-three times a week at the time of oiling/shampooing can promote blood circulation and make your scalp more healthy and aid in the growth of new hair. It will help to strengthen your hair shafts and promote the growth of voluminous hair.  

Dandruff can occur any time of the year, but it is more common during the winter months when the scalp becomes itchy and dry, and itching can lead to flakes that build up and cause dandruff. To prevent this use a scalp massager brush to remove buildup, oil your scalp thoroughly and wash your hair with a moisturising shampoo two-three times a week. Refraining from heat styling can protect your hair moisture and lower scalp dryness. 

No, dandruff is not contagious. It is a non-infectious scalp condition caused by internal factors like genetics and external factors like an oily scalp, dry skin or sensitivity to hair care products. Dandruff cannot be transmitted from one person to another through direct contact.

While stress itself does not directly cause dandruff, it can exacerbate existing scalp conditions. High-stress levels may trigger or worsen dandruff in some individuals due to its impact on the immune system and hormonal changes. Managing stress through relaxation techniques and self-care practices may help improve scalp health.

Dandruff itself does not directly cause hair loss. However, if left untreated and accompanied by severe scalp inflammation, it may contribute to temporary hair shedding. Addressing the underlying cause of dandruff and maintaining a healthy scalp can promote hair health.

Sun exposure may temporarily improve dandruff due to its drying effects on the scalp. However, prolonged sun exposure without adequate sun protection can lead to scalp damage and increased dryness.

Dandruff can be effectively destroyed through various methods: Using anti-dandruff shampoos containing active ingredients like pyrithione zinc or ketoconazole. Regularly washing the hair with a gentle shampoo to keep the scalp clean. Managing stress levels, as stress can worsen dandruff. Identifying and addressing any underlying scalp conditions. Practising good scalp hygiene and avoiding scratching to prevent scalp irritation.

Yes, curd can help remove dandruff. Its natural properties, such as lactic acid and probiotics, help soothe the scalp, reduce itchiness and control dandruff when applied regularly as a hair mask or treatment.

There is no direct evidence linking dandruff to acne. Dandruff is primarily a scalp condition, while acne is associated with the skin’s oil glands and hair follicles. However, individual skin reactions may vary, and it’s advisable to consult a dermatologist for personalized advice.

There is no scientific evidence supporting the idea that dandruff causes the premature graying of hair. Graying is primarily influenced by genetics and age-related factors, while dandruff is a scalp condition related to the overgrowth of yeast and shedding of skin cells.

No, dandruff itself does not cause lice. Lice are typically spread through direct head-to-head contact or by sharing personal items like combs and hats. While dandruff and lice both affect the scalp, they have different causes and require distinct treatments.

Yes, dandruff can cause itching. The flakes and irritation associated with dandruff can lead to an itchy scalp, prompting discomfort and the urge to scratch.

While dandruff itself is unlikely to directly cause headaches, the persistent itching and discomfort associated with severe dandruff may lead to tension and stress, which can contribute to headaches in some individuals. If headaches persist, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation.

Dandruff can be effectively managed and controlled, but it may not be permanently cured. Regular use of anti-dandruff shampoos and home remedies can significantly reduce symptoms, but ongoing maintenance is often necessary to prevent its recurrence.

Dandruff itself is not a direct cause of baldness. However, persistent and severe dandruff, if left untreated, may contribute to hair loss indirectly by causing inflammation and irritation to the scalp. It’s essential to address the underlying causes and seek appropriate treatment to prevent potential hair loss.

No, dandruff and lice are not the same. Dandruff is a scalp condition caused by the shedding of skin cells, while lice are tiny insects that infest the hair and feed on blood. They require different treatments, and having one does not necessarily imply the presence of the other.

Dandruff itself is not harmful, but it can cause scalp irritation, itching, and discomfort. While it doesn’t lead to serious health issues, managing dandruff is important to prevent potential complications such as bacterial or fungal infections that may arise from scratching the irritated

Dandruff is usually a chronic condition that can be managed but may not have a permanent cure. Regular use of anti-dandruff products and maintaining a healthy scalp care routine can significantly reduce symptoms and prevent recurrence.

Yes, dandruff is often associated with a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia that naturally resides on the scalp. An overgrowth of this fungus can lead to the accelerated shedding of skin cells, resulting in dandruff.

To get rid of cat dandruff, ensure your cat’s diet is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and consider adding a fish oil supplement. Regular grooming, including brushing and using a moisturizing cat shampoo, can help reduce dandruff. Consult a veterinarian for personalized advice and to rule out 

To address dog dandruff, ensure your dog is on a balanced diet with essential fatty acids. Regular brushing, bathing with a moisturizing dog shampoo, and providing proper hydration can help alleviate dandruff. If the issue persists, consult with a veterinarian for a tailored solution

Using anti-dandruff shampoos containing ingredients like zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole, or selenium sulfide can help manage dandruff. Maintaining a good hair care routine, staying hydrated, and addressing underlying factors like dry scalp or fungal overgrowth can also contribute to dandruff control.

Certain shampoos, particularly those containing harsh chemicals or allergens, can potentially irritate the scalp and lead to dandruff. Choosing a mild, anti-dandruff shampoo with appropriate ingredients can help prevent or alleviate this issue.

Dandruff itself does not directly cause hair thinning, but persistent and severe dandruff can lead to scalp irritation and inflammation, contributing to hair loss. Treating dandruff promptly with appropriate products can help maintain a healthy scalp and minimize the risk of associated hair thinning.

Yes, dandruff often increases during the monsoon due to the high humidity levels, which can lead to a more favorable environment for the growth of the yeast that contributes to dandruff. It’s advisable to maintain good scalp hygiene and use anti-dandruff products during this season.

Dandruff can result from various factors, including an overgrowth of the yeast Malassezia, dry scalp, sensitivity to hair care products, or certain skin conditions. Maintaining good scalp hygiene and using appropriate anti-dandruff shampoos can 

To prevent dandruff, maintain regular hair washing with a mild shampoo, avoid excessive use of styling products, and ensure a balanced diet with sufficient hydration. Using anti-dandruff shampoos containing ingredients like zinc pyrithione or ketoconazole can also be effective in managing dandruff.

To treat dandruff, use anti-dandruff shampoos containing active ingredients such as zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, or ketoconazole. Consistent use of these shampoos, along with proper scalp hygiene and a balanced diet, can help alleviate and manage dandruff effectively.

Hard water’s high mineral content may lead to dandruff by causing scalp dryness and irritation. Using a water softener or anti-dandruff shampoo can help mitigate the impact of hard water on the scalp.

While conditioner itself typically does not cause dandruff, using an excessive amount or not rinsing it thoroughly may lead to product buildup on the scalp, potentially contributing to dandruff. It’s essential to use conditioner appropriately and ensure thorough rinsing to maintain a healthy scalp.

Frequent use of dry shampoo may contribute to dandruff by accumulating on the scalp and obstructing hair follicles, leading to oil and product buildup. Regular cleansing of the scalp and limited use of dry shampoo can help prevent dandruff in such cases.

Beard dandruff, or “beardruff,” refers to the flaky, dry skin that can occur beneath facial hair. It is often caused by a combination of dry skin, lack of proper grooming, and the presence of yeast on the skin, and can be managed with regular cleansing and moisturizing of the beard and underlying skin.

Eyebrow dandruff refers to the presence of flaky, dry skin on the eyebrows, often caused by factors like dry skin, fungal infections, or skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis. Maintaining good hygiene, moisturizing the eyebrows, and using medicated shampoos or creams as recommended can help manage eyebrow dandruff.

Yes, cats can get dandruff. It’s often caused by dry skin, poor grooming, or an underlying health issue. Regular brushing, a balanced diet, and addressing potential health concerns with a veterinarian can help manage cat dandruff.

Yes, dogs can get dandruff. Common causes include dry skin, poor nutrition, or underlying health conditions. Regular grooming, a balanced diet, and using moisturizing shampoos designed for dogs can help alleviate dog dandruff.

Also Read: Tea tree: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Disclaimer : The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof. Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation of the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.

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What Can I Do About My Dandruff Problem?

Portrait of Valerie Monroe

This column first ran in Valerie Monroe’s newsletter,  How Not to F*ck Up Your Face , which you can subscribe to on Substack.

Q: Flaking! Flaking! What can I do about my dandruff problem?

