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Lime for your Flakes: How Does Lemon Help Get Rid of Dandruff?


Imagine that you’re wearing a black shirt on a date night. All of a sudden you feel your scalp itch, you reach out to scratch, and boom now you’re left with so much dandruff on your shoulders that you don’t know how to get rid of it. Embarrassing right? Here’s a quick fix for your flaky condition with one of the home remedies - lemon. 

Also See: Anti Dandruff Combo Kit

What is dandruff?

As described by the American Academy of Dermatology, dandruff is an itchy scalp condition with white flakes of dead skin on the hair and shoulders. Some people assume that dandruff can be contagious but that’s not true. Although having dandruff is an embarrassing situation, it is not at all contagious and can be managed with proper treatment.
While Doctors actively recommend using an Anti-dandruff shampoo or increasing vitamins in the diet, most home remedies call for the use of lemon for dandruff problems. 
Traya’s Anti-dandruff shampoo is made with clinically proven antifungal and soothing ingredients like ketoconazole and aloe vera which fight dandruff and reduce irritation.


What causes dandruff? 

Before we talk about the benefits of using lemon for dandruff problems, let’s first look at the causes of dandruff. 

Malassezia, a fungus that is present on the scalp and feeds on the oils generally causes minimal dandruff but if this fungus is present in excess it can cause scalp dryness and itchiness.

Other common causes of dandruff:

  • Sensitivity to hair products (contact dermatitis) which is visible as a red, scaly rash. 
  • Oily skin
  • Dry skin
  • Skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema 
  • And infrequent shampooing

Also read: Dandruff Solution


Why is lemon good for treating dandruff?

Lemons are rich in antioxidants, essential vitamins, and citric acid (a form of vitamin C) which helps to boost the immune system and also maintain skin and hair health. However, it is important to note that you should first consult a doctor before applying any kind of acidic substance like lemon for dandruff issues. 

There is always some confusion when it comes to differentiating between dandruff vs dry scalp (scalp psoriasis), lemon works effectively for both. The citric acid found in lemon helps fight dandruff from the roots of the hair follicles. It also contains antimicrobial properties that get rid of fungus-causing dandruff (Malassezia). Lemon also decreases the secretion of oil in the scalp and helps maintain a healthy scalp. It is a good remedy for both itchy scalp and oily scalp issues. It is said to cleanse the dust and dirt deposits present on the scalp and unclog the hair follicles. It is also very effective in preventing hair from getting oily or greasy. One can also apply lemon juice to dull hair as it helps bring back the shine and softness. 


Benefits of Lemon for hair:


  • Maintains hair and skin health-Our diet also plays a major role when it comes to dandruff. Lemon contains Vitamin C, citric acid, and flavonoids which are required to maintain skin and hair health. It also contains traces of folate and potassium which are said to be good for the hair. This is how lemon for dandruff problems works as an excellent solution.
  • Collagen production - Studies suggest that lemon juice increases collagen production which in turn increases hair growth
  • Restores the pH balance of the scalp - citric acid is a natural pH adjuster for the scalp and is said to keep dandruff at bay.
  • Eliminates excess oils - Oral consumption of lemon juice helps in hair health by eliminating any excess oils that cause scalp build-up and flakiness but it is even more effective when applied topically onto the scalp.


How to use Lemon for dandruff:

There are many lemon-based DIY home remedies for dandruff. You can remove dandruff with lemon but there is one thing that you need to keep in mind, these remedies have to be applied at least twice a week and need to be continued for at least three weeks to obtain any significant results. You can try using lemon for dandruff problems in any of these ways:

  • Henna with lemon juice, tea water, and coffee powder

Take 4 teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee powder, 1 raw egg, and henna powder (depending on the length of your hair) and prepare a mix.
Prepare tea water by boiling tea leaves. Strain the tea water. Add it to the mixture once it cools down
Make it into a thick paste. Apply this mixture and rinse it once it dries up. This pack is helpful if you want to control the oiliness in your hair. Both henna and lemon control the oil production of the sebaceous glands. 

  • Lemon and Aloe Vera Hair Mask: 

Sometimes the acidic nature of lemon might irritate the skin. Aloe vera balances this with its moisturizing properties. Take 1 tablespoon each of aloe vera gel and lemon juice. Mix the aloe vera gel (freshly extracted) with lemon juice. Apply this to your scalp. Let it stay for an hour. Rinse it off with a mild shampoo. 

  • Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon 

Take 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Mix the apple cider vinegar and lemon juice in a bowl. Apply this solution to the scalp. To stop the solution from flowing out, dab it with cotton. Rinse it after 20 mins. This remedy can be used twice a week. This is an effective way to use lemon for dandruff woes.



  • Almond Oil and Lemon Juice

Almond oil is rich in vitamin E, which helps the skin of the scalp nourish and hydrate. This helps the lemon remove dandruff effectively. Take 4 tablespoons of almond oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 4 drops of tea tree oil. Add the lemon juice and tea tree oil to lukewarm almond oil. Apply this on the scalp and massage well. Leave this on for 30 minutes. Rinse it with shampoo.

