Saturday, September 14, 2013

A cure for dandruff

I've had dandruff for pretty much all of my adult life. It totally sux. I rarely wear black clothes because of flakes on my shoulders and I hate people touching my hair - a scalp massage is out of the question. I've generally tried to control it by going thorough phases of different treatments. I usually have about seven types of shampoo in the shower ranging from organic hippy stuff to hard core chemical stuff. All of these purchased remedies would work for a few weeks to a few months then gradually become less and less effective, so I'd start the rotation again through my selection of useless, expensive, highly packaged shampoos. Grrr. 

Then a beautiful hippy friend suggested doing nothing. So I tried a phase of no shampoo but using a random selection of oils (essential oils in carrier oils). And I hit on a cure...but unfortunately I didn't write it down and could not work out from the smell what the heck I put in it! Grrr again! 

So, I did some dedicated research on dandruff which took all of a couple of hours online and in my op shop aromatherapy books. 

I found that dandruff is kind of a mystery and there are lots of causes, but the most common theory is that it is fungal. Gross. Anyway, it was a good starting point. I researched base oils and found that coconut oil is anti-fungal. Good. Then I researched my essential oil collection and found that several were anti-fungal: patchouli, tea tree, sandalwood and orange.

I mixed up a potion and volia! A cure! My secret recipe (that I meticulously recorded) is:

20 drops patchouli
5 drops sandalwood
in 60 ml coconut oil

I just put a dob of it in my palm and let it melt (if its solid) then massage it into my scalp a few hours before I have a shower and then rise it out. I'm a little nervous to use shampoo again so, so far I've not bothered with that. But with short hair I can get away with it.

The results have been pretty amazing, and its been a couple of months. My dandruff is not 100% clear but it is now only a few flakes here and there not a total, permanent snow storm! And now I have a medical excuse for getting around smelling like a hippy. Perfect.


  1. thanks for sharing this Amy! I have long hair and I haven't used shampoo for over a year. I just rinse with water occasionally. I do get a bit of dandruff, not enough to put me off the no-poo, so I'll try some coconut oil. I'm just starting to learn about herbs and essential oils, amazing what they can be used for!

  2. I use Vinegar. I too don't use shampoo, haven't for years, but do spray my head with Vinegar now and then. That seems to work.


  3. Hi - I just found your site through the sustainable blogs linky list (on my site :) ). I was just wondering whether you tried coconut oil alone at all?

    1. Hi Kirsten, No I haven't as yet. I like the hippy smell :) but I do want to try it. By the way, still no dandruff!