A: This question came to me circuitously from Dana Leigh Lyons’s excellent Substack, Sober Soulful . Because she and I have exchanged friendly emails, I offered to try to help her find a solution, which she believes is the result of the hard water in her shower. So I turned to dermatologist and hair-issue guru Hadley King for help.

“Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff) is a common inflammatory condition of the scalp. It can also appear on the ears, eyebrows, eyelids, and the center of the face,” she said. And if you’re unlucky, the upper chest, upper back, armpits, and groin.

Though what causes dandruff is still somewhat inconclusive, the cause seems to be multifactorial, including your genes, living in a cold and dry climate, stress, your overall health, and a yeast that normally lives happily on your skin. There are other conditions that can increase the odds of a flaky situation: acne, rosacea, psoriasis, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, stroke, heart attack, alcoholism, depression, and an eating disorder, said King. Perhaps out of kindness to us, King neglected to include one other potential condition: menopause.

Though dandruff can’t be “cured,” it can be managed with a number of over-the-counter ingredients. The yeast King mentioned above? It goes by the name Malassezia, a Disney villainess who settles into unsuspecting follicles to cause itching and scaling. But these ingredients and products are useful in decreasing yeast and flaking:

  • Selenium sulfide, found in Selsun Blue and Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength shampoos
  • Pyrithione zinc, found in most Head & Shoulders shampoos
  • Salicylic acid helps reduce scaling on the scalp, found in Neutrogena T/Sal shampoo
  • Ketoconazole inhibits fungal growth and is found in Nizoral Anti-Dandruff shampoo
  • Coal tar suppresses fungus, decreases inflammation, and may reduce sebum production; it’s found in Neutrogena T/Gel shampoo
  • Tea tree oil is antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory and is found in Oars + Alps Invigorating Shampoo and Conditioner

If you prefer using shampoo without sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate and synthetic fragrance — which Sarah Villafranco, founder of the skin-care company Osmia , says may cause dandruff — try the Josh Rosebrook and Innersense brands.

Though it might sound counterintuitive, King said washing your hair daily is helpful in controlling yeast and seborrheic dermatitis: Flaking is more the result of the inflammatory condition than the dryness of the scalp. Regarding what Dana thinks is her hard-water issue, she’s right that hard water, with its high mineral content, can be drying or irritating to sensitive skin and can potentially exacerbate seborrheic dermatitis.

Why? (I love when King wanders into the weeds, as she often does.) Because hard water contains high amounts of calcium, so it doesn’t properly dissolve soap, detergent, and other cleansing products — leaving residue on your skin and hair. That residue can dry out and irritate your skin and scalp. As a crappy bonus, it can also make hair dry, rough, dull, and difficult to style. Filtering out the minerals and using gentle sulfate-free cleansers can decrease hard water’s unpleasant effects. Which means you can spend the winter admiring the flakes you see on the ground and not on your shoulders.

Shop These Scalp-Savers

Selsun Blue Medicated with Menthol Dandruff Shampoo

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How to Get Rid of Dandruff (Easy & Effective Natural Remedies)

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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Read my affiliate policy .

Natural Remedies for Dandruff

The itchy, uncomfortable feeling and unsightly flakes that come with dandruff get old fast. Conventional treatments like shampoos, steroids and coal tar can help, but they’re far from natural or safe.

Natural shampoos are hard to find and the few decent options are really expensive. These natural dandruff remedies use effective ingredients like apple cider vinegar and anti-fungal essential oils for a way to control it naturally.

What Is Dandruff and What Causes It?

To really understand how dandruff remedies work, it helps to know what causes it in the first place. About 50% of people have it, so the issue is widespread. Environmental exposures, food choices, and genetics all play a role. There’s also evidence to show that gut microbiome dysfunction plays a role in dandruff production.

Dandruff is typically an overgrowth of the fungus malassezia on the scalp, and it can also be caused by dry skin. It involves shedding of excessive amounts of skin flakes. Seborrheic dermatitis is a type of dandruff where the flakes are greasy and white or yellow, with a red, irritated scalp. In theory, stopping the fungus can help resolve the problem.

Traditional dandruff shampoos often include harsh chemicals designed to fight fungus. Thankfully, there are natural options that work well without the dangers.

How to Get Rid of Dandruff (Naturally, of Course!)

Since dandruff is caused by microbes and dry scalp, anti-fungal agents and moisturizers both help. Whatever remedies are used, consistency is key. Improvements can be seen after the first use, but these natural remedies need to be used long term for best results. Most studies have shown the most success when used for three to six months (or longer).

Raw honey is a nutritional powerhouse with its proteins, amino acids, vitamins, enzymes, and minerals. Honey has been used as food and medicine since the earliest civilizations. Raw honey is emollient, humectant, healing, antimicrobial, and soothing to the scalp, while conditioning the hair. This sticky sweet substance also helps prevent pathogen infections and keeps the microbes that cause dandruff in check.

How to Use Raw or Manuka Honey for Dandruff

Since honey is so thick and sticky on its own, it needs to be diluted before use.

  • Combine 1-2 TBSP of honey (I use this unfiltered organic and raw honey ) with 2/3 cup of warm water and stir to dissolve.
  • Rinse hair with the honey mixture and use the fingers to work it through the hair and over the scalp.

Essential Oils

We all know that essential oils can be used for many natural remedies , and this is no exception! I like to order organic essential oils from here and often order bulk bottles so I have them to use in recipes.

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea Tree oil has long been used for scalp and skin conditions because of its potent cleansing and anti-fungal properties. One 2011 study found that tea tree essential oil was effective against all of the dandruff-causing malassezia species tested. Not much was needed either for visible results. Researchers found that just a .25% dilution of tea tree inhibited the fungi that can cause dandruff. For practical purposes, this would be about 6 drops of essential oil to every ½ cup of carrier.

Lemongrass Essential Oil

Like tea tree, lemongrass has anti-fungal properties. This study out of Thailand tested how lemongrass essential oil shampoo performed against the malasezzia furfur fungal strain. Researchers settled on a 2% dilution to inhibit the fungus, however another study of 30 participants found that a solution of 10% was most effective against dandruff.

Frankincense Essential Oil

A 2016 study evaluated 9 different essential oils to see how they performed against a variety of micro-organisms. Frankincense essential oil beat out the rest and inhibited the candida, malasezzia, and even staph biofilms. Some researchers believe that staph bacteria overgrowth can also play a big role in dandruff. Frankincense is very soothing and calming, making it perfect for an irritated scalp.

How to Use Essential Oils for Dandruff

Since essential oils are highly concentrated, always dilute before use. There are many different ways to incorporate them into dandruff remedies, so I’ve included multiple options below.

  • Add the essential oils of choice to some raw honey and stir well to combine. Then dilute with warm water and use as a hair rinse per the instructions earlier in this article. Raw honey isn’t a fat, but as a sugar it will also adequately disperse the essential oils.
  • Add the essential oils of choice to a carrier oil, like sweet almond or grapeseed oil, and then apply to the scalp. Part the hair then apply some oil to the scalp. Then part it again about ½ inch over and repeat until the entire scalp is covered.
  • Add a few drops of the essential oils to your shampoo or conditioner and wash as usual. Allow the mixture to sit on the scalp for about 5 minutes before rinsing out.

A study in Hungary found that probiotics reduced the overall symptoms of dandruff by 57%. The strains used helped to regulate the skin’s immune function and reduced scalp itching and greasiness. Over time, the malassezia yeast counts declined, as did the irritation and redness.

How to Use Probiotics for Dandruff

Consume fermented and probiotic rich foods daily. Kombucha, fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, water kefir, milk kefir and yogurt are all good options. Those with autoimmune conditions may find that dairy aggravates the issue further. Taking a high quality probiotic supplement can also be helpful.

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has many uses and is often touted as the natural, magical cure-all. While it can’t quite do everything, it is one of the best natural dandruff remedies. Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid to naturally slough off excess skin cells. The acidic pH also helps to close hair cuticles on the scalp. And vinegar’s acetic acid attacks the yeast and bacteria that can cause dandruff.

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Dandruff

Preferably raw apple cider vinegar that still contains “ the mother ” should be used. Since vinegar can be harsh on the scalp, it should be diluted before use.

  • Combine 1 part water with 1 part apple cider vinegar and use it as a hair rinse.
  • This mixture can be left in the hair after washing, or it can be rinsed out after 1-2 hours.

