Woman brushing dandruff off of her shoulder

A gentleman called in to our public radio show with an amazing story about Listerine mixed with baby oil. His veterinarian had recommended this combination for relieving itchy spots on his Dobermans and horses. He found that it worked and tried it for his own dandruff. He told us that it gets rid of dandruff in two to three days. Listerine contains a number of essential oils (thymol, eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate) that may have anti-fungal activity. Since dandruff appears to be caused in part by fungus (yeast), it stands to reason that a fungus fighter could provide some benefit. The caller did not tell us the precise ratio of Listerine to baby oil so if you want to try it you will have to experiment.

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  1. Sara

    I have used vinegar for itchy scalp. Have listerine now but have not used it yet. Should it be:left on scalp a while before rinsing; applied before or after washing? Thanks.

  2. Cindy N

    I’ve been using Listerine (amber, original) for scalp itch and it seems to help. The itch was so intense that it kept me awake at night. I apply in full strength with a twist-top bottle (I rinsed and filled an empty Scalpicin bottle with it). I carry it in my purse and apply when my scalp starts itching and it cools the itch. I am still planning to see a dermatologist because this problem has been getting progressively worse over the course of months, and nothing else has given me even mild relief. I think I will keep it on hand always as part of my medicine cabinet arsenal.

  3. Ana

    All the above comments are great but the reason is simple why all these products work so well. They are antiseptic products meaning they are used to kill bacteria. Listerine, tea tree oil, witch hazel all these work because they are all made for the same purpose to kill bacteria whether that be on your head, face or feet it’s bacteria none the less. I would caution with the baby oil though, mineral oil has a tendency to clog up pores causing break outs. If you have oily skin you may just want to skip the baby oil. Good Luck with your spray!!

  4. barkha

    Just testing comments…

  5. Chandrika

    I am suffering from severe dandruff for last 10 years. During winter, the case would worsen, but during summer I get sticky dandruff. There is no doctor left in town whom I have not consulted. But none of their medicines worked to cure the dandruff permanently. I am suffering from hair loss for past four years. I would like to know whether long-term dandruff results in hair loss.
    Also, I would like to try the Listerine solution. I would request PEOPLE’S PHARMACY to advice me on the exact ration of Listerine, baby oil (what kind of baby oil?) and water should be used. Also, please advice if using tea tree oil instead of baby oil will have the same effect.
    Kindly mention name of a Listerine available in Indian market that will be safe to use on scalp without damaging hair.
    Thanks & Regards.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Listerine is a US “patent medicine” mouthwash containing the herbal oils thymol, menthol, eucalyptol and methylsalicylate in an alcohol base. The formula is equal parts Listerine, mineral oil (“baby oil”) and water. If you can’t find Listerine, tea tree oil might be a reasonable substitute.

  6. Rhiya

    is it necessary to add baby oil to listerine?if I do not include the oil, will it dry my hair too much? suggest please.

  7. Shania

    You should NEVER use anything that contains Essential Oils on or around cats! Some essential oils can cause kidney or liver failure in cats. Dogs are normally ok, but I would definitely check with a vet first. I discovered this when I was learning to make soap. Thankfully, I did my homework prior to trying it out!

  8. Barbara

    YES! This works! I have been using Listerine as a scalp rinse for over 10 years. I don’t use it every time I wash my hair though, only when I start to notice an itchy spot or dandruff flakes. I might use it after a couple of shampoos then the problem disappears! It definitely works for me.

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