Dandruff is one of the most common hair problems throughout the world, characterized by crusting, flaking, erythema, itchiness of scalp and hair breakage, among others.  While there are umpteen dandruff-busting products available in the market, it is always better to opt for natural remedies to maintain the health of both the scalp and hair. Neem is one such natural remedy that can be successfully used in a wide array of ways to get rid of dandruff.
How neem gets rid of dandruff?
Neem helps in eliminating dandruff, which may lead to severe hair loss when left untreated. According to some studies, the “Malassezia” fungus is the most common cause of dandruff , and neem for dandruff combats it naturally with its potent antifungal properties. Both fresh, as well as dried leaves of the neem tree, possess the active ingredient: Nimbidin, which cleanses the scalp and gets rid of itchy, flaky dandruff by getting to the root cause.  If dandruff stems from an underlying inflammation (such as psoriasis, or dermatitis, among others), the herb alleviates symptoms (such as irritation and redness), thereby combating the problem effectively.
Neem for hair: Other benefits
Apart from helping manage dandruff, neem leaves for hair can prove beneficial in other ways too. Here are the other benefits of applying neem on hair:
1. Improves hair health
Powder made from neem leaves comes with immune system-boosting properties. That can help in improving the overall health of your hair. 
2. Boosts hair growth
Hair oil made from neem leaves can improve blood circulation in the scalp area and boost hair growth. The use of neem leaves for hair can be an effective remedy for baldness too. Neem can foster hair regrowth. 
3. Manages hair dryness
Applying a hair pack made from the paste of neem leaves can give you frizz-free, well-conditioned hair. 
4. Keeps your scalp healthy
Applying neem leaves paste or powder to the scalp can nourish your scalp and make it healthy and problem-free. 
5. Strengthens hair
The use of neem water, oil, powder and paste on the scalp and hair can strengthen the hair from root to tip, reducing the problem of hair breakage and split ends. 
6. Serves as a natural hair cleanser
Washing or rinsing hair with neem water is the best natural hair-cleansing remedy. 
How to use neem leaves for hair dandruff? 
The easiest and most optimum way to use neem to eliminate dandruff is chewing a few fresh and tender leaves each morning on an empty stomach. However, because of its deterrent taste, you may want to consider other options. Hence, some basic ways to use neem leaves for hair dandruff are mentioned below.
1. Neem Rinse
Neem leaves for dandruff can also be used in the form of a hair rinse or natural hair cleanser. Take water in a pan and add a handful of neem leaves to it. Begin by boiling the mixture. After the infusion turns greenish, switch off the heat, remove the pan, discard the leaves, and allow the mixture to cool. You can use the mixture as a final rinse for your hair, post thorough shampooing. You may also soak neem leaves overnight in hot water and rinse your hair with the strained liquid the next morning.
2. Neem Paste
Make a smooth, fine paste by grinding fresh neem leaves using hot water. Apply this neem paste for dandruff to both hair and scalp. Ensure that each hair strand is thoroughly covered with it, from the root to the tip. Wait for a couple of hours, and then rinse it off using a mild shampoo.
3. Neem Powder
Neem leaves for dandruff may also be used in powdered form. Dry a couple of handfuls of fresh neem leaves under the sun for two to three days. Crush the leaves into a fine powder, and then, create a paste out of it through the addition of some lukewarm water. Apply it thoroughly to your hair and scalp, allocate a standing time of one hour, and then wash it all off with the use of a mild shampoo.
DIY Neem Masks and Packs for Dandruff
Mentioned below are some easy-to-prepare neem hair masks and packs that will not only offer relief from dandruff but also ensure that your hair stays lustrous and smooth.
1. Neem and Aloe Vera Mask
Soften a handful of neem leaves by successfully soaking them in water for ten minutes. Create a paste and add fresh aloe vera gel to it. In this simple way, your mask is ready.
2. Neem and Fenugreek Mask
Soak a few fenugreek seeds overnight. Add fresh neem leaves to them and create a smooth paste. You can then apply this paste to your scalp, allowing it to sit for 1 hour. Moreover, you may add curd to this mask.
3. Neem and Honey Pack
Boil a few fresh neem leaves, successfully grind them into a paste, and add a dash of raw, pure honey to it. Apply this paste to your entire scalp as well as your hair.
4. Neem and Multani Mitti Pack
Grind a few neem leaves with the addition of water to them. Now, add Multani Mitti and wait till it becomes soft. Now, mix and form a smooth paste. Apply this hair pack twice a week.
1. Can I use a neem comb for combing my hair?
Yes, you can. Whenever you use a hair comb made of neem wood, the natural oils in your scalp get equally distributed throughout your hair. Using a neem comb reduces the chances of hair breakage and hair fall and helps make your hair shiny, bouncy, and healthy.
2. Does neem oil for hair have side effects?
The side effects of neem hair oil are minimal. It may cause scalp skin irritation if used too much or if applied undiluted. Diluted neem oil for hair is generally considered safe. However, it is always advised to undertake a patch test to avoid any allergic reaction.
3. How does neem condition your hair?
The herb neem is high in fatty acids, such as linoleic, oleic, and palmitic acids, which help lock moisture in the hair.
4. Is dandruff a serious issue?
Dandruff isn’t usually a sign of something serious, but if your scalp is red and inflamed, isn’t responding to OTC treatments, or seems to be infected, it’s important to see your doctor right away.
5. Can neem treat scalp acne?
Yes, neem with its antimicrobial power can effectively treat scalp acne.
Neem has immense importance in the healing science of Ayurveda. Its wide range of medicinal properties can be attributed to its potent antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic effects. In this article, we have tried to present all vital facts and tips regarding the use of neem leaves for dandruff. That said, children, breastfeeding mothers, pregnant women, and those with autoimmune diseases must avoid the intake of neem because it can have adverse effects.
This article has been written from a health and wellness perspective. It is not a substitute for medical advice.
- Association of Malassezia species with dandruff
- ANTIFUNGAL PROPERTIES OF NEEM (AZARDIRACHTA INDICA) LEAVES EXTRACT TO TREAT HAIR DANDRUFF
- Multipurpose Neem (Azadirachta indica) For Beguiling Cures
- Formulation and Evaluation of Herbal Hair Packs
- A Comparison of Hair Quality and Cosmetic Acceptance Following the Use of Two Anti-Dandruff Shampoos