Natural Cures for Dandruff

| Modified on Mar 14, 2023
Posted by Madeline (Sacramento, Ca) on 05/20/2017

My hairdresser was noticing I had a flaky scalp every time I got my hair cut. I tried borax to get rid of my dandruff and it works great. I mix about two tablespoons in about a cup of warm water, no need for exact measurements, and pour half on my hair and scrub it around, then do the same with the next half and rinse. Using it once a week with regular shampooings in between is probably good for maintenance.

The first time I did it, I used cold water and the borax didn't really dissolve, and I thought, well that must be how it works, by exfoliating! But it is the borax itself, so go ahead and use warm water to dissolve it. It does clean my hair and leaves it nice and soft. And my hairdresser reports no dandruff to be seen!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by honeydip1228 (New York, NY) on 07/26/2009

I've suffered with dandruff since childhood (i'm 37). I've spent thousands of dollars on various otc dandruff shampoos and treatments. About 2 yrs ago the scaling got so bad I had no choice but to turn to a dermatologist, I was prescribed a shampoo and foam, which worked, at first but then the more I used them less effective they seemed to be. And then when I stopped using them completely the scaling came back with a VENGENCE! Two weeks ago I did a search looking for a natural cure for dandruff, and came across this site. I made a rinse of 4 tbsps acv, 4 tbsps hydrogen peroxide, and 8 tbsps water, i put the mixture in a clean sqeeze bottle, and gently massaged the mixture into my scalp with towel draped over my neck. I then put a plastic shower cap over my head and let it penetrate 2 hours. I rinsed and shampooed with my usual shampoo made for relaxed hair, and blow dried/ styled my hair, and my flakes were 99% gone. I was amazed! I kept checking every inch of my scalp every day just to make sure..and yes I pretty much dandruff free. 4 days after the treatment i did see a tiny bit of flaking by my forehead, but it was barely noticeable. Usually with other shampoos my entire scalp would be comepletely scaly again by day 3. Day 7 I did another treatment, except this time I used coconut vinegar (available in asian grocery stores) as is does not smell nearly as strong as acv, also I made hot oil treatment using ___ ___ coconut oil (available in asian, west indian, and all "wf" stores...Now I can say I am 100% dandruff free. My hair/scalp is so soft, and healthy looking, and to think it cost me less than 5 dollars! I cant thank you enough for this natural remedy!!

15 Second Rinse
Posted by Annette (Fairbanks, Alaska) on 12/31/2011

Dandruff remedy -- According to this BBC News Health article, dandruff and itchy scalp are caused by overactive Malassezia fungus. This fungus is naturally found on human skin, but if it's overactive it causes a fast turnover of skin cells. In other words, Malassezia produces flakes faster in dandruff sufferers than in people without dandruff.

If you have oily hair (like me) then you're more susceptible to dandruff, since Malassezia feeds on sebum, the oily matter produced by the sebaceous glands in our skin.

This is the real secret. When I tell most people they just think it's gross and don't hear me out. :)

When I hop in the shower in the morning I give my scalp a vigorous 15 second rinse under the water. This gets the visible oiliness out of my hair, but doesn't actually strip my scalp of any oil.

It's washing without washing.

When you first do this you'll notice that your hair might feel a little "sticky. " Don't worry, you have to give it time to adjust.

The interesting thing is after a few days my scalp seemingly stopped producing so much oil. I don't know the science behind it, and I haven't been able to find conclusive studies about it, I just know it works.

Some people use baking soda and vinegar. Or lemon juice. These products don't strip your hair of its oils.

Good luck to all of us suffering from... I call it: "shampoo-itis"

Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda
Posted by Lover Of Truth (In) on 12/22/2017

Dealt with bothersome dander most of my life. Sometimes it would flare up worse than others. Using conditioner seemed to help in those cases. But recently things flared up bad. It was like Christmas all year around my shoulders. I was using an all natural shampoo and conditioner so it wasn't a chemically product that was the problem. But I stopped using them anyway and washed my hair with baking soda with ACV for conditioner. This helped for a few weeks but then it came back. So I got radical and washed my hair only in plain water. As a side note my hair does not smell nor look oily making me think shampoos and conditioners are superfluous. Anyway this has mostly worked keeping the dander at bay but not totally cured.

However things are slowly getting worse again and now I suspect much of the problem is the water itself. Our city among other things puts a toxic form of fluoride and chloramines in the water so my next venture will be to get a water filter for the shower. It makes me mad I have to go to such lengths as our government should provide clean non toxic water to us. But what can you do? So I'll just pony up for a filter and see what happens. I strongly suspect this will be the best remedy yet. I'll report back with the results as soon as I buy one and try it out.

