How To No Poo With Dandruff

Many individuals suffering from dandruff often shy away from the No-Poo Movement, for fear it might make their scalp issue worse. But this is a mistake.

Keep reading to learn how to No Poo with dandruff, correctly.

Dandruff sufferers can still be successful at following a No Poo hair regime. No Poo wash methods might even help decrease or eliminate symptoms of dandruff entirely. Mix lavender or tea tree oil with aloe vera, then apply this to the scalp to help remove dandruff. Herb washes will also reduce dandruff issues whilst also cleaning hair.

No Poo, or cleansing your hair without using traditional chemical-filled shampoo products is something that anyone can do.

In fact, it is actually the individuals suffering most from dandruff issues that would benefit the most from this particular natural hair care routine.

I’ve lost count of the number of times my friends ask for No Poo tips and tricks that will help treat their dandruff. So, here’s what I tell them …

How To No Poo With Dandruff

If you have dandruff or other scalp conditions you may wonder if you can ditch your traditional shampoo and conditioner and enjoy the freedom of a No Poo Approach.

The simple answer is “YES YOU CAN”!!

In fact, certain No Poo methods of hair washing may actually help reduce or eliminate dandruff symptoms completely.

This is especially likely if your dandruff is the result of contact dermatitis, where an itchy flaking scalp is related to a product that has touched your scalp (source 1).

What Is Dandruff?

If you have been wondering what dandruff actually is though, or are interested to discover whether you have ever suffered from this particular dry scalp condition before, then keep reading…

Dandruff relates to the white flaky pieces of skin that fleck your hair and fall onto your shoulders. It can be caused by many factors.

With so many people being cursed with dandruff though, I was quite surprised to discover that there is not yet a medical cure for this condition.

Instead, only treatment options are available, and sadly these aren’t always successful.

Causes Of Dandruff

Having suffered from dandruff at various points in my life, I wondered if the No Poo approach would help moisturize my scalp, making me less likely to experience bouts of dandruff in the future.

With this in mind, I decided to investigate the subject matter more.

The first thing I discovered is that there are multiple causes of dandruff.

Underlying problems range from excess yeast on the scalp to raging hormones during puberty, which can all impact your scalp, leading to dandruff.

Here are some other common causes of dandruff:

  • Hormones in puberty
  • Eczema
  • Various types of dermatitis
  • Stress
  • Winter conditions

This condition affects half the population at one time or another and can be a very upsetting and socially awkward condition.

Regardless of the cause though, the flaky white skin layering on your shoulders is simply your scalp asking for help.

The Problem With Traditional Shampoo

If you have been considering starting a No Poo existence, then you have already chosen the best path for your hair and scalp.

One of the closely kept secrets of the haircare world is that the traditional shampoos you’ve been using your entire life actually contain a huge number of chemicals that can be irritating to your scalp.

These shampoo chemicals might clean your hair of grease and dirt but are also responsible for causing dandruff for people with sensitive scalps.

In fact, the chemicals within these shampoos can actually alter the pH of your scalp, changing your scalp into a perfect environment for Malassezia globosa fungus to thrive.

This fungus causes dandruff (source 1).

It is important to note that the Malassezia Globosa fungus is actually completely harmless, and lives on the natural oils produced by our scalps.

It generally causes no issues, however, if the scalp pH is altered allowing the fungus to thrive then the result is scalp irritation and a rapid turnover of skin cells on your head.

These skin cells are those that we can see and are called ‘dandruff’.

In those affected by this fungus, instead of the skin shedding in a monthly cycle, the shedding can occur weekly or even more frequently.

Normally we would not see these white flakes, but with such a rapid turnover of the skin, it is inevitable that all this excess skin will become more noticeable in our hair (source 1).

Many dandruff sufferers never even suspect that the shampoo bottle in their bathroom is actually to blame for causing their dandruff! But it’s true!

Therefore, by removing these shampoo chemicals and adopting a No Poo approach many individuals quickly discover that their dandruff is reduced or even eliminated altogether!

The Transition Stage Of No Poo

When you first start your No Poo journey, remember to give your scalp and hair time to recover from the removal of the harsh chemicals commonly found in traditional shampoos.

