Herbs to Help Treat Dandruff

Close up of dandruff in brunette hair

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Herbs can be added to shampoo in order to soothe and combat dandruff. Use them directly in a gentle store-bought shampoo, or make your own. You can also add them to a hair rinse or infuse them in a skin friendly oil and make a hot oil treatment.

This is a great way to avoid chemicals and possibly improve the condition of the hair and scalp. When choosing herbs for these recipes, start with a single herb and check to see if your scalp is irritated when using it. Sometimes dandruff can also mean sensitive scalp, so start off slowly.

Once you have your favorite herbs, try combining them into recipes that have layers of scent. Consider a resinous herb, a citrus peel, and then a flowery note, like chamomile. Earthy tones from roots add depth as well as healing and soothing properties. Keep a bottle of your favorite blend in the fridge and use it throughout the week. You shouldn't have an issue storing it for longer than a week as long as it's refrigerated. If you are not comfortable keeping your herbal rinse for that length of time, hair rinses are easy enough to make fresh, so you may never need to store them. Think of them as an herbal tea for the scalp and hair!

  • 01 of 05

    Burdock Root

    Whole Burdock in a Bowl

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    Burdock makes the list to help soothe and improve the scalp. It is such a nutritive herb that is no surprise to see it here.

    Buy burdock root at your local Asian market. It is sold as a gobo root and is quite inexpensive. Use some for your hair, and eat the rest!

  • 02 of 05


    Close up of chamomile plant
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    Always known for it's sweet and gentle nature, chamomile is a natural fit for a recipe to combat dandruff. Good for any color hair, lighter shades will benefit from the golden hue it adds to the hair over time.

    Chamomile can be used at any age, so try it as a natural remedy for cradle cap in babies. You can rinse their hair with it and leave it in.

  • 03 of 05


    Parsley lying on counter
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    Parsley will add a refreshing aspect to your hair rinses. It is clean smelling, bracing on the scalp, and seems to help lift dandruff so it can be rinsed always cleanly. 

    Dried parsley doesn't add as much kick, however, if that's all you have available, be sure to add it.

  • 04 of 05


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    Rosemary is a definite scalp stimulator. Its resinous nature brings a tingly feeling that seems to last for some time with use.

    Traditionally, rosemary has been known to help stimulate the memory as well, so think of it as food for the head—both inside and out.

    The scent of rosemary is enjoyed by adults, especially men. Use it as a hair rinse and you may find your husband or boyfriend is stealing this deliciously scented herbal treat.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05


    Thyme herb in a pot
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    Another resinous herb, thyme is not only fragrant and pleasing to the nose, but it also makes a great herb to create a dandruff hair rinse.

    If you want to experiment with scents, try lemon thyme and rosemary, lemon peel and thyme, rosemary and thyme and orange peel..all make wonderful hair rinses that can be dried directly on the scalp and help a scalp recover from dandruff.

A Final Note

Using herbs to help relieve dandruff is a natural way to soothe a common problem. If you do not find that any of these herbs help with your dandruff, consider asking your healthcare provider for alternatives.