Call Toll Free – Australia 1 800 719 673 / USA & Canada 1 800 810 4796

Dandruff: Understanding The Cause & Solution

Written by

Deborah Freudenmann BHSc

Dandruff is one of the most common complaints related to hair care. It is also a very common cause of hair loss.

There are a large number of anti-dandruff shampoos available in the market that claim to reduce dandruff. However, these shampoos only provide temporary relief without providing lasting solutions.

Hence, there is a need to assess the root cause of dandruff and correct the underlying issues in order to derive long-lasting results.

What is Dandruff?

Dandruff is a common condition characterized by the flaking of the skin of the scalp. Though this condition is not contagious or serious, it can be highly embarrassing as it can affect the appearance of a person to a great extent.

Dandruff may sometimes be a milder form of an autoimmune disorder called seborrhoeic dermatitis.

What are the symptoms of Dandruff?
  • Flaking of the skin of the scalp, eyebrows, beard, and moustache
  • Itching of the scalp
  • Scaly and crusty scalp with cradle cap, especially in infants

What are the causes of dandruff?

Dry skin and scalp

Dryness of the skin of the scalp can result in flaking due to which patients may develop moderate to severe dandruff. These symptoms tend to be more severe when a person is stressed. The symptoms often flare up during dry and cold seasons.


Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition caused due to immunological dysfunctions. It occurs when the immune cells fail to identify the skin cells as the body’s own tissues and attack and destroy them.

When the immune cells attack the skin cells of the scalp, it results in inflammation and damage to the skin resulting in flaking.

Oily skin

Having oily and greasy skin can make a person prone to develop dandruff by triggering the development of seborrhoeic dermatitis.

In fact, the oily scalp covered by flaky scales can be a sign of seborrhoeic dermatitis that needs to be managed with the help of treatments aimed at correcting immunological dysfunctions.


Infections due to a fungus called Malassezia can cause inflammation of the skin of the scalp leading to excessive growth of the skin cell resulting in dandruff. Patients who suffer from seborrheic dermatitis are more likely to experience repeated attacks of moderate to severe dandruff due to the infections by the “fat-loving” Malassezia. 

Other bacterial and fungal infections including the candidiasis of the scalp can also cause an overgrowth of the skin cells leading to the excessive scaling of the skin.

Poor gut health

Poor gut flora and the overgrowth of pathogenic microbes in the intestine due to a condition called SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) are linked to the itching and dryness of the scalp that can increase the chances of developing recurring dandruff. 

The safety and effectiveness of the conventional approach for treating dandruff

The use of anti-dandruff shampoos is the most common way adopted by people to reduce dandruff.

However, most of these hair care products contain harmful chemicals and toxic ingredients that can disrupt the balance of the scalp microbiome putting you at risk of developing hair loss as well as the worsening of the dandruff. The exposure of the skin to these toxins is also linked to a higher risk of cancer, organ toxicity, and skin irritation.

Moreover, most commercial anti-dandruff products contain salicylic acid or zinc pyrithione, both of which are quite harsh on the scalp.

These products, though effective for reducing dandruff, tend to work only temporarily and often make the symptoms worse in the long run. Hence, there is a need to focus on identifying and eliminating the root cause of dandruff in order to derive lasting relief without the risk of adverse effects.

External treatment for dandruff

It is advisable to choose your hair care products wisely. Here are some tips you can follow while choosing the safe and effective anti-dandruff hair care products.

Zinc oxide

Shampoos containing zinc oxide, castor oil, and olive oil are often effective for reducing dandruff. These ingredients would nourish the scalp and improve the blood flow thus reducing the flaking of the skin.

Herbal ingredients

Shampoos containing natural herbs like aloe vera, burdock, neem, calendula, tea tree oil, and skin-friendly nutrients like vitamin E are highly effective for reducing dandruff.
These herbs possess natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunoregulatory properties. They can protect the scalp against inflammation and other toxins and reduce dandruff. 

