Natural Men’s Care: Dandruff

Natural Men’s Care: Dandruff

Quick: Name 5 situations where having dandruff is attractive. Go!




Think of any?

Neither did I.

Whether you are out to dinner, in a job interview, or in an elevator with total strangers, dandruff sneaks up on you and before you know it,  it is collecting like a winter’s first dusting of snow on your dark suited shoulder. And when you finally get near a mirror, it’s even worse. It’s like a cross between being punched in the solar plexus and your face being injected with red, hot humiliation.

So don’t let that happen to you.

First of all, there are two types of dandruff, simple dandruff (Pityriasis), and greasy dandruff (Seborrheic dermatitis).  Simple dandruff is just dry flaking of superfluous skin cells of the scalp. It’s the easiest to deal with. It’s also the most common one. The one you see the most often.

Seborrheic-Dermatitis Dandruff

Seborrheic-Dermatitis Dandruff

Greasy dandruff is more severe. And ugly.  It appears as thick, greasy patches which can easily become infected resulting in scabbing and inflammation.  As this is a dermatitis or eczema problem, you can also look at recipes in the  Aromatherapy Skin Care: Chronic Skin Conditions  article. There are more treatments for eczema in that article that could help your greasy dandruff. As with anything, always test on a small portion of hair and scalp before covering your head with it.

Usually what causes dandruff problems is a low production of sebum — an oily/waxy matter produced to lubricate and waterproof the skin. Most commercial dandruff shampoos work by stripping the top layer or two of skin off your scalp which works great when you first use it. But you’ve probably noticed that these commercial products actually make it harder for your skin to naturally produce sebum so you can’t stop using the product because your dandruff gets worse. Vicious cycle.

This article is of course, part of our Natural Men’s Care series.  Here are some suggestions specifically for men treating dandruff issues with essential oils.

Best oils

While the oils used for simple and greasy dandruff are pretty similar, I have still broken them up into types of hair because with simple dandruff, you could have naturally dry, normal, or oily hair.

For oily hair:

  • Cedarwood, Cypress, Lavender, Rosemary, Patchouli, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus Radiata, Peppermint

For normal/dry hair:

  • German Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, Lavender, Geranium, Juniper Berry, Peppermint

For greasy dandruff

  • Rosemary, Lavender, German Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus Globulus, Tea Tree

Best herbs

  • Burdock, Sage, Willow Bark, Aloe, Oregano, Bay Leaf, Chamomile, Calendula, Horsetail, Nettle, Marsh Mallow

Points of interest

  • The easiest way to make your shampoo of choice is to get an unscented, pH balancing bottle of shampoo and add the essential oil(s) of choice to it. Add 6 drops per 1/4 cup shampoo. The easiest way to mix the ingredients is to empty out the bottle into a bowl, add the oil(s), and vigorously mix with a wire whisk to blend everything together. Use a funnel to get the shampoo back in the bottle.
  • Close-up of dandruffIf you mix together a shampoo like above, make just 1/4 cup first and try it out to make sure you like it. That also makes it easier for you to make different blends.
  • Rocky Mountain Oils makes a blend called  Hair Support that is a great one to use for treating dandruff. I made a shampoo of it by adding about 25 drops to an unscented natural shampoo that I sent with my husband on his first deployment. That worked out great for him. The blend helped keep him dandruff free and it also stimulated his scalp nicely.
  • A simple thing to do is a dandruff rinse: After washing and conditioning your hair, rinse it with 1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar. Massage it into scalp really well. No need to rinse it off. Do it after each time you shampoo and condition your hair until you have the dandruff under control. Then you can do it once every week or so for maintenance. (12)
  • While we also have an article on dandruff in the Essential Oil Hair Care series, the recipes will be different, though the beginning information is much the same. It’d be good to look through the recipes in each to see if anything strikes your fancy that you would like to try.
  • Some medical treatments can cause more issues with dandruff. For example, I had problems with dandruff when I went through chemotherapy, even though I lost all my hair. So I regularly massaged my scalp with Sandalwood oil. If you are going through any big medical issues that have you taking harsh medications, do something good for your scalp.


Be sure to try these recipes on a small portion of your scalp first to make sure your skin can handle it before using it all over your scalp.

Make-It-Yourself Herbal Shampoo

  • 8 ounces Distilled Water
  • 1 ounce Herbs of choice (from above)
  • 3 ounces Liquid Castile Soap
  • 1/4 teaspoon jojoba oil
  • 25 drops of Essential oils of choice (from above)

Bring water to a boil. Add the herbs, cover, and let simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes. Strain and cool. Slowly add the castile soap to tea, then mix in the jojoba and essential oils. Store in a shampoo container. Shake well before every use. (1)

Mature man scratching dandruffDandruff Treatment

  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice
  • 2 tablespoons Distilled Water
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 drops Essential oil of choice

Stir all ingredients together until well mixed. Apply entire mixture to damp hair and thoroughly massage into scalp. Leave on treatment for 20 minutes, then shampoo and condition as usual. (8)

Hair Tonic for Seborrhea

  • 1 cup Spring Water
  • 1 cup Aloe Vera juice
  • 15 drops Clary Sage
  • 10 drops Rosemary

Mix all ingredients together and store in a dark colored glass bottle. Keep sealed. After shampooing and conditioning hair, massage a small amount of tonic into scalp and hair. Leave in. (10)

For a Dry Flaky Scalp

  • 2 tablespoons Jojoba oil
  • 2-4 drops Essential oil of choice

Combine and massage into clean, wet hair. Massage well into scalp. Leave in 10 minutes then shampoo out. (13)

california-olive-oil-2For an Oily, Flaky Scalp

  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Distilled water
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2-4 drops Essential oil of choice

Mix together all ingredients and massage well into scalp. Leave in 20 minutes then shampoo out. (13)

Dandruff Control Treatment for Dry Flaky Scalp

  • 2 tablespoons Jojoba oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tea Tree oil

Combine all ingredients and massage into wet hair and scalp. Leave on for 10 minutes then shampoo out. (2)

Last of all,

Time to take charge and get rid of the nasty stuff. Go for it and tell us how it goes.

Man happy about his hair


  1. Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family, by Rosemary Gladstar
  2. Natural Beauty at Home: More than 250 Easy-to-Use Recipes for Body, Bath, and Hair, by Janice Cox
  3. Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, 2nd edition, by Kathi Keville and Mindy Green
  4. Do It Gorgeously: How To Make Less Toxic, Less Expensive, and More Beautiful Products, by Sophie Uliano
  5. Aromatherapy: An A-Z: The Most Comprehensive Guide to Aromatherapy Ever Published, by Patricia Davis
  6. Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family by Rosemary Gladstar
  7. Organic Body Care Recipes: 175 Homeade Herbal Formulas for Glowing Skin & a Vibrant Self, by Stephanie Tourles
  8. Ecobeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends, by Lauren Cox and Janice Cox
  9. Organic Beauty with Essential Oil: For Natural Skin Care, Hair Care and Bath & Body Products, by Rebecca Park Totilo
  10. Aromatherapy Handbook for Beauty, Hair, and Skin Care, by Erich Keller
  11. Green Beauty Recipes: Easy Homemade Recipes to Make Your Own Natural & Organic Skincare, Hair Care, and Body Care Products, by Julie Gabriel
  12. Naturally Healthy Hair: Herbal Treatments and Daily Care for Fabulous Hair, by Mary Beth Janssen
  13. Natural Beauty for All Seasons, by Janice Cox

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