3 Homemade Anti-Dandruff Shampoos: Get Clean & Clear Scalp Naturally - hair buddha
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3 Homemade Anti-Dandruff Shampoos: Get Clean & Clear Scalp Naturally

Homemade shampoo for dandruff


I got rid of Dandruff after switching to homemade shampoo.

Just the first use made a noticeable difference.

And I couldn’t believe I had put up with dandruff for so many years and the cure was right at my home.

I thought the yeast – which is what the dandruff literature puts down to – was the cause of my dandruff. So I was trying just about every anti-dandruff shampoo on the planet.

To remove the yeast, I even took probiotics supplements and ate yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir and what not till my system gave up and revolted by making me sick.

But dandruff stayed.

Until I switched to homemade shampoo.

But the reason I moved to homemade shampoo was not dandruff, but hair loss (I was losing massive amounts of hair then). My instincts told me to switch to homemade shampoo.

And that really saved my hair as well as got rid of dandruff. Not just that, my hair became more bounce, more shine and after a few months, many new hair started to grow on my scalp.

Switching to homemade shampoo is the best thing that I did for my hair. It fixed so many problems.

And I also realised later on that it was not the yeast that was causing dandruff but I was having an allergic reaction to the store-bought shampoo.

Problems with store-bought shampoo

  • Most of them contain sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) – which is a detergent used to remove the grease and dirt. But SLS is a known skin irritant and can cause itchy scalp, dry skin, eczema and even pollute the environment by getting into the ground water.
  • The preservatives they contain may not agree with your skin and cause an allergic reaction.
  • Due to the presence of harsh detergents, it strips the natural protective oils from the scalp, leaving it dry and exposed to the elements.
  • Even the so called natural shampoos may not help. This is because the natural detergents in them tend to have a higher pH, whereas our scalp has a lower pH. And this pH imbalance affects the skin function, making it prone to dry skin, rashes and inflammation.
  • This whole thing has an effect on hair follicles, causing dull and brittle hair. When the scalp—which is the foundation of hair—is unhealthy, it will not grow healthy hair.

Bottom line: if you have been suffering from dandruff and nothing seem to help, give your store bought shampoo a break and try these natural alternatives. Just by switching to homemade shampoo you can expect a big difference in your dandruff.

I have 3 options for you. You can try them all and see what works for you. Here are Homemade Shampoos for Dandruff that will remove the flakes and make your hair shiny and beautiful….

1. Shikakai Deep Cleanse and Nourish Shampoo
Shikakai Deep Cleanse Natural Shampoo

This is my go to shampoo when I have itchy, flaky scalp. But you can also use this as an everyday shampoo. It cleans the scalp beautifully, without stripping it of its natural protective oils. Plus, the natural moisturising and conditioning effects of this shampoo will leave your hair feeling soft, shiny and bouncy.

The good thing is that it works for all hair types; just follow the little tweaks below.

I use whole herbs – shikakai, marshmallow root and soap nut – to make this anti-dandruff shampoo. Here’s what each ingredient has to offer.

Shikakai: This herb is naturally pH balancing and helps to keep the scalp healthy and dandruff free. It also gently cleans the hair and increases silkiness and bounciness of hair.

Marshmallow root: It has wonderful soothing properties that calm dry irritated scalp. Marshmallow is also a good alternative to store bought conditioner. The high mucilage in it provides slip like a conditioner and makes detangling very easy.

Reetha (soap nut): If you have lost a lot of hair due to dandruff, this herb will help a great deal. Reetha has been used for centuries as a natural cleanser. It not only cleans the hair but also strengthens the hair roots, as well as adds body, shine and thickness to your hair. While it’s anti-microbial properties help with scalp conditions such as dandruff and eczema.

You will need:


Step 1: This is optional. Soak all the herbs in water for 8-15 hours. This helps to soften them and release more of their goodness with less cooking.

Step 2. Combine the herbs with water in a stainless-steel pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the flame and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add more water if needed. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and leave it to ‘steep’ until it cools. Strain out the herbs and add the essential oil if using. Done. (You can pour the liquid into a squeeze bottle for easy use.)

Step 3: Feel free to experiment with other herbs (nettle, lavender, chamomile, amla) and essential oils.

To use:

Apply the mixture on wet hair. Pour the shampoo over hair and massage the scalp gently. If you can, catch the drippings in the bowl and keep pouring them through your hair until they are all used.

Soak hair in the shampoo liquid for 4-5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and let your hair dry naturally.

Enjoy your clean and healthy scalp, and refreshed and bouncy hair.

Extra Notes:

  1. Shikakai may darken your hair over time. Although there is no real replacement for shikakai, you can try skipping it and adding an extra reetha berry to make this shampoo.
  2. If you don’t have marshmallow root, you can replace it with flax seeds or fenugreek seeds.
  3. You can make large quantities of this shampoo and freeze them in ice cube tray. More instructions here.

2. Yucca Root 2-in-1 Shampoo
yucca root homemade shampoo

Yucca Schidigera, also known as Spanish dagger is native to the south eastern region of America (Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and California). Its roots contain natural saponins and were used to make soaps by native Americans. They also washed their hair with yucca to fight dandruff and hair loss.

Yucca root soothes and nourishes the scalp. Plus it emollient properties moisturises hair and adds luster and softness to it.