Scalp massage

Massage of the scalp with coconut oil can be a highly effective home remedy for reducing dandruff.
To use, you can mix 1 or 2 teaspoons of neem oil and 2 to 3 drops of tea tree essential oil in coconut oil and apply it to the scalp. Gently massage the scalp with this oil using fingertips. Leave it for about one hour and wash it off with a mild shampoo. 
This would improve the hydration of the scalp and reduce the flaking of the skin.

Finger Lime

Finger lime contains a combination of vitamin C, tryptophan, and ferulic Acid. These compounds can help to nourish and protect the traumatized skin while minimizing the risk of infections of the scalp including Malassezia.
This simple home remedy is suitable for patients who have inflamed or sensitive skin or those who suffer from eczema and dermatitis. It would nourish the dehydrated and flaky skin and reduce dandruff while promoting hair growth.

Internal treatment for dandruff

Healthy diet

Foods rich in biotin like garlic, peas, barley, avocado, and lentils can help to improve skin health and nourish the scalp and hair roots thus reducing dandruff.
Foods rich in minerals like selenium, zinc, and sulfur and bioactive compounds like lecithin can produce natural anti-dandruff activities and provide a long-lasting relief from hair loss and dandruff.

It is advisable to eat a handful of Brazil nuts on a daily basis to reduce dandruff. These nuts are rich in selenium and zinc both of which can help to reduce dandruff by improving skin nourishment.

Moreover, including nutritious foods like lettuce, spinach, kale, and cucumber in your diet can also be beneficial for reducing dandruff.

Foods that provide a rich source of sulfur such as parsnip, radish, garlic, onion, and cabbage as well as those containing lecithin such as soybeans, flax, peanuts, pumpkins, and plums can be included in the regular diet for deriving better and longer-lasting results.

Increasing your water intake is also a great way to hydrate the scalp and prevent the scaling and flaking of the skin.

Lifestyle habits

It is advisable to limit your alcohol intake as alcohol can cause gut irritation and increase the risk of fungal infections thus worsening dandruff.

Avoiding the intake of processed foods and pro-inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy products could be an effective way to avoid skin inflammation. You can eliminate these foods from your diet and watch how your skin reacts for about 4 weeks. This will help you identify the possible triggers and eliminate them from your diet thus protecting you against hair problems like dandruff, split ends, hair breakage, seborrhoeic dermatitis, and even baldness.

Nutritional supplements

The use of nutritional supplements containing vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids could help balance out the pro-inflammatory activities in the body and neutralize the atopic reaction responsible for causing the flaking of the skin.

Omega 3’s would also support the integrity of the dermal layer of the scalp and reduce dandruff significantly.

Probiotics and digestive enzymes

Poor gut flora and weak digestion are commonly associated with skin problems like dandruff. Hence, it is advisable to use digestive enzyme supplements containing prebiotics and probiotics a few minutes before meals.

This would enhance the ability of the body to digest and absorb nutrients and help to ward off unfriendly microorganisms that attempt to colonize in your body and trigger an abnormal immune reaction thereby reducing dandruff.


Identifying the root cause of dandruff and correcting the underlying abnormalities are the most effective ways to reduce dandruff. This approach can help you derive long-lasting results without the risk of side effects associated with the use of commercial shampoos and hair care products.

Over a period of time, it would also help improve hair growth and make the hair shiny and voluminous.

  • Become A TRULY HEAL Functional Medicine Health Coach

    Start an exciting career as a functional medicine health coach and help your clients live a healthier and more fulfilled life.

  • The FREE Functional Medicine Training will give you insights into the workings of a TRULYHEAL Health Coach. You will learn that treating the patient and not the disease makes the real difference.

  • Learn how to save thousands of $$ for treatments you can easily do at home. 

  • Watch “TRULY HEAL from CANCER” now completely Free! You have also access to the original version “CANCER is curable NOW”

  • Learn more about PEMF Therapy at the PEMF Expert academy

  • At the O3 academy we will show you how to set up a little home clinic to treat many different maladies like open wounds, infections, cancer or even leaky gut. 

