How To Fight Dandruff Without Using Dandruff Shampoo, According To An Expert

Snow is super pretty when it falls from the sky, but not so much when it falls from our heads and litters the shoulders of all of our all-black winter uniforms. Considering this "scalp snow" (aka dandruff) is actually dead skin flaking off, it's actually prettttyyyy gross. So how can you treat dandruff this time of year without switching to dandruff shampoo? 

First, it's important to understand why you get dandruff in the first place. This time of year, every single part of our bodies gets dried out in the cold air, and our scalps are no exception. "Oil from the scalp is a huge culprit when it comes to dandruff," says celebrity stylist Christine Symonds. "To tackle dandruff and maintain your hair’s health, you should avoid over-washing your hair." If you have dandruff, don't freak out — it's super common, totally normal, and isn't usually indicative of any sort of bigger health situation. Seriously you guys, it's NBD. 

With that in mind, here are five tips for keeping dandruff at bay without having to replace your delicious-smelling haircare routine with over-the-counter or prescription dandruff shampoo (the bottles are honestly never as pretty). Black clothes lovers, rejoice! 


1. Whip Out The Dry Shampoo

Batiste Dry Shampoo, $7.99, Ulta.com

Two thumbs going way, way up for this stylist-approved reason to not wash our hair every day. Symonds suggests washing every two days maxand supplementing with dry shampoo like this one from Batiste to soak up the dandruff-causing oils. 

2. Stop Styling With Heat Products 

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Somehow, blasting our scalps with fiery heat dries them out the same way the cold air does. Instead of blowdrying every morning (because you can't go outside with wet hair in this weather...), wash your hair at night and put it in a messy bun or a few french braids to wake up with loose, natural waves. 


3. Pre-Treat With Coconut Oil 

Kapuluan Raw Organic Coconut Oil, $18, Ahalife.com

Coconut oil is uber-nourishing in general, so giving yourself a pre-shower mask will hydrate both your locks and your scalp. Run a generous amount through your hair, and let it sit for an hour before washing it out. 


4. Wash With Apple Cider Vinegar


 Bragg Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar, $2.98, Thrivemarket.com

Apple cider vinegar is another one of those all-natural miracle beauty products, and can help fight any sort of infection or irritation on your scalp. Mix equal parts warm water and apple cider vinegar (a half a cup should do) and massage it into your scalp. 

5. Try Tea Tree Oil 

Hollywood Beauty Tea Tree Oil Skin And Scalp Treatment, $2.98, Target.com

Not only does this soothing essential oil smell delicious, but it helps exfoliate your scalp to get rid of dead skin cells. It's an ingredient in most dandruff shampoos, so instead of changing your entire routine you can go straight to the source. There are tons of different ways you can apply it, so it may be worth trying a few and finding out what works best for you. 

6. Use Aspirin


Aspiring Strength Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer Coated Tablets, $4.99, Target.com

This isn't exactly the most "all natural" solution, but since aspirin is mostly Salicylic Acid (the same stuff in most skin products that help fight acne) it works to combat oil when applied topically. Crush up a few aspirin and add it to your regular shampoo for the DIY-Dandruff fighting version of the product you already love. 


7. Soak With Lemon Juice 

The acid in lemons works to neutralize scalp oils while also nourishing your hair with vitamins and antioxidants. Squeeze some in your hair and let sit for 25-30 minutes before you shower. You know what they say about when life hands you lemons... 

Images: Courtesy of Brands; Tookapic/Pexels

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