Listerine® - The Miracle Cure for Dandruff and an Itchy Scalp!
FTC Disclosure: If you make a purchase via a link on this site, I may receive a small commission. There will be no added cost to you. Thank you!
Did you know that Listerine® was marketed as an anti-dandruff product for 20 years?
It sounds strange now, but from the 1930s to the 1950s, Listerine® was marketed (very aggressively!) as a cure for dandruff.
There are still many fans who swear by it today, saying that it helps clear seborrheic dermatitis, soothes an inflamed and itchy scalp and leaves the scalp feeling healthier in general - all of which, of course, promote hair health too.
Bizarre as it may sound, there are very good reasons why it may be effective.
Listerine® contains menthol, thymol, eucalyptol and methyl salicylate. These ingredients have antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, both of which are good for keeping the scalp in great condition. Methyl salicylate also has an anti-inflammatory, cooling action wherever it's applied - perfect for soothing an itchy scalp.
You can use Listerine as a final rinse after shampooing/conditioning...
...just mix 1/4 cup of Listerine with 1 cup of water and pour over the hair. In addition to the benefits mentioned above, it removes any remaining shampoo or build up of products from the hair.
But to address your itchy scalp/dandruff problems a little more directly, try a stronger solution.
Mix 1/2 cup of Listerine with 1/2 cup of water and apply to towel dried, clean hair, pouring it as close to the scalp as possible. Rub it in with your fingertips, leave it for about 5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
3 Important Points!
1. If available, use the traditional, orange colored Listerine in your hair for best results.
2. Take care if your hair is dry, because Listerine itself may have a drying effect. If your hair is brittle and liable to snap, you don't want to make the problem worse! Coat the ends of your hair in conditioner to protect them, so the Listerine only reaches the scalp. Alternatively, use cotton wool pads to apply the Listerine directly to the problem areas on the scalp, rather than pouring it all over the hair.
3. DON'T try using Listerine on areas of broken or very irritated skin... it will sting!
Itchy scalp conditions
Best hair and scalp shampoos
If YOU have tried Listerine and find it effective at promoting scalp health and decreasing your hair loss, please tell us about your experiences - we'd love to hear from you!
Comments from our readers...
Yes I used it in the 60s when I had dandruff. I used an eye dropper which you can get from any store, filled it with the original gold Listerine (newer ones have too many other additives) and squeezed it directly onto my scalp from dropper, until I was sure entire scalp was covered in it. I then wrapped hair in a dry towel and went to sleep.
The next morning I washed hair with regular shampoo and conditioner. I noticed it had more bounce. When I parted my hair, my scalp was so clean it shined.
I have to say my hair would grow like crazy when I used this every 2 or 3 months. I think it is because it kills any bacteria and removes all debris that might be in hair shaft so hair grows faster. Just be careful to get as little Listerine on the hair as possible.
I am going to start doing this again. I am in my 60s now and notice my hair is thinning. I always had a lot of hair, still do for my age, but I think the Listerine will make it grow thick again by cleaning my scalp thoroughly and killing bacteria that inhibits growth. Hope this helps.
Diane, from USA
I used Listerine after years of scalp fungus and hair loss. I tried prescription pills and shampoos. After one application of amber Listerine the itch stopped. Two weeks in, my bald spot is filling in.
Cee, from USA
I was having trouble with itchy flaky scalp and tried the original Amber Listerine! Cleared it up... So pleased with this product! Thanks
Betty, from USA
I have been battling HORRIBLE dandruff for 2 years. Right after washing I would find large gross flakes, my head was always itchy and I would get red irritated spots. I could shake my head and it would look like snow :( the spots on my scalp would have this wet feeling of like pus or something. Traditional dandruff shampoos did nothing. I saw an article on Facebook about using Listerine so I tried it and omg! This is the first shower in 2 years I looked in the mirror and NO flakes I parted my hair and saw no dry flaky spots! I'm so incredibly happy!
Alicia, from Canada
I tried the gold one just two days ago in hopes of curing the sore inflamed scalp at the back of my head. Only 2 washes thus far, and the sting reduced and the size of the bump as well.
Shahliza, from Singapore
I tried this last night. I have very thick hair which causes me to sweat and have build up on my scalp. I get dandruff as well. I was bold and decided to barely dilute the Listerine and use an eye dropper to place directly on my scalp. I left on for an hour and then shampooed as usual. My scalp feels AMAZING and my hair is also so easy to manage today. Very soft and clean. Anyone with an itchy scalp or dandruff would be an idiot not to try this!!
Chris, from United States
I use Listerine on my psoriasis on my elbows. It has stopped the severe itching which turned into a bloody mess because I scratched so violently (couldn't help it!). I think people think oils work but oils just seem to exacerbate the problem. OMG - if Listerine is my solution, I am in Heaven. I am going to try it on my scalp next.
Doris, from United States
We've been recommending Listerine for years in horses with thinning tails and manes from rubbing. Works every time!
Sarah, from United States
I have found Listerine original formula very effective in calming my dry scalp. I put it on a cotton ball and dab the problem areas, after washing my hair and before bed. It has been quite helpful.
Connie, from United States
Click here to read about emu oil - perhaps not quite a hair loss 'cure' but great for soothing an inflamed scalp!
Onion juice - the key to a healthy scalp?
If you use central heating, air conditioning or live in a dry climate, you NEED a humidifier.
Learn how switching to a silk or satin pillowcase can benefit your hair