Natural Treatments for Dandruff

It seems like a majority of people who have hair loss also suffer from major dandruff and scalp itching problems. Some get these dandruff outbreaks intermittently, while others have a daily battle on their hands. One survey found that 100-300 hairs were shed daily in dandruff sufferers, versus 50-100 hairs per day in normal subjects.

Previously, I wrote a detailed post on the best dandruff shampoos in the world. I myself have to use such shampoos twice a week in order to control my scalp itching, inflammation and flaking. Scalps with dandruff tend to have large amounts of Malassezia yeasts and flora, which can be reduced by antifungal medicated shampoos.

Natural and Alternative Dandruff Treatments

Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff
Tea Tree Oil Anti-Fungal.

However, there also exist alternative non-chemical treatments for dandruff that many claim to be very effective. Most such remedies are not scientifically proven to provide long-term relief for itchy scalps. Make sure to talk to a dermatologist for best advice.

Almost all of the below are natural products. All of them are readily available at grocery stores or pharmacies without the need for a prescription.

Per my online research, the most frequently mentioned alternative dandruff reducing products are:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) or just plain old vinegar. ACV is considered by many to be a miracle treatment for numerous medical and dermatological problems. Some people dilute a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in water and drink the concoction every single day. To combat dandruff, apply a small quantity of ACV to your scalp while showering. It can be used in combination with a shampoo or conditioner.
  • Tea Tree Oil. This product is recommended for numerous applications because of its antifungal properties. Tea tree oil contains terpinen-4-ol, which possesses significant anti-microbial properties. It also used to kill demodex mites. Other oils such as emu, eucalyptus, olive and peppermint are also said to help reduce scalp dead skin turnover.
  • Baking Soda. Besides fighting fungus, baking soda powder also absorbs excess oil on the scalp. It can cause a mild burning sensation.
  • Listerine or other mouthwashes with antiseptic properties. The alcohol in listerine can kill off Malessezia Globosa. However, frequent use of such a product can inflame and irritate your scalp skin. Other side effects include an overly itchy and dry scalp.
  • Aspirin. Crush the pills and leave on the scalp for 15 minutes or more, and then wash and rinse. Dirty work, but effective according to a number of online testimonials. Note that aspirin contains acetylsalicylic acid, similar to salicylic acid. The latter is found in many anti-dandruff shampoos.
  • Aloe Vera Gel. Yet another widely cited natural remedy for numerous dermatological afflictions. The healing aloe plant contains antioxidants and soothes the scalp.
  • Lemon Juice. Said to work by temporarily altering scalp Ph levels, which can destroy the Malassezia microbe.

What other natural products have readers tried to tackle their dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis)?

Note that in some cases, you might be suffering from psoriasis  or eczema rather than dandruff. Also note that diets that are heavy in oil and fat can sometimes cause issues such as excess sebum and an itchy scalp.

Allergies to certain foods can also exacerbate scalp inflammation and itching. And finally, stress can worsen mild cases of flakes and dandruff.

37 thoughts on “Natural Treatments for Dandruff”

  1. Onion garlic mask with apple cider vinger (with the mover) worked like sharm for me.
    Fixed my itchy scalp and removed calcification from my scalp..no more pumps and my head shape is more uniform now.
    Hair is growthing thicker and lots of baby hair growing around temples and hair line.

  2. I was a norwood 6 by the time I was 30. Never had dandruff, never had itchy scalp. There is no direct correlation. They are 2 separate problems.
    I am sure I speak for a few members when I say I would rather be a norwood 1 with an itchy scalp than a norwood 6.

      1. I can definitely say in my experience that I lose hair in the places that I itch frequently. At one point I even thought that my itching was the cause but that was incorrect. Whatever that sensation is, it has to be a symptom of hair loss

  3. Having grey hairs and dandruff would be small prices to pay if there were a cure for alopecia that the world has been awaiting for aeons. I have no faith in humanity, but I believe the cure–or a form thereof–will come out of Japan.

    1. Haha lauster. You know this will lead nowhere but a grant for his lab to bs the next 5 to 10 years. Its prob best not even post this stuff because it gives false home to the newbies on here. I remember lauster doing hair cloning research like this back in 2003. He said in 10 years cloning will be available lol. These guys need to either release something or just retire. They are not in it for a commercial treatment.

  4. I also suffered from crazy scalp itching issues, no dandruff though.

    what I did to stop it? I stopped shampooing. its been nearly two weeks now and my hair looks and feels great and I dont itch anymore. i sometimes worry that by removing keto i am taking out one weapon of our available (and pretty shit) arsenal to tackle hairloss, but it makes my hair feel much better.

  5. Strange how most of these natural dandruff treatments are also treatments for acne, yet dandruff is dry skin and acne seems to be oily.. i have a friend who swears by listerine for acne.

    peppermint oil for dandruff is also very good.. i dont know if you can consider the next thing i am about to say but….. beer! yeah beer really does work.

    anyway to go off topic a little bit,
    after 6 years on finasteride i recently switched to dutasteride 0.5 a day

    i have been shedding quite alot, and on the sides of my head too.. i have even noticed it with my beard.
    has anyone else had this before?
    its only been 3 weeks but definitely a noticeable shed.

  6. We have often heard of something that could be able to awaken our sleeping follicles and therefore make them once again produce hair, which company is closest or interested in this type of result? and is it something that could actually work or just science fiction?

