What Causes Dandruff & 2 DIYs to Get Rid of Dandruff

Sheetal Rawal, Founder, Apsara Skin Care

By: Marty S.

Home Remedies by Sheetal Rawal, scientist (human genetics) & founder of Apsara Skin Care

If you have dandruff, you may have gone to great lengths to hide it. Maybe you have brought a comb with you everywhere to get rid of the white flakes or you have started wearing hats more often. Whatever is the case for you, hiding your dandruff has probably made your life more inconvenient. Not only do you incessantly check if there are any white flakes on your shoulders or clothes, but you also aren’t able to get a hairstyle that would leave your dandruff exposed.

You may have tried increasing your shampoo and conditioner usage to eliminate the problem, but while overwashing may make your hair and scalp cleaner, it won’t necessarily be the solution to your dandruff. Dandruff can be a symptom of any number of issues, and in order to get rid of it, you need to address the root cause. Today, you will learn 3 of the top causes of dandruff and what you can do to fix them. Plus, you will learn 2 anti-dandruff DIY remedies that you can easily whip up at home. By knowing what causes dandruff and having the remedies on hand to mitigate it, you may start to notice a flake-free head of hair sooner than you think.

1. An Oily Scalp

One of the most common causes of dandruff is an oily scalp. Your scalp needs to produce oil to prevent dryness as well as nourish itself and your hair strands. However, if your scalp produces too much, that oil can lead to dandruff; excess oil that isn’t absorbed by your hair and scalp can clump together with skin cells that are recently shed. For some people, an oily scalp is genetic, but for others, it is the result of harsh chemicals. Harsh chemicals from hair care products can disrupt the natural processes of your scalp. Though they may be used to give your hair and scalp a more effective cleanse, harsh chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate and parabens can cause excess dryness. When this happens, your scalp may feel the need to pump out a lot of oil in order to protect itself; this can lead to dandruff, an oily scalp, and greasy hair.

The first step to reduce oiliness is to stop overwashing your hair. While you may feel compelled to wash your hair more often due to dandruff, too much washing can strip your hair of its natural oils and may force your scalp to produce more oil than necessary. By washing your hair only once or twice a week, you may start to notice less oily hair and less dandruff. 

Related: Apsara Skin Care's Rosemary & Amla Hair Oil can reduce your dandruff naturally."

2. Scalp Inflammation

If you have an oily scalp, that excess oiliness could be caused by scalp inflammation. Though you may not be able to tell if your scalp is inflamed, it is certainly possible that your dandruff (sometimes referred to as “seborrheic dermatitis”) is disguising scalp inflammation. When your scalp is inflamed, you may experience not just dryness and dandruff, but also itchiness, redness, and swelling. Scalp inflammation may develop for any number of reasons, one of which is harsh chemicals. As we discussed above, harsh chemicals can dry out your scalp, and if your scalp is particularly sensitive, these chemicals can also irritate it and make it more prone to inflammation. Moreover, your diet plays a part in the health of your scalp, especially if you eat a lot of inflammatory foods like refined carbs, processed meals, and foods high in sugar. 

Though scalp inflammation and an oily scalp often go hand in hand, you can eliminate both problems at once by making a switch with your hair care products. There are plenty of natural ingredients that can thoroughly cleanse your hair and scalp without causing any dryness, oiliness, or damage. Rosemary and amla, two ingredients found in our hair care routine, have been time-tested to minimize hair issues and help you achieve stunning, problem-free hair. To learn more about Apsara Skin Care’s all-natural hair care routine, click here. 

3. Fungal Infection

One of the reasons why your scalp could be inflamed and why you might develop dandruff is from a fungal infection, often due to a fungus called Malassezia. Malassezia lives on the surface of your scalp and consumes sebum. While an oily scalp won’t necessarily be connected to a fungal infection, using harsh chemicals or leaving your hair exposed to swimming pool water can make a fungal infection and your dandruff worse. The chlorine in swimming pools, for example, can dry out your hair and scalp and rob them of natural sebum. 

Determining if your dandruff is the result of a fungal infection is difficult, but if that is the case for you, using antifungal ingredients like eucalyptus oil and neem oil can help keep your hair and scalp clean. Plus, if you swim regularly, make sure that you wear a swim cap so that you can protect your hair and scalp from not just dandruff but also hair fall and hair damage. 

Apsara All-Natural Hair Care Routine®

1. Castor, Almond, Sunflower & Coconut Hair Oil Massage to Minimize Dandruff & Get Stunning Hair

A hair oil massage can help you eliminate dandruff and achieve gorgeous hair because many beauty oils contain fatty acids that can penetrate your skin and nourish it. By massaging your hair and scalp with a hair oil, you can calm your skin down from inflammation and balance it out so that it is neither too oily nor too dry. Even better, all of the beauty oils in the home remedy below have been time-tested in Ayurveda to get a thicker and healthier head of hair.


1 tsp. of castor oil

1 tbsp. of almond oil

1 tbsp. of sunflower oil

1 tbsp. of coconut oil


Mix the ingredients together.

Apply and massage the remedy into your scalp and hair strands for a few minutes.

Leave the remedy on for 3 to 4 hours or overnight. Follow with your shampoo and conditioner.

Use 1 to 2 times a week.


At Apsara Skin Care, we have an all-natural hair oil that you can use to eliminate dandruff and encourage hair growth. Click here to learn more.

2. Rosemary & Castor Oil Hair Rinse for Shiny, Dandruff-Free Hair

Though hair rinses are normally used to increase the shine and growth of your hair, they can also help eliminate dandruff when you wash your scalp with it. This hair rinse contains rosemary, which is thought to help fight dandruff due to its antifungal properties. Using this rosemary hair rinse can not only help you minimize your dandruff, but also help your hair look thicker, shinier, and longer.


¼ cup of rosemary leaves

1 cup of water

5 or 6 drops of castor oil


Mix the rosemary leaves and water in a pot.

Boil the mixture and let it simmer until half of the water has evaporated. Let the mixture cool down.

Strain the mixture to remove the rosemary leaves.

Add the castor oil and mix it together with a fork.

After you have shampooed and conditioned your hair, rinse your hair and scalp with the mixture and comb it through your hair. 


Depending on your hair length, you may double or triple the proportions of this remedy as needed.

Related: Sheetal's Personal Top Tips to Eliminate Hair Fall, Dandruff & Early Graying

For more expert hair care advice, fill out this form and you will hear from us soon. 

Go natural. It is good karma!

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