The other two ingredients in this homemade shampoo are amla and fenugreek. Amla is rich in vitamin C and other powerful antioxidants that help maintain a healthy scalp. Amla also provides nourishment for thicker and faster hair growth.

Fenugreek is a great natural conditioner. It makes hair smooth, shiny and easy to comb. I randomly came across this shampoo recipe and found that it’s very beneficial for treating dandruff and keeping your scalp clean and healthy.

You will need:

Place all the powders in a bowl. Slowly pour in hot water to make a runny paste. Leave to cool. You can add essential oil at this stage and give it a good mix.

To use:

Massage the mixture through the hair just like shampoo. Let it sit on your hair for 5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

Extra Notes:

  1. shikakai powder may work as substitute for yucca root.
  2. Amla can darken fair hair over time. Try replacing it with herbs such as chamomile flowers, lavender or orange peel powder.
  3. Use a squeeze bottle for easy pour.

 3. Rhassoul Clay Scalp Moisturizing Shampoo
Rhassoul Clay Natural Shampoo

This lovely brown coloured clay, with its smooth silky texture, is a superb natural cleaner. Rhassoul clay is known for its ability to draw out impurities that can build up on scalp and hair. Rich in natural minerals, rhassoul clay moisturises hair, improves elasticity, and makes hair super soft. It’s also very soothing to the scalp and may help with dandruff.

You will need:

To make this mud cleanser, add the water to the clay to make a runny paste.

If your hair is very dry, stir in a teaspoon of oil (almond, olive or macadamia nut are good choices) to make the mixture more moisturising.

**You can make this shampoo more exotic by replacing water with floral water (rose, chamomile) or blend in herbal teas, see below


To use, massage the rhassoul mixture into the scalp and hair, and leave it on for 3 to 5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Next follow up with a homemade conditioner.

Enjoy your dandruff-free scalp and beautiful hair.

More tips to Geting Rid of Dandruff

1. Eat Yogurt. Live or homemade yogurt contains tons of healthy bacteria – which helps to keep dandruff causing yeast/fungus in check.

2. Take a daily dose of Healthy fats: Healthy fats are anti-inflammatory and they will slow down the production of flakes and soothe irritated skin. Good fats are ghee, butter, avocados, nuts (cashew, almonds, walnut), and seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower).

3. Stay happy: Stress is the root of most illness, and it can even make your dandruff worse. Some proven ways to stay happy all the time are: exercise, write a gratitude journal, own less stuff, practice mindfulness (live in the present moment), help others, and lastly go out and do something that scares you (try a new recipe, talk to a stranger, ask for a raise).

4. Apply miracle hair mask 

This homemade hair mask contains just 2 common kitchen ingredients, but is extremely effective in getting rid of dandruff. Give it a try.


I would love to hear how the dandruff shampoo/s worked for you. And if you have any more tips on dandruff share in the comment box below… 

Leave a Comment:

Stefan says September 23, 2017

First of Minaz, I just wat to say that I used your recipe for the yoghurt mask today, and my scalp has seen a massive improvement!
I want to now try a natural shampoo now, but unfortunately i don’t have the time to create the shampoos you’ve suggested (Which I’m sure are great!)
I’ve been searching for SLS free shampoos, but I’m mindful of the fact that even natural shampoos may not help because of the natural detergents in them tend to have a higher pH. Therefore could you kindly recommend some shampoo’s which you have used in the past or which you know to be good?

Sharifa says September 21, 2017

Just saw your tip regarding rhassoul clay. Can Fuller’s Earth also be used like that? It is more easily available to me.

    Minaz says September 21, 2017

    Yes you can try fullers earth.
    You can also use a mix of shikakai powder and fenugreek powder, make a paste and use that as a shampoo. Let me know how it works for your.

Bay says August 3, 2017

Do you ship ingredients that we cannot find here in Europe,like Amla fruit,Shikakai,etc etc etc or do you have a link where we can do the purchase.Thank you.

    Minaz says August 5, 2017

    Hi Bay, you should be able to find them on amazon or ebay.

Megala says August 2, 2017

Hi Minaz, I have a question. Is lemon juice a good alternative to wash your hair? I’ve stopped shampooing my hair with commercial products a few months ago. Been using yogurt hair mask weekly and only water with a little ACV to get rid of dandruff on normal days. The itchiness reduced tremendously, but I do see dandruff making my scalp as its permanent home. We do not have reetha berry here in Malaysia.

    Minaz says August 5, 2017

    Hi Megala, use egg yolk to wash your hair.

Tynnetta M says August 1, 2017

I have all these herbs in powder form. Can you give measurements for a powder version? I have thick coarse, curly/coily hair. I’ve tried your other homemade shampoo and I loved it even for my dry hair!!

    Minaz says August 5, 2017

    Hi Tynnetta, try this:
    1 tbsp Shikakai powder
    1 tbsp Marshmallow root powder
    1 teaspoon reetha berry powder

Julie peace says August 1, 2017

Lovely to have you back you have been well missed such beautiful things you do so inspirational and thank you for more advice and recepies best regards Julie

    Minaz says August 5, 2017

    Thanks for your kind words Julie.

Thrive T says July 30, 2017

I like this shampoo recipes 🙂 I will try soon. In the past I have applied lemon juice before shampooing for dandruff but it drys my hair.

    Minaz says August 5, 2017

    Great! Let me know how it works for you.

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