Herbal Infused Apple Cider Vinegar

Infuse vinegar with nourishing and anti-microbial herbs like rosemary, Pau d’Arco, and oregano for an extra punch of dandruff-fighting power.

  • To infuse the vinegar, add 1/4 cup of the desired herbs to a pint-size glass jar, then fill the rest with vinegar.
  • Store in a cool dark place, shaking every day for 2-4 weeks.
  • Strain out the herbs, then dilute with water before using as a hair rinse.

Do you struggle with dandruff or know someone who does? Which dandruff remedies have you found to ease the symptoms?

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells , CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of  Wellnesse , has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books  The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

42 responses to “How to Get Rid of Dandruff (Easy & Effective Natural Remedies)”

Amanda Avatar

If you use the scalp massage with essential oils in carrier oil (e.g. tea tree oil in almond oil), do you wash it out or do you leave it in? If you wash it out, how long should you wait to let it soak? Thanks!

I’ve used at night and washed out in the morning

Rob Avatar

I’ve been reading about alot of these remedies. I’ve formulated a concoction of my own that I’m trying, which is just mixing a few drops of full strength ACV into some coconut oil and working into my scalp. Leaving it in for about an hour before my shower. Any thoughts or suggestions? I’m just starting out, so I’ll let you know if it works out. I’ve been fighting this crap for years

KHass Avatar

Just wondering if these remedies could be applied topically for facial dermatitis?

Anna Avatar

Should I use the honey frankincense rinse before or after I shampoo? I know to leave the rinse on for 5 minutes and then rinse it out.

Laura Avatar

I’ve massaged magnesium oil straight or diluted onto my scalp, mostly on the areas of concern. I leave it on for a few minutes or overnight before shampooing. Gets rid of the flakes and helps me sleep, too!

Maxine Avatar

I’d recommend a salt scrub on your scalp, either once a week or once a month depending on the severity of your dandruff. It exfoliates the scalp and gets rid of the flakes. In my experience, if it stings a bit, it means it’s working! I haven’t found how to get rid of it for good, though. I still use anti-dandruff commercial shampoo, and I’ve noticed that when the shampoo stops working and there’s a dandruff build-up, the salt scrubbing fixes the issue.

Lauren Morales Avatar

Hello I love the blogs you write and decided to make a big switch in our household products including my husband’s dandruff shampoo I did the honey and essential oil recipe and he tells me he thinks it doing ok. He still has flakey somewhat itchy scalp but he always has even with the chemical shampoos. I had wondered how long it would last before the ants found it and its been a month and with much determination they have found the bottle.Now I have been rinsing 20-30 ants a day off the bottle is there anything you can suggest? I am sure I am not the only one who has come across this. Thanks!!

Nolan Avatar

I like the way you think!

Linda Avatar

Have you tried a cool/cold water rinse after shampooing and conditioning? Easier to step out of the shower, turn to cold, and just rinse scalp.

Roberta Avatar

OK. This time I used the honey, water and frankincense. Left it in for 10 minutes and rinsed. How often do you do this when your scalp is irritated, itchy and flaky? I typically wash my hair 2 or 3 times per week, and plan on shampooing again before work tomorrow. Would love any additional input. Thanks!

Roberta Martin Avatar

I have dealt with an irritated, itchy scalp for at least a couple of years. Using shampoo bars and a quick splash of Apple Cider Vinegar (Braggs) make my scalp itch less and my hair more manageable than when I use shampoo, but my scalp remains irritated and recently I detected dandruff. I want to try your honey and essential oil trick and see if I get better results. I’m betting I have a candida issue (antibiotics my whole life due to a heart defect at birth).

How much Frankincense should I put in how much carrier oil please?

Ruth Avatar

Hi! First I must say, I’m so glad I found your page! I have followed you for a few years now and am so grateful. Anyways, my son (tween) has very thick curly hair and has dandruff. You mentioned you just add a few drops to your shampoo, what shampoo do you use? He currently uses Earth Mama Angel Baby. ~Thank you

Wellness Mama Avatar

I use this kind !

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Dandruff is a common skin condition. It's not harmful and you cannot catch it.

Check if it's dandruff

DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY https://www.sciencephoto.com/media/256156/view

The flakes are often more noticeable in darker hair and if they fall from your scalp onto your shoulders.

Your scalp may also feel dry and itchy .

How to treat dandruff yourself

Use an anti-dandruff shampoo to treat dandruff. There are several different types you can buy from pharmacies or supermarkets.

Look for a shampoo that contains 1 of these ingredients:

  • zinc pyrithione
  • salicylic acid
  • selenium sulphide (or selenium sulfide)
  • ketoconazole

A pharmacist can tell you how to use the shampoo.

Use the shampoo for a month to see if your dandruff gets better. You might need to try more than 1 type to find a shampoo that works for you.

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  • you still have dandruff symptoms after using anti-dandruff shampoo for a month
  • your dandruff is bad or your scalp is very itchy
  • your scalp is red or swollen
  • you have flaky, itchy patches on your face or other parts of your body

The GP can check your scalp for skin conditions that could be causing your dandruff.

Causes of dandruff

Dandruff is not caused by poor hygiene, although it may be more obvious if you do not wash your hair regularly.

Stress and cold weather may also make dandruff worse.

A list of conditions that cause dandruff and their main symptoms.
Symptoms Possible causes
Scaly, itchy and red patches on skin on scalp, face and other areas of the body Seborrheic dermatitis
Red or silver rash on scalp, sometimes with patchy hair loss
Dry, red, flaky and very itchy skin on areas of the body
Red, irritated skin, may also have blisters and cracked skin; reaction to products such as hair dye, sprays, gels or mousses
Red, flaky, crusty and sore patches of skin covered with silvery scales
Greasy, yellowish crusts on baby's scalp, eyebrows and nappy area

Do not worry if you're not sure what's causing your dandruff. Follow the advice on this page and see a GP if things do not get better in a month.

Page last reviewed: 23 December 2022 Next review due: 23 December 2025

how to solve problem dandruff

Here's How the Plastic Industry Thinks We Can Solve the Waste Crisis

A deep dive into the petrochemical industry's proposals for the global plastics treaty..

Image for article titled Here's How the Plastic Industry Thinks We Can Solve the Waste Crisis

This story was originally published by Grist . Sign up for Grist’s weekly newsletter here . In the time it takes you to read this sentence — say, four seconds — the world produces nearly 60 metric tons of plastic, almost entirely out of fossil fuels. That’s about 53,000 metric tons an hour, 1.3 million metric tons a day, or 460 million metric tons a year . Those numbers are fueling widespread and growing contamination of Earth’s oceans, rivers, and the terrestrial environment with plastic trash. In March 2022, the United Nations’ 193 member states got together in Nairobi, Kenya, and agreed to do something about it. They pledged to negotiate a treaty to “end plastic pollution,” with the goal of delivering a final draft by 2025. The most ambitious vision espoused by member states in the negotiating sessions that have taken place so far would require petrochemical companies to stop making so much of the darn stuff by putting a cap on global plastic production. Given the existential threat this would pose to fossil fuel and chemical companies, you might expect them to be vociferously opposed to the treaty. Yet they claim to support the agreement. They’re even “ championing ” it, according to statements from a handful of industry groups. The American Chemistry Council has repeatedly “welcome[d]” progress on the treaty negotiations , while an executive from the International Council of Chemical Associations told Plastics Today in April that the industry is “ fully committed ” to supporting an agreement.

Suggested Reading

So what exactly do plastic-producing companies want from the treaty? To answer this question, Grist sifted through dozens of public statements and policy documents from five of the world’s largest petrochemical industry trade organizations, as well as two product-specific industry groups. These documents included press releases reacting to treaty negotiating sessions and longer position statements detailing the industry’s desired pathway to a “world without waste.”

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Much of what these groups have published is vague — many documents call for “targets,” for example, without saying what they should be. Grist reached out to all of the groups for clarification, but only two agreed to answer questions about the policies they support.

What we found is that, although they fall far short of what so-called “high-ambition” countries and advocacy groups would like to get out of the treaty, industry groups’ proposals to bolster recycling and waste collection could cause a significant reduction in mismanaged plastic waste — even in the absence of a cap on plastic production. According to a policy analysis tool developed by researchers at the University of California, the elements of the treaty that industry groups support, cobbled together, could cut global plastic pollution by 43 million metric tons annually by 2050 — a 36 percent reduction below business-as-usual estimates.

