Back in Middle school, I had a dandruff problem. Like ridiculous, brush my head and a fine snow fell upon my shoulders, belly, and any other surface within gravity’s reach. Part of the problem was not showering everyday, while another problem was the pyramid scheme shampoo that we had been using. Either way, I’m reasonably certain that the advice here will help you control it, and not suffer through the ignominy of my middle school years.

Dandruff is most often caused by dry skin and is often worse in the colder months. When the dry, dead skin cells flake off, it can make your hair and clothing look like they got caught in a snowstorm. The good news is that dandruff is not contagious and can usually be treated easily, quickly and affordably. Before you resign yourself to an all-white wardrobe, read on for tips on how to treat and prevent this common problem.

Common Causes of Dandruff

  • Dry skin (often caused by cold weather)
  • Infection of the Fungal variety
  • Overuse of hair products
  • Skin, either oily or irritated
  • Too much saturated fat in your diet
  • Not often enough hair-washing
  • Hormones
  • Skin conditions

Best Ways to Get Rid of Dandruff

Anti-Dandruff Shampoos

Most of us who suffer from dandruff can relieve that suffering by using an anti-dandruff shampoo a few times a week. For me, I need to shower every day with it. Depends on your scalp, really. Try different ones until you find that works! I personally use Head & Shoulders 2 in 1 (sold at Amazon) myself.

Vigorously rub your scalp

When you’re in the shower, lathering up our hair, massage your scalp for about 30-60 seconds. This will loosen up some skin cells that will then get scrubbed off. Don’t rub too hard, though, otherwise you’ll pull out your hair.

Follow the shampoo instructions

There’s a reason they say lather, rinse, repeat on the shampoo instructions. Usually what happens is that the dandruff gets loosened the first shampoo, and the second will allow some deep cleanin’. You should wait with the shampoo on your head after you later and before you rinse, though. That will help the shampoo work it’s magic. Once dandruff is under control, you may not have to repeat any longer.

Visit a dermatologist

If you’ve tried every shampoo on the market, and have spent at least 6 weeks trying to get the stuff to work (or if your scalp is REALLY itchy), then it’s time to see a doctor. Your dermatologist will help figure out if the dandruff is a symptom of a different skin condition. They also may prescribe medicated shampoo to help you get rid of dandruff.

Easy Ways to Prevent Dandruff

Watch what you eat

The healthier your diet, the better your hair. Overall health is often ignored, but if you’re getting things like such as zinc, B-complex vitamins and essential fatty acids that will reflect in healthy hair. Try eating a bit more fish and fresh produce to go this route. Obviously cut back on the bad stuff like sugar.

Use less hair gunk

The more stuff you put in your hair, the more it will build up. The more build up, obviously, the more stuff will start flaking off. You’ll want to watch things that dry out your scalp, too…try to avoid overuse of dyes and hair dryers.

Take in some rays

Some folks have suggested that taking in Vitamin D by sitting in the sun for about 10-15 minutes a day may prevent dandruff. The vitamin helps reduce the symptoms of a variety of skin disorders.

Varieties of Effective Anti-Dandruff Shampoos

Zinc pyrithione

Zinc pyrithione kills fungus and bacteria, which tend to cause dandruff. This is the main ingredient in a lot of anti-dandruff shampoos.

Coal tar-based

Coal tar-based shampoos help prevent skin cells from dying and then flaking off. Because of this, it will obviously slow the dandruff appearance. It is often used in creams and lotions that treat psoriasis.

Selenium sulfide

Selenium sulfide is the main ingredient found in shampoos that cause your scalp to tingle. It reduces fungus and helps slow down skin cell death. Th eproblem, though, is that it can sometimes cause a yellowish tinge to show up in ligher colored hair. Rinsing thoroughly will help.

Salicylic acid/sulfur

These shampoos help the skin shed the dead cells, so it helps reduce dandruff after using. It works by causing the dead cells to clump, which then makes it easier to rinse out. It does dry out the ol’ scalp and hair though, so you should use a conditioner.


This ingredient is used to treat fungal infections that cause dandruff. You can get it over the counter in Nizoral A-D. You can find Nizoral A-D at Amazon.

Best Natural Remedies for Dandruff

Olive oil

After your hair is wet, massage about 2 tablespoons of warm olive oil into your scalp. Wrap your head in a towel, like you had a head of beeaaautiful long blond hair, for about 30 minutes and then rinse. Once a week is about all you need, especially if you have oily hair.

Apple cider vinegar

Mix about 1 tbsp apple cider viengar to about a cup of warm water. After you wash your hair, apply this to your scalp and spread it evenly throughout your hair. Don’t rinse!

Thyme leaves

Mix two tsp thyme leaves in one cup of water, bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Strain out the leaves and then let the rest of it cool. After you wash your hair, apply the liquid to your scalp and spread evenly. Rinsing not necessary.

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About the Author

Julianne Ragland

Julianne Ragland