Posted by Josephine (San Diego) on 12/24/2016

I don't have dandruff, but I wash my hair with Borax. Probably read it in EC. I just mix 1/2cup or so of Borax (the mule kind) in a metal camping mug with the hot shower water and pour over my hair. I gently scrub as if I had normal shampoo and rinse out. It does leave my hair clean! I have dry hair not oily. When I do an oil treatment to moisturize my hair I have noticed the Borax does not clean my hair so I will use my regular shampoo. I color and straighten my hair and have noticed over time that my (expensive) shampoo/conditioner from the salon was leaving my hair in worse shape. Borax and an ACV rinse has helped quite a bit. Hope that helps.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Carmen (Nova Scotia, Canada) on 10/02/2009


Wow! As quickly as it came on it is now gone! Yesterday I noticed a scalp itch and of course, scratched it, and thought nothing of it again. That is until I looked in to the mirror, FLAKES...EVERY WERE!! Tried the ACV and H202 water (9parts water 1part ACV & H2O2), placed mixture into a spray bottle sprayed scalp to saturate, left in for approx. 3min. I then washed hair as usual. Today, all flakes are gone, no itch and as a bonus I am having a good hair day:)

Iodine and Borax
Posted by Leelannee (Sussex, Nj) on 08/28/2009

YEA for biotin (hair loss)
YEA for iodine & borax (dandruff)

After the birth of my son 15 years ago, I had more hair loss every time I brushed or washed my hair than I had ever had before. I always had long, almost waist-length, thick hair. After the birth, I became so distressed over the thinning, dryness, & split ends that I cut my hair to chin-length. I kept trying to grow it long but every few years "chopped" it again due to split ends. My hair is medium-coarse and never seemed thin to people who cut my hair but I could tell the difference.

About a year ago I started taking biotin. I take 5mg per day, and I get a bottle of 300 capsules (10 months' supply) for $12, so this is a very affordable, no fuss remedy! It took a month or two to notice a real difference, but my hair loss became minimal. My hair is now so thick, and has grown past my shoulder blades for the first time in 15 years! Also, there are very few split ends--even though this doesn't make much sense, as only the new growth would be affected by the biotin, but it's true (a few months ago I bought some very sharp scissors and trimmed my split ends, but they haven't come back). And my hair is growing a little faster; it used to grow no more than 1/2 inch per month (I color my hair 3-4 times per year, and occasionally measure) and now it is growing almost 1 inch per month.
med my split ends, but they haven't come back). And my hair is growing a little faster; it used to grow no more than 1/2 inch per month (I color my hair 3-4 times per year, and occasionally measure) and now it is growing almost 1 inch per month.

Another hair problem I had for about 20 years was dandruff. This started when I was 16. I tried many, many supplements, diet changes and topical remedies over the years with no results (except for a liquid zinc treatment for excema--this helped but didn't cure). I eventually tried a dandruff shampoo, which would give me relief for no more than 24 hours. I really didn't want to do this, but if I didn't I would actually get scabs in addition to incessant itching & painful inflammation.

A few weeks ago I bought a "liquid kelp" iodine supplement, took a dropperful twice a day in water and within 48 HOURS I had ZERO FLAKES! This is after 20 years of discomfort, self-consciousness, and not being able to wear black or use nicer shampoos! I recently found another supplement that has 150mcg iodine per drop, and I take 2-3 drops per day.

About 2-3 weeks after starting the iodine, I had a VERY slight return of the dandruff. But now I am not using dandruff shampoo at all. I shampoo, douse my scalp with a borax solution (1-2 tablespoons in 2 cups of water), let that sit for a couple of minutes, then condition. My scalp is super clean, I can go several days without shampooing (when I had the dandruff I had to shampoo every other day), and my hair seems softer & less frizzy.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Art (California ) on 08/08/2018 2164 posts

I've had good luck with a saturated solution of borax used as a shampoo.


Posted by Art (California) on 08/03/2022 2164 posts


I have used and recommended Borax for oral and topical use quite a bit, but have never experienced suds or heard of suds appearing unless I added something else to make suds. I have in the past added a little bit of regular shampoo to make a minimal amount of suds and add a little fragrance.


Tea Tree Oil
Posted by Kelly (Bennington, Vermont) on 12/01/2008


Be careful about putting 100% tea tree on your scalp. I know that in one of Ted's remedies he speaks about putting pure 100% tea tree oil in scalp. I caution you about this. I tried this, (put a small puddle of tea tree and rubbed through entire scalp, to get rid of dandruff, and an itchiness, and my scalp, months later is still very red and inflamed, sore and burnt. (and am losing alot of hair). I do not want this to happen to any one else. So, please, please, make sure you only use tea tree if it is mixed with a carrier oil like olive oil so you do not burn your scalp. (maybe some people can put the 100% tea tree onto their scalp, but, I am still suffering the aftermath). So spot test first!!!

Tea Tree OIl
Posted by Babe (Tx) on 10/19/2016

Tea tree oil for scalp psoriasis or itchy, flaky scalp:

I mixed about 8-10 drops of tea tree oil with about a tablespoon of coconut oil and massage it into my scalp, leaving it on for several hours or overnight, then wash out. It really helps control the itching and flaking! I do this about once a week to keep it under control. I wonder if I did it more often or daily, if it would cure the problem, but I haven't tried.