Read Next : UN plastics treaty inches closer to reality as lobbyists tout plastics’ ‘massive societal benefits’

Meanwhile, a realistic production cap could cut annual pollution by 48 million metric tons all by itself. Excluding a production cap from the treaty will make it much harder to rein in plastic pollution, said Douglas McCauley, an associate professor of biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and one of the creators of the policy tool. “It means you really have to ramp up your ambition on what some of the other policies would need to do,” he told Grist.

These numbers matter, because the plastic industry’s influence over the treaty negotiations seems to be growing stronger. At the most recent round of talks — held in Ottawa, Canada , at the end of April — nearly 200 petrochemical and fossil fuel lobbyists registered to attend . That’s 37 more than were registered for the previous session, and more than the number of representatives from European Union member states.

At the same time, several delegations promoted solutions on the industry’s terms. Malaysia warned about the unintended economic consequences of limiting plastic production, and India said the treaty should focus on pollution while considering plastics’ utility to modern society. Given the power of the plastics industry and the tendency of international negotiations to cater to the lowest common denominator, it’s possible that the treaty will strongly reflect these industry priorities.

How the industry sees the problem

To understand the industry position on the plastics treaty, it’s important to understand how plastic makers conceptualize the plastics crisis. While they agree that pollution is a scourge, they don’t think the solution is to reduce society’s production and use of plastic. After all, plastics come with myriad benefits. They’re inexpensive, lightweight, and widely used in important sectors like clean energy and medicine — their “unmatched properties and versatility have allowed for incredible innovations that conserve resources and make more things in life possible,” as the Plastics Industry Association has put it . America’s Plastic Makers, an arm of the American Chemistry Council, says policymakers should ensure that the material stays “ in our economy and out of our environment .”

The way to do this, according to industry groups, is through “plastics circularity,” a concept that seeks to keep the material in use for as long as possible before it’s thrown away. Generally, this means more recycling. But circularity can also refer to scaled-up systems allowing plastic to be reused, or better infrastructure for waste collection. As plastic makers see it, the plastic treaty’s function should be to increase circularity while retaining the social and economic benefits derived from plastic products.

Perhaps the biggest problem faced by circularity proponents is plastic’s abysmal recycling rate. At present, the world only recycles about 9 percent of all plastic it produces ; the rest gets sent to landfills or incinerators, or winds up as litter. What’s more, in most cases the material can only be reprocessed once or twice — if at all — before it has to be “downcycled” into lower-quality products like carpeting. Although some experts believe it’s impossible to recycle much more plastic due to technological and economic constraints, plastic makers say otherwise. Indeed, plastics circularity hinges on the possibility of a better recycling rate.

The industry’s first solution: Recycling targets

To that end, several industry groups — including the World Plastics Council, the self-described “ global voice of the plastics industry ” — are advocating for “ mandatory minimum recycling rates ” as part of the treaty, as well as higher targets for recycled content used in new products.

This could mean that countries, regions, or other jurisdictions would set legally binding quotas for the amount of plastic recycled within their borders and then converted into new items. Plastic makers typically favor targets that are set at the local or national level and that differentiate based on the type of plastic, since some types are harder to recycle than others.

Industry groups also want recycling targets to be “ technology-neutral ,” meaning they should count plastics processed through controversial “chemical recycling” techniques. Although these techniques do not yet work at scale , the industry says they will one day be able to break down mixed post-consumer plastic into their constituent polymers using high heat and pressure, and then turn those polymers back into new plastic products. Environmental experts oppose chemical recycling , pointing to evidence that it is primarily used to burn plastics or turn them into fuel .

The two policies — on plastics recycling and recycled content — could be mutually reinforcing, with the latter creating a more reliable market for the recycled material generated by the former. Ross Eisenberg, president of America’s Plastic Makers, told Grist via email that recycling and recycled content targets would “create demand signals and provide added certainty for companies to make additional investments for a circular economy, so more plastic products are reused or remade into new plastic products.”

According to Plastics Europe, the continent’s main plastic trade group, boosting the recycling rate would decrease countries’ dependence on fossil fuels used to make virgin plastics.

Plastics Europe and the World Plastics Council declined to be interviewed for this article. They did not respond to questions about their support for specific recycling and recycled content targets, although Plastics Europe has voiced support for “mandatory data and reporting objectives for all stages of the life cycle of the plastics system.” For the U.S., America’s Plastic Makers supports a 30 percent recycled content requirement in plastic packaging by 2030, and for 100 percent of plastic packaging to be “ reused, recycled, or recovered by 2040 .”

The industry’s second solution: Infrastructure and design changes

Additional policies supported by industry groups could indirectly facilitate an increase in the plastics recycling rate by raising money for recycling infrastructure. These policies typically involve systems for “extended producer responsibility,” or EPR, requiring companies that make and sell plastics to help pay for the collection and recycling of the waste they generate, as well as the cleanup of existing plastic pollution. Every industry group Grist reached out to says it supports EPR as a part of the treaty, although some specifically note in their policy documents that such policies should be adopted at the local or national level , rather than globally. Some groups, including the American Chemistry Council and Global Partners for Plastics Circularity — an umbrella group supported by a dozen plastics associations and companies — also call more vaguely for additional financing through “ public-private partnerships and blended finance .”

For plastic packaging — which accounts for about 36 percent of global plastic production — a European industry consortium called the Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging supports “ mandatory legislation on product design ” to make products easier to recycle. It doesn’t back any specific design elements, but points to ideas laid out by the Consumer Goods Forum , an industry-led network of consumer product retailers and manufacturers. These ideas include using clear instead of colored plastics, limiting the use of unnecessary plastic wrap, and ensuring that any adhesives or inks applied to plastic packaging don’t render it nonrecyclable. Plastics Europe additionally supports technical and design standards for biodegradable and compostable plastics intended to replace those made from fossil fuels.

Many groups also say they support targets for “pellet containment,” referring to the tiny plastic pieces that are melted down and shaped into larger items. These pellets are notorious for spilling out of manufacturing facilities or off of cargo ships and into waterways; in Europe, 20 truckloads of them escape into the environment every day. Several trade groups say in their public statements that they support an industry-led program called Operation Clean Sweep to help companies achieve “zero resin loss” by “fostering a venue for precompetitive collaboration and peer-learning opportunities.”

However, Operation Clean Sweep has been around since 1991 and has not yet achieved its goal; some policymakers have recently called for stricter regulations on plastic pellet loss .

The industry’s third solution: Application-based regulations

In addition to capping plastic production, many countries’ delegates — along with scientists and environmental groups — would like the treaty to ban or restrict some of the most problematic plastic polymers, as well as certain chemicals used in plastics. They call these “ chemicals and polymers of concern ,” meaning those least likely to be recycled, or most likely to damage people’s health and the environment. Potential candidates include polyvinyl chloride, widely used in water pipes, upholstery, toys, and other applications; expanded polystyrene, or EPS, the foamy plastic that’s often used in takeout food containers; and endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as phthalates, bisphenols, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances .

The general idea of identifying problematic chemicals and polymers in the plastics treaty is very popular; observers of the negotiations say it’s been one of the areas of greatest convergence among delegates. Industry groups are also supportive — but only of a very specific approach. According to the World Plastics Council, the treaty shouldn’t include “ arbitrary bans or restrictions on substances or materials ,” but rather regulations based on the “essential use and societal value” of particular types of plastic.

For instance, polystyrene used in packing peanuts and takeout containers is virtually never recycled and might be a good candidate for restriction. But the Global Expanded Polystyrene Sustainability Alliance — a trade group for EPS makers — points to evidence that, in Europe and Japan, the material can be recycled at least 30 percent of the time when it’s in a different format — namely, insulation for products like coolers, as well as big pieces used to protect fragile shipments.

In a press release , the group said this distinction in polystyrene formatting demonstrates the need to assess plastics’ “individual material applications and uses independently.”

“We’ve got five major types” of polystyrene, said Betsy Bowers, executive director of the Expanded Polystyrene Industry Alliance, a trade group representing the U.S. EPS market. “Some of them can be recycled, and some of them can’t.”

Plastics Europe has said an application-based approach could also consider plastic products on the basis of “ leakage ,” how easily the products become litter; the feasibility of redesigning them; or “effects on human or animal health.” That said, the organization does not support restricting plastic-related chemicals as part of the treaty, beyond what is already spelled out in existing international agreements like the Stockholm Convention . The International Council of Chemical Associations, whose members include individual chemical manufacturers and regional trade groups, does not support any chemical regulation as part of the treaty .