  • Indian gooseberry with lemon

Indian gooseberry (amla) when mixed with lemon juice makes for a very potent concoction to fight dandruff as Indian gooseberry has antifungal and antiviral properties that enhance hair health.
Take 2 tablespoons each of amla juice and lemon juice. Mix both the juices together and apply them on the scalp using a cotton ball or a dropper. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then rinse your hair with regular water. This is one of the most easy and inexpensive ways of using lemon for dandruff problems.

  • Curd and lemon

Curd is rich in minerals, calcium, and fatty acids, making it a healthy option for hair nourishment. The antibacterial agents help in soothing the itchiness in your scalp and irritation. Take 1 cup curd, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 3 teaspoons of fenugreek seeds soaked and mashed. Mix the ingredients well and apply the mixture to the scalp. Keep it on for at least 45 minutes before washing the hair with shampoo. This is one of the most common remedies using lemon for dandruff. 

  • Egg and Lemon

Eggs are rich in protein and serve as a good natural conditioner for hair. Take 1 egg and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Whip the egg well and add lemon juice to it. Mix thoroughly. Apply on the scalp and let it dry for 30 minutes. Rinse with a mild shampoo. This is one of the most nourishing ways to use lemon for dandruff issues.

  • Honey and lemon

Honey is a great hair moisturizer as it has both emollient and humectant properties.  Emollients help add shine to dull hair as they smoothens the hair follicles. While humectants bond with water molecules, adding moisture to dry strands. Take 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 4 tablespoons of honey. Mix the two. The already and add some water if required. Apply on the scalp and also on the hair for 10-12 minutes. Rinse with shampoo.

  • Baking Soda and Lemon

Baking soda helps remove oil build-up from hair and scalp. Take 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 teaspoons baking soda. Mix the baking soda with the lemon juice and apply to the scalp. Leave it on for 5 minutes. If your scalp starts itching then it is a sign that it’s time to rinse it off. Rinse off the baking soda-lemon juice thoroughly with water. 

  • Orange Peel

Orange peels are rich in Vitamin C and cure a lot of scalp-related issues. Take 2 tablespoons of dried orange peel powder and 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice. Mix the orange peel powder with the lemon juice. Do not make the paste too thick. Add a little water to it to make it less thick. Apply it to the scalp. Put it on for 20 mins. Rinse off with normal water. This is a very potent combination of using lemon for dandruff.

  • Fenugreek Seeds and lemon

Fenugreek seeds have anti-inflammatory and antifungal effects that aid the process of hair growth. Soak 3 – 4 tbsp of fenugreek seeds overnight in water.  Grind the fenugreek seeds the next morning. Add 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the paste.  Apply this paste to the scalp, the tip of the hair, and hair ends. Cover the hair with a cap for 30 minutes. Rinse it off with cool water.

  • Lemon juice and white vinegar

Mix the juice of a lemon with an equal quantity of white vinegar. Massage the scalp well for a few minutes. Wait for about 15 minutes and then rinse off with a mild shampoo. It acts as an exfoliator. This is a potent remedy with lemon for dandruff. 

  • Lemon and flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are known to strengthen hair follicles. It also contains vitamin E which reduces the effect of free radicals on the scalp. Take ¼ cup Flaxseeds, 2 cups water, 1 lemon, and any essential oil.
Soak the flaxseeds in water overnight. In the morning, add two cups of water to the flaxseeds and bring to a boil. When it thickens, reduce the flame. Add lemon juice to it. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool. Add a few drops of any essential which is available to you. Apply on your scalp and leave it overnight. The next morning, rinse it off with shampoo.

  • Lemon and water

Take 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 cup water + 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
Right before you go for a shower apply 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice to your scalp and hair. Let it sit for a minute. Alternatively, mix one teaspoon of lemon juice into one cup of water and rinse your hair with it. Continue doing this till your scalp is completely dandruff-free. 

  • Lemon, coconut oil, and honey

Take 6 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 teaspoon honey, and 1 lemon.
Heat 6 tablespoons of coconut oil. Add the juice of one lemon and a teaspoon of honey. Apply the mix to the scalp once it cools down a bit. Let it rest for an hour. Rinse it off with shampoo. Apart from treating dandruff, this also helps in fixing split-end problems. 

The above-mentioned remedies using lemon need to be applied continuously till you completely get rid of dandruff. It will also help if you oil your scalp regularly with a Scalp oil to prevent dandruff in the long run. But if you have seborrheic dermatitis then stay away from oils. Protect your hair from harsh environmental pollutants and hair cosmetics like hair dye, bleach, etc. that may irritate the skin. Taking precautions and following the above-mentioned remedies using lemon for dandruff can easily keep your scalp dandruff-free.


Dandruff is a recurring situation that can happen to anyone. Lemon serves as a solution in terms of home remedies for treating dandruff. Although Lemon for dandruff can be very useful, evidence suggests that although citric acid in lemon is useful to treat an itchy scalp, it is not useful for all scalp types.

The idea behind lemon juice is that it alters the pH level – the acidity – of the scalp and protect against the dandruff-causing microbe Malassezia globosa. However, while it has a very short-term effect on the microbe. And any change to pH is just temporary. The pH level of your scalp changes throughout the day and so changes by using a lemon as a natural remedy will be quickly REVERSED. Instead, to truly treat dandruff you need to use a treatment with an active ingredient that tackles the root cause.

Take the free Traya hair test to know more about your dandruff condition and how to treat it.  

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