Ayurvedic remedies for dandruff

How to cure dandruff with Ayurveda

how to remove dandruff with Ayurveda

What is dandruff?

Dandruff is a flaky white skin peeling off the scalp. This flaky skin may even be seen sometimes over the shoulders on clothes or the forehead.

According to Ayurveda, dandruff is a type of Vata and Kapha related skin disorder. The aggravated Vata dries off the scalp's topmost layer, causing the skin to lose its structural integrity and flaking off. Aggravated Kapha causes excessive oiliness in the scalp that leads to dandruff.

The condition is generally non-infectious.

What causes dandruff?

Several factors are attributing to the formation of dandruff. Some of them are mentioned here.

1. Overuse of harsh chemicals on the scalp

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS and SLES) dries the hair and scalp and clogs the hair follicles, causing dandruff.
  • Diethanolamine and Triethanolamine - causes skin allergy and also dries up the scalp.
  • Silicones in the shampoo prevents moisture and nutrition from penetrating the scalp and hair shaft.
  • Polyethylene Glycol strips the hair of its natural oil.

2. Poor hair hygiene.

Maintenance of hair and scalp hygiene is essential to remove the dead skin, dirt, and excess oil. The oil built up in the scalp leads to itching, irritation and dandruff. Not washing the hair only makes the problem worse.

3. Fungal infections of the scalp

A fungus known as Malassezia furfur is a lipid loving fungus that feeds on the sedimented oil in the scalp. It breaks the oil molecules into fatty acids. This group of fungi causes scaling of the scalp and an itchy scalp and is one of the main causes of dandruff. This fungus can also affect eyebrows, moustache or beard, causing the same symptoms.

4. Skin diseases like seborrheic dermatitis/psoriasis of the scalp

Non- infectious Skin diseases like seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis of the scalp cause scaling of the superficial skin of the scalp, ears and even nape of the neck that may mimic dandruff. It may also often be associated with dandruff.

5. Stress

Stress is one of the significant reasons of dandruff. Stress triggers and worsens flaking of the scalp, especially if you are already prone to dandruff.

Stress increases the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals that can compromise the scalp's barrier function, causing dandruff.

Stressing about hair fall and dandruff can also lead to more hair fall and dandruff in the scalp.

6. Diet and Lifestyle

According to Ayurveda, a diet that is either too dry or excessively oily can alter the sebum production by the hair follicles leading to dandruff. A dry diet means increased consumption of drying food like Bread, food containing baking soda and refined flour.

Lifestyle habits like irregular sleeping hours, not applying adequate oil over the scalp, poor scalp hygiene, regular use of harsh hair styling products may also cause dandruff.

Types of Dandruff

1. Dry skin Dandruff: This type of dandruff is very common during the winter months due to the cold weather. Also, indoor heating may dry up the scalp. Washing hair with warm water also leads to drying of the scalp, causing dandruff. Excessive shampooing of the scalp, harsh chemicals, and not applying adequate oil to the scalp also lead to dry skin dandruff.

2. Oily skin Dandruff: Oily skin Dandruff is due to the excessive production of sebum in the scalp. The hair follicles opening into the scalp's surface secrete sebum that helps to moisturise the skin of the scalp. Excessive production by the sebaceous gland may lead to hardening and clumping of the excess oil, leading to dandruff. These particles will look big and oily than the dry skin dandruff particles.

Can dandruff cause hair fall?

how to stop hairfall with Ayurveda

Dandruff does not directly cause hair fall. However, there are certain events that dandruff triggers that cause hair fall.

  1. The itching of the scalp can lead to scratching that can weaken the hair follicle and hair breakage that causes hair fall due to dandruff.
  2. Excess oil clumping on the surface of the scalp leads prevents the hair follicle from getting the proper nutrition that may lead to hair loss.
  3. Even though the rate at which your hair grows is not affected whether or not you have dandruff, it may damage the hair's keratin, leading to relatively less healthy hair. Hence dandruff could also be a hair fall reason.

Symptoms of dandruff as mentioned in Ayurvedic texts

The main sign of having dandruff is an itchy and flaky scalp. Then there is hair fall, hair breakage and dryness in the scalp. There might also be numbness, pricking sensation and burning of the scalp.

How to remove dandruff?

Here, I give you some easy home remedies to cure dandruff.

Fenugreek seeds are a wonder drug when it comes to treating dandruff. Methi seeds (Trigonella foenum) are rich in protein and nicotinic acid that helps get rid of dandruff. Here are some ways you can use methi at home.

