How To Use Listerine To Treat Dandruff

by Anjali Sayee

Dandruff is one of the most common and evident hair problems. It is caused by fungi called Malassezia furfur. It is best identified as white or yellow flakes that cause itchiness and redness. There are many anti-dandruff products on the market that can most certainly help you get rid of dandruff. If you are looking for a solution closer to home, consider using Listerine. In this article, we delve into how Listerine helps prevent dandruff, and if science backs it up. Read on to know more!

Listerine And Dandruff

Joseph Lawrence developed Listerine in 1879. He named it after being inspired by Dr.Joseph Lister, who was trying to create the first antiseptic surgical solution. When it first came out, Listerine was publicized as an antiseptic solution. Since the 1920s, Listerine was advertised as being able to get rid of dandruff. Lawerence conducted an experiment with rabbits that showed Listerine could indeed prevent dandruff. Later on, the company got in trouble with the law for calling dandruff a germ.

A lot of anecdotal evidence suggests that Listerine can be used to get rid of dandruff. Let’s look at what science says.

How Listerine Prevents Dandruff

There is little to no scientific research to establish that Listerine helps reduce dandruff. Here are some ways Listerine may prevent dandruff:

  1. Listerine contains four main components: menthol, thymol, eucalyptol, and methyl salicylate.
    • Thyme is a well-known antiseptic that can help reduce dandruff (1),(2).
    • Menthol has antimicrobial properties (3). It prevents flaking and helps in keeping the scalp clean.
    • Eucalyptol (1-8, Cineol) can work well as an anti-dandruff agent (4).
    • Salicylic acid is often used in anti-dandruff shampoos, and it helps remove scalp scales/flakes (5).
  1. Listerine exhibits antimicrobial and antifungal activities (6), (7). Hence, it may help in killing the dandruff-causing fungi and improve scalp health.
  1. Listerine is antiseptic and can help prevent viral and fungal scalp infections.

Here’s how you may use Listerine to get rid of dandruff.

How To Use Listerine For Dandruff

1. Listerine For Dandruff

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon Listerine
  • Cotton pad

Prep Time

2 minutes

Treatment Time

5-10 minutes

Method

  1. Soak the cotton pad in the Listerine and dab it onto your scalp.
  2. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo and finish with a conditioner.

How Often

2-3 times a week for 2 weeks.

2. Listerine And Water For Dandruff

Listerine contains compounds that have antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. It is also antiseptic, which helps reduce dandruff.

You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons Listerine
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Spray bottle

Prep Time

2 minutes

Treatment Time

5 minutes

Method

  1. Pour the ingredients into a spray bottle and mix well.
  2. Wash your hair with your regular shampoo and condition.
  3. Spritz the diluted Listerine onto your scalp and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
  4. Rinse your scalp with cool/lukewarm water.

How Often?

3 times a week for 2 weeks.

3. Listerine And Coconut Oil For Dandruff

Coconut oil can penetrate the hair shaft, passing through the cortex as well. It can prevent and repair hair damage (8). The oil helps Listerine enter the hair follicles, prevents microbial infections, and keeps the scalp clean.

You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons Listerine
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Prep Time

2 minutes

Treatment Time

5 minutes

Method

  1. Combine the Listerine with an equal amount of coconut oil and set aside.
  2. Wash your hair with a mild sulfate-free shampoo. Do not condition.
  3. Squeeze the excess water out of your hair.
  4. Tilting your head back, pour the Listerine and coconut oil mixture on your scalp.
  5. Massage your scalp and leave the oil mixture on for about 5 minutes.
  6. Wash the oil and Listerine out of your hair with a mild shampoo.

How Often?

3 times a week for 2 weeks.

4. Listerine And Vinegar For Dandruff

Vinegar is known to help balance the pH of the scalp. It is also known to help cleanse the scalp, which may improve scalp and hair health.

You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons Listerine
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • Spray bottle

Prep Time

2 minutes

Treatment Time

5 minutes

Method

  1. Pour equal parts of Listerine and water into a spray bottle and mix well.
  2. Wash your hair with your regular shampoo and condition it.
  3. Spritz the diluted Listerine on your scalp and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
  4. Rinse your scalp with cool/lukewarm water.
  5. Dilute the apple cider vinegar with a cup of water. Pour this mixture through your hair as a final rinse.

How Often?

Once a week.

5. Listerine and Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil has a cooling effect on your scalp and helps eliminate dandruff and lice (9). You can add coconut oil if you feel there is too much menthol, and your scalp is tingling.

You Will Need

  • 1 cap Listerine
  • 2 tablespoons peppermint oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Prep Time

2 minutes

Treatment Time

5-10 minutes

Process

  1. Mix the Listerine and the oils.
  2. Apply the blend to your scalp.
  3. Keep it on for about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Wash it off with a mild shampoo.

How Often

Once a week.

Now you know how Listerine helps reduce dandruff, add it to your hair care regimen. However, remember, it may work well for minor cases and not be very effective in moderate to severe cases. Hence, if you experience frequent dandruff, consult a dermatologist for the appropriate treatment.

9 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.

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Anjali Sayee

Anjali Sayee is a writer and an introvert. From studying Aeronautical Engineering and wanting to design her own airplane to writing articles on hairstyles, she has been on quite a journey. She believes that hair is one of the key factors that define a woman’s personality. To quote her, “What’s the first thing they do in the movies to show a personality change? Change the hair – because it has a life of its own.” She’s here to help you find the hairstyle you need. This bookworm is a self-professed Wholocker, a talented drummer, and an amateur photographer.

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