The transition stage to No Poo can be tough as you are effectively detoxing your scalp, and it is safe to say that the process might not be too pretty!

Your scalp will be in chaos, and your hair might potentially look like an oil slick until your scalp gets the memo that you want to move to a No Poo hair regime, and reduce the number of natural sebum oils it produces every day.

This is not the time to give up though…

Although the transition stage of No Poo isn’t a pleasant ordeal, ditching traditional shampoo and opting for a No Poo hair washing regime is definitely worth it.

You just have to get used to the fact that your scalp will overproduce sebum for a while.

Sebum is not all bad though!

Your body is simply producing oils on your scalp which help make your hair:

  • Shiny
  • Nourished
  • Healthy

Put simply, it is your body’s own scalp moisturizer helping to prevent your scalp from becoming dry. Dry scalps often suffer from dandruff, therefore sebum helps to prevent this occurrence.

Sebum is also good for your scalp since the layer left on your scalp protects your skin from the dirt and grime that is all around us, especially in the air of larger, more polluted cities.

No Poo Transition Tips

We all want simple fixes in life, but the fact of the matter is that the transition period of No Poo might take some time.

In fact, whilst some individuals get through the transition stage within six weeks, others might take several months. I know my transition did!

If you are experiencing dandruff when you first start a No Poo approach, then it is likely that simply removing the chemicals found in traditional shampoo from your scalp will help keep dandruff under control.

If going without traditional shampoo seems too overwhelming in the beginning though, try implementing some of the following tips to help ease the transition to No Poo process:

1. Be Patient

The key to successfully transitioning to No Poo hair and living a dandruff-free life is patience. It will take your scalp time to optimize its sebum production levels.

Many people struggle during this transition phase but trust me, keep going and you will soon start to benefit from healthier, fuller, thicker, and shiny hair.

2. Wash Frequency

Start washing your hair less often, perhaps from every day to once every three days.

This method might make the transition stage longer, but it definitely helps ease individuals into a natural hair care process more smoothly.

3. Reduce Amount Of Shampoo

Reducing the amounts of shampoo and conditioner you use will lead to your scalp beginning to start healing itself. You may even find this simple tip helps to start reducing your dandruff.

4. No Poo And Low Poo Shampoos

There are many different No Poo and Low Poo shampoos available in the marketplace.

These specially formulated shampoos are ideal for those who want to reduce the number of chemicals in your hair, but also wish for the convenience and foaming from traditional shampoos.

Reducing Dandruff Using No Poo Methods

If you’ve transitioned to your preferred No Poo hair wash, but are still experiencing dandruff then I recommend you try the following:

1. Deep Conditioning Treatments

If dry skin is the reason for your dandruff then a deep conditioning mask made from honey, eggs, or yogurt left on the scalp for 10 minutes could reduce visible dandruff to manageable levels.

2. Silicon Use

If you are still using styling products that contain silicon, your ongoing dandruff might actually be caused by the residue that your No Poo method of hair washing hasn’t yet managed to cleanout.

Try reducing the number of styling gels you use.

You should also make sure that you only use warm water (but not too hot!) to wash away any leftover products from your hair.

An Apple Cider Vinegar rinse can also help to remove products left on your scalp

3. Tea Tree Oil

An inflamed scalp can be calmed by putting tea tree essence in a carrier oil and massaging it through your scalp and hair.

Tea tree oil is beneficial for both your hair and scalp because it has antibacterial properties that treat overperforming fungus, whilst also cleansing the hair at the same time

4. Keep Rinsing

If you are using baking soda to clean your hair, make sure that you rinse every last particle out of your locks before letting your hair dry.

This is more important than you might think since baking soda its abrasive and can irritate your scalp, if small particles are left on your scalp.

Baking soda left in the hair might also look like dandruff!

Does No Poo Help With Dandruff?

If you research the No Poo Movement online, you will quickly discover lots of people commenting on how their dandruff disappeared when they moved to a No Poo hair care regime.

This is likely because the scalp is healthier and happier when harsh chemicals are not being applied to it.