Aloe vera pulp and Methi seeds

  • Applying a paste of soaked methi seeds and aloe vera pulp causes hydration of the scalp. Apply this paste once or twice a month for 30 mins and wash it off with a paraben and SLS free shampoo.
  • Methi powder can also be mixed with sour curd and applied to the scalp. The bacteria in the curd helps to get rid of dandruff.
  • Hair oil made with Methi, Bhringaraj, and Amla effectively gives your tresses a smooth texture, ideal for strengthening hair and reducing premature damage and dandruff.
  • Hair masks containing Methi, Bhringaraj and Amla hydrates the scalp and provide ample moisturisation and growth with intense haircare treatment and remove dandruff.

Homemade hair packs for dandruff

Home remedies for dandruff

1. Coconut milk and banana hair pack

Things you need:

Coconut milk (thick)- 1 cup


  • Blend both the ingredients together, making it a smooth paste.
  • Apply it to the roots and along the whole length of the hair.
  • Tie your hair with a towel dipped in warm water
  • Wash with a mild shampoo after 20- 30 minutes to remove dandruff.

2. Yogurt, banana and honey hair pack

Things you need:

Yogurt- 1/4 cup


Honey-1 tsp

Tea tree oil - 2 drops

  • Blend all the ingredients together, making it a smooth paste.
  • Apply it to the roots and along the whole length of the hair.
  • Tie your hair with a towel dipped in warm water.
  • Wash with a mild shampoo after 30 minutes. This hair pack is very effective for hair fall control.

3. Vinegar and baking powder hair mask for oily dandruff

Things you need:

Vinegar - 20 ml

Baking powder - 1 tsp

  • Mix both the ingredients together and apply them to the scalp.
  • Let the mixture stay for 15-20 minutes and wash with a mild shampoo.

4. Lemon and baking powder hair mask

Things you need:

Lemon juice - 20 ml

Baking powder - 1 tsp

  • Mix the juice of lemon and baking soda together and apply to the scalp massaging with your fingertips.
  • Let the mixture stay for 15-20 minutes and wash with a mild shampoo.
5. Tea tree oil hair massage

Things you need:

Tea tree oil - 2 to3 drops

Any carrier oil (coconut oil/ olive oil/ almond oil) - 20 ml.

  • Combine tea tree essential oil with any carrier oil and apply to the scalp.
  • Let this stay on the scalp for 15 minutes and wash with a mild shampoo.

Dandruff treatment in Ayurveda includes applying hair oils mixed with herbs like Bhringaraj, methi, amla, Triphala etc., to the scalp.

  • Shirodhara and Shirobasti, and Ayurvedic scalp treatments where a stream of lukewarm oil is poured slowly over the forehead and scalp. In Shirobasti treatment, Lukewarm hair oil is made to stagnate over the scalp. These treatments are done continuously for 7- 14 days to see remarkable results. These treatments also help in regulating stress.
  • Ayurveda also believes that dandruff is a result of accumulated toxins in the digestive system. Intake of 1 tsp Triphala Churna at night regularly cleanses the gut and prevents dandruff.
  • Intake of Ayurvedic herbs to cleanse the liver like Bhumiamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri) and Bhringaraj (Eclipta alba) helps to get rid of dandruff.

Diet changes to cure dandruff

  • Intake of 1 tsp ghee on an empty stomach in the morning lubricates each cell and cures dandruff.
  • Drinking 2-3 litres of water daily keeps the scalp hydrated and prevents dandruff. Water intake also helps the body to flush out toxins.
  • Avoid consumption of mutually contradictory foodstuffs like milk and fish or milk with salt or heated honey. This may sound silly to you. But intake of such foodstuff causes diminished Agni and causes dryness in the body leading to dandruff or any skin related issues.

Lifestyle changes to prevent dandruff

  • Avoid exposure to direct sunlight. Wear a hat or hold an umbrella while walking in the sun.
  • Avoid using indoor heating devices that can dry your scalp.
  • Excess alcohol intake also can dry your skin and cause dandruff.

Anti-dandruff shampoo

Consider these points when you use a shampoo for dandruff:

  1. Choose a paraben and sulfate-free shampoo.
  2. Avoid shampoos that dry your hair. Go for herbal shampoos.
  3. Use anti-dandruff shampoo only twice a week. Use your regular shampoo otherwise. Methi, Bhringaraj Amla shampoo is the best anti-dandruff shampoo. It also makes your hair silky and lustrous.

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