    1. Follica is the closest, but I think that they have already been delayed by a few years. A few years ago, someone corrected me and proved that they had not been delayed by more than a year at most if I remember correctly. Not sure if that argument is still valid :-( I would not be surprised if Follica has already been registered as a company for 10 years. Someone can check and save me the time.

      Cotsarelis (associated with Follica), Christiano and Washenik are always in the news due to their new ventures or entirely new direction scientific research papers. Leading me to assume that their past and current ventures were exaggerations.

      Tsuji seems by far the most sincere. He does not get associated with all kinds of new technologies and companies every couple of years.

  7. https://www.histogen.com/news/histogen-announces-investigational-new-drug-application-amendment-for-hst-001/

    Histogen is making an “amendment” to their investigational new drug application that includes ” The submission is intended to expand Histogen’s IND to be a Phase 1b/2a clinical trial to assess the safety, tolerability and efficacy of HSC, as well as determine optimal dosing in male pattern hair loss.”

    Since they are doing dose ranging in this phase 1b/2a study is there a chance this can go straight to phase 3? Can we get information from Histogen on this through your contact? It also looks like they have partnered with Huapont for their HSC product..meaning maybe the trials happening in China/Japan?

    I wonder if this amendment is a sign that they saw great results in their female trial of this new HSC version..

    1. Several readers joked about Histogen’s recent press releases. I would like you to guess why after researching this blog:-)

        1. Never heard of someone going from Phase 3 to Phase 1 before. Glad at least one reader is still planning to follow them through 2025 :-)

          1. They are trialing a newer version of HSC now though…

            To be honest I don’t know why they couldn’t push the old one through first? It seemed to be the most promising therapy to date as far as actual results go..don’t you agree?

            Breezula is good too..but those are really the only two to show actual results imo

    1. Yes, I kind of implied that in the middle of my comment :-) They might also be using other peoples’ work (e.g., Dhurat).

  8. Hello everyone, I hope you are all doing fine. when I read about the cotsarelis latest new all I feel is sadness to be honest. It is a protocol that was discovered, what? 10 years ago? It still looks years away from being available, and it will only give minor improvements, not helping those past nw3. I really hope a real cure will soon be found, but how can we be close to.a cure when those minor treatments are still far away from.hitting the market? Thanks admin for the precious work

  9. Anyone remember this news segment about Dr Tsuji. This video dates back 8 years ago. I know we are all hoping that significant progress has been made since then. They have been in the game for while. Organ Technologies have the best chance in my opinion coming out with something that’s actually a game changer.

    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrmvdrPd09s

    Their website, which has a page titled ‘our business’ reads the following: Hair Regeneration – “Long just a dream. Successful hair regrowth in now possible through organ regenerative medicine in what will be a global breakthrough”.

    That’s a pretty clear and bold statement to make.

  10. Looks like we have some new readers on the scene admin. On the positive, it’s good for your statistics.
    I’d like to know what the heck is going on with follica myself. Too bad he doesnt update us with encountered obstacles etc.

    Anyone know how the Samumed trial is going? I expect crickets from you guys as usual other then admin… seems to happen when I ask questions.

  11. under “news” on Organ Technologies website it looks like Dr. Tsuji has resigned from his role as director..looks like unfortunate news for this program

  12. Samumed’s last press release (2018) expected top-line results in the second half of 2020 but the trial is scheduled to complete January 2021: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03742518?term=samumed

    Follica, as of their latest press release (April 9th), maintains that they will initiate a registration phase 3 trial in 2020.

    **I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating: Puretech received FDA approval for their weight loss drug in early 2019—and they expect to release it in 2021…

    So remember to add 10 months for the FDA standard review process and a possible 2 years after that before it comes to market. That means *POST* phase 3 will take another 3 years. They don’t finish the third phase and release it worldwide a few months later. Any company applying to the FDA now will release 2022-23 at the earliest and no hair company I know of is applying to the FDA now.**

    That leaves Tsuji. Admin covered the Japanese guy that met Tsuji in 2019: https://www.hairlosscure2020.com/dr-tsujis-hair-loss-cure-in-2020-will-be-costly/ Tsuji himself said he expects a 2020-21 release, but said it would be very expensive.

    1. I guess with all the other players in this game add 2-5 years and more lol. Not to mention those treatments are not cures and more improvements of what we currently have. So I guess its Tsuji or bust. As others have pointed out even if it came out this year or next, most of us sadly will not be able to afford it. If human trails did finish last year. I’m extremely curious on how well the results came out.

  13. I am curious if anyone knows what is new to the Follica patent referred to above by Bekoo…..or if we have any patent experts. That patent was filed December of 2018 and published April of 2020. From what I can tell, a patent is confidential to the patent office until the publication date. I haven’t read the previous Follica patents as in depth as some but what appears to possibly be new is the use of a second compound in combination with minoxidil: “(b) contacting the wounded area with a compound or factor that activates a beta-catenin protein or an inhibitor of a protein that suppresses an activity of the beta-catenin protein and minoxidil.” I searched a few of Follica’s other patents for the words “beta-catenin” and it came up in only one of them in more of a general list of possibilities. Nothing earth shattering but if true it might make their treatment more proprietary……….assuming it ever gets to market.

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