Fermented Foods
Posted by Dex (Kcmo) on 06/13/2016

Just started eating milk kefir a few weeks ago and noticed my dandruff is gone. I've had dandruff since I was a child (in my 40's now). I've noticed the dandruff disappear in the past and suspected it was due to ingesting ferments (water kefir and fermented cabbage back then). Wasn't sure it was related to the fermented foods until this time. I eat some every day, not a lot. I filter off the whey and use the curds in place of yogurt or sour cream. I use the whey instead of water when making bread, but I attribute this effect to the curds rather than the whey in my case.

Fermented Foods
Posted by Dex (Kcmo) on 11/21/2016

This is a follow up to my post in June. Still eating the fermented foods (milk kefir) and dandruff is still gone. I don't have to wash my hair every day anymore. I can now go 3-4 days and have no flakes.

Posted by Jack (Maui, Hawaii) on 05/14/2013

This will cure your dandruff in about a week or two weeks with consistency and it's all about blood flow.

What you do is get a boar bristle brush and vigorously brush/rub it on your scalp until the skin turns pink/red from the irritation. Takes about 5 minutes twice a day. This irritation brings blood closer to the surface of the skin and your dandruff will be gone in a couple weeks. It may also act in an exfoliating way as well but I believe it works mostly because of improved blood flow to the scalp

If you have buzzed short hair you can easily brush all over your scalp with good pressure for 5 minutes a day until it looks pink/red from the irritation. If you have longer hair you may need to use small, quick back and fourth strokes in sections covering your entire scalp. But what you want is the scalp to be red from the irritation caused by the boar bristles.

Haven't had dandruff in months since starting this.

15 Second Rinse
Posted by Florie (Henly, Texas, Usa) on 01/07/2013

Doesn't the peroxide bleach your hair?!

Posted by Davy (Portland, Oregon) on 11/27/2011

I had dandruff, and super itchy scalp for many years it was making me crazy! I tried the ACV/ hydrogen peroxide the effects were temporary. One day a friend was discussing her travels to a Third world country and when she returned home with itchy spots/splotches of fungus all over her skin. She was lucky she saw a doctor who knew what it was! Miracle! She was instructed to put Selsun blue on her body for 30 minutes everyday for thirty days and it worked. So I thought maybe I would put Selsun Blue on my scalp for thirty minutes and try it for a couple days Selsun Blue is strong stuff. Anyhow the first time I tried it in the shower and it made my skin itchy that night So I decided it is safer to wash my hair in the sink I gently massaged Selsun Blue into my scalp waited and rinsed. RESULTS: DANDRUFF IS GONE NEVER TO RETURN

Borax, Alcohol, and Rosemary
Posted by Rose (New York, New York) on 05/14/2009

I suffered with severe dandruff for many years. I also tried all types of shampoos, until I found in a natural medicine book a remedy for my problem. It said to put 3 or 4 tablespoons of borax in a bottle, fill the bottle with rubbing alcohol and add fresh rosemary, cover the bottle and leave for 14 days. After the 14 days, soak a cotton ball in the mixture getting some of the borax and rub on the scalp. Leave on for at least 30 minutes or more, then wash with head and shoulders. I did this and I have been dandruff free ever since.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Tea Tree Oil
Posted by Mia (Chicago, IL, USA) on 10/17/2008

I've had rather intense dandruff for the last year, especially when it starts to get cold and dry outside. Fancy anti-dandruff shampoos, super mosturizing conditioners, cold water showers, even some crazy stinging stuff my dermatologist recommended didn't work. Sure, it might slow it for a week, but then my scalp would get used to it and go right back to it's naughty ways. Tried the ACV last night (50% AVC, 50% water with some tea tree oil in a spray bottle), left it on for about 10 minutes and then showered, and guess what? I didn't scratch my head at all that night, and woke up with no dandruff!! Ok, well, I saw ONE flake, but it was all alone, rather than the usual accompaniment of hundreds of friends. Best of all, it didn't smell as bad as people say after putting the tea tree oil in it.

Cost: $1 for ACV, $1.29 for spray bottle and $7.59 for tea tree oil. Altogether less than that nasty smelling tar shampoo. Yeah! Thank you!

Posted by Dick (Raleigh, North Carolina) on 03/09/2008

I have a very Itchy Scalp. No Dandruff. I have tested for two months eating off the grocery shelf canned beets. I eat two (1 to 1 1/2 inch diameter beets)in the morning and two in the evening. Every day. It works.

White Vinegar
Posted by David (Fort Worth, Texas)

Also,on another note white vinegar when applied directly to the scalp will cure itching scalp and dandruff. Just get a cup of vinegar and pour on the head let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse it off and do it again everyday until your cured. It works great. Try It!!!

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Tim (Georgia (Rep.of)) on 08/08/2018 21 posts

Hi Diana,

Try to check your thyroid gland first off all.


Posted by Raul (California) on 08/02/2022

Borax for dandruff - Question

After recently discovering the "Borax Cures and Health Benefits" video on YouTube, I bought some Mule Team and tried about a tbsp in hot water, let cool, then poured over scalp. There were no adverse reactions to my knowledge, but it immediately created suds which I was not expecting at all - according to other users' reports there were little/none. Might anyone know the reason for this? Was my hair/scalp super acidic? Or just a lot of a particular mineral? Thanks.

(I don't yet have enough applications to verify if it helps with the dandruff.)

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