In an email to Grist, the American Chemistry Council said it supports a “decision-tree approach” to prevent specific plastic products from leaking into the environment. The organization said in a letter sent to President Joe Biden last May that it opposes “restrictions of trade in chemicals or polymers” because they would “make U.S. manufacturers less competitive and/or jeopardize the many benefits plastics provide to the economy and the environment.”

The International Council of Chemical Associations, the Plastics Industry Association, and the Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging initiative did not respond to Grist’s request to be interviewed for this story, or to questions about the policies they support.

The impact of the plastic industry’s favorite policies

While it’s clear that self-preservation is at the heart of the petrochemical industry’s agenda for the plastics treaty, the policies it supports could have a positive impact on plastic pollution. According to the policy analysis tool created by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Santa Barbara, a suite of ambitious policies to hit recycling and recycled content rates of 20 percent, reuse 60 percent of plastic packaging (where applicable), and dedicate $35 billion to plastics recycling and waste infrastructure could prevent 43 million metric tons of plastic pollution annually by midcentury. Most of this reduction would come from the infrastructure funding.

McCauley, one of the creators of the tool, said these policies are certainly better than nothing. They can bring the world “closer to a future without plastic pollution,” he told Grist, although he emphasized that recycling is not a silver bullet.

The policy tool takes for granted that higher recycling and recycled content rates are achievable, but this might not be the case. Bjorn Beeler, executive director and international coordinator for the nonprofit International Pollutants Elimination Network, said a 20 percent recycling rate would be “nearly impossible” to reach, given the relatively low cost of virgin plastic and the petrochemical industry’s projected expansion over the coming decades. Jan Dell, an independent chemical engineer and founder of the nonprofit The Last Beach Cleanup, estimated the maximum possible recycled content rate for consumer product packaging would be about 5 percent, due to insurmountable technological constraints related to plastics’ toxicity .

Experts tend to favor plastic production caps as a much faster, reliable, and more straightforward way to reduce plastic pollution than relying on recycling. According to McCauley’s policy tool, capping plastic production at the level reached in 2019 would prevent 48 million metric tons of annual plastic pollution by 2050 — even in the absence of any efforts to boost recycling or fund waste management. “It’s possible to be effective without the cap,” said Sam Pottinger, a senior research data scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, and a contributor to the policy tool. “But it requires a huge amount of effort elsewhere.”

There’s no reason the plastics treaty couldn’t incorporate a production cap in addition to the industry’s preferred recycling interventions. Some experts say this would form the most effective agreement; according to the policy tool, a production cap at 2019 levels plus the suite of recycling targets and funding for waste infrastructure could prevent nearly 78 million metric tons of annual plastic pollution by 2050. Bumping up the funding for recycling and waste infrastructure to an aggressive $200 billion, in combination with the production cap and other policies, would avert nearly 109 million metric tons of pollution each year.

“We need to use all of the tools in our toolbox,” said Zoie Diana, a postdoctoral plastics researcher at the University of Toronto who was not involved in creating the policy tool. She too emphasized, however, that governments should prioritize reducing plastic production.

What the industry doesn’t like to talk about

The case for a production cap goes beyond plastic litter concerns. It would also address the inequitable impact of toxic pollution from plastic manufacturing facilities, as well as the industry’s contribution to climate change. In April, a study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that plastic production already accounts for 5 percent of global climate pollution, and that by 2050 — given the petrochemical industry’s plans to dramatically ramp up plastic production — it could eat up one-fifth of the world’s remaining carbon budget, the amount of emissions the world can release while still limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). To achieve international climate goals, some environmental groups have estimated that the world must reduce plastic production by 12 to 17 percent every year starting in 2024.

“Whether the treaty includes plastic production cuts is not just a policy debate,” said Jorge Emmanuel, an adjunct professor at Silliman University in the Philippines, in a statement describing the mountains of plastic trash that are harming Filipino communities. “It’s a matter of survival.”

Petrochemical companies, for their part, do not deeply engage with these arguments — at least not in their public policy documents. They claim that plastics actually help mitigate climate change, since the lightweight material takes less fuel to transport than alternatives made of metal and glass. And industry groups’ public statements mostly do not address environmental justice concerns related to plastic use, production, and disposal, except to vaguely say that the treaty shouldn’t harm waste pickers — the millions of workers, most of them in the developing world, who make a living collecting plastic trash and selling it to recyclers.

The fifth and final round of negotiations for the plastics treaty is scheduled to take place in Busan, South Korea, this November. Although many observers, including a group of U.S. Congressional representatives and the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights , have called for conflict-of-interest policies to limit trade groups’ influence over the talks, these requests face long odds. The dozens of countries advocating for production limits may have to defend their proposals against an even larger industry presence than they did at the last session in Ottawa.

This article originally appeared in Grist at https://grist.org/accountability/petrochemical-industry-global-plastics-treaty-production-cap-recycling-policies/ . Grist is a nonprofit, independent media organization dedicated to telling stories of climate solutions and a just future. Learn more at Grist.org


What Problem Does Technology Help Schools Solve?

How can we properly evaluate education technology? What exactly should new tools improve or what exactly should they create?

by Terrell Heick

Will robots replace teachers?

I was asked this in an interview a years ago for Futurism and tried to offer up some abstract nonsense whose lack of clarity represented my own thinking:

“Will artificial intelligence replace teachers? Will the students themselves replace teachers through self-directed learning, social/digital communities, and adaptive technology?”

These might be the wrong questions, a product of our sentimentality as a culture and human insecurity in general. For example, if we say that robots can replace teachers, it is seen as a slight at teachers because we suggest that even simple, mindless machines can do what teachers do.

Of course, that’s not at all the point or truth.

That’s what’s confusing about new tools: they don’t improve things as much as they change them.

These questions are difficult to answer for other reasons, too, mainly because we are thinking about teaching and learning in terms of technology, automation, and the increasing the efficiency of teaching as it is instead of rethinking teaching as it might be.

But if we can ignore that time/space paradox and assume that the pace of social and technological change will continue to outpace change in education far, then technology can very well replace teachers as we think of them.

Will it be AI that does it? Again, today we think of AI independently and often emotionally and as an idea in the same way we used to think of electricity.

Or we think about ‘mobile devices’ today primarily in contrast to the previous tradition of ‘non-mobile technology.’ We can think of a smartphone as an improved wall phone rather than something else entirely.

What Problem Does Schools Solve?

Telephones solved the problem of needing to communicate across distances.

AI–is it solving a problem or creating something entirely new?

Technology, as a vague term, is often (though not always) created to solve a problem.

What problem were schools designed to address or solve?

What About Schools?

‘What do schools ‘do,’ and how might something else–a non-school–do it better?’

What else could current school s–as they are–do or be?

That would be a nice start, but that isn’t far enough. Move farther and ask, ‘What human need did we originally design schools to solve?’

That’s seeing school today as a solution.

What does a person need to know to live well in sustainable interdependence with the people and places around them and what’s the best way to help support and nurture that?

That’s seeing schools as they ideally might be tomorrow .

Should we measure the value of technology by how it improves the former or enables the latter?

What exactly should new tools improve or what exactly should they create ?

Founder & Director of TeachThought

'Build more houses' sure sounds great as a solution to the housing crisis, but a few key factors scream 'buyer beware'

Analysis 'Build more houses' sure sounds great as a solution to the housing crisis, but a few key factors scream 'buyer beware'

Anthony Albanese looks across the table at Peter Dutton during Question Time.

According to Abraham Maslow's famed "Hierarchy of Needs", human beings will act with urgency to address basic physiological requirements for survival (food, air, shelter, water and so on) before worrying about more existentially trifling issues, like whether they are actually happy or what they think of the Marvel franchise. 

In Maslow's theory, you only worry about the next level — they range up through safety, then belonging and love, then esteem, then cognitive well-being and so on — once you've satisfied the one before. 

The final level, the pointy bit of the pyramid with which Maslow's model is regularly depicted, is "Transcendence", which until recently in Australia involved buying a $15,000 light machine off Pete Evans .

The theory finds broad support in the current Australian political environment, where basic needs are absolutely front of mind: food, warmth, housing. 