A No Poo hair regime can have the following positive effects on an individual suffering from dandruff-prone hair:

1. No Residue On Scalp

Any residue left on the hair and scalp can imitate dandruff, and in the worst case can cause dandruff by altering the pH of the scalp.

2. Rinses And Treatments

No Poo rinses and treatments such as tea tree or lavender oil can combat the scalp fungus that is responsible for overstimulating skin shedding.

It can also calm your irritated itchy scalp.

3. Dry Scalp Dandruff

If you have been experiencing a dry scalp that often breaks out in episodes of dandruff, then why not try a scalp and No Poo hair mask made from honey (and other natural ingredients).

This natural remedy is thought to soothe and moisturize the scalp and reduce hair brittleness and breakage.

Does No Poo Cause Dandruff?

No haircare system is perfect.

In fact, when you first start your No Poo transition journey it is possible that you will select the entirely wrong No Poo hair wash process, consequently leading to increased levels of dandruff.

Thankfully though, incidences like this are normal and simply require the user to select a more suitable hair wash method for their particular hair type.

It is also possible that dandruff is caused by the user not thoroughly rinsing products out of their hair properly, or failure to complete all stages of the No Poo hair washing process correctly.

Check the list below to rule out the possibility that you are inadvertently causing dandruff on your scalp:

1. Not Rinsing Thoroughly

Natural No Poo products left on the hair dry and resemble dandruff.

2. Baking Soda

If you over scrub with baking soda you could inflame your scalp and increase the likelihood of dandruff developing.

3. Not Washing Enough

If you don’t wash your hair regularly enough then dirt and excess sebum will upset the normal pH balance of your scalp, leading to dandruff due to the over shedding of skin cells

4. Washing Too Much

If you scrub your scalp too vigorously you might irritate your scalp and cause inflammation resulting in dandruff.

When To Stop Using Dandruff Shampoo

With a No Poo approach, it is possible to rid yourself of dandruff permanently.

When you stop using traditional shampoo you allow your scalp to decide how much oil to produce to keep your hair healthy and wonderfully volumized.

If the scalp is allowed to maintain itself it will naturally begin to regulate its own oil production, providing a healthy, but not too friendly environment for our resident scalp fungus.

Therefore, if you are committed to going No Poo make sure you stop using dandruff shampoo.

This is vital as dandruff shampoo is very similar to traditional shampoos because they both contain sulfates and other scalp irritating chemicals.

The medicated shampoo does not allow your scalp to achieve self-reliance and will in all likelihood continue the vicious cycle of dandruff/medicated shampoo/dandruff.

Does Not Shampooing Help Dry Scalp

Shampooing with traditional shampoos can actually dry out your scalp, rather than helping to keep it moisturized.

This is because the active chemical ingredients in traditional shampoo strip the hair and scalp of its natural oils. We ironically then use a conditioner to replenish our scalp’s moisture levels!

Thus, reducing the amount that you shampoo your hair may in fact decrease the likelihood of suffering from a dry scalp.

Not shampooing can also help a dry scalp indirectly, as when we shampoo we tend to follow it up by using hair-dryers, straighteners, and other heated devices.

These, along with styling products can also dry out our scalps still further.

With the No Poo method, you can still wash your hair and keep your scalp healthy and free from dandruff.

It may be necessary to alter your No Poo method but there are many No Poo natural products to choose from.

The water-only hair washing method is also available to combat a dry scalp.

This method allows you to wash your hair but has the added bonus of allowing your scalp to rejuvenate itself and provide itself with as much natural oil moisturizer it needs too.

I Stopped Washing My Hair Everyday And Now I Have Dandruff

No two people are the same.

What works for one person to give them amazing-looking hair may leave someone else’s scalp irritated and suffering from dandruff.

There are many factors that can cause an individual to develop dandruff after they stop washing their hair every day.

To help resolve the issue, make sure you read the following pointers below to ensure that you are not making one of these common No Poo mistakes:

a. Transition Phase

Dandruff is common during the No Poo transition phase because your scalp is used to regulating its sebum production.

You may also still be removing the residue leftover from styling products.

b. Wash Method

After the transition period, if you are still having dandruff problems then it is a good idea to look at how you are washing your hair.

