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Dandruff is a skin condition that affects the scalp. Its primary characteristics include flakiness and itchiness. According to the Mayo Clinic, dandruff is considered to be a milder form of seborrheic dermatitis, which is the same condition that causes cradle cap in infants. Some of the more common causes of dandruff include oily scalp and skin, dry scalp and skin, infrequent shampooing, malassezia fungus, contact dermatitis, and skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

Though dandruff is not a serious or threatening condition, it can cause those who suffer from it quite a bit of discomfort and embarrassment as those icky dry flakes can be especially easy to spot when black or other dark-colored garments are worn.

“Many people believe dandruff is caused by poor hygiene, but this simply isn’t true,” board-certified dermatologist Adam J. Friedman, MD, FAAD, assistant professor of dermatology and director of dermatologic research, Albert Einstein College of Medicine told “Rather than try to remedy dandruff by over-shampooing or over-brushing your hair, which can both be damaging to the hair, use dandruff shampoo and scalp treatments instead.”

While there are many products on the market to address this issue, it’s also possible to naturally treat dandruff. Here are a few to try.

Tea tree oil

Derived from Melaleuca alternifolia plants, tea tree oil is believed to have antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. It can be used to treat forms of dandruff that are caused by fungus. Further, it can help to relieve some of the symptoms associated with dandruff — such as itchiness and dry patches.

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