These basic needs are all expensive, and getting more so, and the number of households finding themselves obliged to "pick any two" is on the way up .

But what is it about this last-mentioned need — housing — which lends itself historically to quite such crazed policy-making at the federal level?

Australia is in the grips of a legitimate housing crisis and yet the temptation for our leaders to deny the bleeding obvious, or make promises that are patently undeliverable, continues to prove too much for them.

This week marked the beginning of the five-year period over which the Albanese government has claimed its Housing Accord will deliver "1.2 million new, well-located homes". To achieve this target, we will need to build 240,000 new homes each year — or 20,000 a month.

This seems as good a time as any to evaluate the reliability of what politicians tell us about housing, and how they're going to make things better.

Let's break down the problem

The first thing to remember is that there are two very distinct groups of Australians with a keen interest in housing affordability: people who own homes already and people who don't but want to.

People who already own homes — especially those who bought them recently, and thus wake every day to the nauseous certainty that today is the day the property bubble will burst — want prices to keep growing.

People who want to buy a house, however, want prices to crash. Ideally precipitously, and for long enough for the interested party to relieve some distressed seller of a well-positioned three-bedder close to all facilities, before booming again. This is the Australian dream.

No politician can make both groups happy at once. So who wins? Let's look at the numbers.

Houses under construction on a bright, sunny day

In the 2021 Census, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that 67 per cent of Australian households were owner-occupied. So in the war of "do we want house prices to boom or bust", it's easy to see why no political leader who wants to survive is ever selling a "bust" model.

It's why, at state and federal levels, governments will periodically pretend that the best way to address the raging bin-fire of real property prices is to give first-home buyers money to spend. Arm them with their own personal can of accelerant, in other words.

Between 2012 and 2021, according to the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute , Australian governments spent $20 billion on assistance to first-home buyers.

Over that time, according to CoreLogic, house prices in Sydney doubled.

These types of measures are by no means out of favour, despite their hilariously predictable effects on the market. The Queensland Labor government doubled its first home buyer grant to $30,000 last September, and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton recently restated his policy of allowing first home buyers to use their super to buy a house.

The opposition's other "demand side" solutions to the housing crisis include banning foreigners from buying established houses at auction and cutting immigration numbers so there'll be less competition for the limited number of houses on offer.

The Albanese government, so far, has shown itself to be more interested in "supply side" solutions. Street name: "Build More Houses".

And it sounds great because it makes sense and you can and absolutely should wear high-vis and a hard hat while announcing such initiatives. Building more houses means people get jobs AND houses. And that's a win-win. Building 1.2 million new "well-located" houses in five years? C'mon Aussie! Let's go! 

But the strong denial-of-the-bleeding-obvious tradition around housing policy in this country does not stop at political leaders squirting accelerant onto the bonfire of house prices and acting all surprised when it works.

And there are several bleedingly obvious factors that mean, even with the best will in the world, it is highly unlikely that in five years' time, Australians will be carrying each other over the thresholds of 1.2 million new, well-located homes.

Why 1.2 million homes are unlikely to happen

The last time Australia got even close to building 240,000 new homes in a single year was 2017, when we built 223,563.

As property analyst Cameron Kusher noted this week , that was back when interest rates were still sitting pleasantly at 1.5 per cent. Today, interest rates are at 4.5 per cent and there is a watching brief on Reserve Bank governor Michele Bullock's eyebrows, lest even their merest twitch betray an intention to raise them further.

Meanwhile, construction companies — especially the mid-tier types that build medium-density apartment buildings — are dropping like flies.

By March, according to ASIC, 1,913 construction companies had so far gone bust this financial year. Three times as many as at the comparable point in 2021/22.

A close up shot of Anthony Albanese in Question Time.

Why? Because banks aren't financing these companies the way they used to. Because a bunch of them got caught up in fixed-price projects during COVID, and now can't afford to carry them out.

Also, because building materials are about a third more expensive than they were before the pandemic.

Also, because there is an acute labour shortage of tradies, owing in part to the decline in apprenticeships. There were 376,800 in 2012, and only 134,800 by 2020. Australia's tradie workforce is aging and overworked.

What's the solution?

Well. We could import more skilled labour from overseas. But Dutton doesn't want to do that because they'd be competition at house auctions, and the Albanese government last year expressly excluded tradies from its new super-expedited visa scheme .

Unions don't love importing labour, and the Albanese government doesn't love offending unions.

And one last conundrum

One of the other strands to this infuriating knot is the whole idea of "well-located" homes.

Gone are the halcyon days of the 1970s, when vast tracts of developable land were to be had within an easy commute of city centres.

These days, well-located, medium-density housing usually entails careful planning. And guess what Australia also lacks? Yep, town planners.

Matt Collins, the Planning Institute of Australia's chief executive, recently warned that there are now 232 local government areas in Australia where no planners are working at all. "This is 43 per cent of all local government areas," he said, in an update posted to LinkedIn.

Bond University has recently announced the closure of its planning school; James Cook University is set to follow suit.

There's no doubt that the Albanese government is pouring energy and attention into addressing the issue central to this housing crisis. And "Build more houses!" is an eminently saleable proposition.

But a detailed title search on this attractive electoral property leaves many questions unanswered.

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New report indicates australia will miss target of 1.2 million new homes by 2029.

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A housing crisis freight train is coming — and one question must be answered by the government and the Coalition

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Median income earners pushed out of property market amid 'astronomical' price growth

Houses under construction in the background with building materials in the foreground

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The Supreme Court says cities can punish people for sleeping in public places

Jennifer Ludden at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018. (photo by Allison Shelley)

Jennifer Ludden

U.S. Supreme Court says cities can punish people for sleeping in public places

A homeless person walks near an elementary school in Grants Pass, Ore., on March 23. The rural city became the unlikely face of the nation's homelessness crisis when it asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold its anti-camping laws.

A homeless person walks near an elementary school in Grants Pass, Ore., on March 23. The rural city became the unlikely face of the nation's homelessness crisis when it asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold its anti-camping laws. Jenny Kane/AP hide caption

In its biggest decision on homelessness in decades, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that cities can ban people from sleeping and camping in public places. The justices, in a 6-3 decision along ideological lines, overturned lower court rulings that deemed it cruel and unusual under the Eighth Amendment to punish people for sleeping outside if they had nowhere else to go.

Writing for the majority, Justice Gorsuch said, “Homelessness is complex. Its causes are many.” But he said federal judges do not have any “special competence” to decide how cities should deal with this.

“The Constitution’s Eighth Amendment serves many important functions, but it does not authorize federal judges to wrest those rights and responsibilities from the American people and in their place dictate this Nation’s homelessness policy,” he wrote.

In a dissent, Justice Sotomayor said the decision focused only on the needs of cities but not the most vulnerable. She said sleep is a biological necessity, but this decision leaves a homeless person with “an impossible choice — either stay awake or be arrested.”

The court's decision is a win not only for the small Oregon city of Grants Pass, which brought the case, but also for dozens of Western localities that had urged the high court to grant them more enforcement powers as they grapple with record high rates of homelessness. They said the lower court rulings had tied their hands in trying to keep public spaces open and safe for everyone.

Supreme Court appears to side with an Oregon city's crackdown on homelessness

Supreme Court appears to side with an Oregon city's crackdown on homelessness

But advocates for the unhoused say the decision won’t solve the bigger problem, and could make life much harder for the quarter of a million people living on streets, in parks and in their cars. “Where do people experiencing homelessness go if every community decides to punish them for their homelessness?” says Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Today’s ruling only changes current law in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes California and eight other Western states where the bulk of America’s unhoused population lives. But it will also determine whether similar policies elsewhere are permissible; and it will almost certainly influence homelessness policy in cities around the country.

Cities complained they were hamstrung in managing a public safety crisis

Grants Pass and other cities argued that lower court rulings fueled the spread of homeless encampments, endangering public health and safety. Those decisions did allow cities to restrict when and where people could sleep and even to shut down encampments – but they said cities first had to offer people adequate shelter.

That’s a challenge in many places that don’t have nearly enough shelter beds. In briefs filed by local officials, cities and town also expressed frustration that many unhoused people reject shelter when it is available; they may not want to go if a facility bans pets, for example, or prohibits drugs and alcohol.

Critics also said lower court rulings were ambiguous, making them unworkable in practice. Localities have faced dozens of lawsuits over the details of what’s allowed. And they argued that homelessness is a complex problem that requires balancing competing interests, something local officials are better equipped to do than the courts.