Not all wash methods are compatible with everyone, so it’s worth researching other No Poo hair wash methods to see if you can find a natural hair care wash method that your hair type prefers.

c. Water Temperature

If the water that you rinse your hair in is too hot then this may irritate the scalp and remove too much of the natural oil that your scalp had made.

It is vital that you do not strip your scalp of the natural sebum oil it produces, since it helps to keep your locks in tip-top condition.

Your scalp’s natural oils also ensure your scalp stays at the correct pH level, which therefore encourages your hair to grow more, and add silkiness.

d. Product Allergy

Keep in mind that dandruff might also occur when you stop washing your hair regularly since the products you opt to use might actually be irritating your scalp.

If this issue sounds familiar, give the No Poo water-only approach a go.

This is a great natural hair wash method that will give your scalp a rest from any potential irritants that are currently upsetting your scalp.

You could also try using another No Poo method such as an aloe vera wash, to help control dandruff outbreaks.

Aloe vera (very much like tea tree oil) has anti-fungal actions, and can also be used as a natural conditioner when used in gel form.

It moisturizes the hair and scalp, giving you a glorious, dandruff-free, head of hair.

No Poo White Flakes

Many individuals wrongly mistake residue from leftover-styling products, or even baking soda used during some No Poo wash methods, to be dandruff.

Are you therefore certain that the white flakes are actually dandruff?

Brushing with a boar bristle brush regularly will stimulate your scalp and encourage sebum production which will nourish your scalp to lessen the chance of dry skin that looks like dandruff.

Dandruff No Poo Remedies

If you are sure that the flakes in your hair are dandruff, rather than shampoo build-up, or flakes as a result of a dry scalp, then there are a few things you can do.

Try the following tips to help control the fungus Malassezia globosa on your scalp (source 1):

1. Tea Tree Oil

This has well-known antibacterial properties and also soothes the scalp in cases of contact dermatitis.

Tea tree oil can be used as a regular rinse.

2. Aloe Vera

This is very similar to tea tree oil.

Aloe vera has a wonderful moisturizing effect.

Both its antibacterial nature, and use as a mask can reduce dandruff.

3. Boar Bristle Brush

Regular brushing with a boar bristle brush will remove the most visible flakes, promote sebum production, and moisturize the hair.

It is important to wash your brush after every use in the beginning though, otherwise, all the dirt is just getting redistributed back onto your hair.

This inadvertently then weighs your hair down and clogs your pores with dirt.

4. Argan Oil / Coconut Oil

If your dandruff is caused by dry skin then a regular application of a moisturizing mask could be the answer.

Both Argan and coconut oil will nourish the scalp and leave your hair smooth, silky and more manageable.

Water Only Hair Washing Itchy Scalp

Experiencing an itchy scalp is sadly one symptom that goes hand in hand with dandruff. The root cause is a dry scalp.

If you are following a water-only natural hair care routine then the water-only washing will remove any residual products during the transition period.

It may take some time, but eventually, your body’s sebum production levels will adapt and begin moisturizing your scalp effectively, leading to no more itching.

You could also try a deep conditioning mask, egg, yogurt, or oil or honey to nourish your hair and scalp, to effectively reduce the itching.


Dandruff and flakes that look like dandruff are unattractive and more importantly are signs that your scalp needs more attention.

Deciding why you have a flaky scalp is the first step to finding the best way to rid yourself of dandruff.

If you experience dandruff for the first time whilst transitioning to No Poo then it is likely just a temporary annoyance that will pass quite quickly.

However, if you have always been prone to dandruff then learning how to No Poo with dandruff is an important consideration.

Rinsing your hair with tea tree oil or aloe vera will help to free your hair and scalp from dandruff and flaky skin.

Katrina Stewardson

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I've been obsessed for almost ever with discovering the best natural hair methods for my own hair. For years I longed for one website to tell me everything I needed to know about the amazing No Poo Method movement. I just couldn't find one though, so I decided to create it myself! I dearly hope this website will save all you lovely ladies (and gents!) from wasting hours scrolling the internet looking for natural hair-related information like I did.

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