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Oregano Oil and Dandruff

What is dandruff?
Dandruff is a chronic condition characterized by excessive flaking of the dead skin of the scalp. It is commonly identified by the presence of white, oily flakes on the hair and shoulders, accompanied by the itching and scaling of the scalp.

Babies can also be affected by dandruff. This condition is known as cradle cap and it affects babies from birth until one year of age. No treatment is usually prescribed because it typically disappears on its own.

Dandruff can be caused by either dry or oily skin. Infrequent shampooing can also lead to a buildup of dead skin cells on the scalp, thus causing dandruff. Other skin conditions can also cause dandruff such as eczema and psoriasis. Fungal infection of the yeast-like fungi malassezia also leads to dandruff.

How can oregano oil provide relieve for dandruff?
One of oregano oil’s main components, carvacrol, is believed to work well as a natural anti-fungal treatment (Kordali, et al., 2008). Because a yeast-like fungus is one of the main causes of dandruff, oregano oil might work very well against it (Guo, et al., 2009). By eliminating the fungi present in the scalp, the dandruff will also be eliminated.

Dandruff also presents with itchiness of the scalp which the oregano oil can help ease. Oregano oil is also well known for its germ-killing properties (Penalver, et al., 2008), which can aid in the relief of dandruff.

How is oregano oil used in dandruff?

For use against dandruff, 1 drop of full strength oregano oil diluted in 10 to 50 drops of extra virgin olive oil can be applied directly to the scalp. It can also be added to the shampoo that one is using. To do this, add ten to twenty drops of oregano oil to 8 ounces of shampoo and mix well. Use the shampoo to wash the hair and leave on for a few minutes before rinsing.

Remember not to get any of the shampoo into the eyes because this will cause a burning sensation. Also, do a patch test to make sure you’re not allergic to it.

Dandruff may not be a serious medical condition and is actually more of an inconvenience, but it may also cause embarrassment and affect a person’s self-esteem. Take these tips so you can get rid of dandruff for good.


Guo N., Liu J., Wu X., Bi X., Meng R., Wang X., Xiang H., Deng X. and Yu L. Antifungal activity of thymol against clinical isolates of fluconazole-sensitive and –resistant Candida albicans. Journal of Medical Microbiology. 2009; 58(Pt 8): 1074-1079.

Kordali S., Cakir A., Ozer H., Cakmakci R., Kesdek M. and Mete E. Antifungal, phytotoxic and insecticidal properties of essential oil isolated from Turkish Origanum acutidens and its three components, carvacrol, thymol and p-cymene. Bioresource Technology. 2008; 99(18): 8788-8795.

Peñalver P., Huerta B., Borge C., Astorga R., Romero R. and Perea A. Antimicrobial activity of five essential oils against origin strains of the Enterobacteriaceae family. Acta Pathologica, Microbiologica et Immunologica Scandinavica. 2005; 113(1): 1-6.