Dandruff – Alternative Therapies


Practitioners recommend bathing the affected areas three times a week with a 2 percent essence of geranium in a distilled water base. Another remedy calls for massaging a 10 percent sage essence in an olive oil base into the affected areas, then waiting two hours before washing out the mixture. This procedure should be followed twice a week.

Herbal Medicine

Aloe vera has skin softening properties that can help alleviate dandruff. It is most effective when a freshly cut leaf is rubbed directly onto the affected area. Applying eucalyptus oil to the scalp is advocated by some herbalists.


Although this therapy cannot cure dandruff, it is a time honored method for reducing the stress that may be an underlying cause. Reflexology, or foot massage, is also said to be effective.

Relaxation Therapies

All forms of meditation, including yoga, may help relieve a dandruff condition that is related to excessive stress. An increase in exercise may have a similar effect.

Self Treatment

If your hair is oily, treat dandruff by brushing thoroughly and then washing with a shampoo for oily hair. Follow this with a dandruff shampoo that contains sulfur, such as Sebulex, Sebutone, or Selsun, to remove dead scalp cells and reduce the output of oil glands. Next, apply a lemon rinse, made with the strained juice of one lemon in a cup of lukewarm water. Pour this on, work it through the scalp, and rinse with cool water. Do not use a commercial conditioner, which may actually compound the oil problem. Treat your hair with this program twice a week until the condition is under control. If you shampoo more frequently, use a standard shampoo for oily hair followed by the lemon rinse. Blow dry using a cool or warm setting, but avoid letting the hair dry naturally, because lying against the scalp allows wet hair to pick up oil more quickly. If possible, avoid hair spray as it is a magnet for dirt and oil. Treat dry hair and dandruff first with a thorough brushing, then spread about ¼ cup of hand and body lotion on the hair and work it into the scalp. Wrap the head with a towel that has been soaked in very hot water and wrung out, and leave it in place for about 20 minutes. Next, wash the hair with a mild dandruff shampoo, such as Head & Shoulders or Zincon, that contains zinc pyrithione. If the dandruff persists, try a coal tar shampoo such as Denorex or Poly tar. After shampooing, always rinse the scalp thoroughly with lukewarm water. If you have normal hair, treat dandruff by brushing, washing with plain shampoo, and then applying an aspirin rinse, made by dissolving six aspirin tablets in a cup of warm water. The rinse should be poured over the hair, worked into the scalp, and left on for IS minutes before rinsing. Once the dandruff disappears, you can return to a normal program of hair care. For hair that has been bleached or permed, dandruff should be treated by first brushing, then shampooing with a protein, acid-balanced shampoo. Follow this with a mild dandruff shampoo that contains zinc pyrithione, and then rinse and apply a low pH conditioner with protein.

Other Causes of Dandruff

The silvery scales of psoriasis are some times confused with dandruff. Eczema may also be responsible for dandruff. Babies often develop infantile seborrheic eczema, commonly referred to as cradle cap, which appears as thick and yellow crusted patches on the scalp.


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