Can I Use Garlic For Dandruff Removal? How Does It Work?

Garlic for dandruff

Garlic is another often suggested home remedy to treat dandruff.

How effective is it? It’s hard to say.

The results are just like you would expect: inconclusive. Some say it works wonders. For others, it’s had no effect.

garlic for dandruff

Evidence for garlic treating dandruff

There are only three small pieces of evidence I can find that might point to garlic being useful for dandruff.

  • Adam Lonicer (Adamus Lonicerus)
  • Allicin
  • Psoriasis

Adam Lonicer and garlic for dandruff

Adamus Lonicerus, a German botanist born on October 10, 1528, recommended garlic externally for treating skin diseases and dandruff.[1]

Should we take the word of a guy born hundreds of years ago? Not necessarily. Especially when there isn’t more current evidence to support it.

But, I wouldn’t point to it as a case against garlic being useful either.

What is allicin?

Allicin is a compound formed when you crush or chop fresh garlic. It gives off the distinct smell garlic is known for.

Allicin has a range of antimicrobial qualities including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiparasitic activities.[2]

It may prove useful for treating dandruff as well as other skin diseases but, there isn’t enough evidence to draw any conclusions.

Garlic is useful for treating psoriasis

Psoriasis is a known cause for flakes.

Garlic extract is supposedly helpful for regulating Th1 cells as part of the immune system. Psoriasis is not completely understood but, it’s thought that disregulation of T-cells (Th1 or Th2) in the immune system may be responsible for it.

Garlic may be helpful in addition to topical steroids to fix psoriasis.[3]

How to apply garlic to your scalp

The easiest way is to buy a shampoo with garlic in it.

Or you can make your own topical recipe. My personal recommendation is a garlic and honey mixture.

You’ll want to crush fresh cloves of garlic. Your garlic should not be soft or rubbery. It should be hard.

  • Take a clove and chop the ends of the clove off top and bottom
  • Cut the garlic into quarters (the skin should come off easy when you do this)
  • Put the flat part of your knife on top of one of the pieces
  • Hit the knife with the bottom of your fist and the garlic should smash easily

It’s up to you how many cloves you want to include. I’d say anywhere from 5-8 cloves. You’ll want to mix that into enough honey to cover your scalp. Dilute it with just a little bit of water to make it easier to apply.

The specific type of honey you use is important! Read about Manuka honey and dandruff here!

Side effects

There are side effects for overconsumption of garlic like heartburn, bad breath, and upset stomach. But, we want to apply it topically. It should have no effect other than the smell. If you have an allergy to garlic which is quite rare, you should not use it.

It’s not exactly the treatment you’d want to use for the smell but, hey if some people have had success with it, it’s worth a shot.

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