  • At the HYPERTHERMIA academy you can learn how every German clinic uses fever therapy once a week to boost the immune system, increase white blood cell count and detoxifies the body like little else. 

  • Providing You Truly Unique & Effective Vitamin Supplements

  • One Response

    1. Well Done, I see this issue in the elderly a lot and one of the causes is dehydration. A simple glass of clean mineral water can do so much for our bodies however, so many people just hate the taste of water that they will not drink the adequate amounts they need.

      Thanks for bringing this issue to the people.

      Take Care, CT

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Related Articles


    Understanding Colon Cancer

    Let’s dive into the world of colon cancer—a significant health concern that affects countless lives. Colon cancer ranks as the third most common cancer-related cause of death in the United States. Colon cancer takes root in the large intestine affects 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women at some point in their life. In this article, we’ll learn about colon cancer, explore its signs and symptoms, delve into its root causes, understand treatment options, and arm you with natural strategies to support your well-being.

    Read More »

    Phytonutrients: Exploring the Benefits

    As we learn more about the importance of a healthy diet, the term “phytonutrients” has become increasingly popular. But what exactly are phytonutrients? Why are they important for our health, and where can we find them? In this article, we’ll explore the world of phytonutrients, their benefits, and how you can incorporate them into your diet.

    Read More »

    PEMF Therapy & Stroke

    A stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain is disrupted. The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients, which are carried to it by blood vessels. When blood flow to the brain is interrupted, brain cells can start to die within minutes. This can cause permanent brain damage or even death. The symptoms of a stroke can vary depending on which part of the brain is affected.

    Read More »

    Myocarditis & Pericarditis

    Myocarditis and pericarditis are two types of heart inflammation and damage to the heart muscles. These two conditions can lead to some serious and unwanted consequences. In this blog, we will explore the differences between myocarditis and pericarditis, their symptoms, causes and various treatment options. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium), while pericarditis is an inflammation of the lining that surrounds the heart (pericardium). Both conditions can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and other symptoms related to heart function.

    Read More »

    Functional Approach to Athletes Foot

    Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is caused by a fungus. It is caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes, which thrive in warm, moist environments, such as sweaty shoes or locker room floors.
    The infection often strikes in “athletes”, who tend to have sweaty feet stuck in tight-fitting shoes for long periods of time. However, the rash can affect non-athletes just as commonly – especially if you wear shoes all day and sweat. Athletes foot can also be spread from person-to-person via unwashed clothes, shared towels, and even contaminated floors.

    Read More »

    Eating 30 Plants Every Week For Gut Health

    That’s 30 different types of plants across all 6 plant food groups: fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes (beans & pulses), nuts & seeds, herbs & spices. Plant-based foods play a key role in improving gut health by contributing to the diversity of the gut microbiome.
    The more diverse, whole plant-based foods you eat, the more you’re likely to boost the diversity of the trillions of gut microbes you have.

    Read More »


    Trulyheal Course DVD

    Create your FREE account now to access all locked content and receive our weekly newsletter

    You will get instant access to the documentary “TRULY HEAL from CANCER” and our Functional Medicine Training Videos

    You can unsubscribe at any time.

    By signing up to the TRULY HEAL academy you confirm to have read and accepted the disclaimer

    Already have an Account?

    Lost your password?

    Sign in with Social Media

    Register your FREE account

    • Type your password.

    contact us

    Contact us with your preferred method. Calls are redirected to Qld Australia.  
    If we are not answering leave a message so we can call you back.

    TRULY HEAL Pty. Ltd.

    Sunshine Coast Noosaville Qld 4566 Australia


    Australia   1 800 719 673
    USA & Canada    1 800 810 4796
    Calls are redirected to Australia. Please leave a message so we can call you back.   

    SKYPE:  deborah-freudenmann
    WHATSAPP    +61 499651419

    ABN:   32 621 367 557
    ACN:   621 367 557