Relief! The Best Ways to Treat Dandruff with Essential Oils


young child scratching head

Hair and scalp imbalances are a common and frustrating complaint.

One of the more common imbalances is dandruff, which results from overly dry and flaky skin on the scalp.

Treating dandruff and scalp conditions can be tricky – especially when many of the commercial products available do a poor job of moisturizing and rebalancing. And these products can sometimes further agitate a dry scalp and cause the condition to worsen.

Below you’ll find a variety of natural methods to heal, moisturize and bring your scalp health back into balance.

First, here is a list of essential oils that are known remedies for dandruff:

  • Bay (Laurel and West Indian)
  • Bergamot
  • Cedarwood
  • Clary sage
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Sandalwood
  • Tea tree

Maybe you already have some of them in your EO collection!

Next, let’s get into some specific applications that you could apply today.

Anti-dandruff treatment

normal hair conditioner essential oils



  • In a 4 oz container combine water, vinegar, lavender and bay laurel EO.
  • Shake well.
  • Pour a small amount of mixture into your palm and massage into scalp.
  • Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Rinse with water. No shampoo.

The smell will be strong for an hour or so.

Apply once weekly.

Exfoliating Dandruff Treatment

happy young woman smiling

Ingredients for a single treatment:


  • In an 8 oz glass bottle combine water, baking soda, and rosemary EO
  • Shake thoroughly to blend
  • Pour onto hair and scalp while gently massaging it in.
  • Continue until mixture has been fully applied.

Apply twice weekly.

For best results, follow with the anti-dandruff vinegar rinse mentioned later in this post.

Pre-shampoo Warming oil treatment

essential oil bottles with white flower

It’s good to give your head and hair some nourishing attention before you shower and apply shampoo and conditioner.

Ingredients for a single treatment:


  • In a small non-reactive bowl you’ll want to combine your jojoba oil and lavender, sage cedarwood EOs.
  • Stir well.
  • Using your fingers, massage 1 to 2 tsp of the mixture into your hair and scalp.
  • Soak a small towel or washcloth in water and wring it out so it’s not dripping.
  • Heat towel using a microwave (30-50 seconds) or boil water and pour just enough water over your towel to absorb fully.
  • Once your towel is cool enough to handle, wring it out and wrap up it up over your hair.
  • Apply once or 2-3 times, as desired. Reheating as necessary.
  • Ideally, wait an hour before shampooing.

The warming oil treatment should be applied at minimum once every two weeks for dandruff.

Dandruff Shampoo

essential oil bottles flower



  • In a glass measuring cup combine your castile soap and half (1/4 cup) of your water
  • Stir to mix.
  • Add your 4 tsp of oil
  • Stir to mix.
  • Pour into an 8 oz glass bottle
  • Add your essential oils
  • Shake to combine
  • Fill the container with the remainder of your water (1/4 cup)
  • Shake once more.


  • In a small non-reactive bowl or container combine a small amount of your new shampoo with 1tsp baking soda.
  • Stir well and shampoo as normal.
  • Apply 3 to 4 times a week.

Best results when followed with the Anti-dandruff Vinegar rinse listed below.

Anti-dandruff Vinegar Rinse

apple cider vinegar


  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (AVC)
  • 25 drops lavender EO
  • 25 drops tea tree EO


  • In a 4 ounce container combine vinegar, lavender and tea tree.
  • Shake well to blend.
  • In a non-reactive bowl combine 3 tsp of the vinegar rinse with 2 cups of warm water.
  • After you’ve shampooed pour the rinse over your hair
  • Massage into scalp.
  • Rinse with warm water.
  • Repeat once more, if desired.


DIY Essential Oil Based Remedies for Dandruff


Hopefully, some of these recipes will come in handy for you.

If you have any questions or tips of your own please make yourself heard in the comment section below!

Welcome to EOSanctuary

Hi. Glad to see you here. My name is Loren Elara and I run Essential Oil Sanctuary. I’d love to connect with you and share ideas. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions please let us know in the comment sections.

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5 thoughts on “Relief! The Best Ways to Treat Dandruff with Essential Oils”

  1. Thank you, Loren! I’ve been having dandruff issues and I think this will be the answer to my problem. I have yet to try it, but you can be sure that I’ll be trying it soon! Thank you for the time you put into helping others!

  2. The first recipe calls for 1/2c of water and vinegar in a 4 oz container. That is too much for 4 oz. Does the container need to be bigger or the water & vinegar less?

  3. Mary Ware

    Hello Loren! Great post as usual. But the best I have ever used to keep my dandruff at bay is the GKhair anti-dandruff shampoo. Truly a game changer for me. 🙂 <3

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