"We are trying to show there's respect for the public areas that we all need to have," Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison told NPR earlier this year. She wrote a legal brief on behalf of more than a dozen other cities. "We care for people, and we're engaging and being involved in the long-term solution for them."

The decision will not solve the larger problem of rising homelessness

Attorneys for homeless people in Grants Pass argued that the city’s regulations were so sweeping, they effectively made it illegal for someone without a home to exist. To discourage sleeping in public spaces, the city banned the use of stoves and sleeping bags, pillows or other bedding. But Grants Pass has no public shelter, only a Christian mission that imposes various restrictions and requires people to attend religious service.

"It's sort of the bare minimum in what a just society should expect, is that you're not going to punish someone for something they have no ability to control," said Ed Johnson of the Oregon Law Center, which represents those who sued the city.

He also said saddling people with fines and a criminal record makes it even harder for them to eventually get into housing.

Johnson and other advocates say today’s decision won’t change the core problem behind rising homelessness: a severe housing shortage, and rents that have become unaffordable for a record half of all tenants. The only real solution, they say, is to create lots more housing people can afford – and that will take years.

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For Boeing, Buying Spirit Is Only The Start Of Solving Its Problems

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Boeing 737 Max fuselages manufactured by Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas, are transported on a BSNF train heading west over the Bozeman Pass in Montana en route to the Boeing assembly plant in Renton, Washington.

B oeing is bringing production of its plane fuselages back in-house. The aerospace giant announced early Monday it had agreed to acquire its largest supplier, Spirit AeroSystems, in an $8.3 billion deal, including debt, 19 years after it had spun out the operation. It may be the best of bad options for the embattled companies, industry experts told Forbes , but it will take Boeing years to straighten out the money-losing supplier and the quality problems that have bedeviled both of them.

“This is a lot like two drunk guys at a bar saying I'm too drunk to drive home,” said Cliff Collier, an aerospace consultant. “And then one of them says, ‘I know, we'll get in the same car and go together.’ This is not going to solve either company's problems.”

Improving Spirit operations and integrating them with Boeing’s will be complicated, and Boeing executives have to do so while absorbed with a host of other problems. Chief among them is manufacturing quality: In January, a panel made by Spirit blew out of a Boeing 737 Max operated by Alaska airlines mid-flight, prompting scrutiny by regulators. A federal investigation into the accident preliminarily found that the panel had been removed at a Boeing factory to fix rivets that had been misinstalled by Spirit workers, and then put back in place without four retaining bolts.

It’s unclear that Boeing’s current management has a solid grip on how to improve quality, some say. “It's not like Boeing has a world-class operating system that they can just drop in on Spirit. Boeing's operating system has the same problem Spirit’s does,” said Collier.

CEO David Calhoun touted the deal Monday as “one of the most significant” the company has taken to strengthen quality. “This is an opportunity to bring back critical airplane manufacturing work on Boeing airplanes into our factories – where Boeing and Spirit world-class engineers and mechanics can work seamlessly together, focused on a common mission to build safe and quality airplanes for our customers.”

In 2005, as part of a campaign to outsource parts production for its planes, Boeing sold off to private equity the factory in Wichita, Kansas, that built the fuselages for the 737, its best-selling plane, as well as body parts of other aircraft. Spirit expanded to make structures for other companies, most notably Airbus, but it struggled to build a sustainable business. Most aerospace suppliers make fat profits from selling spare parts for repairs, something that isn’t a possibility with fuselages because they’re expected to last the life of the aircraft.

Spirit’s financial position worsened when Boeing halted production of the 737 Max in January 2020 after two deadly crashes in the previous two years. Then the Covid pandemic froze aircraft demand more broadly. But Spirit has had to carry the expense of maintaining capacity for higher production rates than Boeing could take. By 2023, Boeing was forced to inject cash into Spirit to keep it afloat.

As part of the deal, Airbus will also be paid $559 million to take over unprofitable units of Spirit that make parts for the European planemaker.

There may be some cost savings from combining the two companies. If Spirit were producing at a full rate of 50 737 fuselages a month, instead of around 30 now, it could earn a profit of roughly $1.5 million on each, Melius Research estimates. Eliminating that markup would save Boeing $900 million a year.

But it will be hard to find synergies in their supply chains, said Collier. And it will take time for Boeing to switch Spirit over to its systems for managing day-to-day operations and HR. Meanwhile Spirit machinists’ collective bargaining agreement, which is based on Spirit’s current operating methods and runs until June 2027, will make it harder for Boeing to harmonize how their factories run.

“To some degree Boeing's going to have to be hands off for a couple years because it's too hard to try to integrate them right now,” said Collier. “But then you ask yourself, okay, then how's Boeing fixing Spirit?”

Green Workers, Red Ink

One of the key problems at Spirit, Boeing and the broader aerospace sector, observers say, is a deep loss of experience on the assembly line during the pandemic, when companies shed tens of thousands of workers amid a deep freeze in aviation.

Amid a strong rebound in the manufacturing job market nationwide, aerospace companies only got 20% to 30% of furloughed workers to come back, analyst Scott Mikus of Melius Research estimates, compared to 70% to 80% in prior downturns.

Boeing has expanded its training for new employees, but even the best training is only the start in building airplanes, said Collier. The production rates of planes are low compared to cell phones or cars, so aerospace assembly workers aren’t doing the same repetitive tasks many times a day like their compatriots at higher-volume manufacturers, he said, and tend to perform a broader range of work with more tools. “It still takes a couple of years to really get good at assembly in aerospace, no matter what you do [in initial training],” Collier said.

Experience is particularly important on the 737 Max, the latest version of a plane that debuted in the 1960s. It’s largely handmade, with Spirit and Boeing workers manually drilling and filling hundreds of thousands of holes. Misdrilled holes have been flagged on more 737 Max planes than just the Alaska model .

Spirit CEO Pat Shanahan has touted adding more automation on the assembly line as the key. “That is the fundamental solution to zero defects,” he said on an earnings call in February.

Automation will help to an extent, but it will take time and only go so far, observers say. “It’ll be a multi-year thing” to get the machines from manufacturers and integrate them into Spirit’s operations, said Mikus.

The antiquated nature of the 737 will limit how much of the work can be turned over to industrial robots, said Collier. “You're probably doing good to get 60% automated. So you’ve still got to drill tens of thousands of holes.”

Boeing will now also be saddled with supporting Spirit’s suppliers, who are also struggling after investing to raise production rates at Boeing’s behest, only to be stuck with idle capacity as the plane maker has struggled to follow through on its plans.

“If they could turn on the Max machine and get to [40 or 50 planes per month], none of these cash issues would be a problem,” said Richard Aboulafia, a managing director at AeroDynamic Advisory. “It's just a giant self-inflicted wound.”

Boeing has a slate of its own problems. Its board is searching for a new CEO to replace Calhoun, who has pledged to exit by the end of the year. (Spirit CEO Shanahan, who used to work at Boeing, is believed to be a candidate.) The U.S. Department of Justice is reportedly set to bring fraud charges against the company after determining it violated the terms of a 2021 deferred prosecution agreement over the two Max crashes. And the union that represents its assembly workers in Washington State has scheduled a vote for next month to authorize leadership to call a strike amid negotiations for a new contract. (If Boeing’s machinists in Washington state win a fat contract, that could spark discontent among Spirit workers over the terms of their deal, points out Collier.)

At Spirit, separating the operations that Airbus will take over is a complicated headache of its own. Meanwhile, Spirit has built up a defense business that makes structures for Boeing competitors – most notably the fuselage of the in-development B-21 bomber for Northrop Grumman. It’s possible that defense companies will have concerns about Boeing gaining access to their intellectual property, said Mikus.

However, Aboulafia said a change in leadership to executives focused more on manufacturing than financial results could go a long way to helping Boeing solve its problems.

The C-suite failures at Boeing “paradoxically fills me with hope,” he said. “If you have leaders that show up in factories and are engaged in the actual business of building and designing planes, it can get much better very fast.”

Jeremy Bogaisky

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Anthropic CEO says we need to think bigger than a universal basic income if we want to solve the AI inequality problem

  • Some fear that rapid advances in AI may concentrate power and wealth among a small elite.
  • Anthropic CEO Dario Amodei says a universal basic income may not sufficiently address such a shift.
  • He says there needs to be a broader economic reorganization.

