How To Use Baking Soda For Dandruff

by Kushneet Kukreja
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition

Dandruff is a common problem and may seem difficult to get rid of. However, it is definitely not impossible. Baking soda has been used as a remedy for dandruff for ages. Does it work? How can you use baking soda to keep dandruff at bay? Read on to find out.

Is Baking Soda Good For Dandruff?

Baking soda is thought to clean the scalp and help get rid of dandruff flakes. Here are a few of the benefits one may experience after using baking soda for dandruff:

  • Baking soda may absorb the excess sebum produced by the scalp. It may also help wash off the oil and grease on your hair.
  • Baking soda has antifungal properties (1). Hence, it may treat the fungal infection that is causing dandruff.
  • Using baking soda may also calm your scalp, which may help it produce less oil. This may be because it balances the pH of the scalp.
  • If you have oily hair, you can use it as a dry shampoo because of its oil-absorbing properties.

Note: The above benefits are based on anecdotal evidence and do not have scientific backing.

You can use baking soda by adding 2-3 tablespoons of it to a cup of lukewarm water. Mix well and apply it to your scalp. Massage gently and leave it on for a minute or two. You can then shampoo your hair as usual.

Apart from using only baking soda, you can add also add other ingredients to it and make an even more potent remedy for dandruff. Find the details of these combinations below.

How To Use Baking Soda For Dandruff

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar And Baking Soda
  2. Lemon And Baking Soda
  3. Olive Oil And Baking Soda
  4. Coconut Oil And Baking Soda
  5. Baking Soda And Tea Tree Oil

1. Apple Cider Vinegar And Baking Soda For Dandruff

The acidity of the apple cider vinegar (ACV) may balance the alkalinity of the baking soda. This combination may work in conjunction to balance the scalp’s pH. Both baking soda and ACV have antifungal properties (1), (2). This may help to get rid of dandruff.

You Will Need
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the two ingredients and apply the mixture to the scalp.
  2. Massage for a minute or two.
  3. Rinse your hair with cool water.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this 2 times a week. 

2. Lemon And Baking Soda For Dandruff

Lemon juice is a natural astringent and has antifungal properties (3). This may help in getting rid of the fungus causing dandruff.

You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
What You Have To Do
  1. Make a thin paste of the ingredients and apply it to the scalp.
  2. Massage it in and leave it on for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Wash your hair with cool water.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 times a week. 

3. Olive Oil And Baking Soda For Dandruff

While the baking soda may help remove excess oil and grime and eliminate the fungal infection, olive oil conditions the scalp, locks in moisture, and helps in getting rid of dandruff (4). The egg yolk in this hair pack can condition your hair and promote hair growth (5).

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Lightly warm up the olive oil and add it to the egg yolk. Add the baking soda powder to this and mix well.
  2. Apply this hair pack on the scalp and let it sit for about 20 minutes.
  3. Rinse with lukewarm water first and then with cool water.
How Often You Should Do This

Apply this 2 times a week. 

4. Coconut Oil And Baking Soda For Dandruff

Coconut oil penetrates the hair shaft and reduces protein loss in both damaged and undamaged hair (6). It may also alleviate the dryness and itchiness from the scalp and help keep it moisturized. This can help prevent dandruff. Honey acts as a conditioner and imparts shine and luster to your hair (7).

You Will Need
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Add the baking soda and honey to the coconut oil and mix well.
  2. Apply this mixture to the scalp and leave it on for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Rinse your hair as usual.
How Often You Should Do This

Use this hair mask 2 times a week. 

5. Baking Soda And Tea Tree Oil For Dandruff

Tea tree oil has antifungal properties that can help in the treatment of dandruff. A study found 5% tea tree oil to be effective in treating dandruff (8). This, in combination with baking soda, can eliminate the dandruff-causing fungi from your hair.

You Will Need
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • A few drops of tea tree oil
  • 1/2 cup water
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix all the ingredients and apply the mixture to the scalp.
  2. Rinse your hair after 15 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 times a week until you get relief from dandruff.

Note: Baking soda is alkaline and abrasive. Hence, it may make your scalp and hair dry. If you have dry hair, follow the rinse with a conditioner to keep your hair and scalp moisturized.

These baking soda combinations may help you get rid of dandruff. They may also be used for counteracting hair fall and other dandruff-related issues, like dryness/oiliness and itching. Once these issues are brought under control, your scalp may resume healthy hair growth.

However, it is important to remember that the use of baking soda for dandruff is not backed by science and is based on anecdotal evidence. Hence, it may or may not work in treating dandruff. In case your dandruff persists, you may try otherhome remedies for dandruff or consult a doctor.

8 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.
  • Antifungal activity of sodium bicarbonate against fungal agents causing superficial infections, Mycopathologia, US National Library Of Medicine, National Institutes Of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22991095
  • Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression, Scientific Reports, US National Library Of Medicine, National Institutes Of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5788933/
  • Phytochemical, antimicrobial, and antioxidant activities of different citrus juice concentrates, Food Science and Nutrition, US National Library Of Medicine, National Institutes Of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4708628/
  • Ethnopharmacological survey of home remedies used for treatment of hair and scalp and their methods of preparation in the West Bank-Palestine, BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, US National Library Of Medicine, National Institutes Of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5499037/
  • Naturally Occurring Hair Growth Peptide: Water-Soluble Chicken Egg Yolk Peptides Stimulate Hair Growth Through Induction of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Production, Journal Of Medicinal Food, US National Library Of Medicine, National Institutes Of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29583066
  • Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage, Journal of Cosmetic Science, US National Library Of Medicine, National Institutes Of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12715094
  • Medicinal and cosmetic uses of Bee’s Honey – A review, AYU, Journal Of Medicinal Food, US National Library Of Medicine, National Institutes Of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3611628/
  • Treatment of dandruff with 5% tea tree oil shampoo, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, US National Library Of Medicine, National Institutes Of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12451368
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Kushneet Kukreja

She is a Biotechnologist, what we in normal English would call Scientist. While she is an expert in experimenting, she also holds an exceptional talent in juggling words and churning out content with just the right amount of sass added to it. When not saving the world with her articles, she likes to hang around with her Siberian Husky (because, aren't dogs the best?). In her spare time, she likes a little 'jibber-jabber, full of chatter' time with her friends. So, what gives her the energy to do all this? If you ask her, she would say,"My cup of sanity - an extra large mug of coffee!"

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