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The human scalp sheds dead skin cells and when new skin cells push up the dead skin cells, flakes form on the scalp. Flaking or shedding off dead skin cells is normal. However, when there is excessive flaking, dandruff is the result.

In many cases, dandruff is the result of excessive use of hair sprays and other hair products. Many dermatologists advise that you lessen the use of hair styling sprays and gels. They also suggest that shampooing daily help reduce scaling or flaking. However, to experience the effectiveness of shampoo in keeping flaking to a minimum, dermatologists suggest that you let shampoo on your scalp stand for no less than five minutes.

If you suffer from dandruff, there are treatments, both commercial and homemade, that you can use. For mild to moderate dandruff, use anti-dandruff shampoos that contain salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione or selenium sulfide. If you have severe or persistent dandruff, though, use shampoos that contain one to 2 percent ketoconazole.

However, if anti-dandruff shampoos fail to solve your flaking problem, try a couple of homemade remedies. One way is to massage apple cider vinegar onto your scalp and let it stand overnight. Simply shower and rinse it off the next morning. Another homemade solution is to boil four tablespoons of dried thyme in two cups of water. Strain and let the liquid cool down. Use the thyme liquid right after you shampoo your hair and don't rinse it until the next time you shower.