Insider Today

The rapid advances in AI could consolidate power and wealth in the hands of a small few , which is why many in the tech industry have called for a universal basic income.

But some AI leaders say even UBI, a recurring cash payment to those in a given population regardless of their wealth or employment status, wouldn't be enough.

"I certainly think that's better than nothing," Anthropic CEO Dario Amodei told Time. "But I would much prefer a world in which everyone can contribute. It would be kind of dystopian if there are these few people that can make trillions of dollars, and then the government hands it all out to the unwashed masses."

Amodei, a former OpenAI employee, launched Anthropic in 2021 with his sister, Daniela, and five other OpenAI colleagues. They believed AI would have a dramatic impact on the world and wanted to build a company that would ensure it was aligned with human values. Amodei described the company to Time as one focused on "public benefit."

Many in the tech industry have expressed support for universal basic income to mitigate the economic impact of AI. The idea is that it would act as a safety net for people whose jobs have been threatened by the technology.

But Amodei suggests that AI will alter society in such a fundamental way that we need to design a more comprehensive solution. "I think in the long run, we're really going to need to think about how do we organize the economy and how humans think about their lives?" He doesn't have the answer, he said, in part because he believes it needs to be a "conversation among humanity."

Amodei isn't the only one thinking beyond universal basic income. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, while a vocal proponent of it, has also proposed the idea of a " universal basic compute ." The idea is that as large language models advance, owning a slice of one will be more valuable than money.

Watch: Why "deployment of AI is top of mind for everybody," according to IBM's Jonathan Adashek

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    Try making a hair and scalp mask using the gel. Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial properties, so it may fight fungal infections that contribute to dandruff. Try mixing a few drops with water, and rinsing it though your hair and scalp.

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    Applying tea tree oil directly on the scalp can cause inflammation or rashes, so people interested in using tea tree oil to treat dandruff can start by adding a few drops to their regular shampoo ...

  5. Dandruff

    Symptoms. Dandruff signs and symptoms may include: Skin flakes on your scalp, hair, eyebrows, beard or mustache, and shoulders. Itchy scalp. Scaly, crusty scalp in infants with cradle cap. The signs and symptoms may be more severe if you're stressed, and they tend to flare in cold, dry seasons.

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    Crush two aspirin and mix them with your shampoo, then shampoo your hair. Let it sit for 2 minutes then rinse it out. Aspirin contains s alicylic acid, an ingredient in some dandruff shampoos ...

  7. How to Get Rid of Dandruff: An Expert Guide

    Baking soda acts as an exfoliant, helping to remove excess skin cells and reduce itching. It also helps balance the pH level of the scalp. To use baking soda for dandruff, mix a tablespoon of baking soda with water to form a paste. Apply the paste to the scalp for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Repeat this process once a week for best ...

  8. How to Get Rid of Dandruff: The 10 Best Dandruff Treatments

    Apple cider vinegar. Coconut oil. Salicylic acid. Reducing refined sugar. Tea tree oil. Medical treatment. Summary. There are many different methods for treating dandruff, from medications, like steroids, to home remedies, such as baking soda and tea tree oil. Dandruff is a common condition.

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    Treatment. The itching and flaking of dandruff can almost always be controlled. For mild dandruff, first try regular cleansing with a gentle shampoo to reduce oil and skin cell buildup. If that doesn't help, try a medicated dandruff shampoo. Some people can tolerate using a medicated shampoo two to three times a week, with regular shampooing on ...

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    Try tea tree oil products. "Tea tree oil is another ingredient found in dandruff shampoos. It has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties," says King. One study found that using shampoo that contained tea tree oil was an effective way to improve mild to moderate dandruff 1.

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    5. Try Some Hair Oil. "Oil-based treatments can help to balance some of the scalp's excessive oil production," says Dr. Weiser. "Applying oils to the scalp will help draw oils from it and remove them. It's the classic law of attraction, where like substances attract each other.".

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    Sheel massages it into her scalp and leaves it on for 45 minutes to an hour. Then, she washes her hair with lukewarm water. After that, she shampoos and conditions her hair as usual. She began to see less dandruff after using this three times. Drinking cilantro and tamarind juice has helped, as well.

  15. 15 Home Remedies To Cure Dandruff Naturally

    This is one of the easiest ways in which you can cure dandruff naturally at home. 11. Basil Leaves: Image Source: freepik.com. Basil leaves are one of the natural remedies for dandruff. This is because these leaves have antifungal and antibacterial properties that can cure you of heavy dandruff.

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    Filtering out the minerals and using gentle sulfate-free cleansers can decrease hard water's unpleasant effects. Which means you can spend the winter admiring the flakes you see on the ground and not on your shoulders. Selsun Blue Medicated with Menthol Dandruff Shampoo. $8. Buy at Target.

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    Infuse vinegar with nourishing and anti-microbial herbs like rosemary, Pau d'Arco, and oregano for an extra punch of dandruff-fighting power. To infuse the vinegar, add 1/4 cup of the desired herbs to a pint-size glass jar, then fill the rest with vinegar. Store in a cool dark place, shaking every day for 2-4 weeks.

  19. Dandruff

    How to treat dandruff yourself. Use an anti-dandruff shampoo to treat dandruff. There are several different types you can buy from pharmacies or supermarkets. Look for a shampoo that contains 1 of these ingredients: zinc pyrithione; salicylic acid; selenium sulphide (or selenium sulfide) ketoconazole; coal tar; A pharmacist can tell you how to ...

  20. How To Get Rid Of Dandruff & Causes

    Scalp brush for dandruff. Another method of tackling dandruff is by using a scalp brush. This is something that you can use while you are washing your hair or whilst applying hair oil. This helps to remove the dandruff build-up on your scalp by loosening dry flakes and brushing them out of the hair. They also help to reduce the amount of ...

  21. What is dandruff and how to treat it? Guide to treat the hair problem

    Let's explore how to treat mild and severe dandruff cases. Treatment options for regular or mild dandruff One of the biggest myths about treating flaky hair is deep hair oiling with coconut oil or ...

  22. Here's How the Plastic Industry Thinks We Can Solve the Waste Crisis

    How the industry sees the problem To understand the industry position on the plastics treaty, it's important to understand how plastic makers conceptualize the plastics crisis.

  23. What Problem Does Technology Help Schools Solve?

    What problem were schools designed to address or solve? 'What do schools 'do,' and how might something else-a non-school-do it better?' What else could current schools-as they are-do or be? That would be a nice start, but that isn't far enough. Move farther and ask, 'What human need did we originally design schools to solve?'

  24. 'Build more houses' sure sounds great as a solution to the housing

    Let's break down the problem. The first thing to remember is that there are two very distinct groups of Australians with a keen interest in housing affordability: people who own homes already and ...

  25. Supreme Court allows punishment for homeless sleeping : NPR

    But advocates for the unhoused say the decision will do nothing to solve the larger problem. National. The Supreme Court says cities can punish people for sleeping in public places.

  26. Boeing's $8.3B Spirit Deal Is Only The Start Of Solving Its Problems

    In 2005, as part of a campaign to outsource parts production for its planes, Boeing sold off to private equity the factory in Wichita, Kansas, that built the fuselages for the 737, its best ...

  27. Haredi 'Normalization' May Solve the Conscription Problem

    When the Knesset passed the 2023-24 budget in May 2023 and its unprecedented handouts to the community, it looked like the Haredi juggernaut was unstoppable. Its rapid population growth and its disciplined voters, together with its alliance with the right and far right, seemed to ensure it would have the political power to tap the sources of the state forever to subsidize the community.

  28. AI-Enhanced Garbage Bins Aim to Solve Food Service's Waste Problem

    Restaurants, buffets and caterers looking to cut down on food waste have a new tool at their disposal: AI-powered waste bins. Leanpath Inc., Winnow Solutions Ltd. and Orbisk B.V. are among the ...

  29. My husband died by suicide. How would I tell our young children?

    The cop's response began with a gesture of his head. I saw it start to move, slowly, up and then down. As it did, mine began to shift too, rotating to the right, to the left and back, almost ...

  30. Anthropic CEO Says We'll Need More Than UBI to Solve Inequality

    Anthropic CEO says we need to think bigger than a universal basic income if we want to solve the AI inequality problem. Lakshmi Varanasi. 2024-06-23T21:17:26Z An curved arrow pointing right. Share ...